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I need someone to talk me down off the ledge

Posted by Dorisan 
I need someone to talk me down off the ledge
December 10, 2016
I went to my Niece's wedding, which contributed to the death of one of my pupsters. Honestly, I'm having a hard time getting past this. I haven't been to the board much because of being absorbed in all the fer shit things that have happened this past year. This was one of the worst things to ever happen and someone is going to get jumped if I don't find a way to cope.

Late September, my niece was getting married in my family's home state, 1000 miles from us. Her mother, my older sister, begggged me and Dh to come. The groom's side of the family who planned to attend was enormous. The bride's side - be lucky to get a dozen family members there. So, I said "yes." For one, my older sister is the main caretaker to our mother, which is huge burden that I've been spared. Two: I've never been involved in any major life events of my family. We simply lived too far away and didn't want to use vacation time while we were working. I figured I owed my sister this.

We packed up most of the dogs in the RV and headed out. I say "most" because we left Dori behind to be boarded at the vet's. She had just had a large malignancy removed from her hip and still had the staples holding together the incision. I didn't want to put her through the rigors of a long trip. I should have also left Anjin behind. She had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure a few weeks before, and we were trying to get her adjusted to the diuretic and heart medicine the doctor prescribed. Yoshi was already on both kinds of pills because of COPD; getting their systems used to the strong stuff prescribed is quite onerous. We had her checked with the vet before leaving. He gave Anjin a tentative OK, telling us to make sure she is comfortable and not stressed. We thought it best she be with us rather than at the vet because of her anxiety issues when around strange people. So, one dog down, one we were very worried about, another who has a chronic health condition. Our trip did not start out well.

We take it slow; more than a week of traveling was done to get to Wedding Town. By the time we got there, Anjin was starting to fail. She stopped eating and was becoming lethargic and having trouble getting in an out of the RV on her own. To say we were worried was an understatement.

So, we attended the wedding. I think we were the attendees who had truly made the most effort to get there. I also helped get the wedding venue ready on the morning of the event. Niece didn't speak a word to us. No greeting at the wedding, no thank you for coming. She just hung out with her fellow Millennial friends after the ceremony. Meanwhile, Dh and I decided not to stick around for a family visit. We wanted to get Anjin home, so we rose at dawn the next morning, packed up and left. I sent Older Sister a text message to not expect to see us.

It took us four days to get home. I was healing up from a busted wrist and couldn't help drive, Dh couldn't drive much more than 200 miles/day (RV driving can be strenuous, especially getting over the Appalachians). As we were heading home, I was trying everything the vet recommended to keep Anjin going. Karo syrup for the calories, a dog supplement for the protein. It got to the point where I was having to force feed her with a dropper.

Friday we were home; I rushed her to the vet. He force fed her prescription food, gave us more to take home, and said to call if she started to get worse. Saturday, she seemed to rally, but by Sunday night, she was going downhill. I was up all night, listening to her cries as she struggled for breath. Monday morning seemed like it would never get there. Around 6am, Dh and I started to get dressed because we wanted to be at the vet's by the 7:30 opening. I checked the crate where we had settled her and shrieked Dh's name when I saw that she wasn't breathing.

She was gone.

I don't think anything ever struck my heart so hard. I'm starting to blubber, even typing this out almost three months later. Dh and I both held on to one another and cried; I was actually wailing. Never did that before. Seeing Anjin lifeless and sprawled on the pillow just sent me over the edge.

I'm thinking this is a lot of transference to my older sister and her wretch of a daughter; I need a target to lash out in pain and grief; but their behavior was insufferable. I asked Sister if Niece got her wedding gift; it had been sent by mail two months before. Sister goes "yes. Didn't you get a thank you card?" When I told her "no," Sister blithely replied "oh well, I'll pass the thanks to you for her." And, like I said, it was a hard drive to get there. Very expensive for us, considering I had thousands in doctor bills piling up because of my broken wrist; physically demanding with the RV as transportation; I was constantly worried about Dori and falling into a frantic state about Anjin. And the self-absorbed little cunt couldn't even take 2 minutes away from the ceremony to thank us for coming. We haven't even heard anything since. I checked etiquette sites to make sure I wasn't feeling entitled, but it is commonly held that a "thank you for attending" card is a proper thing to do.

Sister saw my tribute to Anjin on FB. Her attitude when we told her we weren't going to stick around and visit family because of Anjin was off-putting, but I guess she believed me when I made the announcement that Anjin died. I got an "oh, I'm so sorry" call from her, but haven't heard anything since. She may have picked up on my anger and decided to let time take care of the estrangement. I really don't know if I ever will let this go.

I so wish I hadn't made that trip. Odds are that Anjin would likely still be alive if we had kept her home, in her own comfortable environment, as her body adjusted to the harsh medicine. I can't get those final hours of her life out of my head. The gasping for breath, the crying, closing her eyes and washing her down with a face cloth as Dh made the arrangements to have her collected by the company who would cremate her and send her ashes back to us in an urn.

