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Reminding Myself to Never Give Up

Current Mood:hopeful emoticon hopeful

Current Music: “Broken & Beautiful” Kelly Clarkson

I wrote this up on Facebook yesterday and thought I would share here with an update:

Yesterday, after a lot of thought and research into the eventual PCS home, our family decided to go to the stray pet facility on base to see if any of the cats currently awaiting adoption would be a good fit for our first family pet. It was a big deal for me to open myself up to the idea, and we all agreed we would only bring a cat home if it was the perfect storm of qualities for our household needs. Not so playful and vocal it causes issues with our sensory problems, but not too shy or skittish to love on the kids and be patient with their excitement.

We were shown a cat that had been at the kennel for a while but would require eye drops and constantly hid under a table, obviously terrified of the kids. The staff was trying really hard to sell us on this pet that was visibly not meshing with our family. We asked to look at others and found the perfect cat. She is beautiful, sweet, and didn’t mind at all that the kids wanted to constantly be in her face. Out of an entire kennel of strays, she was the only one with the right personality. We fell in love with her.

We asked what the process for adoption would be, and we were told that we would fill out an application and get a call by 3pm so we could pick her up before the end of their free adoption event that was apparently going on this past week. The person we gave the paperwork to made it sound like a done deal and even agreed it would be fine for us to go ahead and take the kids to lunch and supply shopping while we waited for the call. The call never came. We spent all day out and spent a good chunk of change on things we would need before finally calling the kennel ourselves at 3:30pm.

It was at this point we were informed that another family had also put in an application and been chosen over us in a “tough decision”. They had already been notified the cat was theirs. We went back to the kennel and asked what happened. They just said sorry it was their policy to accept multiple applications and choose from them. When we chose the cat we did, and our small children excitedly realized they were going to bring that particular cat home, no one told us this was a possibility. No one, despite knowing we were out shopping for items for this cat, bothered to call and tell us that we were wasting our time, money, and emotional investment. I don’t know that they ever would have called if we hadn’t made contact ourselves.

I’m not going to lie, Anya and I both had an autistic meltdown right there in the building, crying and stimming, that continued long after we were home. Marie was angry and kept saying how mean and rude the staff were to give our cat away, and poor little Ben was so confused when he could see the cat still in her cage and didn’t understand why we weren’t picking her up like we promised. The staff said we could take the other cat we had seen, and I began to feel like we had been purposely bait and switched so they could get rid of this cat they want gone, thinking we would just take any cat we could have if they gave the cat we applied for to the other family. It was obvious they did not expect us to be as upset as we were.

This was a very major event for our family. We didn’t want just any cat; we were willing to adopt because this cat has the perfect qualities to be a pet in our family. Myself and my kids are traumatized by having what already felt like a member of our family ripped from us in an arbitrary decision and then blindsided with the news with no warning. This has kept me up most of the night with panic attacks and nausea. My kids are a wreck. We have to take all these supplies back to the Exchange at some point.

We will NEVER go back to that kennel for anything. Their business practices are unprofessional at best, and, honestly, the way they handled our specific situation was appalling. If this is how they treat special needs families and can sleep at night after having kids that young emotionally devastated in this way, then I pray they develop some empathy.

We will not recover from this like some minor, disappointing setback. It will cause me issues with functioning, sleeping, and eating for weeks. It is keeping me from finishing grad school work that is due this weekend; it will haunt the memories of my kids as a trauma for years, and that really guts me the most. I regret ever going in to look; I wish I could undo it all. I wish I could stop crying. I wish I could stop believing that something in the way myself or my children present our autistic personality traits is the cause of the way we were treated. I just wish the intense pain we all feel was over. 💔

At first, I was so angry that I wanted to give up entirely, but my husband reminded me that we had already now opened the door to the idea that we were getting a pet for the kids. It is only right to keep moving forward and give them a happy ending to this situation. So that night, we e-mailed an application to a local rescue organization that fosters their pets in homes until an adoptive family is available. We have already heard back from them with a recommendation for the cat they think will be a perfect fit for our family, and we will be meeting her later this week to hopefully begin a trial period of her living with us. I will, of course, share more about her and photos once everything is solidified. We learned our lesson from getting too attached too quickly this weekend and are being more cautiously optimistic this time around.

I think having this cat join our family will help us begin to heal from the horrible experience we had with the base kennel. I was sick to my stomach for a good 36 hours afterward and could barely function yesterday as a result. Thankfully, I’m feeling better today, and I think just putting some distance between that day and myself is helping, along with knowing not all hope is lost. We can provide a loving family for another cat who doesn’t yet have a forever home.

