I had a realization this week. A dumb one. A lame one. Which makes it being a big deal to me just plain stupid. No, seriously! It's stupid, only...... I have to convince myself of that. That I am making a bigger deal than this 'thing' really is.
So, here's the deal Sparky! It's Zoe. The service dog. I'm used to Levi having special needs. I love him. Everything about him. I don't mind that he has a dog. In fact, I love that it results in people coming up and talking to him because of his dog. "His" dog....
Only..... Zoe isn't just Levi's dog. She's mine too. I hate admitting that. I feel vulnerable. When I am out and about by myself with Zoe, people ask me all of the time who I am training her for, what she is being trained for, etc. And I get all red in the face. I have no problem saying she is for my son who has autism. It is way easier to say he has autism than to go into the whole spiel about what he really has and that autism is a side affect. Autism is something people recognize. No biggie!
"Oh how sweet"! Yeah. Isn't it?! It's the other part. Admitting that she is also a service dog for me. For my seizures. Why is that so hard to admit to people? Because they all of a sudden look at me different. Wow. That hurts. It shouldn't. But it does. And, it hurts that I even have to go there, ya know? That I even have seizures now. I don't want pity. I don't like standing out and having people approach me all of the time now. People stare. I'm no longer just another face in the crowd. Everything takes a lot longer. Can't just go to the grocery store and run in and out because everyone wants to talk to me about the dog and then, me all red faced saying she's for my son and not wanting to admit she's also for me so I leave that part out...........
I'm an outgoing person. On my terms. Having Zoe with me all of the time now, nothing is on my terms anymore. I'm either stared at, talked about (children mostly squealing and bringing the dog in public to their parents attention-I don't mind them), or approached and asked questions. My favorite are the people who think because I have a dog, I must be slow and hard of hearing. Those I get a good chuckle at.
Vulnerable. That is how this all makes me feel. I don't like feeling vulnerable. And yet, the whole purpose of Zoe for Levi is to draw people to him. Well, one of the purposes. Like I said, with him, I'm totally cool with it. It's me that I'm not cool with. Who knew I was so insecure?!
Which is stupid!! And there is my confession!