“I will not stay silent so that you can stay comfortable.”

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.” – Meryl Streep

I am not a confrontational person, I’m pretty nice.. but somtimes being nice isn’t going to cut it. I think I’m starting to believe in the whole “be nice until it’s time not to be nice”. Today, I was faced with a bitter confrontation – one in which I felt was injustice on my part and an attack instead of a constructive framework. Maybe it’s because the way in which the person said it rubbed me the wrong way. Whatever it is, I still stand my ground – it wasn’t constructive simply because of the fact that I did not understand the basis of the argument and I do not appreciate it being turned against me and making me sound like I’m the deluded one. I don’t appreciate being silenced or not being given the chance to speak when it is my turn to speak or when someone asks me for my opinion. I do not lack self-reflection, you may beg to differ, but I know myself and those are not my flaws. My flaw may be in my inability to take criticism, but I can take constructive ones. Whatever that was, it wasn’t constructive.

Even though my voice shook today and I got emotional because of it, I will not be sileneced and I refuse to allow myself to feel embarassed for speaking out, for standing my ground or for defending my own worth. A friend once told me before that defending myself is not to convince the other party why they are wrong but it is to defend my worth. And I’m defending it now. Even if my voice quivers, I will no longer allow people to degrade me or my worth. Especially not people who know nothing about my life or nothing about my thoughts.

What really infuriated me today was the fact that the party was the one who brought it up for discussion and then went on to tell me I am harping on things in the past. My purpose of the feedback was very clear – it wasn’t to bitch, gossip, talk bad etc, it was to reflect what could have gone better. My reason for not bringing up thoughts on what could have gone better on my part was because it was already written in my reflection, unless the party didn’t read it. Yeah I am still pretty affected because it just happened, but I will get over it. I won’t deny the bitter resentment I know feel towards the anonymous party and I won’t deny that with all my heart, the only thing I feel towards the person is hate. I know hate is a strong word and as a Catholic, we aren’t taught to hate but to forgive. Forgiving this person is going to take some time.

But you know what, I am proud of myself for standing up for myself this time. This is the first many confrontations I will have to encounter in my life and I will get better. Hopefully in future confrontations, the party won’t be as ridiculous as this one. Honestly, I wanted to say “fuck you”. But I won’t stoop down to that level. I wanted badly to attack the person with knowlege of what might really stab the gut (not literally), but I will only defend myself. I do not care if I appear to be just a “child”, at least I made sense.

I end with this, “If refusing to take people’s shit makes you a bitch, be a bitch. At least people know you’re not the one to fuck with!”

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Pray For Suzie

I know a few of you are keeping up and it feels almost appropriate to write this down with regard to how Suzie’s status has been. I know it’s pretty tiring to keep hearing only sad news.. but I’m afraid I do not have much happy news to tell. I wish there were happier news. But I am documenting this down, call me crazy.. but I am finding ways to hold on, even if it’s sad posts that I won’t want to read when it happens. God, this is hard to write down. Even as I type this, my heart continues to break. So here goes..

So last night, things took a turn for the worst. It started during dinner, we noticed her breathing was a lot faster than her usual 40 breath counts in a minute. We thought it would somehow get better but hours kept passing by and it only got worse. Then the first syncope happened. We didn’t panic this time but just hearing the yelps and the cries was painful enough. Previously, Suzie’s vet mentioned that we didn’t have to keep rushing down to the emergency clinic everytime it happens cause they will somehow recover after, it’s only when their tongue starts turning pale/bluish cause that isn’t a good sign. So after the first syncope of the night, her tongue was pale and it didn’t get better so we went down to the emergency clinic. In the car ride there, she was more alert and when we got there, she was better? As usual, the vet said there’s nothing they can do and we need to go back to her vet tomorrow to check if the dosages for her medicine should be tweaked. So we went back home and it started again. She kept gasping for air, struggling to maintain her breathing then the second syncope happened. This went on and on the whole night til the next morning. In total, 6 syncope attacks. We laid by her side til 4am, we thought that would be the night she would go. And we were ready and prepared to accept it. We prayed for her but it didn’t happen.

The next morning, her condition did not improve. We decided we’d go back to her vet first thing when they open. When we got there, she was alert again. We didn’t understand this, we still don’t. Her vet wasn’t around so we had to seek the advice of another vet. She told us that the heart murmur could be caused by various things and it needs investigation such as ECG and Echo to identify what is the real cause of it. Even if we decide to go through with it, and we find out what exactly is wrong with her.. they may need to do surgery on her. It doesn’t stop there. She needs to be a suitable candidate for surgery and let’s face it, she isn’t. She’s already 10, she’s no longer a puppy, how much longer can we extend her lifespan? And then we’d spend thousands of dollars for a surgery that might not work. Without this investigation, we’d never know the cause of the heart murmur or why she has difficulty breathing despite the lifetime medication she’s currently on. And the medicine cannot help the situation much anymore. So we decided to leave her in for observation so that incase of an emergency, she’d get immediate attention.

When we returned to pick her up, we were told by the vet that she did not have any syncope and she was fine. We thought it was fine, it was stable and it’d return to normal again. We got back home, she started drinking water from her bottle and she started to cough again. She couldn’t stand and she ran to my legs and collapsed there. But it wasn’t syncope, just fainting spells. She continued coughing at least thrice. She mustered all the strength she had just to get up and lie on the carpet.

At least she ate dinner – cod fish and some watermelons which she enjoyed. But it’s becoming increasingly difficult for her to walk about the house. Just from one end to the other and she gets very tired. Watching her life detoriate is really the most heartbreaking thing ever. It’s the cries, the yelps, the gasping for air.. I close my eyes and I keep hearing it. I wake up from my sleep and I feel like crap.. because I know it isn’t a nightmare that I woke up from, it’s a nightmare I woke up to.

