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They love the dog more than me


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Lately I've been feeling clinically depressed. I think my medications have maybe stopped working because I've been feeling so very down as of late. I've been feeling the urge to hurt myself or to maybe just go away for awhile. I've also been sleeping a lot too, which is a very big sign of depression for me. And lately I've been having some very troubling thoughts, and some stupid ones like the one that I'm about to share.

Recently, my grandparents got a puppy. She's cute and all, but very feisty and likes to bite people a lot. At first I was kind of happy to get her as an addition to our little family... but then I found myself resenting her more and more. I'm trying not to hate on this little puppy, but part of me really is resenting her. It's so stupid, but the thing is that I seem to have the irrational belief that my grandparents (particularly my grandmother) loves the puppy more than she loves me. When my sister and I are not around, we can hear her talking sweetly to the puppy. And then sometimes my grandma is really cranky towards us. I get that part since she's an old lady, but even still... I've been feeling like maybe my grandma is replacing me with the puppy.

What a stupid idea, right? People can't be replaced with animals, that's just dumb... and yet, here I am, hiding away in my room with our cat and using her as my emotional support system (I cuddle with her to try to feel better). I must sound absolutely pathetic, getting jealous over a puppy that hasn't even been here for a week. I sound like a child... and I'm feeling like one too, if I'm being completely honest here.

Depression and dysfunctional thoughts really suck. It's making me start to wonder just how much my grandparents would miss me if I were to just one day go away for awhile. I know, logically, that they would be heartbroken and miss me dearly, but my dysfunctional brain tells me that maybe they'd be more happy without me here... I'm really dumb.

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you're not dumb or childish, bear. you're having disordered thoughts that are typical of a depressive state, and they can feel really real, even if you intellectually know they're not true. i get jealous easily when i'm depressed. it feels like everyone has something/someone they like better than me, and that i'm totally expendable. i used to feel horribly sad that my cat liked my mom more than me, and it made me wildly jealous.

i bet there's a bit of a new car smell kind of thing going on with the puppy, and that given some time, she'll just become a regular part of the family. puppies are adorable. it's natural to want to give them all of your attention. she's infatuated with the pup, for sure, but it doesn't eclipse her love for you. it sucks to be ignored, though, and it really fucking sucks to feel like you're not important. you are important. you're integral to your grandparents' life, even if they're not always appreciative of it. losing you would be like losing a limb. your absence would create an tear in the fabric of their life that a thousand puppies could not fill.

i'm sorry you're struggling with these thoughts and feelings. could you spend some time with the pup? i understand why you wouldn't want to, but developing an affection for her might ease some of the jealousy and give you something to share with your grandparents. or, you could spend some time with them one on one, assuming that doing so would be enjoyable (i don't know the bounds of your grandmother's crankiness).

try to be kind to yourself. you're not stupid for how you feel, especially given the depression. sending good thoughts.

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It's a very big positive that you can recognize some of your irrational thoughts.  I had very irrational thoughts when I was suicidal and told my close friends about some of them.  They just about freaked out trying to convince me that I was very irrational (I thought my 5 and 7 year olds would be celebrating at my funeral because they would be so happy I was dead).  I didn't believe them.  I was so convinced of my reality.  That's what depression does, and it's very common.  It took me a year of intense therapy to totally disbelieve that lie.

I will add that some people have a relationship with animals that has nothing to do with you.  Many people view animals as helpless, blameless, and totally dependent.  They will appear to put the animal first.  Example:  My wife is cooking dinner.  When it's ready, she stops getting plates ready to go feed the dog "because she's hungry."  Well, so am I.  On its face it seems like the dog is more important than me.  The dog has to be fed first.  But I know my wife cares far more about me than the dog.

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