This morning I see a wedding picture of Niece and the groom heading back up the aisle, holding hands and grinning. I'm having a hard time not having a go at her on that. Sure, you self-absorbed little bitch, you and new hubby are grinning inanely while 2 miles away at the campground, my beloved dog is dying. She babbles on about being happy, while I continue to grieve over losing Anjin. Since Niece is a Friend on FB, I know she could see the pictures I posted and video of Anjin having a rumble with two other dogs, but not a peep. Not a condolence or anything.

I have a lot of hate in my heart for Niece and am quite pissed at my sister. She should have prodded her daughter to be polite to guests, maybe even point out to her that the trip was onerous and tragic for us, we deserved a special thanks and condolence. But nuthin'. Fucking nothing from either of them. I don't know how to get past this. I've been sitting here, white knuckles grasping the PC mouse, telling myself "don't type anything on her page. It'll just start a shitfest with the family." But I don't care. I really want to smack her, at least virtually.
Re: I need someone to talk me down off the ledge
December 10, 2016
Love and condolences. People here understand.

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A poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale - told by an idiot - full of sound and Fury! Signifying nothing.
Re: I need someone to talk me down off the ledge
December 10, 2016
You have every right to be angry. So much traveling and dealing with sick animals will wear anyone thin. Give it some time. And then maybe call your sister again to get it off your chest. The worst she can do is hang up.

I am so sorry to hear of Anjin's passing. But know in your heart you did all you could. Don't do anything until after getting her ashes back because you will restart the grieving process at that point which is normal. Your feelings are normal. Your anger is justified. But sometimes our babies just can't go on anymore. She passed away in her home with those that loved her. Remember that your other furkids are probably missing her as well so try to transfer your anger by showing them you aren't going anywhere.

Family members can be assholes because they know they can get away with it. And they do. You probably won't get any satisfaction from the niece. Forget her
Now you know how to handle future requests for your time and money when the babies start coming. Ignore ignore ignore.

It does sound like it was Anjin's time though. Her suffering is over. But it still hurts. I know. I've tried with two cats to extend their lives with extensive veterinary care but in the end I knew it was time to let them go.

Please pm me if you need to vent further or even talk on the phone. Cry all you want. The tears are a gift for the love that you gave so freely.

Again so sorry for your loss. I will keep you in my daily thoughts for your other babies also. Please take care of yourself. You can't be there for them if you are unwell.
Re: I need someone to talk me down off the ledge
December 10, 2016
First of all, I'm sorry for your loss and hugs.

Having moments of pure unadulterated rage is part of the grieving process. Families of origin suck, and I'm sorry your niece is such a horrible person, and your sister should've reminded the brat to use her manners.

I'd let loose on your sister, but I'm a scorched earth kind of person.

When niece demands tribute for being inpig (aka the pignasty announcement, gender reveal, whelping, and meet the loaf plus birthday and christmas gifts) tell her since she didn't have the basic manners to thank you for coming to her wedding or sending a fucking thank you card, you are getting her jack shit. Then block her, if seeing her posts on farcebook is too painful then block her now.

The only finger I would lift for these people is the middle one.
Re: I need someone to talk me down off the ledge
December 11, 2016
I don't have anything much to add except I'm sorry about your sweet pup and everything you went through.

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I asked Sister if Niece got her wedding gift; it had been sent by mail two months before. Sister goes "yes. Didn't you get a thank you card?" When I told her "no," Sister blithely replied "oh well, I'll pass the thanks to you for her."

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I checked etiquette sites to make sure I wasn't feeling entitled, but it is commonly held that a "thank you for attending" card is a proper thing to do.

I am unsure about thanking someone for attending, but one thing I do know, thanks to having Emily Post and, later, Miss Manners drilled into me practically since I was born, it is most definitely rude to not thank someone personally for a gift in writing. (IIRC Miss Manners gives brides a year.) When I was a kid my mom wouldn't let me play with a gift until I wrote the thank you note first and that's a rule I follow today with checks,etc. I get it that many kids these days don't do mail, although my mom recently gave my nephew's fiancee a small present and the fiancee wrote my mom a note to thank her, but how about sending a text or something over Fakebook? I think the electronic route is lame, but at least it would be some acknowledgement and the point is still the same: if someone thought enough of you to select/send a gift to you, the least you could do is take the time to properly thank them.

Your niece could write you a note and thank you for the gift and thank you for attending but that would require not being a rude, self-absorbed twat. Shame on your sister for not making the point with the niece.

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When niece demands tribute for being inpig (aka the pignasty announcement, gender reveal, whelping, and meet the loaf plus birthday and christmas gifts) tell her since she didn't have the basic manners to thank you for coming to her wedding or sending a fucking thank you card, you are getting her jack shit.