We were ready to put her to sleep today when we woke up to see her struggling to breathe. But once we got to the vet, she was alive and well and we couldn’t make that decision. It wasn’t time. So we’re stuck in this limbo of waiting.. We cannot euthanize her (and I’d rather not), we cannot put her through surgery and all we can do is just live with it and to shower her with all the love she can get. The vet also mentioned that there is a chance that she might not wake up from her syncope when it happens again.

Ideally, I’d want her to go in her sleep.. peaceful and at rest. But if that does not happen, then I’d rather have her just not wake up from the syncope. I don’t want to have to make that decision to put her to sleep not only because it’s not natural, but because it meant she was suffering that much that we’d have to decide to do that to her.

I don’t usually like putting my emotions out there all the time, and I am terribly sorry to those who have been listening to me talk about how I feel all the time. I understand that this is a helpless situation and that nothing can be done but to contain these emotions is equally as hard. It’s hard to stay strong all the time and the honest truth of the matter is that my heart is breaking quite terribly from this. I mean, it’s Suzie. Not even a break up or a friendship fallout can get me as down as this. I am praying so hard for God to be merciful and just take her away peacefully in her sleep. So I am sorry that all I do is talk about it a lot and cry all the time.. there’s just no way around grieving about this. It hasn’t happened yet but my heart is already breaking. I wish there was a way I could just get myself together and stay strong. I hate feeling helpless. And I hate how I am always crying..

I guess that just means she really impacted my life and I hold such great love for her. It’s not easy watching my bestfriend’s life go.. She’s a real fighter. She struggled through the entire night with gasping and yelping and she’s still staying strong for us. I feel like she’s scared to leave us even though I told her many times to just go and not worry because I’ll always love her. I’ll always be with her in spirit. But she still chooses to hold on.

So for those of you who are reading, please, I ask a small favour from each of you.. Please pray for Suzie. Pray that God will be merciful and that He’d take her in her sleep.. where she won’t suffer and struggle. That’s all I ask. Please.

Thank you everyone for the kind words, prayers and love in this difficult time. I appreciate them and I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to respond.. I just don’t really know how and I hope you forgive me for not knowing how to.

I will never know how to say goodbye

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I don’t think I will ever know how to say goodbye. Most of you that know me may know that I am not the most affectionate person. I’m not the coldest person either but I don’t really show my affections much through physical touch. Sometimes I can be pretty cold, pretty distant and mostly to myself, but I have a very soft spot in my heart for animals and mostly one in particular – her name is Suzie, and she is the best thing that has ever happened in my life. The love I have for her knows no bounds, it exceeds any other love I’ve ever felt for anyone, it goes beyond time.

As of late, as blogged before, Suzie’s life has been nearing its end. We have watched her life slowly deteriorate and her heart slowly failing. We have been through three episodes of seizures and collapses. We have been through three episodes of heartbreaking cries. We have gone through a pretty rough start to the year with the little one. We have stayed up at night in anxiety, pain and helplessness. We have woken up the next morning all the same. We have waited in anxiety for news and results. And we are doing it again.

People tell me that’s she’s just a dog, why do I cry for just a dog? To you, she’s our pet, to us, she’s family. There is no question or no doubt that we will do whatever it takes for her to be well, if not well, to be comfortable in her last few moments. I sat in the car today, tears welling up in my eyes. The images that flashed before me in my mind was how she’d greet me with her cute waggling, stubby tail whenever I wake up in the morning, or whenever I come back home. And how she’d trot around the house happily when all members of her family are home. How she’d lie on my lap, all curled up within the constraints of my legs crossed. And how in an instant, I will never get all that again. And I could not help the thoughts. I could not stop replaying them in my head. I wanted to treasure the moments, I want to treasure these moments desperately. I want to hold on to some piece of her when she goes. I have her baby tooth but I want more. I have her collar. But I want more. I have her toys, but I want more. I want to feel her warmth again. I want to see her happy, loving face again. I want so much more. But all I have are pictures, and essences of her to preserve my memories. They are not enough for me. I am not content.

There is no doubt that my heart sinks a little deeper each time this happens. The helplessness I feel makes me wish for my own heart to be ripped out sometimes. I don’t want to feel the pain of losing her but yet I want to. Because it is in this pain that I feel the love – and the understanding of that love that is mutual between Suzie and I. As I cried in helplessness today, she lay on my lap and when she finally got enough energy to get up, she looked at our sad faces. I saw her eyes. I knew she knew. I knew that she understood that our hearts were breaking. She knows sadness because she has been there with me in my sadness before. She knew what sadness looked like, she knew what it felt like. And this time, she knew the reason for our sadness was her.

So you ask me why I cry for this animal, for this pet, I prefer the word family member. Because when I needed a hand, I found her paw. When I cried in silence, she sat quietly by my side. You think dogs just understand emotions? No they don’t just understand, they feel too. You think it was easy for her to watch me cry all those times I grieved? She felt that same helplessness I felt today. Her heart broke everytime our heart broke. But she never left our side. She doesn’t speak, she couldn’t use words to comfort, but she never left our side in moments of dispair and grief. So I will do the same. As much as it breaks me heart to go through this entire phase, to watch helplessly as she collapses and cries in pain, I owe it to her to be there for her through it all, til the very end. She deserves that, she deserves more.

I will never be ready for the day I have to say goodbye. But I love her, my god, I love her. I wish there was a way I could express the magnitude of my love for her but these words are not enough. Even with a list of vocabulary to aid in expressing this love, it doesn’t feel enough. I really want you to stay. I want more. I want so much more. I cannot bargain with death. I can only make the most of what’s left while she’s still here. But it will never feel enough.