Although today has been generally great, I came back home to my little apartment to discover a tragedy.
You see, I have some issues with depression, mainly because I grew up in the country with my beloved animals (dogs. cats, horses, chickens, and ducks) and moved to the city for college. I have been removed from all animals, because everywhere I live I am faced with the same rule of “no pets allowed.” Ugh. I spend as much free time as I can at our local Humane Society to help out abused and neglected animals. I do everything I can to nurse them back to normality, but at the end of the day I come home to a place with no animals, no happy little creatures, no pets.
At some point here in college, I just could not find happiness in anything I did. I didn’t want to go to class or work or even go to my club meetings anymore. There was a huge gap in my life, and nothing else, not even the man I am in love with, can fill it. I kept wondering what was wrong with me. Am I really that much of a bleeding heart for animals? But I realized something…
I am not like this with just animals; I’m like this with people too. I have this overwhelming NEED to make sure everyone is happy, full, healthy, and doing the best they can. I don’t like to tell people what to do, but I can’t help but always reach out to them and offer them my help in some way, even when they hurt me so badly that I’m reduced to tears. I cannot stand the thought of anyone suffering on their own. I will work myself to death to make certain that those in my life are okay. It’s all I care to do. It’s all I know. And animals are definitely included in my caring threshold.
But here is the issue; after speaking with my therapist today, I learned that although I love to help people, the way some of them push me away and offer help from the sidelines regardless is tiring when this is what I do all day every day. However, I have not been able to do this with my own animals, because I am removed from them completely. Helping people is a challenge that I happily accept, but it is still a challenge, and usually a thankless one at that. Helping animals however is never thankless. They always return the love and help.
So, up until last week, my depression mainly came from others’ stress affecting my life. I tried to help, I tried to do what was right, but because I did this for everyone, those who might be considered “undeserving” of such offers would do awful things to me in return. And I took it. And I continued to help them some way, somehow. But instead of coming home at the end of the long, hard day and finding beloved animals waiting to love me and to be loved, I came home to no such thing. Of course I have my wonderful, beautiful man who loves me relentlessly, and I am more than thankful for him, and he is more than enough, but there is still something missing.
I will never be able to completely conform to life in the city, life without nature, animals, and raw life everywhere! It’s impossible to get me to forget all of that and just get used to it. I never will. I will always help people, but I will always have that natural need for little, needing animals.
So here was the biggest issue today. Up until last week I had been that listless sort of depressed person that I described earlier. The reason why it changed was because last week, a very amazing little kitty came into my life. She was dropped off by her owners, and scared, and unsure of what to do. But she slept on our porch in a little chair we had outside.
Although we cannot have animals, I often fed strays around our apartment anyways because I just can’t help myself. I always figured that if I was in their situation, I would hope some nice lady would feed me! Well, our new little neighbor stuck around after we brought her in the first time to eat. I made her good stuff too! Tuna, cream of chicken, and hot dogs all mushed up together with whole milk. It was a good thing she would ask to go outside to use the bathroom, or our carpet would be SOL.
Every day she hung around our porch, slept in our chair, and would often come inside and have some snacks. Thus her name became Snax! She was my baby.
She would watch me cook, but not trip me. She would snuggle with me, and was never afraid. She never ripped up the furniture or made a mess, and absolutely loved me and my boyfriend. She was perfect for us. I needed her, and she needed me. Instantly, my mood changed incredibly. Everyday has been beautiful. I even behaved like a crazy old cat lady and would talk to her. It was nice. It was… Perfect.
I came home tonight after a long day at school and work, bouncing with joy to feed my man and my Snax. I came home, and my man sadly told me that Snax had not come to the door today. She was not on the porch, she was not in her chair. My heart sank.
I tried to make dinner, but I could feel it coming back to me. That empty feeling, that void. She was not by my side, patiently watching me cook. Her homemade food sat in the fridge. Dang it. I’m cutting raw chicken, I can’t cry now!
Too late. I was depressed again. I started to think what if she never came back. What is wrong with me? I am getting so worked up over a cat that I had for only a week? But that’s not how I felt. I couldn’t see it like that. She was like my baby. I adopt everything in sight! And that’s how we came to this conclusion.
My man listened to me as I cried into his shoulder later tonight. I just poured it all out. I talked about how hard it was to keep helping those who pushed me away and hurt me, but I still couldn’t stop helping. I talked about how I missed all my little animals at home and just wanted to take care of them all again. I talked and cried and cried some more. And suddenly held me back and stared into my eyes and said this:
“That’s it… That’s what you are. I never really saw it before. I thought you were just a sweet girl with a big heart. But you’re more than that. You want what’s best for everyone, even when they reject you and hurt you. You take in those who need someone, and you’re there for them even after they don’t need you anymore. You do the same with animals, and they don’t resist you. You do the same with kids, even if you’ve met them for only five seconds. You’re a mom. You’re a mom! One day we will have a big house with kids and animals and you will be the happiest woman in the world because you’re a mom… And that’s what you love to do. You’re a real mom, the kind that never quits.”
I cried some more, but this time it was because I was so happy. I didn’t understand it at first, and although I had some friends in the past who picked on me for acting like a mom, I guess I hadn’t really thought of it like that. But he’s right. I’m a mom. That’s all I want to be. I want to adopt the freaking world!
Although I still feel dreadful and down because of my missing cat, who still hasn’t come back yet, I am beginning to feel a little better. I worry about where Snax is, but I loved the words my wonderful man said to me. He even told me how I had the “eyes of a mother.” I’m not entirely sure what that means, but he looked mesmerized as said it. I love him. He’s too good for me.
Well, I have written way more than I should have tonight, and I have taken up too much of your time. For that, I apologize, but I hope it was worth it in some aspect. This mom is going to bed. And goodnight to all you moms out there. You do more than you should, but I know you will never stop, and I hope you never will. 🙂