We have been experiencing a massive heatwave over the past few days. Temperatures have soared up to 45C (113 F ). Add humidity to the heat and you get...a very unpleasant situation. I am in a very irritable mood. I have got Little B back with me and trying to get this kid caught up so she can start school in time is beginning to feel like pulling teeth. I haven't been feeling well- there is a heaviness on my chest that won't go away. On top of this I have had to listen to my grandmother calling, shouting, screaming mostly my Dad's name ( who she thinks is her husband ) I think it's the mood I've been in that has a lot to do with what happened.
So....the rabbits. With all the holiday stuff and other important topics coming up I never mentioned that last month both Basil and Buttercup escaped from their pen. Rabbit's cute and cuddly facade makes us forget that they are actually wild creatures and once they have tasted freedom there is no going back. The last time I saw Basil I was looking at him from a window upstairs. He had just come out from the bushes in our garden and was standing up on his haunches. Then suddenly he raced across the garden and behind the house, I had never seen him move so fast.
We found Buttercup later that day and were able to catch her and bring her back, the pen was unreliable so we put her upstairs on the landing. You would have never seen a more miserable bunny, she sat there for hours not moving or reacting to anything. The next day I was really sick and really down, my Mom came to me and went on and on about how sad and lonely Buttercup was and said we should either let her go, outside the farm or find a sanctuary for her. My Mom had the best of intentions but her timing sucked as it REALLY wasn't a good time for me to hear that. Racked with guilt, I took her outside and let her go.
For about two weeks different people saw her here and there. No one could get within ten feet of her. I was grieving. I saw her one day in the grass up by the workshops near our house, sniffing around the grass. But one morning one of the labourers managed to catch her and brought her back to the house. My Mom opened the door to see this guy holding her by the ears and her kicking and struggling for dear life. When my Mom held her she immediately calmed down. She brought her up to my room- I was still in bed- she came to me without a struggle and spent the next half an hour lying on my chest while I stroked her ears.
Buttercup in a weird way seemed to be happy to be back. We set up a place for her on my parents balcony and she the run of the house. She liked to hang out with me when I was either on the computer or watching a movie or reading. She slept with me in my room sometimes- normally she would get a pillow thrown at her for trying to eat my books. And this rabbit would win any staring contest- she would stare at me for ages as though she was figuring out some great mystery about me. Everything told me that, despite episodes here and there of boredom ( come on I couldn't entertain her all the time), she was a very content rabbit.
But then my Dad started to work on me. He never liked either of the rabbits and I think that it was because rabbit was considered to be a Christmas Lunch or something when he was growing on me. Also, while my body was still trying to get used to Amitriptyline I was out of it and my Mom had to do most of the rabbit work ( eg cleaning the balcony, emptying her litter) for me. At first he tried to talk me into giving Buttercup away which I refused- she was my baby and things were going well. Then he demanded that I get rid of her, unfortunately my Mom had also grown attached to Buttercup and ruled him out on that one. So he began to use his secret weapon on me, one that has always worked- guilt. He began to reason with me that she was a wild animal and that I was cruel for keeping her in the house. He said if I really loved her than I would set her free and if she came back to me she was mine, if she didn't then she never was. When he said that to me I almost asked him why he hadn't done the same thing with my Mom. All this over a rabbit?
Yes I began to feel terrible and horribly horribly guilty again. The worst thing someone can do to me is to pull the guilt trip on me about somebody or something I love. I will start to see things that aren't even there. My Mom told me that Buttercup was a happy rabbit and she loved being with me but she had an instinct that took over when she was in the wild. I really began to believe she was unhappy and that I was being cruel. Last night we were having supper outside and I couldn't bear to leave her in our dark sitting room, so I opened the door to see if she would come out and go back inside. She came out and raced around the garden, her eyes alight and she seemed to delight in the fact that she go inside the house and go back outside. Then when it started to get really dark I noticed that she was heading outside the garden and toward the road. I turned quickly to put salad dressing on my salad and (stupid) when I turned back she was gone.
I have no idea where she could have gone- we searched all around the area last night and got up early this morning to look but it's as though she has evaporated into thin air. My Mom has offered a reward for anyone who brings her back. But I just have a feeling that she's gone for good this time. I hope for her sake she headed toward the forest and not toward the orchids or labourer cottages. It was only afterwards that I realised what I did....I let guilt rule my head and listened to my Dad's crap and set a rabbit, who didn't know any better, free during a heatwave, on an apple farm where they spray the orchids daily with pesticide, where there are dogs and people that would see her as a great pot roast. Now it might seem ridiculous that there is all this drama over a rabbit but if you are smart, you might see that the rabbit is just the tip of the iceberg.
Beside feeling like the worlds biggest fool, I feel like I have failed and like I have been rejected all over again. Something as simple as this can re- open old wounds from the past. Not even a damn rabbit wants me. It has also made me realise once again the power that my father still has over me. His words have shaped who I am now and like a fool I let him continue to define who I am. He has an extremely low self esteem and the only way he knows how to deal with it is to strike out and make someone else feel like crap. He is also addicted to the power the parenthood has given him over another person and he has used it cruelly. He was powerless when he was growing up and he is on a lifelong mission to take it back. When will this cycle be broken?
I shall miss my precious bunny. kissing and stroking her silky head and feeling the kiss of her little nose and whiskers on my face. I loved her bunny ears so much and I hope and pray that she will be safe.
I wish I was in a country right now with Arctic weather. It's easier to get warm than it is to get cool