My pets have always been the most important things in the world to me. I grew up as an only child with a mentally abusive mother and a father who was oblivious to everything. I had very few friends, so my pets were my world.
As an adult, I still have few friends. I have never been in a relationship and have no children. I have suffered from clinical depression since I was 15. My 4 dogs and 2 cats are my family. But in March I started a new job after being laid off for 10 months. It pays quite well, but it is the most mentally stressful thing I have ever done in my life. I have never had a job make me feel so blatently STUPID. Ever. I come home from work and feel like my brain is mush, and even tho I sit at a desk all day, physically weak and drained.
When I come home, my pets want my undivided attention, and I am too damned tired & stressed. I end up losing my temper at them, yelling and screaming, and occasionally I lose my temper enough that I smack them. This is not me. But my dogs are becoming wary of me, and this is breaking my heart.
It seems like they are acting out more and more; the other day, I spilled some tea on the kitchen floor and tossed a dirty bath towel over it while I got thee dogs in. After having been outside several hours, my female Gordon Setter waklked over to the towel and immediately pissed on it… she NEVER does that. That was one of the times I broke and beat the holy hell out of her. This morning I woke to find that one of my cats had got up on the table in front of the picture window and puked on my laptop then covered it with half a box of tissues. Thank God I had remembered to close the laptop before bed last night.
The dogs have gotten used to getting up at 6 AM, and in the next couple weeks I am going to be starting my permanant shift, 3 PM till midnight. Every morning they wake me at 6 AM, playing together, squeaking toys and licking me. When I start that new shift, that ain’t gonna work.
I have always said I couldn’t survive without my dogs, but at this time, I am wwondering if it wouldn’t be better for THEM if I found homes for them. I feel like a terrible pet mom and hate myself for it. They ask only for love and at this point in my life, I don’t have it to give them.
Have any of you ever gone thru anything like this? How did you handle it? Is my love for them going to come back? (Because quite frankly, if it’s gone for good, I have no reason to continue living.)