Service Dog

There are many different arguments as to what a service go should be considered. Some say they are strictly regarded as medical equipment, some say companion. I am somewhere in the middle.

Lera is my companion and my medical equipment, when on duty (vested) she knows the difference between playtime and work time. She is not allowed to seek attention, or whine. She must sit a certain way, act a certain way, and perform a certain way as to the standards set for public access.

When the vest is taken off, she's a completely different dog. She jumps and plays, licks me, whines, begs for attention and belly rubs. She is the biggest bed hog for being so tiny, but I've come to find that the only reason she hogs the bed is because she wants to lay as close to me as possible and then I end up scooting over and she moves with me until I'm on the edge of the bed. She has no sense of personal space, she will climb on top of my and lay her head next to mine. She wants love and in a way that's exactly what I need from her. At home I need that distraction to keep me from having a panic attack.

Now comes the medical part, vested or not, she knows when I'm going to have a panic attack before even I do. One of my biggest problems is I do not recognize my attack until it's too late to take the medicine to prevent it. She recognizes the littlest changes in my behavior right down to the tone of my voice. As I start showing little signs she first tries to play with me as I taught her to do, she jumps in my lap and licks my face trying to distract me. When the signs progress, or ignore her she "bothers" me, this is supposed to be a signal for "go get your medicine mom" trying to remind me now is the time. The final stage is retrieval, when I am laying on the ground crying and withering, she picks up my medicine bag and brings it to me. Another pouch is on her vest for cases when I am not at home. She may not be on duty at home, but she knows what her task is no matter what. Take care of me.

Training her is the hard part. She wasn't born into the life of a service dog that's for sure. She was a rescue pup that I adopted through fosters parents. The hard thing is, I have no solid information on her past and had to figure out things quickly to tell if she would be a good candidate. She had no previous training and at the time they were even feeding her table scraps which is a no no if I'm going to be brining her to eating establishments with me. For example, when I first adopted her I quickly found out that she didn't like it when men of a certain stature approached me, she was very protective at first she would stand in front of me a growl a little but then walk away. I quickly figured out that some time in her past a man similar had hurt her, if it had been severe I would have to search for a different dog but thankfully I desensitized her to it and she is friendly to everyone. Training is a perpetually ongoing process, she will never be done. I have such a hard time with it because my anxiety tells me she's not ready to go out, or the trainers helping me want to see what we have worked on and I get so scared I cancel the appointments. My anxiety stops me from training her to help my anxiety, can you see the conundrum there? But after some time she has come together with her training through time and effort.

Now back to growling, since that problem was extinguished there has been only one other instance she has growled. There is a lot of controversy surrounding how service dogs should act and that is one of them. But I believe she acted exactly how she should. To replay the scene, I was walking her in the little grass strip between my dorm and a raised parking lot (walls on either side) first problem, I'm claustrophobic. In this setting it wasn't that bad since we were just walking. Another college student who seemed to have some other sort of social disability saw me and came running towards me. He stopped at the entrance of the alley and started saying something about how dogs aren't allowed and dorms and what was I doing with a dog. I repeatedly told him to stay away and he started to move closer and closer, the claustrophobic feeling kicked in and I had a bit of a PTSD flashback and started to cry getting scared and hyperventilating. It was in this one circumstance that Lera stood in front of me and growled at the boy scaring him off. I'm sure he probably had no intentions of hurting me, but in a dark alley way in pajamas my only thoughts were that of what had happened to me before. In this case she protected me and helped my PTSD, its more likely in my episode I might have attacked him had he gotten any closer. I believe firmly that she did the right thing.

