Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Desperately Fighting

What a day, what a day.  Phoenix spent the night at my parents house last night so that I didn't have to get up at the ass-crack of dawn to take him over there.  I hate Tuesdays.  By Tuesday, the high from the weekend has worn off, and on Tuesday, you still have to get through the whole rest of the week, and you're not even halfway there.  I'd hate Tuesdays a whole lot less if I didn't have to do any work on Wednesdays at all.  But at least I have most of the day tomorrow to get some other things done; I don't have to show apartments until 3:30.

I really don't want to be writing right now.  I want to take Phoenix outside and then get into bed and keep watching Dexter until I fall asleep.  I'm feeling mostly calm now, but over the course of the day, I think I went through an entire spectrum of different feelings.

I try to begin each day without begrudging the events of the previous day.  Most days I can do it; there are some days that I feel as though the day before never ended and just bled into the next day.  I had nothing left over from yesterday that would taint today, and so I began the day as best I could.

I wouldn't characterize myself as a morning person, but I really enjoy my morning solitude at work.  As long as I can read the news, catch up on the events that took place in the world overnight, and get a few minutes of peace before my professional day begins, I retain my sanity.  I had nothing out of the ordinary occur today to mess with my routine.  Former Bestie (a title that I need to change) sent me the link to an interesting blog post that I thought was pertinent enough to my life and to the reason I blog to repost it.  It's called The Disease Called "Perfection," and it's about how often we struggle with what we consider to be perfect, and it only further destroys each and every one of us.  I also read an article about why unsuccessful young adult men still get laid in American society.  Both articles were thought provoking, and both had some effect on my mood for the rest of the day. There was also an article that the New York Times posted on Facebook about how hard we are on ourselves and how that may influence every aspect of our lives negatively.  I know better than most people how low self-esteem and negative self-image can have extreme psychological effects to the point of mental illness.  I'll be honest, I didn't read all of that last one because I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on that whole thing.  It's not that I couldn't stand to learn a thing or two, and I will definitely read it at some point, I just didn't feel like being preached at by a pretentious NYT writer who probably makes close to $100,000 a year just for being able to analyze and synthesize information and regurgitate it in more palatable form.

Reading all three of those articles (okay, 2.25) made me feel funny.  Former Bestie also told me that New Fiancé bought her a brand new car for Christmas.  I got jealous.  Again.  No big surprise there.  I can't fucking help it!  Instead of just taking what she's telling me as information, I use it to beat myself up about what I am lacking in my life.  Again, these are my issues and I have no desire to project them onto her, and by writing about it I am hoping to be able to begin working through it.  Of course, I don't want to do the work right now but I will get to it someday soon.  I will remember to do it only if I write it down.

Then, Jonas texted me to ask me if I would be able to watch his and Jamie's dogs while they go to Indiana for a week to visit Jamie's family.  He'd asked me to do it several weeks ago, right about when I moved out of my parents house.  I originally said I would do it, because I thought I'd still be looking for a place to live and that I'd need a place to live for a week.  He checked with me again a couple weeks ago, and I told him that because I had moved into a new place, I probably wouldn't be able to do it, especially with my knowledge of how crazy Phoenix gets when I leave him here, and that he should consider me a last resort only if he couldn't find anything else to do with the dogs.  The today (the day before they leave), he asked me again if I could dog-sit.

I feel really badly, even writing about it right now, because I want to be a good friend, and I want to be considered reliable, and I really screwed the pooch (metaphorically) on this one.  I love dogs.  I love dogs so much that it breaks my heart to even think about them being mistreated - thinking about mistreatment of dogs makes me so upset that even imagining it makes me want to both cry and puke at the same time.  I didn't want Jonas and Jamie to leave the dogs at the house alone, and just have me coming by a couple times each day to feed them and hang out with them for a few minutes, but that's the best I'd be able to do at this point.  I couldn't bring them to my new place, we already have enough dogs.  I couldn't bring them over to my parents house as there are already two dogs over there and I don't want to impose on my parents to have to take on an additional two.  I can't leave Phoenix here, I don't want to leave him with my parents right now - not for their sake but for Phoenix's - because I'm trying to get him acclimated to living here, and I didn't want to go live at Jonas and Jamie's new place with Phoenix and Sophie and Alvin because again I am trying to get Phoenix acclimated to living here.  I don't think I could stand watching him get sick all over again, and I don't want him to get sick all over again.  Whatever it is that stress does to him physically is bad enough that it causes intestinal bleeding!  I've imagined him being sick enough to die and it makes me want to break down and cry right here and right now.  I can't subject him to more upheaval and confusion right now.  Maybe a few months down the line, but he needs normalcy and routine right now more than anything.

