+I CAME HOME TO DEAD HENS

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Everything I have been going through for the past month has been processed by me with clear awareness of how my disabilities caused by the way infant-child abuse changed my development impacts on a continual basis how I can – and cannot – live my life.  In a nutshell — this sucks!

Other than the big obvious, that I am completely exhausted by my travels north and back again, I was met with a nasty complication once I reached my home – my sanctuary.  The woman who so kindly and competently took care of my home, my garden and my animals had to sadly report to me that the second night after I left my neighbors’ dogs scrambled over the fence and brutally mangled and killed 3 of my 5 hens.

This woman did not actually witness these dogs – a German shepherd and a pit-bull — kill the chickens.  Neither she nor I will lie so that charges could be brought against the owners of these two dogs.  However, on another day these two dogs were in the yard again.  The shepherd was intent on killing my small dog.  Both dogs came tearing around the corner of the house.  My caretaker was knocked down by the big dog – yet she managed to scream at the dog loud enough it turned tail and ran, jumping back over the five foot chain link fence in the back that my yard shares with its owner.

The wire of my coop is also mangled in two places.  I spoke with both owners.  The immediate neighbor to my west, owner of the shepherd, laughed.  The next neighbor over, owner of the pit bull, at least sincerely apologized.  My caretaker had also watched the pit bull snatch a cat on the street out of the air as it tried to escape over a brick wall and tear it to pieces.

Neither dog was in its owner’s yard on Wednesday when I got home, and neither dog has been seen since.  Nobody has offered restitution to me.  All of this has been very very upsetting to me.

But what bothers me most is that because of the disabilities I in consequence of having been severely abused from my birth until I left home at age 18, I don’t have the ability to stick up for myself.  I really, really don’t.

I have no idea what the ‘right’ thing to do is.  I spoke with the county dog catcher who assured me that because the dogs were witnessed being in my yard that charges could be pressed for this, for the shepherd knocking my caretaker over and for that dog trying to kill my dog.

I can’t press charges.  My anxiety will not allow me to do this.  I could NEVER guarantee that my troubles with dissociation would not completely sabotage any effort I could make to be ‘reasonable’ while enduring the stress of dealing with a court situation.

I have nobody to do this for me.  I can’t follow through and stick up for myself.  I have NO IDEA how to do so, and NO ABILITY to do so even with an option such as pressing charges.

I miss my chickens.  I imagine the horror of their undeserved vicious death.  The two hens left are still stunned.  They are not happy.  My sanctuary has been violated.  I did not need this, not one bit.

And I DO expect people to be NICE!  I don’t understand myself why this is so.  How could I, a person who experienced the horrors of such intense and constant abuse for the first 18 years of my life EVER believe that people are supposed to be nice?

I blame and shame myself for being angry at my neighbors.  “How could you, Linda?  You are never supposed to be angry!!  You are supposed to be NICE!  You are supposed to forgive.”  I guess I think I am supposed to excuse the behavior of mean people.

Obviously, I am all tangled up.  I do believe that people who were raised in good-enough infant-childhoods have the inner resources to deal with such things in far better ways than I can even imagine.  All I can really do is suffer through whatever my reactive reactions are until enough time eventually goes by that this entire experience becomes history.

This sucks.  But at least the dogs appear to have permanently gone away.  I have not seen them since my return.  My guess is that they ran out to the desert and became dinner themselves for some coyote gang.  Or terrorized a ranch and got themselves shot.  “YAY” for small blessings!

I can barely give myself permission to be angry at these blood thirsty dogs!  There are just too many things to think about, too many angles — and I can’t even get ONE OF THEM RIGHT!

My neighbors have always let these dogs run.  I knew that.  I just didn’t ever guess things would get this bad.

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11 thoughts on “+I CAME HOME TO DEAD HENS

  1. Linda, that was an awful way to come home!I can relate to your story – I struggle with problem solving and and relating to others!Don’t be hard on yourself, your wired for helplessness!You freeze, I fight! Apparently, I’m a nightmare to deal with so my neighbors ( who also refuse to restrain their dog) put up a make shift fence to send me a “clear message”, that I’m not allowed to cross the property line.Sadly their dog continues to terrify my kids and rip apart my garbage – so, the other day when their dog chased my son I threw a shovel at the dog!!!I’m ready to fight – anytime, anywhere!!This response is heighten as a result of my early childhood ( I was very stressed in the womb as well).I’m just starting to feel remorse, I still struggle with connecting to others.So if the dog was seriously injured as a result of my stress response I would not have the appropriate or more HUMAN response of compassion and guilt.My infant brain doesn’t see stupid animal or unrestrained dog – my infant brain sees KILLER, BLOODTHIRSTY!!

