Archive | June, 2013

Crooked

14 Jun

It’s no surprise that I have crooked teeth. I am not happy about it. I would change it if I could. When I was in primary school, it became apparent that my teeth were very crowded. I had to wear a plate which was very uncomfortable and was told that in order to straighten my teeth now would be the perfect time to have braces.

I grew up in a single parent family without much money.  Despite this, my Mum was in a situation where she was potentially able to purchase a small holiday house, going in with a friend. This decision for her depended entirely on whether or not she had to spend money on my braces. So she asked me what I thought she should do. A 12 year old girl.

I had been convinced that a holiday house would give us a great lifestyle and holidays that all of us could enjoy. It was then implied that the braces would be a selfish and superficial choice, focussing on surface level appearance which is not important. I was told that I was beautiful the way I was and that people will love me for my personality rather than my looks anyway.

You can probably guess which choice I made. It also helped that I was very scared of getting braces. So at the time it was a fairly easy decision. But a few months later, I started getting bullied for having crooked teeth. Thankfully primary school was almost over but I was still referred to as “Rattus” by most of my classmates from that point forward. Even when I saw them again years later.

As it turned out, my Mum reassessed her finances and was not able to purchase the house she and her friend wanted without us relocating so our home could be rented out… so I didn’t get braces or a beach house. But I didn’t really care about the beach house.

You might be wondering why having crooked teeth even bothers me, I have amazing friends, a successful business and a loving partner. But I don’t feel as though I can smile or even talk confidently because of it. Every time I have my photo taken I have to try and conceal my teeth. And every time I meet someone new I am terribly nervous that they will notice how childish and ugly my smile is. It doesn’t matter how you try to convince me that this isn’t true. I still believe it.

In my early 20’s I vowed to make a change, to pay for my own braces. So I went to an orthodontist for a quote and was told that my crowding is so bad that I would need to have several teeth removed in order to even make room for the straightening to occur. On top of this I was given a price tag of around ten thousand dollars (more than double the price that my Mum was given nearly 15 years prior). So again, I was faced with the reality that this was out of reach for me and I guess I gave up. I am however determined to one day have the means to fix my teeth for good.

As my daughter’s teeth grow, I am seeing that even her baby teeth are coming through crooked and I know what the future has in store for her. Thankfully these days, there are improved approaches to straightening children’s teeth meaning that braces may not even be needed. Even though I agree with letting children make their own decisions, I will certainly be encouraging her to have the courage her teeth straightened. Although superficial, being able to smile genuinely and from the heart without worrying about your appearance is something that I would like my child to be able to experience, because up until now in my life, I still don’t know what that feels like.

Advertisements

Support

12 Jun

I am so used to being independent that I hadn’t really imagined what life could be life if I had more support. Bob and I are basically on our own here in Qld. We have a handful of friends, many of which live a long way away but our closest family is a 12 hour drive away.

When we were in Adelaide recently we had a taste of what it could be like if we lived closer to my parents and brother’s family. I was able to work – in the middle of the day. It was amazing. My Mum jumped at any opportunity to have Dottie all to herself so Bob and I were even able to have a night out. Wow.

Since having Dottie, I’ve probably been away from her for maybe about 8 or 9 hours. Seriously. I can remember every single time and can count them on one hand. Don’t get me wrong, I cherish my time with my daughter but if I had the opportunity to work for more than 20 mins at a time or to just have a little break. Having a glance at what a life with more support could be like and then coming home to this lonely place has been difficult for me.

Thankfully, we’re often so busy that I don’t have much time to notice the isolation or to think about what I’m missing out on. Our situation also has an unfortunate impact on our thoughts around having more children knowing that we’re on our own… and that probably isn’t going to change.

It’s strange for me going from being defiantly independent to craving help and support. It’s been a tough journey to even get to a point where I can admit that help would be nice. I’ve been opening up more and more about this and people tend to react by uncomfortably trying to figure out how they could babysit for us as if it’s their duty to save us. It’s not. I’m just talking about what’s going on for me. You don’t need to fix it and you couldn’t fix it even if you wanted to.

Of course I accept what cannot be changed but on occasion, I entertain a thought that maybe it could be different.

Unpopular

11 Jun

Bob and I have started a new blog about food & recipes and as a result I’ve changed my Facebook page and Twitter over to the new name. The Badlet blog was started as a way to keep in touch with my Adelaide friends when we moved to Tassie and turned into a place for  me to explore my personal challenges, interests and opinions. I never expected it to become popular with anyone other than my friends and it never really was. That’s why I’ve decided to just keep it low key and cancel the Facebook page etc. I plan to keep friends updated by posting in my personal Facebook feed but I encourage people to follow this blog for reliable updates about posts (link on right).

Thanks heaps to all my readers and commenters.