Defense Is Paper Thin

Another long week, accentuated by yet another dental appointment. However, this was the best one yet, because Dr. S. did the fillings on my four front teeth, and bleached the inside of the tooth that died so that it is now nice and white instead of a yucky grey. While I still desperately need braces (even more noticeable now, oddly enough), and I’m two years down the road from my implants, I feel like I finally have something to show for all my mouth pain over the last two months. Having white malaligned teeth (and NO metal on the entire left side, let us not forget!) is so much better than brown/grey/dingy malaligned teeth. While cosmetic dentistry can seem like pure vanity (in some cases, it is), it does wonders for one’s self esteem, especially after having a dentist that just said everything was “fine.”

Now I have to wait until July, when our HSA starts up. That’s when Dr. S. will take out all the metal on my right side. While it’s nice to get that mercury out of my mouth, it does make me feel like crap for a week or so after; that’s why I greatly appreciate all of her marathon sessions. I feel badly that every time she thinks something will be quick and simple, it turns into at least three hours of hard work for her. She said that everyone she’s worked on from our previous dentist has had the same issue, so it’s not just me.

I spent the last several weeks getting ready to sell my crocheted stuff at a college music festival today, but after my husband was really negative about my being able to sell anything, I decided not to go. I had thought that college student + music festival = hippie handmade sales, but Ron disagreed. Of course, after I decided not to go, he was upset that I wasn’t going, and said the reason he was so negative about it was that he knew I wasn’t going to go….despite the fact that I was getting ready to pack the car while he was following me around saying no one was going to want to buy my stuff.

Normally, I’m a pretty confident person. It’s why I interview extremely well, and why I make a great leader. I can think and analyze on the fly (well, I could, before the fibromyalgia took that ability), so even when things don’t seem to be going as expected, I can usually get something to work out. The only exception to my confidence is my husband. While I generally tend to ignore his negativity, sometimes I can’t. To be fair, it has little to do with him, and just about everything to do with my first husband.

After being in an abusive marriage for ten years, it took a really long time to get back to feeling like a whole person. I spent the last three years of that marriage being told daily that I was “a stupid, useless, worthless bitch.” Oddly enough, it was because I was in school, and later, because I had a job and was supporting us since he quit working as soon as I got my first raise. For most of that time, I felt almost schizophrenic, as I was highly respected at work and extremely popular at school, but the instant I got home, I became a timid, sniveling mouse tiptoeing on eggshells, trying not to do anything to piss him off. Of course, there was no way not to piss him off. I remember one argument in particular that was brought on by Matt being on antibiotics. I couldn’t give him his meds while I was at school, so my ex-husband said if he had to “do everything” then I was worthless to him.

Ron isn’t like that. His negativity is rarely pointed directly at me (or at anyone, for that matter). Like he said this morning, he’s negative by nature. He’s always Mr. Doom and Gloom; nothing will work, nothing will be affordable, nothing will get done. Most of the time, everything works out fine, but on occasion, things don’t happen as expected, which just feeds the negativity cycle.

Today, I was already feeling somewhat vulnerable, as it is scary to present one’s art in front of strangers. It was one of the rare days that I really needed a cheerleader, but instead got Sue Sylvester. I know that my stuff is extremely well made; I use high quality yarn (no Red Heart Super Saver), and I always switch up designs so that things are unique. I’m always aware of color combinations, as that’s what I believe makes most crochet work look hideous. In spite of all that, I still worry that no one will want to buy something handmade by me.


Aubrey in a Juliette cap.

When Ron started in this morning, it didn’t take much to throw my confidence overboard. Of course, when I decided not to go, he became even more negative, which just made me feel even worse. It doesn’t help that he denies saying that no one was going to buy anything. I told him next time he does this, I’m going to record everything he says and play it back for him, because I think what he’s hearing in his head isn’t what’s coming out of his mouth.

He did apologize for being so hard on me BEFORE I left. Obviously, I was going to go, I did have quite a bit of stuff made up, and I was excited, if scared. He agreed that he should have waited until AFTER the day was over to say anything about it, because I might have managed to sell everything.

I know that Ron is not at all like my first husband, and when he gets like this, he’s not attacking me, he’s attacking the idea. Unfortunately, even though I rationally understand it, sometimes I can’t control the flashback feeling; today being one of those times.

So be careful what you say, and even more so, be careful when you say it. You never know what the other person is feeling, and what may seem meaningless to you could have drastic meaning for them.


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