Sunday, 27 May 2012

Day 6: Fear of Something Going Wrong & Wanting to be in Control

Ever since TweeTweet died -- a little flycatcher bird we took care of until (s)he (we never found out whether it was a boy or a girl) drowned in an aquarium in our room, I've had this BIG fear of things going wrong with pets.

When TweeTweet died, I was very upset with myself -- as TweeTweet drowning in the aquarium was something we could have prevented if we had only scanned our room sufficiently for any possible "danger" points which could have been removed to prevent things like harm and death to happen.

When we were getting close to getting our first African Grey Parrot I was getting very panicky as I felt underprepared and thought the poor thing would probably die soon in our care. I did some research on the internet and got myself a book on African Greys the weekend before we were going to get him. I read the book from cover to cover whenever I had time -- and always in a state of anxiety. I wanted to absorb as much information and knowledge possible in order to be able to prevent things from happening the same way they did with TweeTweet.

I wanted to be in control and be able to determine the outcome in any and all situations.

Even long time after we had the Parrots I would go into the room and check up on them just to see whether they were all still alive -- I had this underlying fear/expectation that something bad would/must happen and that I would then be heartbroken again as how I experienced myself with the death of TweeTweet.

A week or so ago, we went to do our monthly shopping. When we came back I weird dark coloured red splatters at the bottom of Wings' cage (one of our five parrots). I thought it was weird and that maybe it was blood but it looked too dark and Wings was acting normal. I figured that it was probably just the food colouring that came off a toy when she played with in the water and gave it no further attention. Then later when I was walking around the parrot cages talking to them and seeing how they were doing I noticed that the spatters in Wings' cage didn't just stop in her cage and that there was a whole bunch on the floor around her cage as well. I started feeling dizzy and told Gian "Gian, it's not the toy colouring, it really is blood" and I started feeling nauseous inside myself. I then turned around to look at Papi's cage (which is opposite of that of Wings) which I saw also had the same red splatters. I then looked at the wall behind and saw that the wall was covered with blood splatters.  I had seen it before but because it was so dark in our room I simply thought "woaw, these parrots sure make how to make a mess with their food" and I felt stupid for not having it checked out.  I felt dizzy, I felt like crying and fainting at the same time. It was like some scene of a nightmare. I had been away all day and they hurt themselves and I hadn't been there for them. (When TweeTweet died we also weren't there in the room). I felt especially bad because they were just acting in their normal birdie way (although Papi was shaking/vibrating a bit). I felt so sad inside looking at these innocent birds, looking at me like they do when they just want attention and play -- and then thinking of what I perceived as something horrific having happened to them -- I felt so guilty, like I had betrayed them, let them down - and didn't deserve them.

I then remembered David saying that Baru had been in the house, which never happened before -- except the one time when he was groggy from medication a week before and I remembered the Parrots freaking out when he was in our room because they had never met him before (they are fine with the other dogs in the house visiting them, Bumi actually likes to sleep on the bed next to them to keep them company while we work outside in the mornings). So what I think happened while we were gone is that Baru visited our room, that the Parrots freaked out in their cages and hurt themselves. I felt terrible inside as I thought that I this time really had "taken care" of all danger points in our room and now they got hurt by something stupid as us leaving our door open/unlocked when we're not around. I was also scared that maybe Baru bit them through the cage  (because I know he bit a chicken the one time) and I know how susceptible birds are to bacteria of dogs and cats their mouths (leading to death).

Gian obviously saw that I was panicking and overreacting and told me to calm down. When I was a bit calmer we took each one of the parrots out and inspected the damage. Wings had lost a bloodfeather and most of the blood had come out from the actually feather which was out -- rather than from her body. So I felt some relief there that it was nothing too serious. The sight of all the blood just got to my head.

Papi's wing was a bit more serious as she had actually hurt the flesh of her wing and not just a feather. Luckily at the farm with all the horses, dogs and chickens we have lots of sprays and other disinfectants which can be used on all animals so we cleaned them both up and then they looked a lot better.

The next few days I was still a bit on edge as I was still kind of expecting to wake up, lift the blanket off of Papi's cage and see her dead on the bottom of the cage as I had seen with so many birds before who got hurt and didn't make it. Because of stress towards my exams I put off writing about this event although I knew I should as the emotions I experienced that night were very intense. As I progressed within my exam period my right shoulder started to hurt a lot until I almost started crying from the pain. LJ suggested to look at it to see if he could assist with the pain. I went to lay down on the bed and he started pushing points, reading them and taking out systems and energy. He explained how he works with points. He showed me his arm and a spot to push with my finger to see if I could read my own point through him, and the only thing that came up was sadness. He explained that I suppressed a lot of my point and stored them into my back and shoulders. He also picked up the word 'guilt'. I them immediately had a picture of TweeTweet flash infront of my eyes and a picture of the Parrots. I then saw that I really needed to address this point.

I realised that I had made a decision after TweeTweet died to try and always be on top of things from the starting point of fear. I had been so busy worrying about the Parrots all the time and interact with them with underlying anxiety that I had completely forgotten to just enjoy my time with them without wanting to be in control all the time. I realised that even though in the event that happened, it was something that could have been prevented -- that I cannot preoccupy myself with "what ifs" the whole time as sometimes things will happen which are beyond my control (and of this, I was even more scared).

I still feared the death of pets as what happened to me with my guinea pig when I was small and how I experienced myself when TweeTweet died and never ever wanting to experience that again. I also see that I am still trying to 'make up' for TweeTweet's death through trying to give the Parrots the best environment and experience possible -- even though this is not always possible because of Money and the fucked up system we've allowed ourselves to end up in. So whenever I feel like the Parrots should have something but I can't give it to them -- I feel sad and unworthy of being their caretaker. But all I am really trying to do is make up for the guilt I experienced when TweeTweet died and trying to make it up with him through other birds. And instead of simply being unconditionally there for the Parrots I've turned into this control freak which can't enjoy a moment with the Parrots and other birds out of fear of something going wrong -- which is the opposite of having a nice time with them and them having a nice time with me.

I see and realise that I have to allow myself and the Parrots to live and that if something happens that is beyond my control then it happens and there is nothing that I can do to make a difference. But this doesn't mean that I must now live in fear of this one moment. I must allow myself to enjoy the time I spend with them to the fullest until I cannot do it anymore. And there's nothing bad or fearful about it -- it's simply how it is, and to treat it otherwise is only to punish myself and the birds around me unnecessarily.

Forgiveness to follow...
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