I didn't want to post till I could do it without crying. Something shifted in my brain last night and I'm like... I'm not okay. I am so very not okay. But I've managed to put most of it over to one side where it's not going to keep making me cry. At least today.

I am going to ask you not to try and be nice to me in the comments, but I'd be grateful for ...ordinary conversationy type remarks, if you can find any.
cut for drivel, navelgazing and suicidal ideation )
...Who remembers my enormous fit of trembling, weeping angst at the thought of Spike turning six years old? How I spent the entire week of his birthday bursting into tears every time I looked at him, oppressed and haunted and terrorised by the simple fact that he may not, after all, be as immortal as he thinks he is?

Guess what? He's not six. He was born in 2002; he's fucking well five.

You can tell I never evolved the right sort of brain to deal with linear time, can't you?
...Who remembers my enormous fit of trembling, weeping angst at the thought of Spike turning six years old? How I spent the entire week of his birthday bursting into tears every time I looked at him, oppressed and haunted and terrorised by the simple fact that he may not, after all, be as immortal as he thinks he is?

Guess what? He's not six. He was born in 2002; he's fucking well five.

You can tell I never evolved the right sort of brain to deal with linear time, can't you?
We were walking; and Spike spotted a stick on the ground and decided to play with it. This happens a thousand times a day. It was a small one; about pencil-width and twice as long. He pounced on it, bounced up and down and chomped it into pieces. So far, so normal.

I do know that sticks aren't a particularly safe dog toy; I've never encouraged it, and I carry a cloth tuggy to distract him off them. But I live in a windy town where you can't spit without hitting a tree, and it's truly not possible to avoid every little piece of wood on the pavement; and it's only possible to redirect him before he grabs it about 50% of the time. He's fast and he's sudden and he's not always predictable.

He froze for an instant and started frantically pawing at his face, snarling at what was hurting him. My heart stopped. I reached for him, to find out what the problem was and also to stop him putting his own eye out with his dew claws. He wrapped both front paws around my arm as I held his head, and he relaxed his jaws and let me explore with my fingers. That's how much he trusts me. If it had happened to Squish, I would have needed a vet trip and sedation just to get inside his mouth; it's a good thing Squish isn't a stick-chomper.

I found a sharp piece of stick poking into the inside of his lip, outside his teeth. I pulled it free and let go of his head. Shit. The frantic pawing started up again, and his eyes were bulging in panic now. There must be more.

It was a bit harder to relax him this time. Hold still darling, I've got it... I can't say that the prospect of losing a finger didn't flash through my mind. It does. It also doesn't stop you.

Whatever the problem was, it wasn't outside his teeth. I had to explore the entire inside of his mouth, under his tongue, the roof of his mouth - there. He'd bitten the twig into sections and there was one wedged across the roof of his mouth. There was blood on my fingers. He winced when I pulled it free. He didn't bite down; he didn't resist me at all. I knew he wouldn't.

Ever since John died, I've glided through life in the serene knowledge that I am emotionally bulletproof. Until now. Spike will be six years old on Monday; I'm twelve months closer to the day what's left of my heart gets ripped out.

At this moment, I honestly don't know if I can survive that a second time.

On the other hand, Spike was bumping me to play tug again before we were halfway home.
We were walking; and Spike spotted a stick on the ground and decided to play with it. This happens a thousand times a day. It was a small one; about pencil-width and twice as long. He pounced on it, bounced up and down and chomped it into pieces. So far, so normal.

I do know that sticks aren't a particularly safe dog toy; I've never encouraged it, and I carry a cloth tuggy to distract him off them. But I live in a windy town where you can't spit without hitting a tree, and it's truly not possible to avoid every little piece of wood on the pavement; and it's only possible to redirect him before he grabs it about 50% of the time. He's fast and he's sudden and he's not always predictable.

He froze for an instant and started frantically pawing at his face, snarling at what was hurting him. My heart stopped. I reached for him, to find out what the problem was and also to stop him putting his own eye out with his dew claws. He wrapped both front paws around my arm as I held his head, and he relaxed his jaws and let me explore with my fingers. That's how much he trusts me. If it had happened to Squish, I would have needed a vet trip and sedation just to get inside his mouth; it's a good thing Squish isn't a stick-chomper.

I found a sharp piece of stick poking into the inside of his lip, outside his teeth. I pulled it free and let go of his head. Shit. The frantic pawing started up again, and his eyes were bulging in panic now. There must be more.

It was a bit harder to relax him this time. Hold still darling, I've got it... I can't say that the prospect of losing a finger didn't flash through my mind. It does. It also doesn't stop you.

Whatever the problem was, it wasn't outside his teeth. I had to explore the entire inside of his mouth, under his tongue, the roof of his mouth - there. He'd bitten the twig into sections and there was one wedged across the roof of his mouth. There was blood on my fingers. He winced when I pulled it free. He didn't bite down; he didn't resist me at all. I knew he wouldn't.

Ever since John died, I've glided through life in the serene knowledge that I am emotionally bulletproof. Until now. Spike will be six years old on Monday; I'm twelve months closer to the day what's left of my heart gets ripped out.

At this moment, I honestly don't know if I can survive that a second time.

On the other hand, Spike was bumping me to play tug again before we were halfway home.
I was born lucky, you know. I started out with good genes, good health and a sharp mind; I was born into a loving, stable family intelligent enough to care about education, wealthy enough to pay a fortune for it and sensitive enough to try and tailor it to my needs. I've had every fucking advantage; I've got no excuse whatever for the world not being my big pearly oyster. Looked at dispassionately, one can't but be impressed. It takes a special sort of perverse, determined, demented genius to turn all that into a train wreck.

There's a reason why everyone I care about is kept at a distance. It's never been for my protection. It's been for yours.
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I was born lucky, you know. I started out with good genes, good health and a sharp mind; I was born into a loving, stable family intelligent enough to care about education, wealthy enough to pay a fortune for it and sensitive enough to try and tailor it to my needs. I've had every fucking advantage; I've got no excuse whatever for the world not being my big pearly oyster. Looked at dispassionately, one can't but be impressed. It takes a special sort of perverse, determined, demented genius to turn all that into a train wreck.

There's a reason why everyone I care about is kept at a distance. It's never been for my protection. It's been for yours.
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