Emotional incontinence?

Panther loved to sit on the stairs this way

My boy’s picture came up on Facebook the other day. It’s been 5 years since the day I took him to the vet for the last time. I have to not dwell on it too long as it brings the pain back.

Since I was a little girl, “goodbye” has always been so hard for me and I seem to have spent my life saying it. Often it should really have been “farewell” as it was permanent.

I was taken to see the film “Bambi” when I was a little girl and when Bambi’s mother died I absolutely howled and went on crying for the rest of the day. I couldn’t bear the thought that Bambi was separated from her mother.

Was it because my mother had gone away for several weeks when I was only a few months old? Is that a memory that would stick? I can’t think of another reason why the pain should be so profound.

It’s so bad, that I can’t read sad books about animals. Many people say this, because who wants to be sad? For me it means gut-wrenching sobbing.

One book I read was about a dog that was born before WW2. It was the story of her life in a Japanese POW camp where she was a great help to the prisoners. She was an astonishing creature. She came back to England and lived to be quite old.

When I got to the end of that book I cried my eyes out. Over a dog I never knew, that did great things, and died at a good age, long before I was born. How does it make sense to cry for her?

The last picture I took of Thimphu. He was fine. Next morning he was so ill I had to have him put to sleep.

Thimphu had been a gift from my co-workers after my Yeti died. He was like a little toy and everyone adored him.

He had trouble with his flat face and he was delicate but he didn’t have any health issues and he was only 8 years old.

I had never even considered a time coming when I might lose Tim and suddenly he was gone.

It was awful.

But when is losing a pet not awful?

A friend of mine took her cat to the vet rather expecting bad news and sure enough it turned into a euthanasia. I had gone along for support but I was sobbing and couldn’t even speak. What help was that?

There are many, many books about grief and how to deal with it. Books about losing pets. Books about death and dying. I’ve read a lot of them and they all make perfect sense, but have they helped? Hardly at all. Except now I understand that my pathetic, out-of-control weeping is inappropriate and pointless. Which makes me feel worse.

So I just say “this is how I am” please ignore me. But I think to myself, “there has to be something wrong with me.” Because it’s not just pets and animals in films, it’s little creatures that die in my garden, like the turkey last year that flew into the house.

Birds that the next door cat caught. Bugs and worms that I squashed accidentally in the flower bed.

And lets not forget trees. When my big old Maple came down in Washington I cried for a week.

My little foster Alex. He was kind of shy and I developed a bond of sorts with him. I cared so much what happened to him. I think he got a good home but it was so hard to let all those foster cats go.

Their little faces got to me, some, like Alex, more than others, but I loved them all. I just really couldn’t keep them all and it would not have been right to.

I made myself do it for several years, after I retired because I had always promised that I would do something for animals when I had the time. I knew it would be painful but it was the price I had to pay.

Considering the price animals have been made to pay by human kind, my little heart ache didn’t really seem reciprocal in the least.

My aunt’s dog Jazz. The one who weighs heavy on my conscience and heart.

Last week the Universe sent me a reminder.

An acquaintance was suddenly hospitalized and is separated from her dog.

That little dog at least will have a happier end than did poor Jazz, but each time the story comes up it opens the old wound that can’t seem to heal.

So what is it that I am hanging on to?

Do I actually like to torture myself? No.

Do I actually need to cry some more? But why? For what?

My conclusion is still the same. Something is wrong with me!

According to my friend Google, Ive got: Emotional Incontinence . Brilliant.

7 thoughts on “Emotional incontinence?

  1. I don’t think there is anything wrong with you! Sounds to me that you are sensitive, compassionate and yes emotional. To me all good things. When we had our huge old elm cut down, the crew kept apologizing for having do it, I was so distraught! I am sure they wondered what they got themselves into but I loved that tree! Be kind to yourself, you are who you are.

  2. Oh no, Carolyn, there is nothing wrong with you. I am a lot like you. I can think back to any and all of my pets that I have lost and find that the heartache is still there, after all those years. Of course, the latest ones are the freshest and rawest and I can cry at the mere thought of the terrible end of Furby’s and Snowball’s lives. You remember that I told you once that I love to watch surgeries on TV, but only on humans. I can absolutely not watch any shows that show animals in pain or discomfort. Re: the dog in the book, I’m sure the book took you several hours or even days to read, and you got to know that dog personally. Of course, it was an emotional ending that was painful to read about. Please be kind to yourself. You are who you are and no apologies necessary. If you weren’t this soft-hearted, think of all the animals that would have suffered if not for your TLC. Yes, having pets hurts sometimes. I can’t deny that, but the rewards are so fulfilling.

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