NOTICING - Lack of Patience

This is ME right before I snap

I can feel the strands unwinding

I know what will happen when that last fiber breaks

It's not pretty

Having things move along is something I am pretty fond of. This is particularly true when I'm in a car  - at a 4-way stop - or in heavy traffic on my way to an important meeting. I know that few people would use patient as a word to describe me, but the last 3 weeks have really pushed me to my limit.

It was Tuesday night and after a long, bad technology, frustrating day, I was not in a great place to try and work with Skye on  ,.. anything. Skye is my 9 1/2 year old husky who had ACL surgery 3 1/2 weeks ago. She is a big girl - about 65#, a sled dog who loves to pull and super stubborn. Part of the rehab for her surgery involves using heat, ice and range-of-motion exercises twice a day.  She wouldn't lay down on Tuesday to let me do any of that. I let it go, thinking we would just do once that day, but she would have nothing to do with it in the evening either.  I was not very happy with her.

Then, it was time for her to eat dinner, and she hadn't eaten her breakfast. She has meds she needs to take with food twice a day and when she won't eat, I can't give her any meds.  She is sick of peanut butter after 3 weeks, so when I put it in her mouth (by prying her lips open), she would just spit it back out. Yes!  I said spit it back out. My dog can spit!

Perhaps the last strand that was holding the rope together was my hope that at least she would go to the bathroom right away when I took her outside.  NOPE!  We walked - more accurately slipped - all over our icey backyard for 15 minutes and she wouldn't do a thing except stand and sniff the air.

Looking back I remember feeling my body temperature start to rise and my shoulders tense as my frustration mounted. I yelled at her - really loudly. That didn't help!  Finally, I more or less yanked her into the house. I tried to trap her in her kennel so I could get her to do her exercises and she just kept trying to slip by me. At one point, I grabbed her head, pulled it right up to my face and yelled at her.  Then I started to cry because I was so mad. I was just trying to help her - do the things the doctors wanted - and she was not cooperating in any way, shape or form.

When I yelled at her and started to cry while I was yelling, I saw her start to pull back - she was scared. She is my best friend and I had just scared her.  Then, I started to cry even harder and just grabbed her and hugged her.  She was probably so confused.  At that point, I decided the best thing for me to do was to just walk away.

I felt myself snap and it felt terrible.  I have had several other opportunities since Tuesday night to practice reining myself in because she continues to be stubborn and strong and bored. I am now hyper aware of the signs my body is sending me and I am getting really good at just telling her it's okay and walking away. "When you are ready, I am here to help."

 I'm not proud of how I handled the situation, but I do feel good about noticing that my body will tell me it's time to walk away in time to save me from doing something stupid. It has also caused me to consider what is frustrating to the point of SNAP, and like it or not, I want to be in control - I think I know best - and when someone or something doesn't respond to my need to be in control, I start to lose it.  This is definitely an area for me to do some work; if walking away is what I need to do, I will just need to do that more often.

Anyone else notice what makes their rope fray to the point of breaking?


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