A Confession

Posted By: AJMontyBird

A Confession - 03/30/12 06:26 AM

Before I say anything, I'd like to confess that I'm not "all there" in the head, so to speak. I have a couple forms of mental illnesses, and am taking a truckload of medication for them. However, sometimes the medication doesn't work as well as it should, and I have an "episode" of absolutely uncontrollable, violent mood swings. There's no measurable trigger - it just happens out of the blue. It's a really horrifying ordeal for everyone involved, especially since I'm a highly non-confrontational, keep-it-to-myself sort of gal.

That said, I had one of my "episodes" today, this time seemingly because of Monty's incessant calling just before bedtime (something that has never bothered me at ALL. Usually I quite cheerfully "yell" back at him.). I was in the room at the time when suddenly a surge of hateful rage washed over me and I began screeching profanities at my baby boy like some sort of berserk banshee, smacking the side of his cage once before collapsing on the nearby bed. Monty, who by that point had become very quiet and still, crawled over to me and said, very clearly, "I love you Mama, I'm a good boy," before moving back to his sleeping perch and finally settling down for the night. I sobbed for hours while he whistled and mumbled to me. I really don't deserve him; I'm such a terrible, terrible Mom. frown

I apologize for rambling on, but I really needed to get this off my chest.
Posted By: PJsMom

Re: A Confession - 03/30/12 02:36 PM

I'm so sorry that happened. I too suffer from bouts of uncontrollable anger. On both sides of my family this issue is found. One of my grandmothers was institutionalized for it. I am lucky that my hubby can take over with PJ when I need to hide. I have found a depression med that works real well for me. I have a lot of pain issues as well as my working and taking care of my family and 76 year old mom. Now I have a sick bird as well. I understand how you feel.
From your posts it seems like you are an adult but still young 20s or so. Monty is a new stress for you. It's taken me a long time to recognize the signs of when I feel like I'm going to trigger. This is the advice I can give you. #1 Pay attention to your cycle, are you on it or near to starting? That rush of hormone that trigger bleeding can drive you nuts. Estrogen dissappears and you top out on progesterone. It's always worse near my cycle.
#2 Have an excape plan. If you feel that hornets nest of anxiety/stress start to well up in your chest, warn Monty that your getting upset that he needs to stop. A lot of times all PJ wants is a little extra love and if I sing his nite nite song to him and give him a few extra snuggles he will settle down. If he won't, you need to remove yourself. Even if you have to go outside. #3 I have a huge problem when I don't take my meds regularly. If you are as bad as I am about taking pills, try to take them on time.
I don't call back to PJ back and forth to much, he ends up getting upset. I sing to him and hold his hand through the bars and (now) Eskimo kiss. I tell him I love him and it's time for nite nite. He does pretty well with that.
As the scriptures say, Love covers a multitude of sins. Monty loves you very much, that's why he's doing what he's doing. Maybe your love for Monty will give you the push you need to work on this issue. You've taken the responsibility for something that is = to a two year old. He will never grow up. You are the one that has to find the strength to deal with this.
Do your best, dont expect changes overnight. If you need to talk you are welcome to find me on Facebook.


I removed the personal information that was provided because it is not permitted to be posted on the board.Please in the future do not post personal information.Thank you for understanding!
Posted By: Janny

Re: A Confession - 03/30/12 03:42 PM

I am not sure exactly how to handle this without scaring you away from mytoos or the support of the board.I work at a long term psychiatric hospital and have seen allot during my employment there.I am a very professional person and what I am about to say I am saying from the heart completely.I give you ALLOT of credit and admiration for getting help and sticking with the treatment.That alone I know is an obstacle on it's own that needs to be rewarded!

I on an average day have a hard time listening to my birds screaming.I could not imagine if I had psych problems adding to this.I just carry the regular stress of every day life and it can be quite tough!What I believe you need to ask yourself are these questions...