    • Not to mention – I don’t have the same connection to animals. I see them as irritating at the best of times.Dogs are intrusive, their bark and the way they throw their bodies against your when you walk through the door, and their smell….blechhhh!Sorry, I sound cruel and cold, it’s just that way it is for me.

      • My caretaker lady feels exactly the same way. She was raised as a ranch hand, tough childhood – but animals are for work and for nothing else. She just feels badly she did not have a taser when the dog went after mine and knocked her in the process. I swear from now on I will poison any dog lose (more than once) in this neighborhood. Not how I would prefer to be in the world – but I have absolutely HAD it with these completely irresponsible and therefore mean neighbors.

      • I had no human friend as a child. My rabbit was my sole attachment creature – age 8 or so – died – I am remotely a familiar with my dog and cats, appreciated the calmness of my hens, and really wanted my own ‘service animals’ for my PTSD, depression and DID in the goats I hope to get this fall. I worked very very hard to prepare a wonderful home for them but there is no way I can afford to try to prevent bloodthirsty dogs in a killing frenzy from being able to attack such animals. I am angry. I am extremely disappointed. I do not do well with people – goats were going to be my ‘restorative’ pets – etc.

        • Some human beings are thoughtless/brainless – this problem is becoming more and more common lately.Most people would rather shut their doors and hearts off to others, I know this sounds horrible, I’m sorry – I’m very cynical.I doubt your neighbors care to understand your plight.If I were you I’d press charges and explain to your local authorities about why your animals mean so much to you.You have stated that these dogs always roam free – I’d complain.My philosophy is;” Good fences make good neighbors”, which is why I live on a 4 acre lot.My point is – I’m not the only one in my 4 mile radius without empathy and compassion there are plenty of others close by.

          • The shepherd was a pro at fence jumping and taught the pit bull to do it with her. It is illegal to let them run – the dog catcher encouraged me to press charges on them being in my yard – I know I cannot deal with the stress of doing that – which ALSO makes me mad. I wanted those goats for my well-being as service animals, as my hens were. I have no answers at present – just all disgusts me, makes me sick to my stomach the way people can be – anyway – good to hear from you!!

  2. Linda,
    I know the feeling of not being able to stand up for yourself. For me, and maybe this is a guy thing, I know that wanting to brutally maim someone for doing something inconsiderate, hurtful, or financially damaging to me is an inappropriate response. The force of that impulse makes the possibility of doing something constructive seems out of reach to me. All the more so because I am a committed pacifist and I am repulsed by my own violent reactions. I’d rather get stepped on.
    I’m glad to hear that the dogs are gone … that’s the important thing really. If they come back you may consider a bit of barbed wire to prevent the dogs from getting over. I hate the sight of it myself, but maybe a bit of it for such a good purpose as protecting your pets, who also happen to be a food source, would make it palatable?

    Thanks again for all of your writing. Reading your blog has been a bastion of sanity for me. It has helped me to understand & accept the fact that few people will have the understanding or compassion to help me navigate the murky waters of PTSD so that I can avoid ruining relationships by soliciting for support. That part of me is reserved for the chosen few who unfortunately understand.
    Life isn’t fair but it sure is interesting!

  3. Linda, I’m so sorry you came home to such an awful situation. Hopefully the vicious dogs have gone and will never return. It is a terrible intrusion and a violation of your space. I really get what you’re saying about how your reality is so different from someone who didn’t have an abusive, traumatic childhood – it’s very oppressive when people expect you to have the same reactions as they think they would have if they were in your situation. The fact is that we can never be in another person’s situation, precisely because everyone’s situation includes their past experiences as well as their present circumstances. It’s meaningless to talk about what people ‘should’ do. People *should* be nice and decent and not force gentle folk into upsetting situations and confrontations, but it is always the person being attacked who is told what they should be doing and how they should be reacting. For what it’s worth, I think you are very good at seeing how to protect yourself, even if it is not something that can be put into action always in the ways you would like.