Now this all boils down to the attention she draws which isn't easy. Anywhere I go people want to pet her, or argue she isn't allowed. The latter can be solved by legal ruling which I have printed on cards for businesses to read and then there isn't a problem. Most places in the state of Texas have been familiarized with the legal standing of service dogs and their treatment (lest they be sued). The former problem is much harder. People constantly want to pet her and draw her attention and in a way I can't blame them, she is adorable. It's bad enough she doesn't exactly look like the standard service dog, some German shepherd or golden retriever, she's a stubby little corgi mix which is absolutely adorable. Giant service dogs usually are needed for severe cases (not always) like mobility and such where the dog must help a person up or pull a wheel chair. She is needed for PTSD, personal therapy, grounding, and medical retrieval. She's perfect for what I need, but she's also absolutely stinking cute on top of that she still looks like a puppy 😑. It's easy enough to say, please do not pet my service dog. And generally people understand, the hard one is little kids who don't understand at all. As a person who loves kids with every inch of my body, it's hard to tell them no. I generally take it as a learning opportunity with the ones who ask, I tell them she is a special dog that helps people and that she can't be pet because she needs to focus and usually answer their questions. Then there are the kids who's parents don't watch them, or care what they do that pet her when I'm not looking, or don't listen. In these circumstances there is no way to reason with the child, so I either ask their parent politely to inform their child not to play with my service dog (or pull her tail that happened when I wasn't looking once) or if this doesn't work I simply move away which can be difficult if I'm grocery shopping and needed something in that isle. I come back later because people sometimes cannot be reasoned with, I don't blame the children, they don't know any better I blame the parents for not caring enough to watch out for their children or tell them to stop. I mean that with no type of malice, People aren't perfect. The next problem is attention, since people can't pet her, they resort to staring, they whisper to each other when they think I can't hear, some are fine just about her being so cute, others get to me. Sometimes they whisper about how I don't look like I have a disability and must be faking, some whisper about how She can't be a real service dog since she's not one of the German shepherd or big service dogs. Usually I just make eye contact with these people and it embarrasses them enough to walk away. The nicest people I would say are the veterans generally, many have PTSD and also have similar service dogs to fit their needs. Every now and then I stumble on one who gets angry saying how can I have PTSD if I never fought in a war but usually it's just personal anger at the cards life has dealt them and I don't react. The constant stares used to make me anxious but I've realized it's never going to stop and they really are just interested so I got over it. Sometimes she attracts even worse attention such as when I was attacked by a schizophrenic woman in a Walmart (I'll tell you about it in my next post). She attracts a lot of attention but her service is worth it.

Another reason she is perfect for my needs is the task of caring for another creature. I cannot to be blunt, kill my self for the sake that I am responsible for her. If I did who would look after her? Who would feed her and care for her like I do? I know someone would but with that mind set it helps me a lot. On top of that it helps with my depression, I have a hard time getting motivated to get out of bed. She forces me out of bed to take her outside to pee and to feed her. The responsibility of having her alone is help to my condition.

My service dog is in a way medical equipment, I think people restrict themselves to that belief so that when their dog dies they won't hurt as much and be able to train another dog in its place, but I could never do that and emotionally not get attached. But she is also my best friend, she snuggles with me to keep me safe from my nightmares and help me fall asleep due to my insomnia. She plays with me and when I cry she tries and lick the tears away. In a sense that's what I need out of her most is the therapy. Her unconditional love is my therapy in a way. There is so much I could write about her and probably will but simply put….We are so similar in personality that we just fit each other perfectly, and I love her unconditionally back.

As I've written this whole thing, she has slept in the crook of my arm nuzzled against me.
Thank you Lera,
AmeliaOphelia

Caught Up

YAY! I think I got the majority of the posts I really wanted to keep around, up on this site! Thank you for bearing with me.
Anyways updates….
what has changed since I last postedπŸ€”

Well I’ve decided I want to try and work towards getting off my medicine. Currently I am on Lamictal, Buspar, Klonopin, and Ativan. I think the goal is to stay with klonopin and Ativan for a little while longer.

I just returned from New Mexico from the mountains! So you will get plenty of pictures of my trip. Pro-tip: Don’t go horse back riding and line dancing all in one day, you will regret it! It was nice to be with the family and just enjoy some time off. I also took my annual aspen tree hugging pic! For those of you who don’t know my favorite tree is the aspen, I have a water color tattoo of an aspen leaf on my hip. I’m the photos below you will see my many adventures as well as a wild Ame in the bushes! 😜


Lera is doing wonderful! Her training is really coming along and soon she will be ready to take on classes with me!!!

I go back to college soon! I’m moving into an apartment with a friend and a mutual acquaintance. I’m a little nervous but I am really hoping it will work out in the end, she’s a bit pushy and I’m a pushover 😬 but I love going school shopping so that’s fun. Band is coming up in about two weeks!!! I’m going to be a music tech and I cannot wait! We are doing a Disney themed show and a Beatles themed show, it’s going to be totally awesome!

Currently I’m getting caught up on my reading and working out. I stumbled upon this website called ThriftBooks, and it’s changed my life 😍 the books are so so so cheap!! When you order anything over 10$ the shipping is free and every 50$ you get 5$ off! Almost every book I want is in good condition and under 4$ I’m in love with this site. (Currently reading: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, getting caught up on everything Riordin ((now that he’s my step uncle I feel like I owe that to him lol)), re-reading Harry Potter, Fruits Baskets manga, Oran Host Club manga, and Fairy Tail manga.)) If you have any book recommendations PLEASE leave a comment.

