burnout manifests itself in different ways for different folks.
Carol · Mar. 1, 2010
in rescue, for me..it has never affected my feelings or caring for the animals here. but where is does get me is in my dealings with people.
by nature, i am not aggressive, assertive yes...but not aggressive..(there is a big difference between the two.) i have fairly good social skills and my parents instilled in me a very strong streak of politeness. i truly do avoid being mean, ugly or rude. so ripping off people's faces, verbally beating the crap out of them...has never been my style...burnout or not.
lately i have found an ever growing desire to just let things slide..what is the point in discussing or educating or seeking out solutions when folks already have written a script on what they want to hear? i spent over an hour last week carefully composing an honest but not hurtful answer to a "i know you are full but do you have any suggestions?" email about surrendering some elderly cats here. i explained the reality of the very real difficulties experienced by senior cats in any kind of shelter anywhere. i made several different suggestions that included everything except booting them out of the house. but that was not what that person wanted to hear from me...yes or no would have been fine, let's not mess things up with a reality talk, no matter how long it took to carefully write.
i am not even sure any more what is the point in being honest...people do not want honesty..they just want you to agree with what they say and do what they want you to do and be who they think you should be.
i got an email today about a senior dog needing rehoming because a baby is on the way..and again there is that sentence..."i know you are full, but what can you suggest?"
honestly, what i want to say is..i suggest you pull your head out of your ass and give it a good shake and think about what you are just about to do here...you are about to fuck up the life of your dog who loves and trusts you because you decided to start a family and apparently you do not consider the dog worthy enough to have a place in that family?
i could take another hour and carefully craft another honest but gentler answer about how wonderful it is to have a long term family dog while your child grows up and how you can make it something special for everyone....but i am tired tonight..much easier just to say, sorry we are full nd i am fresh out of suggestions. best of luck..sincerely...me.
i don't mind taking the time to send a thoughtful reply, if they in turn to take the time to read it and think about it for awhile. maybe they will still decide that what they want to do is what they will still do...but at least they have a better understanding of that decision....and i don't feel like they were a waste of time.
people make choices, that is their right..hopefully those choices are well thought out, informed and not based on fiction or fairy tales. and hopefully people are open minded enough to look at other preceptions, to weigh differing perspectives that might not be as simple or easy or black and white as what they want to believe....and maybe they will give a tired old rescuer a break and not make her choose between trying to educate closed down minds or not even bothering anymore.
maybe folks could preface emails and telephone calls with some kind of label....i am interested in finding a responsible solution and will consider any and all suggestions....or..... i just want to get rid of the dog or the cat, will you take it or not? (then i don't have to think very hard, i just have to type.....yes or no.)