It’s been 13 years since I have been to the dentist.

While I finally have insurance now, I fear going.

How does someone explain to a doctor their reason for not going to the dentist for 13 years or never having had a pap smear?

I prefer nobody to know my history.

Even more, I prefer nobody to examine my body and further dissect what isn’t “normal.”

I avoid eye contact because I wish to not be the audience of someone’s examination of my body, mind, and voice.

I often remain silent so as to feel safe from further examination. You see, someone used to love to look at me sideways, up and down, and bottom-up. I didn’t go a day without his eyes finding something on my body to focus on.

Today, you might notice that I turn my left foot inward at a 180-degree angle, curl my shoulders in, and divert my eyes in an attempt to feel comfortable. If I notice you looking at me closely, I will continue to turn my foot until it’s close to snapping.

I wish I could go to the dentist.

I know I need to see a medical doctor.

I can’t seem to make the appointment though.

I would rather risk my life than sit and be judged for not having health insurance all these years or be forced to face where I am at today.

Maybe I’ll make an appointment tomorrow.

I think I’ll wait a few months.

Maybe next year.

Yes, next year, I will go. I’ll just lie and say I saw a dentist last year. Nobody will know except those of you who read this.

 

*Originally published on Elephant Journal

 

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