My Emotional Breaker Tripped

Sometimes something so traumatic happens that our minds block out any recollection of it. Repressed memories are theoretically a mind’s way of protecting itself. I mean, if you can’t remember what happened how can it haunt you?

I believe I suffer from something similar, but on an emotional level. When I get overwhelmed by emotion, I subconsciously cut off all feeling.

Last month I was in a lose-lose scenario. I either had to get rid of my dog or risk my dog one day hurting either Baby C, my niece, or one of my nephews. I obviously have to protect the children above all else, so the decision was really no decision at all, but it still fucking sucked.

I tried my damnedest to find a home for her. The rescue centers only took from the pound. And even then they only took the ones scheduled for euthanasia. When I called the pound and asked where I could take her they immediately transferred me to animal control. Animal control told me my dog needed to be put down.

It wasn’t a suggestion.

As a last resort, I put an ad on Craigslist. I offered her for free to a good home without children. A lot of people showed interest, but even those without children still had children in their lives and homes, and each potential new owner fell through when I disclosed that she was aggressive towards young children.

I was left with little choice. On the 15th of last month, I had to take my dog in to be euthanized. And I lost it multiple times that day.

I bawled as I took her out to the car. I lost it as the twins said their goodbyes to her, bleeding tears of sorrow. I lost it again at the pound as I walked away from her for the last time. I sat in the car outside the pound for countless minutes while my tear ducts emptied their contents down my cheeks. By the time I returned home I was emotionally spent.

Before heading into work that day my mom asked me what I was going to do the rest of the day. It was an innocent question, but the look on her face betrayed her true question. What she was really asking was: You’re not going to start drinking again, are you?

I thought about it. I thought long and hard about it. But I didn’t. Instead I wrapped Christmas presents, removed every trace of my dog from the house (except for pictures), and spent the rest of the evening with my brother where my lovely niece managed to keep a smile on my face.

Since then I have not been able to emotionally invest in anything other than my children. I haven’t been interested in anything other than mindless activities which would remove me from reality and make me forget that there was a real world out there with real problems making it really suck. I’ve been watching a lot of TV, playing video games, and spending time with my children, niece, and nephews, basically finding any way to occupy my mind so I couldn’t dwell on what I’d lost, and what I’d done. In my mind I know I did what I needed to do, but I still made a decision that ended a life…and that haunts me.

In analyzing my total lack of feeling this past month I realized that I’ve done this multiple times throughout my life. I did it in high school after we moved for the 2nd time in three years, tearing me again away from a life and friends that I loved. I did it after I left the twins’ mother. It’s like when a circuit has too much power flowing through it and it trips the breaker. Too many feels and my emotional breaker trips and there are no more feels. No more fucks to give. I don’t know if this is just part of who I am or a symptom of my depression. It’s probably both.

It took a while to get used to not having her happy greeting when I get home, wagging her tail like she’d just snorted sugarcane. To not having her jump up on the couch only for me to tell her to get down. To her not following me around wherever I went, whoring for attention. To her cute little whine she gave me when she really needed to go outside. It took a while, but I think I’m ready to move on now.

Some of you reached out because of my withdrawal. At least one person took it personally. I apologize if my absence had a negative affect on you, but this was all me and nothing to do with any of you. I don’t cope with loss well. I never have. My way of dealing with things is to escape and I’m not sure how to change that.

Perhaps that will be something I work on after I make all the changes I need to make this year.

About Twindaddy (343 Articles)
Sometimes funny. Sometimes serious. Always genuine.

91 Comments on My Emotional Breaker Tripped

  1. Sending love and thoughts and prayers. This is heartbreaking. I wish you peace.


  2. You did what you needed to do, and you did it the right way. You let the kids say good bye, you protected your and others’ children. I would have done the same and I would have felt equally devastated.

    As for withdrawing, again, you do what you have to do. Sometimes life sucks and you need to just deal with it however you can.

    But welcome back and hope 2015 doesn’t suck.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Helena Hann-Basquiat // January 7, 2015 at 10:20 am // Reply

    You were grieving, Scott. There’s no need to apologize. I hope you are on the mend, and I’m sorry I couldn’t have been more of a help to you. I’ve had to put down a dog once that I loved very much, and I know the heartbreak you felt.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I cried when I read this. I had to leave my desk at work and gather myself in the bathroom.
    I am so, so sorry you had to come to this decision. That it was the right decision makes no difference – it was a terribly, awful, heartbreaking one, and you are a braver man than me.

    I have lost dogs myself as I have grown up, and when I left my ex-wife. But I have never had to do it this way, and I truly wish you a speedy emotional recovery. You will be back on an even keel soon, I have no doubt.

    My best wishes to you my friend.


  5. big (HUGS) I really get what you are going through. I cut everyone off (at one point), because I just can’t emotionally handle it. Now I have to make a very diffcuilt effert to connect to people. I’ve re-connected in pasts months to my sis, at one point we had not spoken for months. It is hard, but I do it, because well you know i’ve got issues.I could live all my life inside my own head, compleetly disconnected from everone and everything. Sure way just to suck deeper and deeper and deeper…

    But at least you still have your kids and the other people that matter.

