Origins lost in the mists of antiquity, my phobia grew like the tendrils of the hateful bindweed until it possessed my sensibilities.
I know that I have one of the best dentists in the world. I trust Dr. Mike implicitly. I know that his staff is exquisitely trained, lovingly compassionate, and genuinely worried about my insane fear of dental work. They have been so kind and gentle with me that I no longer shake so hard that the tray of (torture implements) dental tools rattles when I have my teeth cleaned. They are proud of my gains in confidence.
But today I had an appointment to have a few fillings in front teeth. All the tendrils of the phobia were set off -- the potential for pain (past dental work that previous dentists did when those front teeth weren't quite numb), the having-someone-touch-my-face heebie-jeebies, the needles, the loss of control, the fight-or-flight response being forcibly shut off. Since they had strongly suggested I be gassed, I'd arranged with Alex for her to take me to the dentist and pick me up when I was done. After a night of mostly sleeplessness, I knew I had to drive myself -- it was the only control over the situation I had, and I needed to exercise it.
Dr. Mike was wonderful, as he has been ever since The Life that Guides the World brought me to his office. He is patient and kind. He understands fear and tries to allay it. He has never, ever hurt me. He is willing to take extra time when dealing with a nutcase. How surprised he would be to find out that I am an eloquent woman at times, instead of an animal pushed to my limits, pawing at my mouth and muttering feverishly, "I'm okay, I'm okay."
Yet this evening finds me in bed, unwilling to walk around the house or interact with anyone. If I was a dog in a rustic dwelling, I'd be curled up under the porch where no one could touch me or see me until my psyche healed and I could move about again with confidence and sass.
I hope I don't have nightmares.