September 2019
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hateful anonymous comments / shame over Mercury's death

icon: "overwhelmed (the character Keenan from "Playing By Heart," with hands over their face covering their eyes and head tilted back)"

So today was really shitty. Someone posted anonymously on two of my posts, on my hpv post calling me "promiscuous" (as if that's a thing) which wouldn't have bothered me if not for the other comment they left, saying that people shouldn't listen to me about cat food because I "poisoned and murdered" my betta fish. It was more than a year and a half ago that I wrote about Mercury's death.

That brought up all my guilt and regret over that... [TW/CN for death of pet fish]In the moment it felt so awful I felt like I was in a nightmare. My fish had gotten injured, its eye was swollen to 10 times normal size, seemed in pain, barely moved, wasn't eating. I felt bad for it and didn't want it to slowly starve to death in pain, and looked up ways to euthanize it. I watched a video where someone used clove to put their fish to sleep for a surgery (in a low dose you can use it as an anesthetic). It looked peaceful, painless, kind.

But when I tried it, I must have done something wrong, because my fish didn't peacefully drift off. It was clear that it was upset -- it had barely moved for three days and when I added the clove it started thrashing.
I felt so awful. I regret it so deeply. I hate myself for it. I feel like I should have not tried something like that, I should have waited longer to see if my fish would improve. If I could go back in time I would undo it. I worry that the fish wasn't in pain at all until I caused pain and suffering and death. Maybe I killed it because looking at it stressed me out and I projected my suffering. I hate that I did this. I feel deeply ashamed.

I'm mentioning it now because this is how I cope with being afraid people will learn something shameful about me and hate me: I confess. Now you can make your choice and avoid me if you need to.

A few weeks ago Pluto (my last betta, which I got when I got Mercury) died, and I couldn't bear to move the body for days because I was worried that maybe it wasn't really dead and maybe I'd take it out and it would suffer and die from shock (it was very old and had been lethargic for months). I just... I could hardly process the death. I couldn't have borne accidentally causing another of my fish to suffer so much that it died.

Anyway the fact that this person clearly has been reading my stuff for a long time, wanted to discredit me, and wanted to hurt me is really disturbing. I think it was someone who was angry about me criticizing intellectual elitism and use of the slur st*pid. I have had plenty of trolls over the years, but trolls don't know how to hurt me. This person did. I don't know who it was, but congratulations, you hurt me. I have no defense about this: it was wrong and I wish I hadn't done it.

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hands_cupped ══╣╠══
Um... that person sounds like a kind of evil coward.

I am so sorry to hear about your fish, that is a heartbreaking story. But you did your research and you did what you thought was best for it. Even if it WAS a mistake, it wasn't cruelty, and you learned. I know that doesn't change what happened and I totally understand the need to grieve, and any feelings you have on it are valid. But it also doesn't change the fact that you are a deeply compassionate person. you think a lot about how your action affect others, more than almost anyone else I know, you are so thorough and considerate and full of love. That person, on the other hand, set out to hurt you. They're the ones people shouldn't listen to, because their understanding of humaneness does not seem particularly logical or valid. I doubt they even give a crap about the fish and are just trying to push your buttons.

If they are in fact angry that you criticized intellectual elitism and slurs, and are lashing out because of it, they're the ones who are unable to face themselves even though clearly you struck a chord and they could benefit from some self-reflection. Well, they could regardless, but are probably way too cowardly to do it. You're on a completely different level than that asshole. I'm sorry again for your loss, you deserve support and condolences and no judgment.

[Below is a story about euthanizing an injured rat and the unintentional suffering that ensued, this is a content notice in case you don't want to read it]


Not long ago, I had to help euthanize a rat. We had a few in the house and my mother is terrified and insisted on using the kill traps even though it hurt me so much I could barely breathe and the sound of the snapping pierced through into my dreams. I put out a no-kill trap too in hopes to compete but it wasn't effective. Anyway. Sad thing - one rat set off a trap and it got hurt, then its whisker got caught too but it wasn't dead, just trapped and breathing heavily, slowly dying. I don't know 100% for sure if it would have died on its own but it seemed highly probable and it was also almost definitely suffering. So my partner and I put it in a bag and then euthanized it with the exhaust pipe in my running parked car. My partner said he had done this before with his very ill hamster and that it died peacefully.

It was a small rat but -- it was a much bigger ordeal than we had anticipated. It thrashed about for the first time, before it could hardly move. It took longer than expected. I sobbed forever and I have dreams about it (oh and I never even saw it thrashing about! I wouldnt look. am just going off of what my partner described). I wonder if I should have done something else instead. I thought it seemed like the most peaceful way to go. I still don't know. I would do more research next time but I was already in hysterics from the time it was caught, and I just trusted what my partner said. He ended up getting sick from guilt and sadness.

So anyway. I consider myself a huge lover of animals and living things and this was one of the most disturbing things ever. But I (mostly) forgave myself and my partner because -- since the animal can't speak in human languages, there was no way to be certain it wasn't suffering a lot, evidence suggested it was indeed suffering, and no one will ever know how things could have turned out otherwise but there are worse possible scenarios (like waiting to see might have in fact caused more suffering in the end, we don't know!)

I don't know why I even am mentioning this other than to say you're not the only one who has had this sort of experience, and especially after going through it, I think anyone who judges can seriously just fuck right off. Especially if they're just callously bringing it up to press on a sore point.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.