    As always you know where to find me, if you feel like chatting or talking. I do get it. You are not alone. (Hugs)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sorry you had to go through this. But concentrating on your children is good and will help.


  7. You are indeed overwhelmed. Let it ride, but try to see this as a precursor into a depressive deep dive… and then avoid it. In the meantime:

    “Behold, the fields in which I groweth my fucks… see thou that they lay barren.”

    I know how you feel.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. This is how you process pain/ grief. No need to apologize.

    I’m sorry for the heartbreak you’ve experienced.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so sorry for you, so very sorry. This was a decision that could never end with happiness I’m afraid. But you know you did it for your children, and you know you gave her the best life you could. Maybe it would have harder on her when you had to give her away or bring her to the pound. Now you know she was loved from the very beginning to the very end.
    Stilll it sucks a lot, but I hope that you will be able soon to look back on all the good things and be happy that you had that. And it’s great that you didn’t start drinking again!
    I hope you will feel better soon, and take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Glad you found ways of keeping you occupied and your mind busy and in the Now. Well done you for not reaching for the bottle that day – I’m proud of you, my BTFFL 🙂

    And if you’re back, YAY! If not, it’s fine. Take what time you need. Grief’s a bizarre business…it fluctuates.

    You take care 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Boooooo. That sucks. 😦

    I think I’d get rid of the children before I got rid of the dog. One of the many reasons it’s good that I don’t have kids.


  12. Good to see you back, Trooper 🙂 I know how much the situation sucks and understand the need to hermit for awhile. We’re here when you’re ready to write again and wishing you peace.


  13. Oh, this is heartbreaking, but you had no choice. No need to apologize for your absence, Scott. It’s good to have you back. We all process pain in our own way. I’m glad you could work through it being near your family.


  14. I’m so sorry my friend, I had no idea you were suffering so!


  15. As Amy said you don’t need to apologise for your absense. We process grief in different ways even if we tend to pass through the same stages.

    I missed you – and sorry I didn’t give you more support. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Once again, I’m an echo of everything that’s been said. I’m so sorry for your loss. It does fucking suck. Hugs, dear Scott.


  17. This was so raw and beautiful and broke my heart all at the same time. And I get it. Sending lots of love and strength your way.


  18. I am so sorry Scott. You did the right thing and did everything you possibly could. But I know that doesn’t make the pain go away. Take care of yourself. Take time and do what you need to do. You recognizing that you go numb and shut down your feelings during times like this is a huge thing. At least it was for me. That’s something. That’s progress. Take care my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Gretchen. I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do with this information.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not sure either. But it seems to me that once you recognize or see a pattern/behaviour your awareness of it can help you catch yourself from falling into it again. At least for too long. At least that’s what I hope happens. I know it has worked for me at times, at other times I’m baffled by my ability to know something and continue to do the wrong thing. This is no help, I’m rambling. All I will say is you deserve time to grieve. Be patient with yourself. Shutting up now.


  19. Wishing you peace, Scott. I’m so sorry for your loss. Spending some time alone helps. Take care, friend.


  20. A harrowing tale. I was wondering where you’ve been but didn’t want to pry. You still have that biological connection to your children. That’s the rope to the shore that will keep you from being swept out to sea.


  21. I am so sorry for your loss and the decision that you had to make. Sometimes our minds need to emotionally withdraw- I know that I have certainly done that on some occasions. I wish you and your family the best of 2015.


  22. Sending you big hugs. It’s a tough thing to go through but you did do the right thing. It’s too bad people take your absence personally….you have a whole life going on, as do we all. Things happen. I’m just glad your back and hope you know we are all here for you.


  23. It’s so heartbreaking. My brother recently had to make a similar decision after his otherwise gorgeous dog kept attacking other dogs and people were getting hurt breaking up the fights. You did the right thing, but that doesn’t make it any less hard.


  24. Sending honorable hugs your way, CT. I had no idea this was going on and I figured your silence was because you took time for yourself and focused on your family. You did take time for yourself, but I wished the reason why was different. You always need to do what’s best for you, the people that care will always be there when you get back. Like me! 🙂


  25. I have to say, I got a knot in my stomach when I realized the decision you had to make, Scott. I can’t even walk through an animal shelter because I feel guilty for having the “power”of choosing “the one I like most.” Because of that, I felt like I was in the car with you, feeling that pain. I’m so very sorry you had to go through that. All I can say is that it is a testiment to the love you have for your children that you were strong enough to carry out that difficult decision for their sake. You’re a good man, Scott. The fact that it opained you so is testimony to that as well.


  26. Oh goodness! That must have been so incredibly tough for you and the boys. 😦 So sorry you had to go through that especially during the holidays. You expressed your feelings so well (as usual) and I could really feel your pain and anguish. You are a good man and a great dad. 🙂


  27. Scott, So much of this post resonated with me. I’m sorry about your dog. That was a tough thing to go through. I’m glad you found ways to distract yourself from drinking. I am a feelings blocker. I’m learning to feel again. Emotional sobriety takes some time, even after we are physically sober. I don’t like sharing on the Internet, but feel free to email me.


