Loss

Eleven years old was the first time I wanted to kill myself.

I remember the day pretty well. We were living with a family in their house behind Burger King. We’d been there maybe a few weeks, and had a room to ourselves–my mother, father, and me. It was better than where we were a few weeks before, which was some hotels and a tent. The woman who owned–or rented, I’m not sure which–the house worked as a worker at an animal shelter and liked adopting and fostering different kinds of animals. At one point there was at least four+ dogs in the house, one of them as large as a medium sized bear. The PitBull puppy they brought home they named DeBo (think about the movie Friday) was six months old and he helped me overcome my fear of dogs. I’ve loved Pitbulls every since. They are a bunch of sweeties.

But the day I wanted to kill myself DeBo wasn’t there. I was with a small white kitten who loved me. I can’t remember what they’d named him. But he curled up next to me on a bench they had shoved underneath a tree in the front yard. I was listening to fucking Chamillionaire’s “Rain”, writing, and crying. I remember the words coming into my head: I should kill myself. What did I have? I didn’t have a home, I’d lost all my stuff (what we couldn’t fit in a small storage unit, we had to toss in the dump, including my bed), I didn’t have friends at that point, my father was drinking a lot, and my mother worked all the time. I didn’t see prospects of the future, and I certainly couldn’t see me sitting here at 23 writing about this.

I remember feeling hopeless, feeling worthless, feeling confused, and listening to a depressing song really wasn’t helping. I don’t remember what I did the rest of that day, a lot of crying, a lot of writing, a lot of music. It’s like the moment is just a snapshot in time.

This was before the woman’s daughters and her friends slashed the tires of our car and put a sign on our door that said they didn’t want us there. Because we really wanted to be there, with her mother drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels and taking pills and threatening to kill herself every weekend. Yeah, great environment, I really, really wanted to stay there.

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Anyway, we lost that car to their ignorance.

I think I’m thinking about these things because my therapist called our conversation out on being too logical. I don’t speak with a lot of emotion often, or include a lot of emotion when I talk about things that have happened to me, or things I have done, or pain I’ve been through. I think it’s a coping mechanism I learned over the years that needs to be broken. But it’s interesting to feel as I write this the same sense of loss I felt as a child. It’s weird for it still to linger and still to be so ingrained. It feels like I’m eleven again, sitting on that bench with that cat. It feels like I just learned they slashed our tires and one more thing that I loved dearly (it was a 1972 Ranchero) was being left behind and therefore taken away from me. Something I’ll never get back. It sounds silly, but I didn’t think three years of running around living from place to place could have this much of an impact on me as an adult ten years later. That’s trauma, I guess.

I suppose this is why I don’t think about things emotionally, or talk about them emotionally, I can never handle the emotions that surface. I’m trying to stay present to finish this post, but the tears are heavy and the dissociation is real. Emotional flashbacks, I’ve learned these are called.

I guess the conversation yesterday that I overhead about people’s depression and when it started got me thinking about my own depression. It’s interesting that these feelings mimic those feelings of loss I had when I started getting paranoid and lost all my academic abilities. There’s been a lot of loss in my life, over and over again, as I’m sure it is in many people’s lives, and I’m curious how other people deal with it in a healthy way. I’m not sure I know how. I don’t think I ever learned.

When did your depression start? How have you dealt with it? How do you deal with loss? Those are questions I wonder about you, reader.

And that’s today’s mental truth: loss is a bitch.

Andromeda

You all know how I feel about . . .the holiday which shall not be named.

The holiday which is Voldemort to Harry Potter.

I refuse to make a post even remotely mentioning Thanksgiving (besides this brief moment) when Native American burial grounds are being tarnished and pipelines are being strewn across their land against their permission.

Anyhoo, I have had the absolute pleasure, thanks to my psychologist, my boyfriend, and an animal shelter to finally, finally, welcome this little joy into my life:

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She’s a three month old domestic shorthair Tortie. I’ve named her Andromeda.

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Her First Time Hearing A Vacuum In The Other Room.

I got her from an animal shelter. She’s been shuffled between foster homes and shelters three or four times, just within this last month, and was in medical care in the shelter clinic for a week before I got her. They said she was struggling with a UTI. She doesn’t cry when she uses the litter box, nor does she lick herself in the genitals, and she doesn’t seem to be in pain. She does urinate frequently, in small, strained bits. There was apparently blood in her urine so they gave her antibiotics and they said her urine was clear, which was why she was allowed to be up for adoption. As soon as she was stressed out again, it flared back up.

I’ve ordered Uromax, set to be here on Saturday, to help her urinary health until I can get her free vet visit done next week. I can tell she’s frustrated with straining to urinate, because she’s starting to do it in different areas of the house, with blood in it. That’s a problem.

 

The good thing is, since I’ve taken the incentive to research all I can about this urinary issue, what it could be, what it could not be, the risks, and the treatments, I’ve been trying different methods to help ease her struggle. I have urinary tract food that promotes urinary tract health, I’ve put a little dry food in her water (it makes her drink a lot more of it) and the frequency in which she urinates has decreased, the amount she urinates has increased slightly, just enough to make me feel better, and the blood which was worrying me has faded to a super light red tint just within this day.

