Internal Rejecting Object (IRO) No. One: Trust is For Saps

It is Saturday, November 6, 2010.  1:30 in the afternoon.  The sun is shining.  Nice fall day.  (It lies.)

I’ve opened the door.  I’m bundling in the shopping.  I’m moving fast, so Bugs won’t get out.  Halfway in-and-out, I look down.  I see Bugs’s little gray shoulders.  These little gray shoulders.  They’re shifting side to side.  Bugs is strolling out the door.  He’s not dashing, he’s not making a break for it.  He’s stepping out, in this deliberate, determined way.

I don’t even try to stop him.  I think, in slo-mo:  Oh.  Gosh.  Look.  Bugs.  Is going.  Out.

My next thought is – no big deal.  This cat will do anything for treats.  I’ll just get some treats.  This cat will come for treats.

No dice.  He’s going around the side of the house.

He’s – squalling now.  Bugs?  Come on!  Stop that!  Look here!  Treats!


I say well Bugs I’m just going to sit down over here, with my hand out.  You’re going to come and get these delicious treats now, aren’t you?


It’s beginning to sink in.  He’s not going to come.  He’s walking away.  Bugs!  Bugs!  You’re going in the wrong direction!

He’s walking away from me.  He looks over his shoulder at me.  There’s this anguished expression on his little face.  He’s squalling.  He’s walking away from me.

He’s gone.

Internal Rejecting Object No. One:

You are a sap.  You just thought this was going to be no big deal, oh sure.  No, well, come on, I just thought he’d come back.  No.  You listen up.  You spaced out.  This is what happens.  What do you think you’re doing, letting your guard down like that?  You are a fat-dumb-and-happy sap.  You must.  Never.  Let your guard down. Do I make myself clear?  You brought this on yourself.

Transforming the IRO:

(1)  Vigilance against temptation of certainty . . . . Lordy!  You hear the tone of voice here?  Sound pretty certain?  And this harsh, bitter, absolute conviction – would be the gospel according to whom?

(2)  Well it’s silly even to contemplate Step 2.  “Acceptance of self”?  Really!

So – Here we have Exhibit A.  The first of a good many horrible thought-forms to arise in this Excellent Adventure.  The suffering of bitter self-excoriation, on top of the pain that Bugs was undeniably at large, and possibly gone forever.

About nadbugs

Anita loves cats. This must be because she, too, has had nine lives. She’s been dancing since she could walk, she was a commercial artist and advertising producer, she earned a third-degree black belt in Aikido, she is a drummer with the Afrique Aya Dance Company, she is an attorney, and she’s a meditator and a devoted student of Nonviolent Communication. She also spent one lifetime sidelined with a devastating back injury in 1992. Since then – FELDENKRAIS METHOD® to the rescue. The FELDENKRAIS METHOD is all about dreaming concretely – thinking intelligently and independently by way of a gracious and kind physicality. The work affords all who study it a process by which to reach, with movement, into the mind and the heart, to make nine lives into one whole being.
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9 Responses to Internal Rejecting Object (IRO) No. One: Trust is For Saps

  1. Marcy Benham says:

    Gosh, I’ve been there too!! Only my incedent didn’t turn out so happily. Chesapeake Bay Retreiver Austin, who never learned to come when he was called – the MOST stubborn dog I’ve ever encountered! Knowing he would bolt out of the back of my VW when the hatchback was opened, I routinely leashed him prior to letting him out of the car. One night, very late, I arrived home and opened the hatch thinking it was SO late and he’d been sleeping in the car for several hours. Almost no traffic out on the roads, when he bolted as usual, I called him and he didn’t come. Carrying in my groceries, I called again from the front door…no Austin. 15 seconds later I heard an eerie howling. I called again…no Austin. I walked towards the area where he’d run to, calling repeatedly. Emerging out onto the street on the other side of my alley where I parked, I looked to my left and saw a large form in the road. Running over, I found Austin. I rushed him to the emergency vet where it seemed they were finally able to stablize him. As they moved him into a cage for observation he seized and died. I never forgave myself for not putting on his leash before letting him out of that car. I still blame myself for his death. I felt stupid, angry at myself, angry at him, angry at the world. I have NEVER let my guard down like that again with any of my pets. I have strongly fenced yards always, never walk my dogs without a leash no matter how well behaved they are. Lessons learned, I guess, but at a terrible cost. Glad you lesson was gentler than mine!

  2. nadbugs says:

    Dear Marcy, your story moves me so. A moment of silence for you, and for Austin who would not come – and for every being who suffers from machines. And for the humans who use them without owning the damage they inflict.

    How terribly sad, that wisdom comes, as you say, at such immense cost. How are we to guard our open and lighthearted spirit, in the presence of such grief?

    May you continue in your lighthearted spirit – I never knew you learned it like this.

    With love to you and yours, human, canine, all forms,

  3. I swear I’m not stalking you, but I was just wandering through your archives… I’m a little embarrassed to admit it (especially since I already know what the final outcome was) but this post made me very sad. I can feel your heart break as Bugs walks away. And I feel his heart breaking, too… It made me want to curl up with my human and purr apologies for every time I’ve disappointed or hurt her.

  4. nadbugs says:

    Oh Pedro you just do that and you keep doing that until you’re quite sure you’ve got them all covered. (It might take some doing!)

    Remembering this day, I have to say it was — it seems melodramatic now, over one year later, but this is my story and I’m sticking to it — one of the worst days of my life. Ever. Re-reading this post — and thank you so much, by the way, for wandering around in the archives, I’m so happy to see that what I’ve written doesn’t completely disappear — I feel echos of the horrible bitter grief. It was a truly, truly terrible moment. I appreciate your feeling sad. I wish you wouldn’t feel embarrassed. It’s so wonderful to feel your companionship.

    It was a strange moment, too. I still remember the anguished look on Bugs’s little face. I still don’t understand — why the heartbreak?? All he had to do was turn back and come to me! Very terrible, very hard to understand.

    But — he’s back. Words can’t express how happy I am now. He’s curled up at (on) my feet, on this blustery fall day. Over one year later. YAHOO.

    • lahgitana says:

      I would guess that Bugs had a Feline IRO well-embedded from his life as a stray.

      • nadbugs says:

        Hah. I never thought of that. I bet you’re right! I can tell you this — the humans who were doing their bit to care for him on the happy day when he and I met were not exactly as caring and connected as he needed them to be . . . . poor little scamp.

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