Author Topic: feeling super triggered today and seeking support  (Read 920 times)

aquarius25

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feeling super triggered today and seeking support
« on: December 07, 2017, 10:42:11 AM »
I am working on seeking support when I am feeling triggered rather than just trying to manage it on my own as t doesn't always work, lol. So I am coming on here and asking for support. I had a really weird experience this morning and just wanted some thoughts about how to process and handle this situation.

My daughter loves cats. She is a total animal lover and wants to help and save every helpless animal out there. I love that she has a big heart, she is 7 and her heart is huge. Anyway, she has taken in this stray cat. The cat seems to do fine with others cats so we decided to let her come inside and adopt her. We have no clue if she is spayed or not and the plan was after the move we would get her checked out. Well a week ago we moved from the apt to the house we had been restoring and she got out. She was gone for two days and we finally got her back. I called a vet and took her in right away. So this morning I went to the vet. I  homeschool so as always the kids came too. The vet came in and it was so awful!!! He proceeded to sternly lecture me on feeding stray cats and how that is hurting cats and is part of the problem. He said she could be pregnant and probably is and that we should abort and spay asap! I stepped in and hinted about thinking about it because I would like to have that conversation without my kids in the room. I am all for getting her spayed but this wasn't the place I wanted to explain those details to my kids. He then took it upon himself to get into a lot of detail about the process of cat sex! He even said it was violent and hurt the female cat (pointing to our cat). He used the term rape! Then went through the process of impregnation and egg fertilization, and the process of abortion in front of my 7 & 9 yr old. I tried to shift the conversation and asked how someone who loves cat could help the cat and he said don't help them and that we are killing them by helping them. My daughter was in tears, my son was pretty shaken too.

Later on the drive home, I kept running the experience in my head. I kept thinking about what I should have done and all the things I should have said. Why did I let him speak to me that way? Honestly, in that moment, I felt scared and helpless. He was very assertive in his language and the way he presented himself. It scared me that I allowed a man to talk to me and my kids that way. Of course, now my kids are asking questions about abortion and everything else. My son is asking about rape! Let me be clear. I do believe that these are a conversation we need to have but not like this. That man took it upon himself to decide that today is the day of education. I allowed him that control. I felt helpless when I should have stepped up and taken control of the situation. I am disappointed in myself. I am sad for my kids. It is a big mess.

malando

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Re: feeling super triggered today and seeking support
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2017, 12:06:10 PM »
Wow, that was amazingly unprofessional behaviour from a vet! And very dominant, aggressive-male. Sounds like he went on a full blown rant at you. It also sounds like he had you marked as somebody who would allow him to do this because you were in a difficult position: you had kids with you and you had an animal you were concerned about. Talk about using his position and taking advantage of the power differential of the moment! Sounds just awful. I'm very sorry that you were treated that way. He sounds like both a misogynist and ranting maniac all in one. He didn't treat you in a sensitive way and try to help you get to a solution, he just exercised his dominance over the situation based on his role as the animal expert in the room. So yes, that is very abusive behaviour in my book. It's interesting that he's primed with words like "rape" at the ready, and yet he's completely oblivious to his own dominant behaviour.

Although the moment has passed now, I think it wouldn't be out of order to write to the clinic or to him personally and outline your objection to what happened. It won't take back the feeling of being transgressed by that experience, but it might help you to take back some power from this situation. I certainly don't think he deserves to get away with that with no consequences.

Unfortunately you do have consequences because of how it has made you feel and because it has opened up a can of worms with your kids. I know you will deal well with whatever your kids ask you about. Maybe they will even ask about why this man was acting the way he was. At least you can explain to them that the way he was behaving was not ok. I hope you are able to get to a place where you feel less triggered and shaken by this. I think it would rattle almost anybody - it sounds very aggressive. I hope you won't judge yourself too harshly - it really sounds like he just pounced on you with his agenda at a time when you just weren't expecting it. Your concern was on other things like caring for your kids and your animal - the last thing you were geared up for was an attack of this nature. So I think you need to cut yourself a break on this. And you can still address it with the vet/clinic in writing or even by speaking to them if you wish.

