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Struggling a lot today. Am I not entitled to change my mind?

I've always struggled with interpersonal relationships and often wonder if, if I had been at school these days, I would have been described as having mild Asperger's.

I'm 67 and have been involved in rat showing for several years. I wanted to train as a show judge and have done the first part of my training. When I was beginning to get depressed - largely show-related, I asked to put it on hold, but yesterday said I was willing to start the next stage next year.

I have a problem rat who has been castrated but is still somewhat aggressive. I said I would re-home him, but decided to try one more introduction to two young boys. However, this failed, and I have decided that, for the good of the rat, he should be re-homed to be introduced to his own 'harem'. This only means that I changed my mind once in giving him an extra chance, then, when this failed, returned to my original decision. However, today several people have said that I "keep changing my mind". I don't think that I do normally, and I haven't done so in the above situation, but I am having a serious rethink about judging. I am treated as 'second class' because I am not a breeder, and feel invisible with them. Do I really want to be part of this? I'll be limited in which shows I could judge as I do not drive, so I am dependent on my friend or public transport.

Coming back, I had this great desire to jump out at the Dartford bridge - and have felt that way on the previous two occasions - although I'd not have the courage to jump. However - all have been on the way back from shows. Being dead would take away all the problems, though (not just rat-related - in fact my rats are one thing that keeps me from acting on these thoughts.)

One person in particular is being very difficult. I tried to apologise to her and she just said "I don't want to discuss it.) Others have turned against me, only knowing half-truths, and I feel pushed out. I have to go to one more show to take Twix for transport to his new home. He couldn't have gone today, as planned, as my rats are in quarantine. I might also go to the shows I used to help to organise, if needed to make up numbers to merit awarding stars - a battle I faced as Show Sec.

Anyway, I'm feeling really low = my longing is to die naturally, but I am concerned about my rats. I am also tempted to harm mildly,


8 Replies

Hi Ann,

Sorry this is a second attempt at a response. Please await a better reply.

I've been feeling the same since Thursday.

I have been in the same mind set but seriously contemplating a much better location than the Dartford Crossing and by the way they'd still charge your friend at the Toll Booth.




Hi sorry but I hate rats! With a passion. But I understand about the social situation. Maybe they are jealous of you? Concentrate on the nice folk there not the nasty ones and how much satisfaction you get out of it.

I live in Torquay and on several occasions nearly chucked myself off Babbacombe Downs. I also live near Berry Head a well known suicide spot here. Theres also lots of cliffs.....

Bev x


I love rats! They are so smart and nice pets. Sorry you are having a bad time. You should maybe re-think the judging thing if you think it is connected to your worst depressive spells. And if you try to apologise to someone and they don't want to discuss it then that is their problem - at least you tried. Hypercat is right - focus on the nice people. And, yes, you are allowed to change your mind! :) Hope today is a better day. xx


Hi Ann and I hope today is better for you . I wonder if there are other ways you can be involved with the animal lover community without the pressure (and what sounds like bitchiness) of the shows. I know nothing of rats but are there rat fancier communities other than competitions?

People who sneer at you and your choices are just ignorant. Changing your mind shows flexibility and self awareness in my opinion.

I am from Dartford originally (ling time ago now!) and at the time disliked the lack of friendliness there. It seems better these days but now I live in the super friendly north and I must say the change has done me good!

Good luck and I hope today brings some fresh ideas for you and your animals.



The connotations of the word 'rat' put off so many people, as do their beauticul curly tails - with which they regulate their temperature.. They need a new name - like a friend;s suggestion some time ago = "Squirrel-wombles!

Rats are easy to cope with - people are not! I shouldn't be invisible at 81.6 Kg. but I appear to be. I logically try to solve problems and one person just makes problems. I post a real apology on the forum, and only two people bother to reply. I hate it! - the humans, not the rats!


Sorry missrat

You seem really down at the moment

I cant say I no anything at all about rats & have to be honest , its not my passion , even though I am intrigued when I read your posts , as I do like to read about other peoples hobbies & interests in life

I suppose I like washing & could talk all day about washing machines & I doubt many would relate to me over that one , but it doesnt matter , its good we are different in what makes us happy in life :)

I am sorry , do you mean you apologized on this forum or another , I think you maybe speaking about another one

Try & I no its not easy , but its what makes you happy in life that counts , & this seems to be a big passion that you enjoy & get a lot from , so carry on , & as for the rest , well what are they to you , nobody I would persume

Hope you have a better day :)





Good Morning Ann,

Really do hope that you are feeling much better today and that you are no longer contemplating self harm.

All animals make good companions and as you say unlike humans they always seem to be around when you need them. I would much rather have them for friends.

I've had a difficult week, unable to communicate and at times as you felt yesterday, just wanting to shut down completely. Even had visions of myself walking into the ocean, a'la Reggie Perrin, but like you the needs of others took over and stopped me.

I like your friends' idea of renaming the species, but unfortunately squirrel has been taken and I think there would be some major copyright issues with womble, then the real rats would become involved, but who knows someone may come up with a good name.

Surely nobody can blame you for trying to keep your rat, is it they just see the breeding and competitions as a way to 15 minutes, hence their comments, whereas for you it is an interest and a hobby. Changing your mind is part and parcel of life, if you can see a better way forward you will take it, sometimes it is very hard to make a decision and stick with it, especially for people like us, continually anxious.



Still feeling very low indeed.

I think the bitching is common in most animal fancies.


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