I saved myself but I needed friends and family to validate my worth and tell me that I deserve the best things in life, regardless of anything previously experienced and your animal companions need this too.
Women, have you ever been in a really bad situation and know you want out but you're not exactly sure how to exit it? Yeah, that was me a few weeks ago and I want to give you perspective on what this might be like for animals who have escaped abuse or neglectful situations as well so that you know how to be supportive to them in their new homes.
I went on a date. It was horrible. I was rescued. The end.
Actually, I wish it was that simple but it wasn't. Mostly because of the weird guilt and shame that came up for me upon my exit scene to safety. So let me share with you some of what happened and how it relates to your animals who have also escaped weird/horrible/creepy people and how you can be supportive to them through this.
If you're dating, It's not an uncommon thing to be sitting across the table from a stranger and it's also not uncommon to dread what might be expected of you at the end of the night... or when you're walked to your car. This is the exact scenario I found myself in as I listened to some chump tell me enough to paint a clear picture of who he was: A racist, flat-earther, who wanted me to pretend he was my bratty little brother in sexual scenarios. OH. My. God. How did I get here and how do I get out? As everything was unfolding all I was thinking was "I want a drink (to cope of course)!" and then quickly went to "No Rachel, you can't drink! You need your wits about you. You need to know how to get yourself out."
I seized that moment when all of a sudden I had this brilliant idea to walk to the bathroom and call my sister to ask her for advice. As I was walking to the bathroom, it occurred to me that I didn't need her advice, I knew what to do, I needed to run. I needed to run like fecking hell! Which I did. I ran right passed the server who had a confused look on her face and all the way down the street, up the hill and to my car. I locked the doors and sped away as though I had just robbed a bank. Well... I guess I had dined and dashed which is not the same thing but... well it sorta felt like it. The only thing on my mind was to escape. I frantically called my sister and a few friends, none who answered... It was a Friday night after all. I drove home and walked to my local French bistro where I ordered an Old Fashioned and poured all the horrific details out to the friendly female bartender. Who said, "oh GAWD! That's awful! I had no idea Flat-earthers where a real thing!" I know.. me too.
I did end up connecting with friends and family that night and what I realized later was how much validation I needed. I needed everyone to tell me that I was a good person and I did the right thing! Of course, I'm a good person -and obviously not the creep- so why would I think otherwise? How could I even question it? I felt so much guilt about just leaving without telling him. I felt shame that I was even in that scenario to begin with. I kept asking myself "HOW?!" How did this happen and how did I end up there? And also, why the feck did I deserve that? Jesus, Mary, and Joseph... WHY ME? Did I (in some effed up way) deserve this? Was it Karma?
I'm really fortunate I have such good friends to talk me through these things and confirm that what I did was the right thing. I needed to hear it over and over again. And I definitely don't deserve a racist, flat-earther who wants me to pretend he's a little brother I want to have sex with... and then beat. I can barely type that without gagging. How did this make me question myself??? Well... years of conditioning is to blame. The good thing is, this is the trigger that blew all that shit up. What I should tell you is that as I sped away from creep I laughed and squealed until I couldn't anymore. I was free ...I wouldn't know, until the next morning, how profoundly so.
As you know, I work with animals on a daily basis who have escaped horrible scenarios. I see the shame and guilt on their faces and in their bodies but I've never fully understood those emotions until now. They're thinking "Did I deserve that?". HELL FECKING NO! And they need to be told that just as much as I did. So, that night I realized that when our beloved furbabies escape horrible, neglectful, abusive and just 'wrong' situations, They need to be consoled AND we also need to tell them how fecking awesome they are. We need to tell them that they're so great they didn't deserve a damn thing that happened to them. We need to tell them that they rock at life and how freaking magnificent they are. They'll have good days and they might have bad days... just like us. It's ok, it's a process. The awesome thing is they're usually much quicker to heal. If they're not, you can reach out to me for additional help because I have all sorts of tools to help with this.
So, remember this, it's not just about being safe and loved, it's also about being validated and told you're a bright and shining star... a rock star. Who deserves nothing but the absolute best things in life. So love them up and celebrate their new life... the one they DO deserve.
Peace out and all that jazz,
PS - Flat-earthers really do exist... I'm not just making it up. And if you meet one, run for your life cos they dumb as hell.