When Your Dog Dies and Your Grief is Labelled as Less than Other’s

Posted: May 24, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

My dog died today. I wanted to cry a lot.

Pepper was like a sister to me and we grew up together, putting up with all the things my real little sister would do to us, like dress up and playing school. She never failed to brighten my day and is irreplaceable to me.

That is why I am angry. My bipolar mother always needs to be the one with the most pain. She always needs to be the victim, the one everyone pities.

And so even though I am mourning the loss of someone dear to me, I had to spend my time comforting her as she explained to me all the reasons why she thought my pain was lesser than hers. How she obviously loved and missed Pepper more. Quite the flair for dramatics this one has.

She spent the day belittling my pain as she indirectly reminded me yet again that in a household with a bipolar parent, you are not allowed to have feelings and pain of your own. In every moment in my life where I should have had strong feelings, either good or bad, I have been forced to set them aside to take care of whatever she was feeling that day.

Every homecoming, my prom, my graduation, junior olympic qualifiers for volleyball… every major moment in my life revolved around my mother’s feelings. Each homecoming she made me feel ugly before I left, and I had to take care of her because she was in a bad mood. My senior prom I suffered through the entire weekend with glass in my feet because I was too busy taking care of her to remove it.

She refused to come to my graduation and support me, her child, because she was too ‘ashamed’ of me and the school I was going to. She was ashamed I wasn’t in the top five percent anymore. Oh no! I was in the top six percent of a class of a thousand students in one of the toughest schools in the state instead! The horror! Yet every single parent of my friends came up to me and said how proud my parents must be of me, so I had to smile and agree. I had so many ropes and honors and decorations and I should have been proud and supported, but instead my mother’s feelings came first.

My dog died today. I wanted to cry a lot, but I didn’t have the freedom to.

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like your mom’s needs are more important than your own, but they are not. I hope that you have someone to talk to, (good friend? aunt? counselor?) You have such great talents to be able to win honors and awards and your mother’s mental health issues are ruining your ability to rejoice in who you are. Cry over your dog…

    • Thank you for your concern. I have come to terms with my family dynamics but sometimes I still get frustrated. I have never been the type to confide in others, but I do have a pretty good support system. I prefer going out and smiling rather than discussing what is wrong, and my close friends understand that and are willing to just make time to spend with me.

      It’s only within my family that the dynamics are so off.

  2. Bourbon says:

    Wow 😦 What a powerful post – you have a very relatable writing style. I’m sorry for your loss, I’m sorry that you can’t even have your loss noted and appreciated because your mum wants to hog it all.

    • Thanks for reading! And thank you for caring. It gets frustrating but I just remind myself that my feelings are valid even if I have to postpone them and be responsible.

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