Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Bipolar Brut


Brut is my bipolar dog.  I have heard it said that an aggressive dog is like being bipolar. Brut's aggressions are like manias and are only towards other dogs.  A hyper state of mind as if he has been struck with lightning.  His eyes become crazed, his hair stands on end and he is on high alert, ready for a fight.  He becomes restless in this state of mind and lashes out with reasons that are only his own.  It tends to come in phases and then will pass for a while.  The rest of time he is the best dog ever.

A little history:
Brut was taken from his mother and siblings at four weeks old.  A critical time period in a young puppies life for learning proper dog social skills.  Instead he was taught by aggressive adult dogs where he learned much too early how to defend himself.   This coupled with genetic factors manifested his aggression at a very early age and gave way to every social disorder a dog can have. 

Brut's eyes were wild and crazed even as a young pup, though I never understood why.  When Brut was about a year and half old, he went after one of my other dogs.  I called him to me and he came.  I looked into his aggressive eyes and found they were not the eyes of a killer, but of a wounded soul in grave amounts of pain.  It was the first time he had shown this side to me.  It was the first time I earned his respect when I didn't deserve it.  It was one of the most powerful actions of trust between us and I never forgot what I saw.

Since looking into those haunted eyes, I understood what was in him.  Fear.  His aggression was based on fear.  Anxiety that hits the roof and bounces off onto everyone.  It is intense and fierce, yet he has never hurt another dog.  It is a protective measure.  It is the fear of losing the security of his mother.  It is survival.  Trainers have told us to get rid of him or our other dogs as we didn't know what we were in for with his aggression.  It was never an option.  What they didn't know was I knew how Brut felt, and I wasn't just throw him away because he was hurting.  So I have had to learn on my own what works for him by digging into each of our souls and finding a way.



I have had many breakthroughs with Brut, mostly by following a few tips and my intuition.  I have wanted to throw the towel in many times as our dueling bipolar disorders were often at odds.  The extremes of our challenges were terrifying, but I could never give up on him as we were bonded from the first time we met. Through love, patience and my own fears I have worked with Brut to tame his aggressions while I've watched his eyes become pure and whole.  I've been  learning how to be calm and controlled when he lashes out.  I have learned to work with his dominance, possessiveness and territorial issues instead of trying to change them. It took time but I have been able to embrace this monster that changed my life and was told by professions to get rid of.  While Brut has taught me more about myself than any human ever could.  He has taught me about my own insecurities and anxieties and how they operate.  By watching Brut exhibit his manic behavior, I have a mirror for my own.   He has given me proof that time and understanding changes a life.  That unconditional love is real.  He has shown me that everything I thought I knew about dogs, you can't read in a book.  He's taught me how to break the rules on traditional thinking and the equality that exist between human and canine.   Brut is everything I love and hate about myself while he is everything I love and hate in dog yet somehow together we have everything.  He has taught me how to love what I could not love though him, myself.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Future Mirror



Standing on the edge of the fields, I dig a little further as my shovel finally taps on that buried treasure.  This has got to be it!  I exclaim to myself.  I continue to unearth the lost familiar object as I realize it is just what I’ve been looking for.  The object holds another truth in a series of lies.  Maybe this is the one that will get me into the future.  I run like a child through the field.  Excited at the prosperity and hope that this treasure may hold as I run with glee towards the future.

BAM!!  I fall to the ground stunned.  Tears begin to swell as I turn to look at the huge mirror that I've run into again that stops my progression into the future.  Always reflecting back to the past, with no way through or around.  I am trapped.  I hang my head defeated with no strength to carry through again.  I see my reflection along with my entire past and all the miles I have come through.  It is daunting.  It is crushing.

The mirror is too thick, wide and high to destroy.  Every time I find another truth among the landscape of my past, I hope it is to be the last.  My time has always been limited.  I have never had a future, except finding these gifts of honesty, but I have never been able to get through this wall of reflection.

I stare at the haunted girl.  The only place where present and past meet and offer my gift anyhow like a sacrifice to the gods.  A healing takes place of imminent proportions and for a moment there is peace, and I smile at the girl.  Look how far you have come.  Then knowing the routine all too well, the hope is forgotten as I begin to walk back into the fields to dig once more.

The walk is painful and full of sorrow, the only hope now is finding the secret that may end this long journey.  While I have notice that the walks are getting shorter and I can almost see the future staring back at me, it is of little encouragement as my shovel hit’s the dirt.  My toil carries on, searching in the far recesses of my mind for an idea that has never existed.   