I can certainly understand not wanting to start a family war over this current event and chalking it up to lessons learned, particularly since there is distance involved. If I un-friended her it would be quietly, but one thing is certain: no way in Hell would I gift niece with another single thing from this day forward. If your sister has the gall to ask you about lack of gifts/attention, I would tell her that since niece didn't seem to care one way or another that you took the time/trouble to attend her wedding and you never got a response to the wedding gift, you won't be continuing a one-way relationship.
Re: I need someone to talk me down off the ledge
December 14, 2016
I have identified a few categories of people. There are those who share my priorities, with whom I have strong emotional ties. Going out of my way to help people in this group is something I rarely regret - when I do regret it, the regret comes from having put the person in the wrong category. It seems to me like you thought your sister was in this group, but she was not.

The next group is people who don't share my priorities but with whom there is an emotional connection, generally due to history. I think your sister is actually in this group. My general policy with these people is to help them, but only if it is a minor inconvenience for me as opposed to a major one. So I would attend a wedding I'm not keen on, but only if it didn't require taking time off work, if it was only a few hours away, and so on.

The third group is people who don't share your priorities and whom you have no emotional connection to and I think your niece is in this group. She wasn't interested in your presence because she wanted the pleasure of your company, she wanted a prop for her "perfect wedding". I only spend time with people like this if I am also enjoying it, because these people are effectively acquaintances.

It's rough finding out that your sister has these limitations of empathy for your priorities, and your niece is a jerk. I think it's still possible to have a relationship with your sister, but with clear boundaries based on what category she has chosen to be in. It's always tough discovering that you've misjudged someone. I'm sorry about your loss.
Re: I need someone to talk me down off the ledge
December 14, 2016
I think this would be a good time to simplify, take care of yourself and make some temporary decisions while you are healing in several ways (physically , emotionally, stress, etc)

After an appropriate period, it may be worth re-evaluating some of the areas that you are questioning to consider making permanent or hard- to -reverse decisions about the issues you have discussed here.
Re: I need someone to talk me down off the ledge
December 17, 2016
Dori, condolences for your loss. It sounds to me like your sister wanted you at the wedding for the superfical reasons of a head count and a gift, and nothing more. Being treated this way hurts, and your anger right now is justified. As I see it, there is a huge gap in how you and your sister view your efforts to attend the wedding, and it is entirely possible that such a chasm can never be bridged. Only you can decide if the effort to talk this out with your sister is worth the effort, and if there is any relationship worth preserving. I agree with other posters that the niece is a lost cause, and should never be sent another gift, ever.
Re: I need someone to talk me down off the ledge
December 18, 2016
friendly hug I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved pup. I know it's not much consolation, but she died at home with her loving person nearby and not alone. Your niece is a bitch who will get hers in the end.....hopefully with hubby cheating on her in her home. Karma never forgets.....it just takes a bit of time to come around and it will be glorious.

_______________________________________________________________

"It is better not to look like what you are; it is better to look like a bourgeois woman because then all the doors are open for you and then you can just go and make hell." - Marjane Satrapi
Re: I need someone to talk me down off the ledge
December 30, 2016
I am so sorry to hear about Anjin. Know that you did all you could for her, and she knew she was loved up till her last breath. She is no longer in pain or suffering (and in good company with my puglets.) Hugs to you and the rest of the Chins.

As for the inevitable inpig gift grab, should you decide to get the ungrateful twatwaffle anything a used etiquette book will work nicely.

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From a bottle cap message on a Magic Hat #9 beer: Condoms Prevent Minivans
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I want to pick up a bus full of unruly kids and feed them gummi bears and crack, then turn them loose in Hobby Lobby to ransack the place. They will all be wearing T shirts that say "You Could Have Prevented This."
Re: I need someone to talk me down off the ledge
January 04, 2017
Losing family is hard, and our animals ARE family members. Anybody who says otherwise has shit for brains. Dogs have unconditional love for their humans, they love you no matter what.

I'm sorry about the loss of your beloved pup. But at least he's not in pain anymore, and he knew he was loved and cared for.


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navi8orgirl
As for the inevitable inpig gift grab, should you decide to get the ungrateful twatwaffle anything a used etiquette book will work nicely.

Better yet, tell the insufferable niece that the inpig gift is with the wedding thank you card.
Re: I need someone to talk me down off the ledge
March 11, 2017
My cousin's daughter got married a couple of years ago. I couldn't attend but sent a $50 gift off of her registry. This is the girl I babysat for a lot when she was younger, so we had some modicum of a connection. She is the first great-grandchild for our grandparents and an only-child to boot - everyone treats her like the second coming of Christ eye rolling smiley . No thank you note in the mail, not even a FB message.

I had a small reception in my hometown after I got married. I wasn't much of a bridezilla, so I didn't sweat the guest list. My dad ended up inviting some of his friends who I barely knew. These people that I barely knew were thoughtful enough to bring a card or even a gift card - you can bet your ass they received a thank you note in the mail. I want even raised on formal thank-yous for gifts, but it's proper wedding etiquette to do so.

Are younger people just naturally less thoughtful, and it's something you have to grow into, or is it just this generation????
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