I never realized how much trauma can affect nearly all aspects of your life, until I started my "road to recovery". I also never realized that road could take so long to get down. That I'd lose valuable people along the way, and that I would need to do much more stripping down to find the person I know I can be. To love, unconditionally.
I'm hurting. And the reaction to this hurt has caused more hurt. It's also caused an intentional isolation. An arms length approach to everything now. It's a self preservation thing for now, so that I don't continue to hurt others while I heal.
So what does this have to do with dogs? They've saved me from myself more times than I can recall. They've kept me firmly planted on this earth, and they've never left. They are my constant. My lifeline.
I've tried to look back at all the dogs I've had the opportunity to rehabilitate...and I'm starting there with myself. With patience, yet a firmness. With love, understanding and forgiveness. That's what I gave all those dogs, and that's what I have to learn to start giving myself.