Pet loss and self esteem

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Hello, with all this story of confinement,  I am always looking for a topic around animal bereavement and its impact. With this whole Hermit period, I have found a subject that affects everyone without exception when you become bereaved of your pet.
Today I’m talking to you about the impact of pet loss and self-esteem.
First of all, we often hear about self-confidence, but little about esteem, I would even say a somewhat vague subject. However, they go hand in hand.
Self-esteem according to Larousse “Favorable appreciation that one has for someone, good opinion that one has; respect, consideration… have a good opinion of yourself ”.
Self-esteem is the relationship we have with ourselves, our inner image that we have built since childhood. How do I feel in my body, how do I think of myself. This esteem that is built by the parents helps the child to build his personality. It is my worth of my person.

A person with low self-esteem is more at risk:
• To constantly make internal reproaches;
• feeling unable to accomplish things (dreams);
• To feel inferior to others;
• To depreciate without even realizing it;
• Having difficulty solving problems;
• Evaluate themselves based on their failures and the criticisms of other people.
• Having trouble making friends;
• To be easily frustrated;
• To feel guilty;
• Devalue yourself;
• To be impulsive.

No one is immune to low self-esteem.

Have you been demeaned, ridiculed by devaluing parents / teachers who regularly repeated to you:

• You’re ridiculous !

• You’re just a bum, unable to succeed!

• Look stupid!

• You are never going to succeed in life!

• I can’t trust you!

A person with low self-esteem believes that he succeeds in life is a stroke of luck and not because he is talented and good.

Have you been taught to be humble, not to put yourself forward, not to attract attention? Have you had a bad romantic relationship? A bad experience in business or at work?

Because of this low esteem, you defeat yourself because of fears of not being up to it, not good enough. Your self-image is distorted in the mirror. Your inner “speech” tends to be negative.

The impact

• A tendency to look outside for a valuation, which sometimes goes through the material;
• A tendency to performance anxiety;
• A tendency to depression;
• A tendency to stay in the known, the routine;
• Difficulty accepting compliments, as it does not correspond to the image of yourself;
• A tendency to depend on the gaze of others (give power to others);

A low self-esteem will lead the person to seek approval, acceptance rather than affirmation. This submissive attitude towards the other prevents self-discovery.

What is mourning all about? it confuses everything. It breaks down the established walls of that stable, routine environment that the self-esteem person has long tried to establish.

Animal mourning removes all marks. And all of a sudden, out loud you say to yourself: I will never survive this, ever. But how can I suffer so much? By seeking outside approval that it is normal, but that many people do not understand this type of mourning, for various reasons, or the taboo of this mourning, I cannot be validated in my grief, my great pain.

The one who brought so much unconditional love, who did not judge, as you judge yourself, who accepted you as you did not, died.

You gave yourself value through his eyes. Now that he is no longer here, you fall down completely and say to yourself:

• I am bad;
• I am the worst master;
• I left him;
• He died because of me;
• I could have done more;
• But what did I forget;
• Etc.

Lacking self-esteem, there is only one way out: guilt. Doing myself harm to reinforce this poor self-image, of I am good for nothing. Keep this sense of uselessness for a long time, even years. Refrain from having another animal to subconsciously punish himself.

However, it is not all dark. We can bring hope and light to this difficult time in your life.

  •  Start to stop thinking toxic thoughts
  •  Start to find you qualities; (your pet found you, I’m sure)
  •  Learn to assert your needs, your feelings, without being aggressive
  •  Respect yourself (set limits)
  •  Put yourself in priority (because you are worth it
  • Define your values ​​(love, family, freedom)
  •  List your qualities (well yes, you)
  • Tried to look on both sides of the coin
  •  Be kind to yourself
  •  Give yourself compliments and celebrate small victories
  •  Shut! Inner criticism.

In conclusion, the loss of your pet gives you the opportunity to work on your self-esteem. You have the power to live it miserably or healthily. You have the choice. One small step at a time, you don’t put a big mountain so unreachable that it only keeps in low self-esteem.

Be gentle, gentle with yourself, you have only one life to live and I wish you not to live it in regret, because I know that your animal would be sad because he valued you. He loved you in your imperfection.

Please note that if it is very hard for you to deal with your petloss, you should see a grief specialist.


Brigitte Bérubé

Therapist, grief specialist

Brigitte Bérubé

Brigitte Bérubé

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