I’ve become obsessed with Webtoons, but I hate the wait every week! I’m on there at midnight just waiting for the next update! (Favorites: Lookism, Sirens Lament, UnOrdinary, WinterWoods, Goatz, Adventures of God, My Assassin Roommate, Miss Abbot and the Doctor, Late Bloomer, and Lumine) any recommendations please leave a comment.

My Harry Potter page that I’m an admin of is doing great! Remember it’s St. Mungo’s Hospital on Facebook if you ever want to join! We have tons of fun stuff to do on the page.

AmeliaOphelia

What is Love?

Thoughts at 2 am. 
I lay awake with my eyes closed and ponder the idea of love. They say it's just a chemical reaction in your mind to force to reproduce….. but spiritually I say it's more. I've been in love, I've seen love, love that looked so pure and sweet. But….. I know love is not kind love is not pure. They say that all the time when the point is…. love isn't supposed to be kind.

I lay here listening to beautiful rises and falls of a piano accompanied by strings. One of my favorite combinations, the rich piano and the warm strings….. they blend so beautifully, but they are not the same. As I listen, every song brings what looks like a memory, but is a dream that has never happened and if it ever will…. I don't know yet. Each piece strikes a cord in my heart and I picture a scene with the one… or what I imagine is the one and it seems so right with him. But that's not for me to decide and for now I can only hold on to those images and hope. It's almost strange and how sureal they look, I can see him slightly aged… sitting on a porch swing swaying in the breeze. Myself slightly older with my feet curled up on the swing beside me. I sit in the crook of his arm and we watch the dogs run around the grassy yard as sun rays beam down on us. These are the dreams I wish came every night and would stay forever. 

Now the truth is achieving that is not going to be quite so easy. You may be wondering how I came to the conclusion of love is hard when I'm picturing so many beautiful things. With these images I also see an abyss between us, like two platforms holding us miles apart. There are problems in love, it's not rainbows and sunshine. Maybe it feels that way at first, I see the pictures and feel my heart leap, but it's not real. There are obstacles so vastly many.

Love is full of challenges, but that is what makes it love. If we just give up at the smallest things, or even the hardest challenge, was it ever really love? It wasn't true. Love means fighting and climbing an impossible mountain. It means jumping into the abyss not knowing what's down there but just hoping you will come out on the otherside and find them still there. Sometimes love is cruel, and the person has turned the other direction looking at another platform far off. Is it still worth the jump? 

Love may be a chemical in our brains…. but that doesn't make it any less real in our hearts. 

Love may be standing on the edge of the abyss…. but would you rather stand on the platform alone forever? 

Love may be climbing an impossible mountain….. but have you ever seen the view from the top of a mountain? 

The mountain is the embodiment of love, it's challenging, you have to fight to climb it. You might get lost along the way. And when you get to the top you may find something you weren't expecting. Love is not kind, but it is beautiful, love is not pure, but it is warm. Love is not about feeling butterflies every time they walk through the door, don't get confused with infatuation. Love is feeling safe when they are near, even if they may look like a tooth pick…. love is laying beside them and just looking into their eyes despite nothing being said. Love is waking from a nightmare and smelling their scent and suddenly the rush of calm. Love is gross, it's getting to know every inch of a persons soul even the dark spots, and the taboo things you're not supposed to do in public like burp but not caring. Love is knowing you may have gone through hell, but it was all worth it.
AmeliaOphelia

My Mind

I saw HIM today at the grocery store…. the one who hurt me. Ha, couldn't that be a lot of people. I broke down, I tried to run, I tried to hide but in the end I just stood there like the terrified little lamb I am. Did he see me? I can't be sure. But part of me hopes he did and thinks back to that day full of joy when he took me and did unspeakable things to my body. Things I don't even tell people to this day. Funny I see him now when tomorrow I see my therapist tomorrow to talk about specifically that day. 

She believes a lot of my issues are linked back to that day and that I should talk it out and maybe I can move past it. But how do you move past someone you trusted and loved…. violating your body? They say evil is among us, and that psychopaths walk and talk just like you and me…. but they never said they could make you fall in love with them and trust them without ever realizing what his beneath. It's been years and I still can barely say the word….. rape….. there it's out. I can't even associate it to myself. It's almost like it happened to someone else, not me. They said it was a repressed memory that I'm only now realizing happened. It wasn't just some dream. The nightmare was real. 

