May 3, 2016

How My Trip to the Kitty ER Taught Me About Confidence

So, here's our kitten, Bandit. He's 8 months old and quite the handful!

Recently, he was not himself. It was late on a Friday night and he was super lethargic, throwing up, barely moving, and just meowed like crazy if you tried to touch him or move him. Something was seriously wrong here!

We spent some time weighing the pros and cons of taking him in to the ER, but eventually decided it was the best thing to do.

Once we arrived at the ER, they got straight to work: taking his temperature, examining him for any signs of trauma, etc.

They invited us to wait in the exam room, and about fifteen minutes later, the doctor walked in. He explained that he had a temperature and no obvious signs as to why. Having barely said this, he then launched into the "recommended" next step: overnight stay, IV drip, blood work. Oh, and it will only be $2000.

I sat back for a moment, paused (something I've had to learn how to do and work with many of my clients on as well). I asked myself, "What's the most important thing right now?" To which the answer came, "Explore all of the options."

So, I turned to the doc and said, "So, this is the only option? Or are there other things we can explore?"

I kid you not -- he right away grabbed another estimate for services that included blood work and an internal IV (never knew that existed!) for $400. So -- the survivor in me immediately flared up, "He's trying to trick me. He's not telling me the whole story. He's trying to take advantage of me."

I asked him to leave so we could discuss our options and so I could de-trigger using one of the many strategies that I now have. I got quiet and I decided there must be a better way. How could I handle this logically?

When the doctor came back in, I told him I wanted him just to do the blood work ($50) so we could see if there was a clear indication of what was going on. No doubt he was surprised as I'm sure many people don't go "off script" in these circumstances.

An hour later, he returned with the results. All was clear! With this information, we then felt comfortable giving our little guy an IV pouch and heading back home. The next morning, he was right as rain (well, maybe a little wobbly, but he's been golden ever since).

Now, I'm telling you this story because there are so many moments in this experience where things could have really gone badly were I not healed from the past abuse (a beyond survivor). 

First, I would have felt obligated to just listen and do what I was being told to do, a common trap survivors fall into. I would have been out $2000 and feeling pretty used and manipulated.

Second, I wouldn't have given myself time to think things through and tune in to my own intuition about the situation. I would have stayed in a triggered state and likely made poor decisions that I'd regret.

Third, I wouldn't have had the confidence to take a stand and ask for something that wasn't even being presented as an option!

We are often very aware of the big ways that abuse affects us, but this experience reminded me of how insidious the impact of abuse can be in the day-to-day experiences. When we are still struggling in shame, low self-worth, lack of confidence, or an inability to trust ourselves then even something like a trip to the kitty ER can become a minefield.

It's so so important that we have a toolkit of skills that help us navigate the challenges of life with confidence and clarity. If you'd like to learn more about how I learned to do this, then I encourage you to schedule a Discover Your Genuine Self session with me today!


  1. Thank you for sharing your story Rachel, what a scare with your fur child and I'm so pleased to hear he is OK.

    You have such a great point in this article!! What if we need a plan C option? I love that you stopped to ask and found an entirely new outcome altogether albeit not as lucrative for the vet LOL. What surprised me more was you said ah what the hell I'm going to do a diagnostic first then deduce what to do next instead of run unessesary tests and cost. I find that we ought to take this approach with regard to triggers and life situations. I have to ask for the alternative options due to a fixed income however, I never thought of it in terms of dealing with panic and abuse in general. A toolkit is so important to draw upon and what an example! Once again, I'm glad your baby is OK..he's handsome little Bandit. ;)

  2. Thanks Kris! And yes -- you hit the nail on the head. Once we have a powerful toolkit, we can use it for many purposes to help us navigate life with more ease and confidence. And yes, he's definitely fully back to his "Banditing" ways!

  3. I can see by your post that I have made progress over time. With my potential service dog, I would ask some of those questions and at a certain point, I would overload and sometimes compromise my budget. Finally I realized the liability she would be as and returned her to the rescue. It broke my heart but she now has a second "forever" home (I saow the pics!) and I have now gotten to the place where I am working with our former behaviorist/teacher for a better match. It was a process and not a cut and dried decision much like healing .....So glad Bandit is doing well :-)


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