My friend decided to go to the Ukraine with his dad. They both have some medical issues they needed to resolve and sometimes going to the Ukraine is cheaper then the US doctors.
While my friend was gone I agreed to stay in his condo and watch his dad’s dog. I dogsit for friends all the time to help out. I also agreed to do some cleaning at his dad’s apartment to help him out since he was physically unable.
Leo is a 14 year old Daschund. He requires an antibiotic, thyroid pill, and eye ointment daily. He is so old that to vet won’t put him under anesthesia and so as a result, his breath smells horrible because he should’ve had some dental work and he has a large open tumor on his chest.
While taking care of Leo I wanted to make sure he was as comfortable as possible so I gave him a nice bath and ensured he received his meds at the same time every day. I gave him multiple walks and lots of outside time in the back yard. I even brought home a Pup cup from Dairy Queen for him. He was a very easy dog to look after and I thought because of that I’d be okay with my Depression and Anxiety.
But there was a smell in the condo. It was a horrible ammonia type smell and I started having migraines daily from it. So as a favor to my friend, I started cleaning the condo. I cleaned the shower, microwave, and fridge which were all equally disgusting. The smell persisted. Finally, I turned to the dog pen he created.
In this condo there’s a little cove or den type area connected to the living room. My friend baby gated it and put down these foam floor pads to create a safe space for his dog when he runs errands. I suspected that the dog had urinated in there and he had never cleaned it. Oh boy, I was right.
So I armed myself with gloves and took the foam pads outside piece by piece to be washed with the hose. While they dried I cleaned the wood floor inside the dog pen. It was so gross that I got physically sick myself.
I really had to practice some mindfulness techniques because my anxiety was at a ten. I just kept reminding myself how much it was going to help my friend to clean it.
Sadly, my friend and I are not speaking now. His trip was not very fun and sparked his own mental illness. The airport list his luggage and he decided that he was mad at me even though I’d done nothing wrong. My boyfriend had stayed with me for part of the time which my friends mother had offered us. My friend chose to use this as an excuse to take out some of his owm frustrations. So even though I cleaned for him AND his dad, even though I took care of Leo for two weeks, even though my boyfriend was told he was welcome… my friend came home ready to yell at me.
I can’t handle being yelled at. Even his nasty text messages were enough to spark my abandonment issues… after crying I decided to use some of my DBT skills. I explained to my friend that I felt I had done him huge favors. I cleaned his condo, I cleaned his dad’s apartment, I ensured Leo’s safety and comfort… not only did I do him favors but I never crossed a line. His mother had told my boyfriend he could stay with me. I told my friend I would not engage any further in the conversation.
The only thing that my DBT skills and CBS skills aren’t helping me with is the overwhelming feeling that I’m a bad person. I can see my accomplishments, not only had I been more active then ever, but I also stood up for myself. Still, I feel abandoned, undeserving, and somehow guilty.
So I head over to my boyfriends and upon entering the apartment his room mate points out a dead cardinal on the patio. The two of them thought they were being funny, they made jokes saying that the Cardinal died because I hadn’t been there in so long to throw seed out. They said she forgot how to hunt and starved to death.
My anxiety started to ramp up and my thoughts raced.
“Birds don’t forget how to hunt… right?”
“The other birds wouldn’t have sacrificed her to the God’s in hope for more seed… right?”
“Is her death my fault?”
Because of course my anxiety wouldn’t take facts into account. Of course my mind wouldn’t think she died because of all the bug spray the apartment complex put out. (So much bug spray that you could smell it in the parking lot walking to the car) No, and my mind wouldn’t think her death could have been a result of the rain storm we received from the Hurricane Harvey aftermath… no. It couldn’t have been because my boyfriends room mate left the living room lights on causing her to fly into the patios glass door. It must’ve been something I’d done or didn’t do.
Needless to say, I’ve been pretty down lately. Here’s a photo of Leo enjoying his pup cup for something to smile at.