  28. Again, I’m sorry.
    And I still don’t have the right words. :-/


  29. Scott, I’m so sorry. I’ve had this sitting in my inbox and I had no idea. I’ve noticed your absence too and wish I had reached out. Unfortunately I know there really is nothing I can say or do to get you through the process. You made a tough decision. I hope you are healing and I’ll see you soon.


  30. Hey Scott… I have had this post sitting in my Inbox for a while now because I wanted to comment but wasn’t sure what to say. And I wanted to have the right words……
    First of all, I am so so sorry for your situation, but I completely and I do mean COMPLETELY understand. I have been in almost the exact same position.
    A few years ago we had to put our Springer down. His name was Bailey and he was a great dog. Unfortunately when he was about 2 he started showing signs of aggression sporadically. It’s a neurological seizure condition prevalent in English Springers called “Springer Rage”. He was a rescue so we had no idea of his pedigree. We were already having to be careful with him around other people and kept him in his kennel or our bedroom when folks were over. He never showed any aggression toward any of us…..only strangers. But on New Year’s Day 2006, we were just watching TV and he was lying next to our 19 year old daughter on the floor. She just spoke real sweet to him and said something like “Oh Bailey you are just being too cute!” He immediately lunged at her and bit her in the face. His canine went all the way to the bone. It was a seizure (we found out later) so it was over in seconds. He sat down and looked at us and didn’t understand why we were so upset all of a sudden. There was no growling or barking or anything. He got scared and immediately went to his kennel and laid down. We put the other dog in his kennel and went to the hospital. We didn’t hit him or scream at him… somehow we all remained relatively calm considering what had just happened. We were frightened for our daughter, but freaking out wasn’t going to help anyone….or the dog. My husband is a physician and worked in an ER for several years. It takes quite a bit to freak him out. He gets pretty excited when it is a family member, but not this time. We were very blessed there was an incredible plastic surgeon in our hometown and even though he wasn’t on call, he came in and took care of her. She has almost no scar now and you can only see it if she has no makeup on. Again… very blessed! It could have been so much worse, one inch up and he would have gotten her eye.
    But now we had to deal with the dog. We called our vet when we got home and told him what happened. He met us at the office (this was a Sunday afternoon) and we left him there until we could figure out what to do. Bailey was being his usual sweet, happy, wag his tail self and thought we were just going for a ride. It was horrible! We ran tests, called an animal behaviorist in OK and St Louis. We would do whatever we could not to have to put this dog down, but in the end, the consensus was that it was best for everyone including the dog. He was 3. That was 9 years ago and the pain is still very fresh. We loved him…….we love our other dogs. Another Springer and a Yorkie but if I had it to do over, I would make the same decision. I cried for days and days. We did get another dog immediately. Like, the next Monday! And that helped us a lot. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. That is an individual decision. However, it really helped us with the healing process.
    I shared that story to let you know I understand how hard it was to do and I know it was painful and probably still will be for a while. But It was for the best I believe, given the information in your story. It will get easier with time… in the end our human children have to take precedence over the 4 legged ones!
    Peace my friend……


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story. That’s incredibly tough and I’m so glad you’re daughter is okay.

      You’re right, of course. My children come before my pets. That was never in question. Still doesn’t make it any easier to follow through with, though.

      It’s getting easier as time goes on. I still sometimes get a wave of guilt from time to time when I think of her, but I know I did what I had to do.

      Life just really sucks sometimes, and this was definitely one of those times.


      • You are most welcome Scott… trust me when I tell ya I know it’s hard. And I love my animals A LOT! They are a part of the family. I know it was a difficult decision and it does indeed suck! I still feel guilt too. :-/


  31. I’m so sorry, Scott. I know it hurts.
    Lot’s of hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I’m sorry it came to that. We each have our ways of coping with things that are stressful, and the fact that you’ve been able to identify by yourself what you do shows just how much more aware of yourself you’ve become. And actually, it’s OK to not feel for a time, just as the times when feeling way too much is OK. You’ll get back to your normal equilibrium soon enough. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  33. betternotbroken // January 15, 2015 at 1:25 am // Reply

    I noticed TwinDaddy was missing, alas I hoped you were partying with the Stormtroopers. That is not easy and things like that trigger other traumas of years past, I hope you take the time you need to heal and you go easy on yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Kristi Campbell - findingninee // January 16, 2015 at 8:28 pm // Reply

    Fuck. I flagged this when I saw your sweet self enter my inbox but flagged was all I’d done. I wish now I’d have just opened and read because fuck fuck fuck. I’m so so sorry for your loss. I KNOW you did the right thing but I know it sucked huge ass. The dog I had before my last was extremely aggressive in certain occasions. He bit my ex husband a few times and my roommate once (it was bad). At the time, I was young and childless and I got him some training but I know that if I’d have had kids back then or been around them, that I’d have had to make the same choice. There’s no doubt in my mind. Hugs to you sweet Scott. I’m really sorry you had to deal with this and obviously your absence is totally understandable.

    Liked by 1 person

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