so what do you think?

Posted: May 4, 2008 at 9:37 pm

most of you have read alot of this blog…you have seen the ups and downs, the good days, the bad, and the utterly horrible too. you know how freaking hard this is for me sometimes (and yes, maybe for someone else it would be easier, nicer, cleaner, purer… but then they aren’t me.)
and how much can people realistically expect of me? besides caring for the animals well? am i here to personally fulfill human needs? am i supposed to be like a human guru? (i hope i am not cuz i honestly suck at that kind of thing.)
more times than i can count i have been shoved up on a pedestal of someone else’s making…and i will tell you when that pedestal starts rocking around (cuz i am squirming up there) and crashes to the ground… i always end up with a concussion and a bloody nose (it is not very attractive). this is probably why i am afraid of heights. and it is also why i share so much in this blog, so i don’t end up there again, (just waiting for the next big fall)…the blog is supposed to keep me firmly planted in the ground which happens to be safer from my point of view.
do you know that this is a very real part of rescue? i am not the only person in rescue who feels exactly the same sometimes too. it is sometimes an assumption that all of me is up for grabs, if i can do this so well for the animals, i should be able to do it equally well for someone else too….except…here is the brutal honest truth…. i don’t want to. i had 30 years of someone else’s needs and i happen to like it better now….93 animals is way easier for me than one rocky and unhappy relationship. and it does somewhat frustrate me because while i have clearly said i will give myself completely to the animals but i never said i was available for anything else….and i am not available for anything else. (i am going to post this above the gate)
and i sound like such an ungrateful and ungiving hag when i write this because i really like people, i enjoy spending time with the people here. my best friends in the world are here. and today was such a very great day, tunie got brushed in the sun, the dogs rolled around in the dirt, the lawns got mowed, the americats had their room scrubbed from top to bottom, jed had a bath and sparky had her eye goop shaved. i want folks to come and enjoy themselves and i want them to help the animals enjoy themselves too. I am beholding to everyone who helps us, i am so utterly grateful for everything done and given to care for the animals and for the kindness’s extended my way too.
but am i crazy or broken or ungrateful or uncaring or selfish or mean spirited if i draw the line at human emotional dependency on me? if i was a bigger person, a better person…well ok, then maybe…but i am not, i am a flawed and busy 50 yr old woman (yikes) whose mind, body and spirit is focused on 93 animals, my job, my family and paying the bills.

i truly don’t think this is a bad thing (except for the being 50), to me it seems perfectly reasonable (49 was more reasonable). but maybe i am crazy in which case i might be wrong (except about the aging thing, i am right on about that), i am just not sure about the rest….am i supposed to be more than i am cuz holy crap man, i might be in big trouble?

6 Comments on "so what do you think?"

  • Shelley says

    You’re talking about boundaries, as I’m sure you know, Carol. And setting personal boundaries is a very wise and healthy thing to do. People will often take more than they should, but they don’t realize they’re doing it. It’s not a blame thing. It’s just up to each individual to decide where to draw the line. You’re being hard on yourself because it’s your nature to give and not responding to someone else’s needs goes against the grain. But you are a finite resource. And there is nothing selfish about that: it’s reality.

  • Lynn P says

    Here is my 2 cents worth .. (what will we say when they take the penny away?? )

    Carol, I’m going to speak of people here, not the animals – the animals are a whole different ball game and their needs are often urgent in nature. With people, very few things are urgent in nature like that and many things take care of themselves in time. I think we all need to put on our “five year glasses” and ask ourselves – will this matter in five years time? If the answer is no then likely what we are wanting or demanding or whining about is not of an urgent nature and certainly does not ‘require’ any action of you. You can and should say “I care about you but this is not in my job description.” (or something of that nature). People need to learn to understand that it’s really okay for you to say no – more than okay, it’s healthy.

    That said, sorry but we do and will continue to put you on a pedestal. We admire what you do and think you are beyond human – I think we need to buy you a cape but I digress ….. Putting you on the pedestal is okay but those of us who love you and support what you are doing need to do two things. First we need to be your guard rail so you can’t fall off and your safety net in case somehow you do. We need to be there for you! Second, we need to provide you with time off for ‘maintenance’ – heck, all pedestals get maintained – but you need to let us know when you need it and what you need. It might be a friend for an evening, it might be a cottage for a night to get away, it might be solitude for a day. Maintenance can come in many forms. Your only responsibility to us is to let us know what YOU need (not just the animals).

    You are appreciated, admired and loved by so many!!

    Now, repeat after me .. “NO, not today” … “No, ask someone else please” .. and then …. “I need” … “Could somone please … “

  • Carol says

    lol…i do not want your penny back, i was perfectly happy when she moved to your house!
    as to what i need, as soon as i figure it out, i will let you know.
    i made a great salad for dinner tonight…i actually ate a healthy dinner…baby steps.

    and shelley you are right about the boundries, it has always been an on-going struggle for me….chris is trying to teach me.

  • Mo says

    Realisiticly I don’t think anyone should have any expectations from you.. with the exception of your family . We need to enforce the guidelines discussed at the GM. No volunteers or visitors before 9 or after 1 o’clock , unless it has been pre-arranged . You need to make & KEEP a portion of your HOME as yours & yours alone . You need to speak up when it is required and not worry about someone’s feelings getting hurt , they’ll get over it & if they don’t… they shouldn’t be involved in rescue and certainly not SAINTS …

    BTW , you don’t sound like a ungratefull ungiving hag, you sound like someone who has a lot on their plate & you are tired of people asking if you can take more…

    You are an amazing person, so get used to people admiring you & putting you on a pedastal.. just be willing to remind us once in a while that , it is our pedastal we put you on.. not one that you built & climbed up onto.

    That’s what I think.

  • Deb says

    If you are ever to fall off your pedestal, you can land on me. I have admired your compassion and knowledge and intelligence since forever. In Rescue, I see you as a mentor,a hero, but as a person, I recognize you have feet of clay. You are certifiable, I’ve always said that. You have no place to be alone, to cry in private, to scream in private, to just be alone with your thoughts. Your “nobody else allowed room” was a joke, you probably haven’t peed without an audience for five years, there’s never enough room in your bed for you, and you can’t move three feet outside without one or ten of your ninety three following you.

    I love the person you are, certifiable, 50, imperfect, insecure, but that part of you is totally different from the Rescuer you are. As a person, I have nothing to ask of you, and your friendship is a great gift. As a Rescuer, I have asked much of you, and I have greatly appreciated your help.

    Stay real, Carol. You are one of the finest people I know.

    Deb on Chris’ laptop

  • kathy says

    Hey Carol,
    This is the one great thing about getting older (i.e. hitting and moving past 50) — I think we can be more authentic — say what we want to say (including “no”)without guilt. We do get more frazzled and worn down (understandably after a lifetime [or 30 years] of struggle) and others will cut a lot more slack with an older person, so milk it!!! I think you should take all the kind messages your friends wrote in the comments on May 5 to heart — you are so loved!!! Kathy (Darla’s ex-mom)

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