I hope you'll be ok.
M.

raven song

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Re: feeling super triggered today and seeking support
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2017, 09:09:29 PM »
You and your children sound like really loving and caring animal people. How wonderful and what a great service you are providing the community - both human and feline!!! 

This isn't your fault. This was an assault. His words were a rape to you and your kids.  A completely inappropriate and vile thing to say in front of kids.  This is COMPLETELY inappropriate customer service especially in front of children. Vets should know better because they interact with families and children all the time.

I'm sorry this happened. it is absolutely bizarre and I probably would have handled it exactly as you did. Who would ever expect such foul and aggressive behavior from a freakin' vet???  I would have been blindsided, not expected an attack while you are holding a rescue cat. 

No children should be exposed to this language. wow...it actually sounds like a form of sexual harassment - but in a weird way because it concerns cats.  This is offensive and emotionally abusive for children to be exposed to words like rape and abortion. 

I completely agree with Malando.  I would add though that I don't think you were an easy mark. I think you were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Also, I would be willing to bet he does this with many of his customers. You are probably not the only one. 

You have every right to report this to the clinic and his supervisor. I would encourage you to do so if you have the energy.   

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He proceeded to sternly lecture me on feeding stray cats and how that is hurting cats and is part of the problem. He said she could be pregnant and probably is and that we should abort and spay asap!
uhm...this is ridiculous. you are rescuing a cat. And I bet that if she were pregnant, you would probably make sure the kittens go to loving homes.  He sounds absolutely violent and not at all caring about cats, strays, and adoption of strays.

As for your kids.  You are being a fantastic role model by getting support on this forum.   Could this be a teaching moment about not accepting abusive language.  Sometimes this happens to people and the right thing to do is get help and support.  It is possible to share with them that this man was completely inappropriate and that you are reporting him to his supervisor?  Maybe share with them that if ever anyone talks to them in this way - you are right there to help support them and defend themselves? 

As for their questions re: rape and abortion. I might be inclined to tell them that these were adult words and conversations and not appropriate for kids at this time. You will talk with them about it when they are at an appropriate age. 

I think the big thing is showing them through your actions that you recognize abuse when it happens (or afterwards when it blindsides you) and that these are the healthy responsible ways to respond.  The best response is in the moment to say, "this is inappropriate, this is not ok."  But sometimes its hard as human beings to know how to respond in the moment and its perfectly ok to think about it afterwards and realize this is not ok and then do something to speak up for oneself and report it to the teacher, adults, supervisors, parents, etc.   Also, speaking up for oneself is a service to the community as well to help prevent this abuse to future clients and their children. 

The barn's burnt down
Now
I can see the moon

malando

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Re: feeling super triggered today and seeking support
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2017, 03:28:43 AM »
I completely agree with Malando.  I would add though that I don't think you were an easy mark. I think you were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Also, I would be willing to bet he does this with many of his customers. You are probably not the only one. 


No, I don't think A25 is an easy mark either, just that she would have been caught off guard - having her children with her and worried about the cat. The last thing you expect in that situation is to be attacked by your vet! I've never heard of such a thing. And I agree, he probably does this a lot. It's an abuse of his power. People just want to help their animals, they don't expect to have a battle with their vet to do that.

aquarius25

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Re: feeling super triggered today and seeking support
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2017, 09:08:33 AM »
So I called to get info on his supervisor after I had calmed down a bit and low and behold he is the owner of the clinic. So I guess the best I can do is leave him a bad yelp review? Lol That just doesn't even seem like enough but I am out of ideas. If anyone here has any, I am all ears!

