Friday, January 7, 2011

Sad news from Rabbit Land.....

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


  1. Oh Stephi! :(

    My heart broke when reading this... but you were wrong - Buttercup DID come back to you... just not in the way that you thought she would - when one of the labourers brought her back to you - God works in mysterious ways. Please don't give up on her or her love for you... as she obviously loves you - she showed it when she calmed down when put back in your arms...

    Your Dad sounds a LOT like my Dad - but I've had more time to not let his guilt trips or HIS way of thinking affect me anymore... you'll get there yourself one day... it's just hard when you're living with him and surrounded by his comments all the time... not that it gets easier when you live on your own, but it helps - A LOT!

    I have faith that your darling Buttercup will come back to you... I am saying a special prayer that she hurries back... you two deserve to be together... it's not like you're raising a cub who will turn into a BEAR one day! Lots of people have bunnies has pets....

    I can't wait to hear when she does come back... but in the meantime, know that she is okay... have faith she is being taken care of ...

    ((Much love and HUGS))

  2. Thsnks Christine, your kind words and optimism means a lot to me.

    I did quiet a bit of research on rabbits when I got them and I discovered that the kind of rabbits I had weren't really meant to be kept as pets. I also found out that a rabbit can travel far and very fast, so realistically I think she is long gone. Like you said, you never know. Maybe she has gone to find Basil:)


  3. I feel your pain Stephi and I'm so sorry you lost your two little friends =( I had a cat that I somewhat adopted in my college years and he had moved into every place I had ever lived since leaving my home. He died 2 years ago and I kid you not I mourned him for over a month breaking down into tears. I went about another years seeing him out of the corner of my eye in places he used to roam in the house or 'feeling' him jump on the bed. Heartbreaking.

    I also can relate to what you are saying about your dad. It's really strange with me because sometimes his comments hurt like daggers to the heart and other times they just roll off my skin with no thought. He hasn't changed--it's how I respond. I don't seem to have control over this though other than feeling good and feeling horrible. When I'm well I give back just as good as I get, but when it's the reverse I want to crawl into a hole and never come out.

    I hope you feel better soon and I'm pulling for you =)

  4. Thanks Miss Running! I really do miss them both so much but especially Buttercup because I had her longer and bonded with her. I'm also always expecting to see out of the corner of my eye. I just hope that she's safe and happy.

    I have a lot of work to do in order to stay unaffected by what my Dad says, but I will get there. This has been a big lesson for me and I am going to use it to my advantage.

  5. Oh Stephi, I know how much you love bunnies and you have such a tender and sensitive heart. And even though logically we tell ourselves that we have to let certain animals who are wild by nature be free, it IS very heart breaking when they seem to disappear. I'm so sorry that your father was so cruel and insensitive. Someday you will have your own place and have lots of furbabies to love. I wish we lived closer so you could come over and play with my two "girls" and I. Abandonment seems to come up a lot for you lately, and it's important to find others whether it's a therapist, certain family members, people who love you from your blog and friends to really stand by you. Ask for what you need, even though I know it can be incredibly difficult when you're feeling so alone. I tend to isolate myself a lot when I'm feeling depressed. Thank you so much for always being you, incredibly honest, compassionate and loving. Big hugs to you.

  6. Hey Wendy, I miss my babies so much and I just want to hold them again- I still haven't cleared away Buttercup's water and feeding bowls because then it would be set in stone that she really is gone. I have even been playing with a stupid ribbon I put around her neck on Christmas Day and she landed up chewing it to peices.

    Asking for help, especially for something emotional is really hard. For some reason I always find it embaressing to let people know that I am hurting.

    Thanks for your kind words. You are a good friend:)