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thank You :)

Today I couldn't connect with myself.  I tried everything.  And then this song played and there I was again and everything made sense.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Digging For Fun

When I'm having a hard time, I dig deeper.  When depression has me under, I dive.  For I know my reasons for my depression are not lies and that there are hidden meanings.  Everything for me has been a life and death situation and I still adhere to that and so I dig deeper to find a reason to live.  It is an automatic response that I have been practicing through all the years of deception.  It is the only thing I have ever found true of myself.  I am constantly pulling from my gut to find that meaning because there has to be a reason.  There was more to my depression and life and I had to find it. 

Very few understand this level of depth that makes me so serious, especially in my writing.  I could never stand to be on the surface for long, because there I was in a whirlwind of  fabrications and the only person I ever had was myself to rely on for any truths.  I had to have something to hold on to and so I have struggled with coming to the surface to breath and relax.  My husband can almost never tell when I am joking around or not.  Even my humor is serious in tone and manner and usually hits him the wrong way.  It is like I have to put out a warning first to let him know, this is funny.  You would think after so many years he would know me and that's just the problem, he does. 

I am still riddle with depression and my past and it is habitual for me to continue to dig for the meaning.  There has to be more meaning and reason than what is being given.  My depth is one of the things I love about myself and sometimes is the only truth to hold on to.  After a plunge, I just don't know how to come up for air and enjoy being on the surface.  That's what manias were for.  To be able to let go of all that depth and rise to the stars.  I am a riot when I'm in a mania and I've missed them dearly.  For as much as I have learned about coping with depression on a daily basis, I need to learn how to have fun so that my husband knows when I'm kidding around or not!!   It would be nice to take off my 'serious hat' and enjoy the freedom of my new life.

 Got room for one more??

Today I want to act like my dogs, so I can laugh at all the silly things that I usually find so stupid and worthless.  I want that little girl to dig for fun with her dogs and just laugh her ass off about everything!!    

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Gray

I have been trying to find something that describe my overall feelings and emotions.  It is like taking the black of my depression and the white of my manias to have a dull, mousy gray.  It is ugly, plain and bland.  It is boring and empty and it sucks.  I've been in this mixing stage of my depression and manias for about six months and I hate it.  My feelings and emotions have been muted.  My thoughts are suspended in time.  It may be that I'm back at my 'natural' state of depression, only it isn't that black void it once was. My life has always tipped in favor of depression rather than manias and I seem to be at the root of it.  It is like everything in me is on hold and I can't seem to make a decision on anything.  I'm just standing here not knowing the next move to make.  I don't know if this is good or bad or it just is.  I have started to forget my meds.  A clear sign that I subconsciously making moves to change how I feel.  Slipping on my meds gives me the possibility to trip a mania, though it usually trips into a mess of anxiety instead, but I can't stand not feeling.  It is who I am.  It is everything that I base my inner core of being able to connect with my inner and outside world and if I could I would feel the hurt that brings, but even that has been stamped out.  There is a part of me that wants to sit down with someone, anyone and tell them everything that happened to me.  Just spill my guts all over the place.  I've started a book about it, but let it go because there were so many more things to remember and heal from I just had to put it down.  Maybe it is time to start again.  It is driving me crazy not being able to connect, to feel so distant from everything, including my dogs.  It all suddenly feels so foreign and odd.  Like trying to bust a cement shell that is around me that I don't have the strength to try busting on my own.  It is like my mind has shut down unable to cope with the gray that coats it.  It is being smothered with it.  Anyone else out there that can relate?  I don't feel lost or confused or angry, but for some reason I am planted right here in this cured cement and I don't know how to get out or strangely if I really want to. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Shifting




I've got about a half hour left of my 'morning funk' before I will try to get my day started.  I woke up in a more serious mood than normal and I have been struggling with my heavy thoughts.  I'm a fairly serious person by nature.  Somehow years of abuse and depression will do that to you.  I feel like there has been a huge shift, like from black to white that has happened and I don't remember making the change.  I don't remember even making a decision, I just woke up and it was made for me.  I can't seem to explain it, I don't even know if it means anything here in my little world, but I feel it.  It feels life altering, like the circle I've been standing on turned to the left, announcing this is now my path to take.  It hasn't told me to move forward yet, just that there has been a change in direction and that I for now all I need to do is just face it. I guess for now that is all I can do and I think that is enough.