Of course, my kids, especially my son had all kinds of questions. We have just in the last year had the sex talk with him. I sat them down and told them that this man was out of line. That the world is full of people like this. We talked about what rape is and I answered their questions honestly and lovingly. (also not too graphic either) Then we talked about what our family always talks about....the content of the charact of this situation and how it impacts the world around. My kids discerned that this man was not being caring, respectful, kind, compassionate, or really tolerant of others. We talked about why people are that way and how it is usually from life experiences. They on their own (at 7 & almost10) decided that if they allow their hearts to be impacted by this, over time they would become just as intolerant and unkind. By the end of the discussion, my son said he felt like this was information they probably shouldn't know quite yet and that they should talk about it with other kids. That they felt sad for that man, as he clearly is suffering if he is carrying such a disregard for others, and that they choose to be better than that. My daughter made me promise not to abort the baby kittens. Then they said cholate was needed and they felt baking cookies was an order, lol.

Words cannot describe how amazed I am by my children's response. They are truly remarkable humans. I LOVE them so much. I am so grateful for our effort in teaching them character and a language to process things in life. I love how they were able to go through all of the character traits we talk about and memorize and analyze the situation and figure out what was missing. Then they could see how it impacted others and what outcome they felt was best for the world and not just themselves. I hope and pray that they continue this through their adult life!

Thank you guys and gals for your encouragement and validation. I was so caught off guard. It literally was the last thing I was expecting to encounter at 8:45 am! I am glad that it turned out ok. I am sad that my kids are a little less innocent now but I am confident that they are becoming truly amazing people.

raven song

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Re: feeling super triggered today and seeking support
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2017, 10:55:52 AM »
Aquarius,
Thank you for sharing how you handled it and how your children responded.  This is such a beautiful story and I really needed that right now.  How absolutely amazing your children are! And how AMAZING are you as their mom!

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Words cannot describe how amazed I am by my children's response. They are truly remarkable humans. I LOVE them so much. I am so grateful for our effort in teaching them character and a language to process things in life. I love how they were able to go through all of the character traits we talk about and memorize and analyze the situation and figure out what was missing. Then they could see how it impacted others and what outcome they felt was best for the world and not just themselves. I hope and pray that they continue this through their adult life!
  What a breath of fresh air. my faith in humanity is restored. it is obvious that you and your children have kind hearts.  They are a lesson of how wonderfully powerful compassion and forgiveness is.  It sounds like their hearts were full of love and compassion. They sound so incredibly wise. 

Wow, so he's the owner of the clinic.  Wow.  So I agree with the yelp review.  This is so incredibly out of line.  I wonder if their is some sort of certification board for vets where one can report such bad behavior as this. You might not want to put the effort into reporting him to the board. 

I went to a very powerful Jungian lecture a few weeks backs on the importance of animals for psychological health.  The speaker said that cats and dogs can teach us the mysteries of life - especially birth and death.  If your kitty companion is pregnant, what a WONDERFUL experience for your children to witness pregnancy and birth of sweet little kittens. 
The barn's burnt down
Now
I can see the moon

raven song

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Re: feeling super triggered today and seeking support
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2017, 10:59:40 AM »
Quote
No, I don't think A25 is an easy mark either, just that she would have been caught off guard - having her children with her and worried about the cat. The last thing you expect in that situation is to be attacked by your vet! I've never heard of such a thing. And I agree, he probably does this a lot. It's an abuse of his power. People just want to help their animals, they don't expect to have a battle with their vet to do that
  Thanks for clarifying Malando.  When these things happen, it is so easy to turn on oneself and ask "what did I do to make this happen to me."  so I wanted to emphasize that this wasn't her fault at all. these are the words I would want to hear. :-)

I agree with you - she was caught off guard with her children. I think this vet is probably use to having a whole lot of power and exerting this power in front of moms and their kids.  I wonder how he is with men?  just curious. 
The barn's burnt down
Now
I can see the moon