    Anyway, it is good to catch up with your blog a little, having been away for a while. I hope that you’re well xx Georgie

  4. Thank you for being open with your story so that I may not feel so a lone at this time in my journey. Honoring my Self with love is externally challenging. I can be my worst enemy. Hugs and may the rest you need from your journey come with peace and tranquility.

  5. I’m so sorry that your return home wasn’t as peaceful as you expected. Your statement , not being able to stick up for yourself has also hit home with me.

    My divorce with my ex. is still on going and every time it seems it will finally be over a new request or disapprove is brought up. After two years separation and one full year since we come to agreement in court this battle still goes on. My frustration, anger at him but not knowing how to show it, feeling like my life is on hold has come to the point in my mind that this will never end and yes I left a bad situation but this is my reward for doing so.. The problem is I feel that this is what I deserve for leaving.

    My group that I attend want me to call my ex up and wish me to confront him and tell him if he can’t finish this I’d take him back to court for everything. They seem frustrated that I was unwilling to even try to confront. Who was they kidding! I’m still that small child that every time she express herself she got beaten by words or action. The what ifs of what could happen becomes too much for me. And by not confronting him then that allows him to continue to bully and than of course that becomes my fault . Where does this all end ? Will I ever get power in myself to not allow people to treat me unjustly ?

    So I too am a tangled mess and unfortunately till I decide I’ve had enough and stand up for myself my life will reflect this. At least that what I’ve been told.

    • Nothing about divorce is ever easy. I found it interesting that my ex-husband reported recently through one of my daughters that he wished her to thank me for him for making his divorcing of me so easy. He sees this now as he divorces the woman he married later after and has stayed married to for over 20 years.

      I did not know how to make our divorce hard for him. When it came time to fulfill my side of our mediation agreements, I actually counted out the toothpicks we owned to exactly give him his half. After months of waiting for him to remove his belongings from our house which I remained in with the children, I finally made my move. I left the house one day while he came to pick up this things. I heard later that both he and his friend had a hearty laugh as they found all placed tidily on a blanket in the back yard in the shade of a tree — divided toothpicks included.

      I think we most often completely bypass the facts about the goodness within us. We are not one bit accustomed to recognizing our own inner strengths or our own patterns of wishing to live in peace with the world to the best of our ability.

      It is probably a far stretch to say this here, but as I prepare to again approach and finally publish all of my supremely abusive mother’s writings I am reminded that no matter who, and no matter how often the question has been posed to me – and will probably be posed to me in the future – about why didn’t I ‘do something’ to escape Mother or to stop the abuse or to fight back against her over the 18 years she abused me — there is ONLY ONE response, and it is the truth: I would have had to kill her to have changed one single thing that happened to me.

      We have different ‘bottom lines’ than what non-infant-child abuse survivors are wont to have. Our is not the same reality as theirs is. When people make assessments and place judgments and have opinions about how we live our life, the truth is — they do not know what we have been through and hence can NEVER understand how we are in our world/life.

      Last week I was exposed to a very uncomfortable conversation. Looking back NOW I know that under no circumstances should I have remained present. There was absolutely no reason in those ‘present moments’ that I could not have excused myself and left. To do so would have been appropriate to me taking care of myself.

      Leaving never entered my thoughts. That’s why I didn’t leave, and for no other reason.

      Being gentle with ourselves through the ongoing moments and events of our lives is so important, and so difficult for us. Will I be present enough in my own body with my own self next time I find myself in a similar situation? I don’t know.

      We never had an opportunity to learn and therefore to integrate INTO our self the kinds of reactions to the world that you and I both know we needed to. This is part of the price we continue to pay over the course of our lifespan for the abuse and trauma that happened to us.

      I would say, “Trust yourself” as you go through your divorcing days and months. You are not responsible for what your spouse is doing. Being aware that we honestly DO NOT know how to take care of our self allows us to find our own way to try to connect with, to even consult with — a different, new and very unfamiliar ‘higher’ part of who we are becoming now. This ‘other part of us’ can be accessed. I found that part of myself AFTER my experience last week – but once I realized how utterly incapable I was in those moments of even having a thought that I was in a toxic situation, that I COULD leave, that it would have been best for me to leave — well…….

      I can give myself permission today to consider the fullest circle of what happened that I can. I can try my best to learn how to do things differently in the future. But most importantly to me I understand how nearly every single small decision I make about how to take care of myself is – and will always be — extremely difficult for me.

      Thank you for writing today!! I hope you can honor your SELF!!!! with love, Linda – alchemynow

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