This is a rant post, so be warned. I know that other people have problems. I know that their problems are their problems and to them, their problems are huge and big and unwieldy. I know this, and if we are friends and I love you I want to hear about your life and listen and help you (if this what you want) navigate whatever it is you are navigating.
But if we are not friends and you have your problems and you’re passive aggressively complaining because I didn’t immediately bow down to your problems, let’s be clear: there needs to be some perspective for me to relate and empathise to your problems.
Here are the problems I live with everyday: watching my son stop breathing while he seizes, praying he comes out of it and doesn’t change colour and lose all his developmental progress. Fighting to see our neurologist to help with meds to help his seizures, who can’t see us because the nhs is chronically underfunded and the neurodisability service at our hospital is in crisis and doesn’t have any available appointments at all during the next six months. Trying to keep my son from vomiting, so he can keep his meds down and have less seizures (and the washing and comforting and changing that comes with the multiple times a day vomiting). How to manage my son so he can be part of this world (when he can’t see, speak, move or eat independently). Managing our chronic grief because my son has a terminal disorder, is on palliative and hospice care, because his disorder is terminal with no cure or effective treatment.
Problems which I don’t think are problems I, specifically, need to manage or allocate effort to: your phobia of dogs.
Not because I have a fear of dogs (I do not, I love dogs) but because the severity of what we live with day to day is so chronically at the other end of the scale, up there with literally life and death decision making and kids that literally die and suffer, that a phobia, something which has a solid treatment option (even when its hard and requires work and effort) and options to avoid the trigger (again, still hard and requires work and effort), is not even a blip on the scale. Truth, if I could swap our life with NKH and it’s seizures and death and grief for a dog phobia, I would in a heartbeat.
In short I’m in a not-conflict. Because the person who has a phobia of dogs doesn’t know our story (and also doesn’t want to know). And sure, I could probably be more tolerant and kind, but also, catering to strangers not-problems is emotionally draining and my emotional plate is full of already draining things.
Also, just so you know: service/therapy dogs that are certified and trained appropriately aren’t pets.
Also: We don’t even have a dog. I wish we did, though.