Separation Anxiety


My dog is laying across my lap, peacefully sound asleep. Every once in a while, he starts to snore a bit and it makes me laugh because he sounds like an old man. Bam is so sweet and loving, not a mean or angry bone in his body….until he did this to my house.

Let me back up. A week and a half ago, Aaron left for Thailand for a mission trip. He and some other faculty and kids from our school went to go help create a water system for a small village and help these villagers eventually gain papers to get their citizenship, working alongside ADRA. While planning for this trip, Aaron and I thought, no problem-so we’ll go a couple weeks without seeing each other, it will be good for us, and yeah. Fun! I had to stay around here and work and the trip was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

A few days went by and I started leaving Bam Bam at home while I went to work in the afternoons. Usually he does fine for up to about 5 hours, and that’s the amount that I work every day. On Monday I came home to find my living room a total mess. Torn up umbrella, my photography reflector (!!!), shoes, a hat, a pillow with stuffing all over the floor….I was livid. This dumb animal! How in the world could he do that?! It’s like this sweet little lamb-dog turned into the incredible Hulk and stormed around the house determined to destroy!

On Tuesday, I was smarter. I left the TV on for him to have some “company”, I picked up the important things from around the floor and took him on a 2 mile walk to wear him out for the long afternoon away. When I came home, curtains were shredded, one of Aaron’s shoe had a big bite out of it, and other stuff was torn up and spread across the carpet. Again, I cleaned everything up and stayed far away from that animal who had once again messed up everything. How could he?

On the third day, I got even smarter. I figured, he just destroyed stuff because we have so much of it to be destroyed in our living room, so I put him in our bathroom, put everything away, put the radio on high after a long long walk, and I left. When I came back, the rugs were like mops and there were chunks of drywall across the floor. Bam had eaten a wall. Or at least a large chunk of one. Instead of getting mad this time, I looked at my dog, who was beginning to shake in anxiety. He wasn’t the Hulk, he was only a scared little guy who thought that his mom was going to leave and not come back just like his dad.

Bam was never this destructive but he knows that Aaron’s gone and he is just a little depressed and insecure right now. Yesterday and today, I had Bam stay with a sitter and I’m slowly trying to get him used to a wire crate before he does more damage. I had a long talk with Bam’s previous owner, who is a gem, by the way, and she gave me the inside on what to do with Bam and how nervous and emotional he is with his relationship with his humans.

The day I talked with Bam’s owner, I had a whole blown out emotional break down. I kept thinking, if Aaron were here, he’d know exactly what to do! And I lost it. Anytime I thought about Aaron or how much I missed him, tears would quickly spring to my eyes and I’d be completely gone. I hadn’t heard from him in a whole week, and hadn’t let myself even think of him much because I wanted to be strong.

So, like Bam, I was going through some major emotional separation anxiety over my Aaron. (but unlike Bam, I didn’t try to destroy everything in the house with my teeth-I actually went on a psycho cleaning frenzy instead).

I really think it’s a miracle because on that toughest night, I got my call from Aaron, and we poured our hearts out to each other. Turns out, he missed me a little too.

I kept wondering why Bam, despite all my care and love and affection towards him, still felt abandoned by me every day during those 5 hours. And my mind immediately goes to the feeling of being abandoned by God. I’ve had a lot of these conversations lately. Students, telling me that they don’t think God cares about them anymore. And hey, I feel that way occasionally too. But here’s the thing, God’s not like me in that he leaves for a few hours and always comes back. He’s always there, we just don’t always realize it. And that’s what’s getting me through these last few days until Aaron comes home. I know I have a security even greater than my husband’s, and my cutie little dog. And He never fails to bring me comfort when I need it the most, whether it’s in the form of a phone call or a hug or a friend stopping by to see how I’m doing.

So I guess we all get a little separation anxiety every once in a while. And that's okay. It's not too hard to clean up after.

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