Let me preface this by stating that I don't generally have emotions. I am very neutral, 99% of the time. I can take a lot of bullshit. I'm very good at it. I just keep plodding along, firm in the belief that things will be okay, because there is no other way for things to be.
There is frank discussion of animal waste in this story. If you have a delicate stomach, stop reading now.
Today began my semi-annual nervous breakdown.
I was sick yesterday. The plague rat children that I work with finally got me. Headache, sinuses, general crappy feeling. I decided to cure this by renting a flick and lying on my couch like a great large tuber, gorked out of my skull on Benadryl and Sudafed (all my illnesses come with an allergy component, lucky me!).
My cat is old, and sickly, and had ambled into the garage to use the box. He had received a new cat bed thingy earlier in the day, for which he was grateful, as it warms his old crickety bones.
The dog, unhappy with the cat's new bed, decided to rip it off the chair and began shaking it violently. HOW DARE HE HAVE A CAT BED HOW DARE YOU CONSIDER ANY CREATURE OTHER THAN THE DOG?
I got up and smacked the dog as fast as I could, so she would understand what I was smacking her for. Before anyone thinks I'm an ogre for smacking the dog, realize that she has a very thick skull, a strong "I wanna be the alpha" streak, and no amount of lovey-praise has ever worked to correct certain behaviors with her. The only thing that works is for me to pick her up by the skin and scare the hell out of her. She's a 50 pound dog, she can handle it. I am the big dog in this house. Sometimes she needs reminding.
Anyway. This particular behavior correction didn't get my point across. I'll blame the Benadryl. I retreated to my couch, and continued to watch my movie. I did not realize that the dog had climbed into the chair (and onto the new cat bed).
The cat ambled back in, and made his way towards me for a friendly head scritch.
The dog leapt down from the chair and snarled and snapped at the cat.
I'm not sure I moved fast enough for her to really connect her behavior to my reaction, but I was a volcano of rage at this point. I picked her up by her skin and threw her off the chair, and kicked her once in the ass for good measure. She hid behind another couch for the rest of the night, and the cat slept in his bed.
This morning, I awoke, still sick, to the dog begging to be let out of the bedroom. I let her out and shut the door, and clambered back into bed. She pushed her way back in, leaving the door open. We do not leave doors open in this house, because the cat will pee in the bedroom if given the chance. I heard the cat yowling as he came down the hall to see where we all were. The dog attacked and chased him out of the room twice before I could get myself up. I stumbled into the bathroom to pee, and heard the cat in the bedroom. I heard the dog in the doorway, preventing his exit. I heard him start to piss on my carpet.
At this point, I broke down in tears. I managed to chase him out of the bedroom mid-pee, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been, but I was still angry. As I came down the hall, I was greeted with a terribly unpleasant cat-shit smell eminating from the garage. He had decided to forgo the box altogether, and had left a puddle of shit a few feet away from it. Yes, puddle. We're seeing the vet Monday.
My house stinks. My cat is peeing on carpets again, my dog is an aggressive asshole, and I have yet to finish unpacking from when I moved in a year ago. My house is full of things that I cannot deal with because they are not mine. I am drowning in paper and junk mail and flyers left on my fucking porch. I cannot use my storage areas because they are full of other people's shit. I am sick and tired and my laundry's not folded and I am burnt out and this is my first day not at the office in over a month and I can't do it anymore.
I shut the cat outside with food and water. I took the dog to my mother's house, so that Mom could put the fear in the dog. My mother is the Big Dog. She has the Voice. She does not have to physically assault the dog.
I went for Chinese food. I made blackout panels for my car windows, so that I can go camping in it next weekend. I went to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (the whole movie is an exercise in stillness). I took the dog home. She is silent and meek on the couch beside me. The cat is sleeping on his cat bed and purring. The house still stinks, but I can call the 123-Odor-Free guy in the morning. Mom is coming over to help me deal with some of the stuff in this house. My family recognizes that I am fantastsically fragile right now.
I know things will be okay, but I am still somewhat hysterical. Perhaps not having feelings for months at a time causes them to back up and overflow at inopportune times.
Maybe things will be okay in the morning.