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#456107 - 12/05/13 08:41 AM A Non-Human Buffer
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
My H and I do not have children due to his life long fear of not being able to "protect" them from predators. However, I am 40, the clock is ticking like mad, and he is only a year into recovery, so trying for one right now just isn't going to happen. I am faced with the sad reality that a family just isn't in the cards.

I think in some ways, it's harder to stay together through recovery under these circumstances. You are not bound by family no matter how long your personal history with each other, so aside from love, there are few obligations that keep you tightly bound when things get really bad.

But aside from that, that also means that it is just my H and I in the house. I feel like sometimes we hyper-focus on each other as a result. So much so that there is a constant need to get away.

After a recent blow up, I realized I needed something. Something for me, Something to focus on other than my work and other than my H. So I found a dog to adopt. I gave my H no choice in the matter. In a life where I have so few choices lately, this is what I wanted and it was non-negotiable. I found the right dog, a special dog, one that "spoke" to me, made the arrangements, and we now pick her up today.

My H is a dog fanatic, so it is not exactly a burden, and I suspect this will be good for him. We had a dog until 2010, we both, very acutely, felt her loss, so it will be nice to have a bundle of canine energy to pour a lot of love in to.

I have no idea how this will affect the dynamics in the house. I hope it's a relief valve on the pressure cooker of our lives, but I do know that this sweet animal is going to be the best thing that has happened to me in a very long time.

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#456115 - 12/05/13 12:08 PM Re: A Non-Human Buffer [Re: Valkyrie]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
I'm sure it will help a lot.

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#456127 - 12/05/13 03:11 PM Re: A Non-Human Buffer [Re: Valkyrie]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 243
Loc: us
Congrats on your new addition and on doing somethings for yourself.
I'm ten years behind you but I can relate a lot to your feeling of hurt and frustration over not being able to start a family. I think it can take a lot to come to terms with something like that and it is probably best that you do for your own sanity.
Perhaps in a few years your H will be in a place in his recovery where he does want a family. And if that's the case there are so many lovely kids out there who need parents.
I'm the oldest of the four kids my Mom had in her twenties and thirties. When my parents got into their late forties they adopted some kids from china. These little ones have brought so much love into my family and my parents are amazing with them. I think because they are older they are more patient and stable then they where when they had me. There are some perks to being a more mature parent.
I have no idea what your stance on adoption is, but I wanted to offer a little hope that if down the road your H changes his mind about kids there is still a way you guys can have a family.
But for today I'm excited for your new dog. What did you name her?
_________________________
Everything comes from within

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#456128 - 12/05/13 03:15 PM Re: A Non-Human Buffer [Re: Valkyrie]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1928
Loc: durham, north england
My dog is currently lying curled up on my feet, it's odd indeed how comfortable I am with dogs and being close to animals generally when human proximity and touch is so difficult, indeed rather ironically my dog is even more physical than most lab/retrievers.

In one way it is harder and more genuine. A very good trainer I said, you can lye to your friends or your family or yourself or even your partner if you have one, but you can't lye to a dog, it just doesn't work. likewise if a dog likes you, it likes you, if not, ---- not!

Indeed I remember when I first got reever how difficult things were.

So yes, dogs are good, indeed I prefer the company of my dog to people a lot of the time.

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#456130 - 12/05/13 03:28 PM Re: A Non-Human Buffer [Re: Valkyrie]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
We just brought her home and already she is curled up on the floor sleeping with my H

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#456180 - 12/06/13 10:04 AM Re: A Non-Human Buffer [Re: Valkyrie]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
What I find fascinating is how my H engages with the dog and through her, engages with me. He so often just comes at night and will indulge in zone-out behavior, saying nothing, contributing nothing...

But last night, he was totally focused on the dog and asking me questions and discussing decisions that need to be made regarding her. It was the closest I have seen to him being ...I don't want to say "old self" but I have no other words...


Edited by Valkyrie (12/06/13 10:06 AM)

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#456187 - 12/06/13 11:06 AM Re: A Non-Human Buffer [Re: Valkyrie]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 329
It sounds like getting a dog was a good call! smile

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#456188 - 12/06/13 11:18 AM Re: A Non-Human Buffer [Re: Valkyrie]
HopeDiesLast Offline


Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 62
There is something about dogs that bypasses whatever human barriers there are. I know this from my dad, who cannot and does not talk about feelings. Ever. I think my mom almost passed out when she caught him one day telling their first dog: "I love you, [insert pet's name]". To this day the dog is still the only one he ever said those words to. But having a dog has helped him and them a lot. When that first dog died, all of us were mourning so hard and she will always have special place in our hearts. But it was clear after a week that my parents couldn't live together without a dog, so 4 weeks later they got their current dog.

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#456266 - 12/07/13 12:04 AM Re: A Non-Human Buffer [Re: Valkyrie]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 678
Loc: NJ
I admit to sometimes feeling a twang of jealously about our dog. He is in love with her - and she with him. At the same time, I am incredibly grateful for her and how she has taught him love and trust in ways a human simply could not. I feel like I can see the real him when he interacts with her - that's his true self, and it is a beautiful thing. Of course, there's a little irony that I am her caretaker (I feed her, take her to the vet, give her baths) and she does not get excited to see me in the least wink

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#456394 - 12/08/13 02:34 PM Re: A Non-Human Buffer [Re: Valkyrie]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
I experienced that with our last dog and I felt prepared to experience it again. But the hole our last dog in our lives, and seeing that hole fill back in with our new dog, makes it worthwhile for me. She spends more time with me during the day, so I am determined to make the most of it on my own.

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#456484 - 12/09/13 06:06 PM Re: A Non-Human Buffer [Re: Valkyrie]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1928
Loc: durham, north england
what I've noticed myself is that dogs are so emotionally honest, they bring out that form of honesty, but by not being human they don't have all the human complications especially with things like physical affection. I've had an actual form of physical closeness just lying curled up with my dog that I've never had with any human, though I know it is possible, indeed one irony is that while with people I am extremely tactile defensive, if I meet a doog I'll be the first person to bend down and and have it climb all over me, ---- indeed often dogs that don't tend to get on with most people get on with me.

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#456485 - 12/09/13 06:28 PM Re: A Non-Human Buffer [Re: Valkyrie]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
My husband is the same way. He is the most incredible pied-piper of dogs I have ever seen.

But what I noticed last night is that I tend to have a reactive zone-out effect to my husband. Where he would usually play video games and watch sunday night football. He in stead watched the game with the dog by his side and tried many times to talk with me. I realized I was doing my now "usual" thing which is when he zones out, I put in earphones and watch a movie or listen to a book and zone out on him.

I have learned I have to be more responsive now to his effort.

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#456645 - 12/11/13 11:28 PM Re: A Non-Human Buffer [Re: Valkyrie]
HRB Offline


Registered: 11/13/13
Posts: 6
Such an interesting post! As they say- dogs are great therapy (and I guess studies have even proved that). I know I just completely adore my dog and my life wouldn't be complete without her. In fact- my "pen name" is her initials. I guess she makes me feel safe to ask questions about this world I am just beginning to learn about. And the male survivor in my life has always been SUCH a dog person. Similar to what others have said- he is so kind and loving with the dogs he's had and they definitely seem to bring him so much comfort. We've often joked that he seems more in love with his dogs than the women he's had in his life. But I guess there is definitely something to that for the male survivor.

As if I needed another reason to love dogs, this thread is yet another one. Yay for dogs and for all of you for giving them a good home!

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