Help! I Don’t Know How I’m Supposed to Feel
I am autistic and often have trouble figuring out how I should feel. Can you help me?
I found out today that one of the puppies I bred has been killed in a car accident.
My dog, Shen, had five puppies on April 23rd, 2020. I named them according to their order of birth, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta and Echo.
Today I learned that Bravo, renamed Pablo, died after being hit by a car earlier this year. I wonder if she delayed the news because she thought I might be upset. She announced the death the day after what would have been Bravo’s third birthday.
I replied immediately to say how sorry I was and thanked her for letting me know. I said how hard it must have been for her to write such sad news.
Then I gathered our two dogs, Shen and Jazz, and set out for our usual walk followed by a coffee. Walking home in the sunshine, feeling quite happy, I realised I should probably be sad.
There is often a disconnect between my thoughts and feelings, and I have often practised responding to difficult news in the way I think I should rather than in the way I really do. Maybe it stems from childhood. When my parents solemnly sat me down to tell me my grandfather had died, I quite cheerfully replied: “OK, can I go and play with Timmy now?” I remember they were quite shocked, and I think I might have gotten into trouble, but I have a habit of forgetting unpleasant things.
So, when I arrived home today after my coffee, I looked at photos of Bravo (always Bravo to me, not Pablo) and watched a couple of videos of him. Like this one: