I uncovered something very interesting this morning. Right now I am care-taking a 9 year Yorkie dog. He has cataracts and is almost entirely blind. He is a sad little boy, and he mostly just stays on his bed during the day. He does though love to walk, and when he gets out onto the open road, I get to see who is really is. Or was.
This is really hard to witness. I want to cry for this little boy. I wish for him to have cataract surgery, but it is $4000 and his owner does not have that yet. But I am learning some pretty interesting things taking care of him. He has turned into a little baby. When I reach down to him, he wraps his paws around me like arms and clings to me. He wants to be on my body all the time. I cannot say that I like this. Guilt tells me I should be more loving, but my truth is my time is limited and I have other things I want to do. Guilt tugs at me that he is not getting the physical contact that he needs and wants.
This experience is bringing out a lot of information about myself. I have never had the huge urge to have children. Some people just gotta do it, but I haven’t had those feelings. I have always felt that those feelings, those missing feelings within myself have left me and are in someone else.
I had a friend in my 30’s who was full of desire for having children. She was also legally blind. She had 2 uteri. One was hidden behind the other. She got pregnant in her 20’s and was forced by her family into getting an abortion (you can’t take care of them, they insisted!!). After the abortion, she found she was still pregnant. Hence the discovery of the hidden uterus.
She went on to have 3 children by 2 different father’s. She was on welfare, and not in stable relationships. All her children were taken away by social services, and her 7 month old child was ripped from her arms. She ended up homeless on the streets of Calgary, and eventually died of an aneurism. She reflected to me my worst nightmare of having children and not having the ability to care for them properly. Her life was entirely a story of Heartbreak.
I always wondered if she was holding my fragmented essence, my denied desire for children. My father often said to us as children ‘don’t bring your kids home to us’, so it was clear that if I didn’t have my shit together my parents didn’t want to pick up the pieces of my fractured life. Still, I did leave them with 2 cats for 7 years while I worked out my relationship issues. No doubt that was a lot easier for them to deal with than 2 kids. I think they knew that, and that is why I think they agreed to it.
Why did this dog get cataracts at such a young age? Now there is a question to look at. Do dogs give their owners what they need? I have a theory about small dogs. Dog is an amazing creature. I just love dogs that can take care of themselves. I love dogs that are dogs, not babies. I love dogs that when I open the back door, they bound out, excited at life, that are self entertaining, self amusing, joyful, happy, eager to please … you get the picture. I am not especially interested in dogs that demand copious amounts of my time and attention. I do not want dogs to fill that maternal space in me because …. well, maybe that maternal space is missing.
Boy, this really opens a can of worms for me. Why is that maternal space missing in me? I think it’s because I am yet unfulfilled in my life. I think it’s because I have never gotten the satisfaction that I want and need from life so that I am READY to settle down and be the maternal mother that could raise a kid properly in this screwed up world.
Whew. I’m sweating now. As well, I was not raised with a lot of cuddling. My mother was very busy raising 5 children, I came last, and there was not a lot of time for holding, cuddles, special attention, physical bonding. I remember hanging out in the kitchen with my mother the first year of my life (yes, I do remember this). My brothers were all playing in the living room and I remember being VERY AFRAID to venture out there. I was curious, but afraid. So I hung out with mom in the kitchen on the linoleum (not very warm nor cuddly place) and amused myself on the floor until I grew brave enough to enter ‘the battle zone’. And yes indeed, it was with 4 brothers in the living room.
As well, my mother was not the cuddly type. She certainly was the CEO of the house, but when she had time to herself, the last thing she wanted to do was cuddle children. Hence, we all suffered from lack of physical contact as children. And as I get older and less resentful of her and more compassionate and understanding, I have empathy for her dilemma. Still, I feel the lack of contact in my younger life has manifested in my own inability to be physically close with others.
So my little white cuddly blind friend is reflecting lots back to me. Life gives us lessons to learn every single day. I guess it’s time to walk the dog.