I’m very familiar with UTI’s of any sort: I must admit I’ve been a victim of it way too frequently. I can also tell, from the things I’ve been reading from vets, that this can be caused by excessive stress and can go away within a week, which is often why it seems antibiotics work when in reality they’ve done nothing.

I will see what her wellness check up at the vet turns up. Since the shelter clinic said her tests showed the rest of her is fine, I’m kind of summing this up to maybe an inflammation of her bladder caused by stress, or by unfortunate conditions of living in a shelter with a bajillion other cats.

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At any rate, she is a happy, crazy, healthy little kitty. She leaps crazy high in the air. She chases after toys faster than I expected, and she’s had a lot of excitement and nervous tension stirring her up with this fifth big change in her small little life.

But, at least she can rest assured that this is her forever home. Regardless of vet visits.

My parents love her. I love her. As we speak, she’s actually calmed down enough to sleep on me as I type. The first night she got here she refused to sleep; she stayed up all night a little scared and running around all over the place. Once her stress level decreases, I’m sure the bathroom part will get a little easier too. She’s still going to a vet (I’m not trusting my mediocre internet skills over someone who has studied animal bodies for a living) but I do know she’s going to be okay even with this little hiccup.

She is an Emotional Support Animal, certified. Her anxiety has made me anxious, and the more I calm myself down, the more she calms down. Now we’re riding each other’s wave lengths finally. She knows I have her best interests at heart, even if all she wants to do is play with that damn fluffy wand on top of that toy.

Animals are healing. So since she’s healing me, I want her to be the healthiest, happiest kitty she could possibly be, and I’m willing to pay off vet bills for four years at ten dollars a month because I’m poor as shit if I have to, just to make sure she’s okay.

Animals are way better than humans in my opinion.

As I typed that, she lifted her head, meowed, and started purring. Yep. She agrees.

Cats

You guys.

YOU GUYS.

How come no one told me there are such things as “emotional support” animals? Why is this not a thing I was immediately aware of at the moment of my birth? Why have I been living my life absent of the cuddly preciousness that is a kitten?

dwarf-kitten-01You see, I’m a huge sucker for cats. I lived twelve years of my life with one until she passed and ever since I’ve been trapped within the confines of an apartment which requires a hefty 250 dollar deposit if you have the slightest inclination of bringing a feline or canine into your house that you pay over-priced rent for.

BUT.

You Guys.

If you register an animal as an “emotional support” animal, your apartment complex (as long as it’s larger than four units) can’t deny your animal, nor can they legally charge you a fee to have it.

I would like one order of a nice, fluffy, indoor little buddy who can keep me entertained enough not to stab myself in the throat. Is that too much to ask? IS IT?

I know they have trained service dogs that, in terms of mental health, can help comfort you when it senses you’re having a panic attack, which would be awesome. But a dog would not be happy in this tiny complex and I couldn’t force it to live a claustrophobic lifestyle just so its fluffiness can ease my pain.

I would gladly claim myself “mentally disabled” if that means I can acquire a ball of happiness from an adoption center and not have to pay my apartment complex a cent.

fluffy-puppy-pictures-cuteimages-netI do think an animal companion can be really useful. I bet many of you have animals (lucky bastards) and I’m sure you are much happier when your–insert animal here–jumps on your lap or licks your face or whines at you or jumps on you when you enter the house. At least you know as long as you keep feeding them and you don’t abuse them, they will always love you.

You could feed your human friends all you want and they’ll still drop you faster than you drop a hot skillet.

It’s summer here, and you know what that means: isolation, isolation, and more isolation. I don’t want to be alone in this, I want a kitten to be isolated with me. I can play with it and give it food and watch it learn the world around it.

Summer here for me has and always will be hell. Tourists from the south and the north come and converge in the middle, where we are, along the coast, where we are, and they get their vacation rentals and plug up our hotels and clog our streets and I can’t step out of my apartment without getting engulfed by a group of preppy short-shorters who stare at my sweats and baggy sweater and hood over my head like I’m crazy.

So essentially I’m trapped.

I’m starting to feel it, it’s weighing in on me too. The only time I’m comfortable leaving the house is at night now and what the hell am I going to do at night besides drive around? Eat at Denny’s and pray I don’t get food poisoning?

I can’t even cycle without feeling completely overwhelmed by the amount of people, and that’s the only form of exercise I can happily do outside so no matter how much I don’t eat, I’m still putting on a few extra pounds. So you know damn well I’ve thrown the contemplation of taking medication again out the window: I’ll blow up like a balloon.

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I don’t think I could juggle a class and work this summer, so I’ll be dropping the class. I also think I registered for too many units this semester and will be splitting them over two semesters. Which means I’ll be here for another year.

At this point, I feel the all too familiar claws of failure gripping my neck. My nightly panic attacks are returning, so that means I’m repressing something. It’s probably all of the aforementioned things, the beginning of summer, the reminder that I can barely sustain a manageable amount of discomfort around two people let alone ten every two feet.

I try to believe that people aren’t automatically harboring some wicked agenda against me, but it’s not feasible 90% of the time.

I won’t go into a rant tonight.

I could really use a cat, though.