What’s very difficult is when you have a scenario where families do not want anyone to know about their dysfunctions, at the expense of the members. But, it is, those very members carry the shame of all the hidden dysfunctional experiences. So, if they divulge the taboo secrets, they will become the scapegoat for the other member, and soon they will begin to impose all sorts of punishments upon themselves, for all sorts of issues that come up in their lives. Sometimes, they may even self-sabotage for the punishment of the shame and secrecy of it all, that they have divulged, outing their own families.
But most members go about their lives hiding these awful secrets. If one is courageous enough to write a book about how they felt, the other family members want to crucify them for divulging the secrets, but the others should understand: that member of the family may have been a lot more sensitive than they, thus making it harder on their psyche, than the others, to hold everything secret inside themselves. Further, if that member was a lot more intelligent, they would observe more, feel more, analyze more; everything more according to their own young mind. There has got to be compassion all around, I say. No one gets out of life unflawed in some way or another, hence compassion must be lavished on us all.
Getting back to my original angst about my Pet, Edison, I realized that I have been holding down a lot of trauma, since childhood all the way through my life to my late adult life. When I bought Edison as a 3-month old pup, I bought him just after my adult daughter created a havoc and told me to get out of her life and never come return into it. She did this in front of her 14 year old brother, (my son), her husband, and her two children—7 and 4 yrs. old.
I remember being in shock. I did not cry, I drove with my son, to our home, and went about my day’s routine, but I could not fathom what had happened. It was about that same time I bought Edison—and a new car. Shortly thereafter, I enrolled back into college. Shortly after that, my mother died: she and I were estranged for childhood issues unresolved.
I had already been going through problems in my marriage, and felt as though I had no time to grieve for my mother. I had already lost my father when I was seventeen years old.
I flunked out of college 2 years later, went back to sales, left my husband, went back with him, lost our desert house, struggled financially and with therapy for our marriage due to various trauma within that, and finally, we lost everything in the 2008 financial crash, and I left my husband again.
Both he and I experimented a bit, and our son struggled as a newly graduated high schooler, having to live with friends, while I lived in Extended Stay, and my husband lived in a rented studio of my sister’s, and all of it now, thinking about it, was a hell I cannot even begin to explain.
And through it all, my little man (I call him) Edison, my baby, my dog, was with me. He even got to fly to Virginia with me, live in San Diego for a while with me, and in that Extended Stay. While all this went about, we picked up a “wife” for him, Chloe, and then there were three of us.
But Edison came in the nick of time, when I was going slowly mentally awry, and have PTSD I am sure from my entire life! He kept me busy with him, feeding, clothing, caring for, and playing with, this little doggie of mine.
It is not a wonder why I loved him so much? It is not a wonder why I am fighting for my own life, just to keep from following him? He was the one “person” I felt really loved me unconditionally. No matter what state I was in, he would crawl into bed at night and cuddle on my pillow. He would watch me as I roamed about the house, sit on my lap every chance he got, and I would stay up all night with him when he was sick.
But one might say: don’t you have family? After all, I have adult children that come to visit me once in a while, and I still have Chloe, and I am back with my husband, whom I now cherish, for our both hanging on and forgiving each other for the messes we made.