This is the first time in this challenge where I actually have no idea what to talk about. My life has been so full of challenges so far. It has never been easy or without challenge. I decided I would pick 3 topics to discuss and not get into them too much, otherwise this post would get to heavy and maybe a little negative.
- Challenge 1: Separation from my mother
I suffer from anxiety. Big time. When I was younger, a lot of that anxiety would come up as being emotionally dependent on my mother. I kept texting her all day, I needed to know where she was at all times, I would cry if she didn’t answer the phone, would not fall asleep if she wasn’t home, would constantly think about the fact the she could get sick or in an accident and die. That was all I though about all the time. It was too much and I was constantly nervous. I don’t know what happened but, with time, it just went away. We are no longer living in the same house, obviously, which would have been impossible before. I still need to talk to her every day, but nothing like it used to be.
- Challenge 2: Accepting my grandmother’s dementia.
She is almost 70 years old. She’s been like this for about 4 years? Maybe more? She’s too young to be as bad as she is and I think that didn’t help with my accepting the situation. For a long time, I would come to excuses and tried to find answers that would make it a reversible situation. I would think she might have depression, as it can cause dementia in older people. Then I would think it would be malnutrition or a lack of vitamins. Turns out, most of her brain cells are dead. It’s irreversible. It has always been. For a long time, I couldn’t be around her. I would avoid her. Every time she said something that showed she was not herself I would get extreme anxiety and become severely depressed for several days. When we took her to my psychiatrist and she asked her what year it was, she said 1968. I burst into tears and cried like a baby. I have never cried in one of my own appointments. Ever. With time, I found a way to accept it. I thought about it a lot and had to convince myself I needed to live with it. Now I can be around her and I can correct her when she says something that’s not right. Or when she’s not sure who I am.
- Challenge 3: Learning to live with Rosa
Rosa was an extremely difficult puppy. We adopted her because the doctor said a pet would help with my depression. But she actually made it worse at the time. I had a very hard time bonding with her. She would not be still one second, she would bite our hands non-stop and try to bite when we were correcting her behavior (I tried every single trick. Spray her with water when she would bite us, wet my hands in lemon juice, vinegar, yell when she bit to show her she had hurt me, pretend that I was crying, ignoring her, nothing would help. She would just bite our hands and fingers non-stop, as if she were playing with another puppy. She would destroy EVERYTHING. Even furniture. We paid good money to repair our old kitchen when we moved from our old apartment to this house. Rui had to be the one to take her out every time because I was scared to do it. She would pull and try to run and other dogs would come and bark at us and I was just super scared. I had no idea it would be like that when we adopted her. I didn’t know a puppy was so difficult to raise and had no idea I was so afraid of walking her because of other dogs. Rui and I fought a lot because of this issue. Then we started bonding and I felt so bad she spent her day in our kitchen, while we worked. It was all I thought about. Then we moved here and she has the chance to be outside all day. She became much calmer with age and freedom. She has the occasional tantrum but she is a well-behaved, spoiled, sweet, cuddly dog. To be honest, we were this close to giving her back. Now, we cannot imagine our life without her. When she got sick I called my mother crying desperately and had a massive panic attack. When they brought her from the hospital I sat on the kitchen floor for almost two hours, in the dark, watching her sleep, until Rui got home. She’s my baby and I love her so much. Right now, Rui is away and she doesn’t live my side. I would be alone now if it wasn’t for her. Because I have her, I don’t feel scared or lonely at all.