So I feel like Jonas put me in a very difficult situation, and I know that he's a wonderful man, and he's so nice and so generous and very forgiving, and I want more than anything to help him and Jamie out by taking good care of their pups (who are adorable and sweet and know Phoenix), and I'm so honored that they'd feel comfortable enough with me taking care of the dogs while they're gone.  I hate that I had to say no!

The last two very minor events changed my mood for the rest of the day.  I got to my parents house and tried really hard to just drop it.  Being around the kiddos really helped a lot, but writing about all of it now brings it all back to the surface, which is why I was dreading having to write tonight.

I went over to Tiffany's new place to take a look around and see her and talk to her for a little bit and to borrow her carpet cleaner.  I stayed for about 20 minutes and then Phoenix and I headed home.  We got here, and had the usual song and dance of the dogs being all excited to see her.  I am trying with all my might to create a peaceful atmosphere here with the dogs, and not just for Phoenix's sake.  I went up to my room to change into my PJ's and had all three dogs in there with me, and I don't know what the hell happened (I shook out my work pants and maybe startled them?) but Rainey and Nali just went at each other's throats.  They fought and fought and almost totally knocked my desk over, they knocked a laundry basket full of clothes over, and then fought all the way down the stairs.  I managed to get them separated on the landing there, but before that I was unable to pull them off each other before that.  Rainey doesn't wear her collar around the house, and so it was just that much harder to try and get them separated.  I tried screaming at them, which did absolutely no good.  I was scared shitless.  I had no idea how to get them apart.  My instinct was to jump in the middle of them and pay no heed to my own safety, but seeing the teeth and hearing the noises they were making, I just couldn't do it.  Linda was in the shower at the time, but she heard me screaming and came running out all covered in suds and in nothing but a towel.  After getting the dogs separated, I noticed that there was blood all over the wall on the landing of the stairs.  Rainey got beat up pretty good, and Nali was pretty bloody too, but it was Rainey's blood.  Rainy has a nice little puncture on her ear and some scratches on her face and in other places, and she looks pretty pathetic.  Nali is fine, but visibly upset.  I actually got scratched up a little, too, but that doesn't matter.  Meredi came home and said that if it ever happens that way again, I'm supposed to attempt to pick her up by the hair.  Meredi didn't seem to upset that it happened, and I guess it's not the first time it's happened this way.  Linda said that Nali usually walks away with no injury and that poor Rainey gets the short end of the stick there.  I cleaned up the blood from the walls and cleaned up Nali a bit.

I was really shaken by the fight.  I've never been put in a position before where it was up to me to separate two dogs like that.  I've always put my safety at a lower priority even when I've imagined what I would do if I were ever in this time of situation, but I'm mildly surprised by my inability to get in the middle of it.  I'm really put off by my helplessness, too.  I really didn't know what the hell to do.  It makes me sad to think that poor Rainey got the crap beat out of her, and that there continues to be some contention between the two female dogs.  There's something about Rainey that just seems to rub both Phoenix and Nali the wrong way and I wish I could figure it out.  I want to fix things.  I want Rainey to be accepted and not left out the way she so often is.  I think she's cute as a button and while she can be slightly annoying (as all dogs can be at some point or another), I try really hard to give her the attention she so desperately wants and needs.  People say that dogs and their owners begin to resemble one another, and I think it applies to personality as well.  Phoenix is anti-confrontational the way I am, and he's shy and submissive the way I was when I was little.  He's smart as can be and sweet, too.  Even when we're at the dog park and a couple of dogs get into it, and all the other dogs sort of run towards the fight, he stays away.  But even he is bothered by Rainey.  So I try to bridge the gap as best I can cross-species, but I don't see anything really changing too much.

It's really hard being someone who feels so deeply about just about everything.  My feelings influence my emotions which in turn influence my moods, and when you feel several different things very deeply from one minute to the next it can be very confusing.

I can see that I still have a crazy ridiculous amount of work to do and it's pretty overwhelming.  I do the best I can to take things as they come, one thing at a time, but it is terribly tiring.  I would love to be able to take a break long enough to rebuild my energy stores so that I can keep working.  Maybe I can get a bit of a respite tomorrow.

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