• Melony Hill

I've Never Smiled Without Shame. After Next Week I Finally Can.

Next week, I’m embarking on a life changing journey that’s been 30 years in the making. There are so many things I’ve felt insecure about in life, especially growing up in such a toxic household. I know it sounds incredulous, but someone is paying $50,000 for Me to get a new smile. Sounds asinine doesn’t it?

My teeth have been a source of shame and ridicule for almost as long as I can remember. I don’t have memories of routine dental visits growing up. When I was between the ages of 7-9 years old, I was outside with the other kids playing one day and fell. I landed flat on My face and mouth. When I came up off My face, bloody, My front tooth was chipped.

Like always, My mother found it funny, but after only a month or two, got My tooth capped.

Always an avid reader, a few years later, burying My nose in a book caused Me another tooth malfunction. One day when I was in the sixth grade or so, I was walking to the store with My mother’s boyfriend. He was ahead of Me, I, behind him, walking backwards reading a book. Like in a movie, he suddenly shouted “watch out for the pole” causing Me to turn around. I walked smack dab into a pole. If he hadn’t said anything, I’d have backed into it. Instead, planting face first, I chipped My cap.

My mother was furious, here I was again, tooth broken. She wanted to teach Me a lesson and made it clear that she was in no rush to get My tooth fixed. In fact, she even insisted that I take My school pics that year and smile, I was told to not waste her money. After her memorial picture, she got My front tooth fixed again.

My junior year in high school, though not required, I insisted on taking home economics. I was willing to take the whole class just to get to the assignment where we carried the egg for a week. The class was really for freshman, I was the oldest, yet one of the smallest students. Daily, they made it clear that they were tired of My teaches pet ass always answering questions and getting attention. One day when the teacher stepped out the room, in a planned attack, a group of girls jumped Me. The teacher returned just in time to stop one of the girls from hitting Me upside My head with a chair. In the attack, My damn front tooth was broken again. The same one over and over.

My mother again refused to fix My tooth. This time however, I was in high school and I could not walk around like that. Finally, My fathers stepped in to pay for the tooth to be capped again. Being damn near broke My whole adult life, I kept that cap until I was 32 and it had decayed, yellowed and the one next to it chipped on its own. It was old and needed replacing. For the next two and a half years I hid in the house, hating Myself, giving up much of My very public career.

I dreamed of having a smile that I could feel confident going out the house with. In 2016, one of My longtime fans agreed to help Me pay for My dentures. Neither of us thought it would cost $6,000. He paid $4.500 of it and I paid off the rest. After he had spent so much on My teeth, he started saying horrible things to Me, like he owned My smile now and I should smile on command, he felt there was nothing wrong with throwing in My face the help he had provided.

Of course, the goal was to get permanent teeth, but I would have never thought that in only three years I’d be embarking on this journey. Permanent implants mean having screws implanted into My jaw to fuse with My bones. Dental implants mean almost a year of not eating My favorite foods and indescribable pain. I’m terrified honestly but My whole life has been plagued by having a bad smile, caps and broken front teeth.

This is a major life transition that I can’t even say that I’m mentally prepared for, let alone physically prepared. Next Thursday is the big day, I don’t even have a real after care plan. Like everything else, I’m just winging it. I don’t know if I deserve the pain, but I damn sure deserve the chance to smile without shame for once in My adult life.

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