AmeliaOphelia

My Mind

You wrote me stories and songs that filled my heart. We watched shows and movies that Now I cannot even bear to look at. I feel as if I can never come home for the fear of seeing you, and the one who used to be my sister. I hate you, yet all I can feel is love and forgiveness for you both. "The merry go round of life" still haunts my dreams, yet every day I find myself thinking of you less and less. But the day you ran away you stole a piece of my heart, a piece of the "teacup" you promised to care for. In the end, maybe I made a mistake trusting you but that's just part of life. While I may not think of you every waking moment, thanks to the prayers I sang that I could let you go someday, you still are there in my mind hurting me. While you do not deserve it, you are forgiven because I cannot learn to hate. Every day that I go without thinking of you, I rejoice over the darkness those days lack….
But in the end you stole a piece of me that I am never getting back…..
AmeliaOphelia 

Fight The Stigma

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1465290676817827&id=642709969075906

This video is extremely important for anyone who has, or may be going through the traumatic experience of handling sexual assault. It has been about 2 years since I was raped and I am finally now only beginning to say the word itself out loud. I personally know what it's like to face that internal struggle of constant blame. You blame yourself for it happening, you blame yourself for not doing something to stop it, you blame yourself for not telling anyone, and if you do tell someone you blame yourself for doing that. I constantly find myself feeling very alone and feeling like it was entirely my fault that it happened, which is exactly why I never told anyone that happened until very recently. I tried to fight back but I was as said in the video, not the perfect victim, he was my boyfriend and to me I thought that meant no one would believe a word I said. Everyone thinks that a victim should act a certain way after being assaulted or raped. The truth is that many of us go out of our way to make it look like nothing ever happened, that we are just living out our every day lives. Many people think that a victim should flinch at another's touch or be scared of intimacy. For me it became claustrophobia and an increase in anxiety attacks, a constant fear of being alone, not just physically but mentally. I had always been paranoid of going anywhere alone but it developed into something larger, it was like a hole in my heart, this need to have someone emotionally to take care of me and keep me safe. I am ashamed to admit that this led me to online dating because it wasn't so much that I didn't think I could find anyone (while that was a part of it) it was more that I didn't want to wait to find someone. I had to have someone to fill the hole in my soul immediately. As I have been going through my process I realized this and put an end to the search and decided to let love come to me for the right reason, and find a way to take care of myself emotionally at least to some degree. There is no such thing as a "perfect victim" and I see in the world that there are not enough people out there that realize this. I hope that people reading this will see that and end the stigma around sexual assult and the stereotyping of victims, that someday I can talk freely (in person) about my experience without people thinking I'm just seeking attention or that I just changed my mind afterwards and cried rape. 

Now on a separate note that is somewhat related, it is also important to know what is love. One of the many reasons that I did not say anything about my rape, is because I loved him and thought that he loved me. Many times in an abbusive relationship we continually convince ourselves that they still love us despite what they do, may it be verbal or physical, we can even convince ourselves that they do it because they love us. I was convinced that it was my fault because I wouldn't just give in to his "needs" as he called them. As humans we have an impeccable skill of convincing ourselves of things that are not true. I am attaching a picture that has a list of the warning signs of an abussive relationship and I hope that it may help at least a few people out there. I know this is a shorter paragraph for something so monumental but I originally wanted this post to be dedicated to sexual assault. I will be posting a more in depth "fight the stigma" post soon about abussive relationships. 

Thanks for tuning in,
AmeliaOphelia

Sing Song Time With Ame

This is one of my personal favorites and I have been working on it for quite some time now! It's finally finished and I will get around to posting a video for y'all at some point πŸ™‚ Hope you enjoy it!

Whisper 

Darlin' don't go now
it's too late to see out
Who knows whats out there 
just come back o'er here
Lay down your weary head
and I'll rest my eyes 
When we awake
who knows what we'll find

As the stars pass by they whisper in my ear
hold him close girl 
hold him dear 

As the chill sets in
and it tingles my skin 
I pull him close and I hold him tight 

At morning light I whisper darling 
I'll love you for the rest of my years 

you stand up and stretch out 
the sun now has come up 
you say babe I've got to go 
but I know that you're mine 
as I sigh and resign 
I know you'll be back soon 
and laying beside me 

Chorus

So don't forget who you are 
because you're here in my heart 

I'm not letting go no matter how hard. 

Thanks for Tuning in,
AmeliaOphelia

Relatable

Advice Number 2: Don't use people's real names incase they stumble upon this site 💛💛😂😂
Anyways relatable post

Do you ever just wake up and stumble in the bathroom and just instantly cringe when you see your reflection 😂😂? My reflection showed a very scared lion this morning. 
AmeliaOphelia