My Dog and I are Both Canaries

Conceptually, I understand that our bodies keep the score and know the truth.  Just as I understand that our thoughts and feelings manifest as vibrations that affect our worlds, no matter how much we resist the urge to overtly act on them.  What we resist persists is certainly true of my thinking, especially when I am fixated on something which feels threatening.

So, I spent my life in fear and anxiety and much of the results of that are not prize-worthy.   I carried heaps of shame for how unloved and disconnected I felt in my family and this carried into every day and every aspect of my life.  My sensitivity to the harshness in my home was labelled the problem.  I asked my boyfriend if people have officially stopped saying “God damn you” and “Go to Hell” because I rarely hear them.  He said that people never really said that.  I was shocked,  On any given day, you could count on walking into my childhood home and hearing those words.  I am more amused than embarrassed over that exchange and awakening….people never just went around saying that.  Unrecovered me would try and claim responsibility for that, having been so awful, I drove my mother to speak these words to me.  Plus, I am so powerful, that apparently I was in charge of people’s rageful outbursts in my home.  My reaction to the discomfort of this culture and environment were like fuel to the already existing inferno of rage that nobody would acknowledge, openly or with compassion.  So, as Glennon illuminated, I was the canary,  alerting those nearby to the precipitating trouble.  I am no longer ashamed of being a canary.  And now free to feel my pain and own responsibility for my self in my adult life, I am free to detach from and discuss things that feel threatening.  While I am free to do so, it is still less welcome and causes more discomfort than just telling people  “Gotuh Hell” or “God damn you”.

So, my older dog, whom we lovingly refer to as Fatty began having seizures just after I decided to move back East.  He arrived to NC before me and was seizure-free while staying with friends.  But once I arrived mentally entrenched in the dealings with my family, he resumed seizing daily.  He does not do this while staying with others.  I was busy interacting with my mother and sister on a daily basis for our first 6 months here and he seized daily, sometimes more than once.  My mother generously offered to take him for me and pay to have him put down.  At the time, I was whipped from full-time work,  the packing, selling, relocating my children,dogs, and car and unpacking three times in our first four months, I actually considered the offer….one less “thing to deal with”.  In my family, when something is too much for you—Just banish or destroy it.   Right?

Once my mother was cancer-free and more able, the strain and the truth of our brokenness took center stage again, says me, the canary.  I began requesting to  address some issues, which widened the gap and heightened the tension.  During those gaps of time where there was no contact, Fatty had no seizures.  Within 24 hours of contact or even reminders of my mother or sister and her pursuit of my ex and children, he would seize.  Blessed by weeks or months of no contact/obsession he was granted a reprieve from the seizures.

I have been enjoying the days since January 2 with holiday/family energy off my radar.  My precious and courageous canary Aunt called to inform me yesterday of my mother’s situation, hoping I might find a way to connect or reach out.  A few hours after our conversation, Fatty seized.  I was vexed all day by the feelings of what it means to have been rejected by my mother and that I don’t know her and she doesn’t know me and all we have between us is pain.  I barely slept last night contemplating what action I might take, and got up a 4:00 to my little Fatty with his ridiculously short arms and legs paddling frantically, foaming at his mouth with his head craning hard to the side.  He knows.  I compromised him with the obsessive thinking and vibrations of that pain.  He is my little canary.  My reminder that my healing and my thoughts matter greatly.  Denying them or killing him will not ease my life.  I treasure holding him and talking to him, rubbing his pounding heart and wrapping myself around him when he is in that state.  It is my privilege to serve him.  He does not “belong to me”, just as my children do not.  They have been entrusted to me.  I feel the gravity of that responsibility and the gift of these opportunities to grow in love. They are my teachers-teaching me what is true and real and what matters.

Healing and recovery matter greatly and are totally wholesome and badass!  Too much for others.


Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram- wholesomebadass