I had to write this today. I just experienced something I feel is very important. My mind, memories and thoughts have been muddied up by past tragedies and medically diagnosed PTSD. To explain how I feel sometimes is hard. I have good days (more good than bad lately) and I have bad days. What causes either is sometimes a mystery. Explaining the level of emotions I go through is nearly impossible, but I am getting there. It is getting easier for me.
Well, today I gained almost immediate insight to myself and what makes me tick. I was in my kitchen, folding laundry and chatting with my daughter. We were having a pleasant time. Suddenly, our family pet Wally, a black lab, started barking and she bolted off the front step like lightening. So, I went to the door and looked around to see what had her disturbed. Sometimes she barks at rustling leaves, a car slowly going by or (seemingly) nothing at all.
Today she barked at a person walking towards our house. As soon as I realized this I opened the door and whistled for her to come in. She didn't come on my first command but she did on my second or third. As soon as she turned to come to me, this person walking past the house turned and yelled at my dog. It was aggressive. It made me so angry! My dog had not even left our property! It rattled me because the figure walking was much more menacing, to me, than my dog could ever be. Whoever it was was wearing a tan colored coat, hood pulled over the face. It seemed to me that her (or his) actions were violent. Angry. Why? Because we have a dog? Maybe. Then again, I realize this could be mere speculation on my part. Maybe I've misinterpreted the whole event. I will never know.
On the other hand, I know a strange dog can be intimidating. My initial reaction to all of this was to feel like I'd done something wrong... If only I had trained the dog better, if only I had known this person was out for a walk I could have called her in beforehand (as if that would even be possible).
I was literally twisting myself up in knots over this-taking all the blame for the sudden blast of anger-the disruption of peace in my home.
Then, it hit me that my self-contempt was ridiculous. There was no need to feel like this at all. I decided to carry on with folding my laundry. I decided I would not take the blame for something so trivial. I mentioned to my daughter how this event made me feel. We joked around a little. I put some music on to dispel the feelings of anxiousness from the air and I carried on. But it is interesting to note how vulnerable I have allowed myself to be at times, opening the door for these kinds of predatory emotions to overtake me. Realizing this made me feel very sad for a while. Sorry for the child I used to be who struggled with this. Sad for the element of bullying that seems so prevalent in our society. I mean, it is my yard and my pet and my home and yet someone can walk by and still feel enough of a sense of dispensation to yell at her with such vehemence. It is a strange world. One caught somewhere in the grips of the desire for balance and the cloying free-fall of self-entitlement.
I try to be a good neighbor by remaining aloof. I still believe that Wally is a great dog. She is protective but kind and I think, in time, The Walker Person will see that too.
A(kind) word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.