Despite being the type of person who believes that everything happens for a reason, I struggled with accepting it when all of this happened. I was just caught so off guard. Now that I’m able to process it a bit more, I know that maybe it was just meant to be that that cat ended up with the family that she did, and whatever happens with our future pet is exactly what is supposed to happen. It will be alright. My faith has kept me sure of that in much larger, more devastating situations than this. This is small potatoes for God. He always comes through; just not always the way I expect. Thankfully, He is gracious in giving me time to adjust to his plans, no matter how obstinate or ungrateful I am in the meantime.

Oki Cars, Comic-Con, and Island Life Laments

Current Mood:busy emoticon busy

Current Music: the kids playing Paper Mario on my Nintendo 64

The last week or so have been a bit of a blur, but after having first my car, then my husband’s taken in for repairs, we finally have two cars again. Hallelujah! Except now, I’m seeing roaches in my car from time to time. (Thank God they are not huge…yet.) Apparently that’s totally a normal occurrence on this tropical island “paradise”. So, traps have been bought and placed and a cleaning company is coming out next week to do an interior detailing to make sure we’ve gotten up every single possible food source. I will have to ban the kids from eating in the car, which is not going to be an easy task with as much as we’re on the go. Sigh. If it’s not one thing, it’s another I swear. Adulting is overrated. I’m ready to go back to the days of hibernating in my room for hours, playing Sims 2 and only taking breaks for instant ramen and diet soda refills. If only.

Went to the base-sponsored Comic-Con yesterday with the family. We only saw the vendor hall and bought some nifty artwork (like Star Wars prints signed by comic book artist Michael Golden!) and such before the kids began to melt down in the heat. We didn’t make it to any of the meet and greets or panels or anything like that, but it was the first con any of us have ever been to, and it was a free event, so I’m not going to complain too much about getting to experience at least a glimpse of what it’s like to attend a con. I would love to go to a bigger con once we’re back Stateside and the kids are all old enough to enjoy it without being bored to tears during discussions and waiting in line – or maybe just take the eldest ones at first. Anya is already talking about us cosplaying as Sailor Moon and Mini-Moon, so that expectation has now been set. Haha! I’m totally down; I’ve dreamed of cosplaying Sailor Moon for literally decades, though which Scout I wanted to be changed here and there. In fact, I’ve never been able to cosplay at all and would love to check that off the bucket list. It would be fun to not only get to finally do it, but to also share it with my daughter who is becoming quite the Sailor Moon fanatic herself.

I’ve been busy just trying to accomplish some normal life tasks. This week will be my last in the poetry course, and then I’ll have a one week break before the Shakespeare course begins. Thankfully, my mental clarity seems to be returning. I think the anxiety of dealing with medical staff and the unknown of my physical ailments was really getting to me and causing a massive amount of anxiety. I’ve kind of resigned myself to my fate of just having to ride out the physical symptoms until we move again, that medical here will never actually care to figure it out and will always be looking for the easy out of blaming it on my mental health. I informed them I’m not taking the SSRI’s they prescribed and am waiting for the behavioral health referral to come through that will probably never end in an appointment because things just get so lost in the shuffle of endless wait lists out here. Otherwise they haven’t prompted for any further testing or appointments, so I’m just avoiding them and not bothering anymore. Just removing the stress of trying to deal with them and having my hopes and expectations dashed repeatedly has helped tremendously, though all of the physical pain and issues are still present. I just power through it, as usual, and try my best to implement what self care I can to counteract it a bit.

I don’t think I’ll be able to return to dance, which is frustrating, but unless medical magically decides to actually get to the root cause of things, I don’t know that I can power through that level of physical activity, not to mention the risk of injury without knowing why my joints, muscles, and bones constantly ache and sometimes refuse to complete certain movements. I’ll have to do some soul searching about it. The studio sometimes requires a level of intensity I just don’t know that I can even attempt to live up to right now, and I don’t want to take away from the efforts of the girls there trying to maintain a professional standard for the teams and future endeavors. Maybe it’s just something that has to be shelved for now, until I can be home with family to help with the kids and can try to participate in theatre, which is really the dream anyway. I’m perfectly content to be in the background of endless community theatre musical numbers, happy just to get to be on stage singing and dancing and being a part of it. Just something else to look forward to when our time here comes to a close. Trying not to wish the years away…but I’m so over Okinawa life and the limitations that come with it.