Bowlby’s theory of attachment* suggests that we come into the world pre-programmed to form attachment with others because attachment is crucial for our survival in life. When said attachment breaks, this leads to seperation anxiety.
If you have ever loved anyone to the point of distraction and lost them you will fully know what I mean by seperation anxiety without having had to study it like I did, I got an A btw (mashallah me). We’ve all had to face it at one point or another. I was the mayor of seperation anxiety town for a while. Actually, I feel like I am heading there again.
I have no idea why we are like this. To exist, you need oxygen, water and sustenance, sure. But to grow and to feel nurtured you need more. You need that shoulder to lean on and ultimately, cynical though I am about such matters, even I have the balls to admit that God didn’t equip us with the necessary skills to be alone and fully functioning emotionally. Something’s always missing. We were made to crave companionship. I don’t mean love either. Because that fades. The older I get the more I honeslty feel that love has an expiry date. Companionship, I like to think, lasts a lot longer.
A few years ago, my colleague’s dog died and if memory serves she was so distraught that she took a day off. As a staff team, everyone decided to send her a card which they asked me to sign. I had no idea what to write. I saw that people had written sorry for your loss and I remember thinking at the time, “oh my Lord, it’s a dog, my grandfather died last year, that was a loss. This is blown out of proportion.”
Yeah, pretty heartless I know. But being Arab and Asian, the culture sometimes tended to teach you that animals are dirty and don’t smell of roses. That you should keep away from them etc etc. Or it did when I was growing up. Maybe times have changed. So I never was fond of them growing up. And honestly that hasn’t changed much today.
But, I have since then acquired a cat. It wasn’t planned at all but it happened. We took Shadow (that’s her name) from her home when she was like 7 weeks old. That’s a week earlier than you should take them from their mother, I think. She was distraught. I guess she was going through seperation anxiety.
The guilt alone was enough motivation for getting over my fear of touching her and making her feel better. I let her sleep on me for hours everyday and I guess she found the warmth comforting enough to finally settle. I in turn, became ridiculously attached to her. I hate the cat lady stereotype and the “my pet is my baby” stereotype even more.
The way I see it, you have taken responsibility for another soul who relies on you for care, comfort and sustenance and you have to see that through. And I finally get why my colleague was so attached to her dog and fully respect her feelings of grief for losing him now that I have Shadow.
Attachment is a female dog. It really is. The person or thing you get attached to doesn’t always reciprocate the noble feels you vomit all over them and there isn’t a single thing you can do about it. Other than I suppose look in the mirror, have words with yourself, give up the habit, bleed the withdrawal symptoms out and move on.
I have no doubt that if I died, this cat would eat me to survive. But I still love the cow. Meh. Meanwhile. She is not very well. My mother and neighbour insist she is dying which is annoying. Inshallah not. She has an infection but she has stopped eating and drinking. Send happy thoughts my way please.
*you clearly have access to the internet, find your own reference.