Thursday, September 25, 2008

All Over the Map

I had my session with Dr. X. this a.m. It was one of those sessions where I felt like I had too many things to talk about so everything just gets touched but nothing gets filled out; like sharing an outline to a long essay, but the things that are really important are in the details of the essay. The outline outline just glances over the topics.

I wish I were more controlled, or focused in my sessions. I feel like sometimes I try to address to much and end up addressing nothing in depth. To mix my metaphors, it is like I tell Dr. X about all the all the leaves of a tree, when I should be focused on one branch, get that out of the way and move to the next branch. How do you do that when so many things impact your daily living? Fifty minutes feels like enough time to lay everything out, but not enough time to work through things.

I'm being really negative because I feel that way right now, but Dr. X and I did work on a few things that I hope I can get over.

1) One thing that we talked about, and I think will help me is troubles I have been having with intense "flashbacks", "reenactments" or "reliving" my sister's puppy being attacked last year. I will be holding my puppy, who, by the way, I have become intensely loving towards and bonded too. I hold him, and the whole dog attack scenario comes back to me.

I hear the awful "screaming" puppy sounds and the raging barking of her helpless dog companion. I feel like I'm in the mud with my soaked sock feet. I can smell the musty smell of mossy wood dirt and dog shit everywhere. I am on my knees and they are caked and soaked in that muddy stench.

I am holding the back end of the puppy, praying the huge dogs will let go of her neck and for an instant, stop pulling her through the wires of the fence. I hold her haunches and tug a bit, so if the dogs let go I can pull her quickly back through the fence. I feel terror in me that the dogs are going to rip her head of, right in front of me. I stop pulling, because that is all I see.

I pick up massive boulders, as heavy as I can lift, I've been fighting for almost 10 minutes right now, and the puppy is getting weak. I can see here being dragged farther and farther through the fence, but she is still fighting. I know, if she stop fighting, her muscles will relax and the giant
dogs will rip her through the hole in the fence.

I hear children screaming and turn to see my little nieces running towards the attack. I am intensely scared the large dogs will be triggered by the little children running and jump the 4
foot fence and chase the kids. I am also afraid the kids will be traumatized if they see what is happening to their small puppy. They are half way down the hill screaming at me, asking what is happening. I turn around and scream at them as loudly as I can: "get back in the house, lock the door and do not go near the windows. Do not open the door until I ask you to".

I know the patio doors are easily pushed open if not locked. I am afraid those big dogs will head towards the house and the children. My nieces are scared and crying, they run back to the house. I don't know what else to do. I have to save the dog, and protect the kids.

I lift the boulder above my head and I lob it as hard as I can at the male dog who is clamped down, biting on the scruff of the puppiy's neck and trying to drag her through the fence. The heavy boulder hits his skull, but he doesn't even flinch. The giant dogs are in a frenzy. I can't stop them from trying to kill the puppy. I have been hitting them over and over with boulders and giant sticks; trying to make them stop, much of the time I am down at the fence trying to stop this awful attack

I feel weak. My adrenaline is there, but it seems to be fighting against me now. I can't think anymore. I don't know what to do. I can't think of how else to help the puppy. I give up; collapsing on the ground. Suddenly, the owner of the big dogs comes around he corner and calls off her dogs.

The puppy collapses. Her blood is everywhere. She can't move and I am so exhausted. She weighs about 30-40 lbs. I pick her up and start running up the hill with her, towards the house. I collapse at the bottom of the stairs. She is too heavy for me. I am too tired. Even when she is out of the jaws of the dogs I feel helpless I am going to let her die.

I get a burst of energy and pick her up and bring her into the house. Blood is dripping everywhere. I don't know what to do. My nieces, 4 and 7, who I am babysitting, are screaming in horror. I don't want them to see all the blood. I want them to believe the puppy will be okay. I put the puppy in the mudroom and shut the door, call the vet, tell them I have an emergency, the vet was about to leave for the day, but her and her assistant wait for us to come. What do I do with the kids? How am I going to explain this to my sister?

I call my sister, who is skiing, I tell her what happened. Someone knocks at the door. It is the big dog's owner. She asks if I want her to stay with the kids. My sister says that is okay and that she will meet me in town at the vets.

