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.