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Well, I made it out West to Northern California–I’m very grateful.  It was a long drive, but that is 10 days behind now.

The next challenge that the Universe has offered up is my living situation.  I had spoken on the phone for over 90 minutes with one part of a couple.  I thought we’d cover all the important details.  It seemed great.  Vegans, interested in using food to heal.

Sadly, it is a bit of a drama fest.  I know you’re wondering how much of a drama it can be in 10 days.  I scratch my head as well.  But with my psychology and counseling background it’s really simple to suss out.

On the first day one of the partners dogs was seriously aggressive with my dogs. They have two very large dogs, one that had suffered some kind of an attack in the past 2 years.  I knew that because we shared our stories.  Stella had been attacked by a pack of dogs and dragged by her side into trees.  We tried walking them together, but it was clear that the most important part of healing for the dog had not happened.

As I watched their veterinary’s dog behaviorist try to work with Ella that night and show her owner what to do, it was evident that the owner didn’t have the ability to see or feel when her dog was going into distress.  It’s really just a second before a dogs mind shifts.  The person on the other end of the leash has to be calm, centered and astutely aware.

ocd

We tried using the closed door/open door system so the dogs were never in the same place at the same time.  Stressful, right?  Slippery Franky (my dog) started marking…and oddly enough it was where this particular dog often sat.  I get it.  Dogs often mark for dominance.  It’s not fun for anyone really.

But when the drama escalated to the level of World Annihilation, I tried to keep my own calm for the sake of my dogs.  Stella had frozen in the kitchen a number of times when Ella snarled at her from a distance, on her owners leash.  As I was berated, lectured to, and double teamed by the couple, I felt amazingly conflicted. Stay calm because my heart needs it.  Go ballistic back because my inner offended child/adult wanted to rip into them.

Sadly, I did both.  And I learned that not either choice was going to work.  There were regular questions (almost daily) for my timeline to move out.  Really.  As of yesterday I’d only been in the house for 10 days.  I’m never home during the day.  The dogs and I find a coffee shop somewhere and they are car bound, I am coffee bound.  During the 3 days of torrential rain, we were just bound up.

What I learned from a distance is interesting.  Aside from the dynamics between the couple, and the DefCon 10 reactions to things, was the striking need to control by one of the women.  I started seeing the deepest anxiety that comes from OCD and perhaps other disorders.

I purchased Nature’s Miracle to cut the marking impact.  On day 3 I received an agreement between the two of them that I had 30 days to move out.  We’d sort of agreed that I’d move as soon as I can find a place.  Which then pushed out my time to find a job.  And the gratis work I’m doing for a vineyard to get experience on my resume.

On day 9 I should have kept my mouth shut.  The OCD partner began telling me that I need to make sure Franky isn’t marking in the room we live.  I explained that dogs don’t mark in their own space.  Since only Stella and Franky and I live in the room, there was no issue.  Similar to dogs being crated.

This is where things went really bad.  She said “I don’t buy that”.  Uh Oh.  My inner Aunt Hazel came flying out in her best demonstrative way.  My remark? Something like you know everything so surely what you think must be true.  I know, I’m not always in control of myself.

Within 15 minutes came screaming from the hallway “Franky has pissed inside again”.  I was on the phone and decided that I didn’t want to play into the drama.  They knew where the Nature’s Miracle is located.

Then yesterday morning I was handed a note to vacate within 3 days or legal proceedings would begin.  I’m ok with that.  I still don’t have a place to live yet.  It’s only been 7 days since I began searching.

Not having control over your living environment and other people can be extraordinarily stressful for anyone.  We like control as humans, sometime more than is healthy.

Having a heart attack taught me how little control I actually have.  Same as 9/11.  Living with PTSD for 12 years was tough and the anxiety almost killed me with the heart attack.  But now that I’m back in my body and working in mindfulness training, I know that my housemate must be in enormous pain.

I have to admit that I live in fear…walking on glass or eggshells kind of feeling. It’s not rational.  It’s familiar.  A childhood familiarity.  This type of anxiety feeds and fuels behavior and the energy output.  Nightmare, right?

Most important to me is learning how to manage my own anxiety that is triggered so I can be effective in accomplishing my personal goals.  Finding a safe and harmonious home and a job….while keeping the dogs calm.

Calm helps the heart.

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