I pick the puppy up. She is in extreme shock. She is still bleeding. For some reason I don't have the brains to wrap her neck in a towel, or try somehow to stop the bleeding. All I can think is get to the vet, get to the vet, get to the vet.

I only have my sister's brand new car. Oh God now what do I do? There will be blood everywhere. I throw an old blanket in the back seat and pray she will just lay there. The fucking cars on the highway are going so slow and every single light in town is red. The dog is going to die. I am not going to get it to the vet. It will die before I can get there. I am so scared.

I manage to get her to the vet. She is almost dead. I watch as the vet tries to stabilize her and I can't stop weeping and bawling, and shaking.I am so frightened. Within minutes my sister shows up.

I am so ashamed that I let this happen, that I wasn't able to stop the attack, that I didn't notice it happening for at least 2-3 minutes before I intervened. I heard the weird dog sounds in the yard, but I thought it was her and her brother playing, until I looked through the balcony doors and saw the neighbours dogs attacking her.

I hold my new puppy, who is the same breed of dog, but a bit smaller than my sister's puppy was then, and this whole scenario keeps playing and slipping into my mind. I am terrified something will happen to him, something I won't be able to stop, or save him from.

Dr. X. and I discussed this today. He said I may not be able to stop the thoughts, but maybe I can bring more welcome, or nicer thoughts into the times these thoughts start happening. Thoughts like how adorable the puppy is, how much I love him and care for him, etc. I am going to try to do that. It sounds like a reasonable and perhaps an easier way to stop the awful thoughts than trying to force them out of my mind.

2) Take vitamins. No potato chips and cocoa beans are not
vegetables. My food intake is really, really awful right now. Pepperoni and
cheese for dinner. Prepackaged food, kraft dinner, no veggies.

"I take too many pills", I protest.

"You need to take more", is his response. "I will get you some samples".

"but I have all the vitamins at home and don't take them".

"These ones are from me", he says.

I understand, things from him have magical qualities. I accept them and say thank you.

3) I tell Dr. X. I dread leaving the house. I dread going anywhere. Even my friend I saw yesterday, who I really like, until I actually saw her it seemed like so much effort to leave the house and do something. Once I saw her I enjoyed myself.

Dr. X: "Do you dread coming here?"

Me: (in my head thinking I look forward to coming here. In fact, I can't wait for my session most weeks. Often it seems like Thursday will never come soon enough), but I don't express exactly how important my sessions are to me, because that seems sick and twisted. Instead I say " "No, I don't dread coming here. I look forward to my sessions. You are the one person I feel really understands me".

I do feel like it is weird how much I value my sessions. Like there is something pathological in how attached I feel to Dr X. He is so important to me that I cannot even express it in words. On Thursdays I know that for 50 minutes I can be exactly who and how I am at any given moment and still feel respected and cared for. That's what it is. It's very close to the way I felt about being with my Mom when she was alive: accepted, cared for, valued, in spite of my all my problems


Handsome B. Wonderful said...

Oh sweetie!! First picture me giving you a warm hug of support. Second, that scenario with the pupping sounds like it was awful and I can tell that it really shook you up. It would me.

Did your Dr. talk to you about PTSD with that event? If not maybe it would be worth bring up to your Dr. I know that those of us with mental disorders are more prone to PTSD. I myself suffer from it and have several traumatic stories similar to the one you told.

I think the Dr. is right about focusing on the present moment that you share with the pup. Enjoy his warmth on your body, the softness of his hair and his cute mannerisms. I have gained so much relief from that Buddhist teaching of present moment.

Hope you feel better soon.

s said...

I do the same thing a lot - get so scattered that nothing really gets done.

Aqua said...

HBW: Thanks for the hug. It always feels good from you, because I know you are sincere...right back at you too. I tried reaal hard to "be in the moment" with my puppy yesterday. I really have no idea why this is coming up so much right now. It does help to cuddle him and express my love, but I still get so scared something will happen to him that I can't stop.

S: I try to use my blog to focus before I go into my sessions, but, especially when my mood crashes, it seems suddenly a million things are wrong and need to be talked about. Annoying.

Lola Snow said...

Oh my god, what a horrendous story. I'm so sorry to read about it, it must have been awful. Not that it makes the experience any easier but your story telling ability is excellent.