What if I am unable to control my rage and seriously injure or possibly kill Monty.How will I feel then?

How fair is it for this very intelligent aware Monty to have to watch this or be victim of this and what is this doing to him?

Does he deserve this?He is acting on complete instinct and that can not be changed so there is no way to change him it must be you to think about solutions and things that need to change....whether he be a new stress or not we can not condone abuse and to yell and scream at him then hit his cage...that is abuse and it is one of the things we are angry about hearing when we know one of our birds has come from this in their far will you go.If he was to bite you...or be too close when you are in a rage...I would hate to say "it's only happened once and we are here for you please work on this" and something fatal happen.These birds are very delicate and one smack (un intentional or not) can kill him.

I am the type that would love to see things worked out in homes and not re home but this is one of those things that I can not say what you want to hear....Monty's safety is first and foremost and he was already victim here...please think of Monty the end of the day.If you choose to keep Monty of course we are going to be here to support whatever decision you make.It's what we do.I am glad you could be this honest about things.Really I am even if it sounds as though we are being harsh.It took allot of courage to do this and you should be proud to be that brave even though I am sure you know some feedback is not going to be what you may have wanted to hear!

Is there anyone else in your home living with you that can help to calm you? Do you have adequate resources that you can lean on? Do you have any tools when your in crisis that will help calm you before it gets to this point?

ETA...I want members to understand.These birds Cockatoo's especially have a hard time in emotional unstable environments.A divorce can make the best adjusted cockatoo break,a death,and even just emotional baggage from their caregiver.If you add a regular burst of aggression and screaming...that is not an environment in which a cockatoo should live.It isn't fair to them.We see the best cared for cockatoo mutilate and pluck in good stable homes but to have it live in an environment in which it's caregiver is raging is unimaginable to me.I would not subject my flock to it as much as it would kill me to part with them...I would for them because I do love them if I was forced with the decision expect Monty or any other cockatoo to adjust to this is saying "it's ok if I abuse my pet and I will help them adjust to it"...
Posted By: AJMontyBird

Re: A Confession - 03/30/12 04:47 PM

And that, Janny, is what kept me awake all night. Believe me, I strongly considered finding him a new home. I couldn't live with myself if I hurt him. I have never, NEVER, been aggressive to any of my animals; biting, squawking, chewing furniture - it has NEVER bothered me. This is the first time something like this has happened, and I don't have the words to describe my self-hatred. I am a very selfish person at heart; re-homing Monty would irreparably damage my fragile psyche. But if it continues, I'll find him a new home. I love him far more than myself.

PJ - thank you from the bottom of my heart. Maybe I'll take you up on that someday.
Posted By: PJsMom

Re: A Confession - 03/30/12 05:27 PM

Excellent Jan Thank You.
I would like to clarify what I meant by adjusting. In no way is it ok to verbally or physically abuse any living thing. When I tell PJ that I'm not feeling good and he needs to stop. If he doesn't I remove myself from the situation so as not to freak out, he's learned for the most part that he doesn't want me to go so he stops.
I cannot expect him to adjust to my difficulties, he's mentally to little to do so. My love for him has enabled me to grow beyond my own issues and examine what my triggers are. Which helps me and him.
One thought to AJ though is with all of the changes in your schedule with school, Is Monty getting enough sleep? I know you share your room with him so is it dark and quiet in your room for 12 hours? Seems odd but , we live in a very small house and we turn off the TV or anything with sound and light when we put him to bed. We go into our bedroom and talk if need be. Even then he wakes and hears us. Are you getting enough sleep as well?
One thing I would
Posted By: Stormy

Re: A Confession - 03/30/12 10:21 PM

I agree 100% with what Jan has said. No way in the world should a bird or any other animal suffer abuse at their owner's hands, whether it was on purpose or unintentional. Our birds welfare come first before our feelings or anything.

To make a long story short, my husband years ago had an accident at work, the results were sugery and chronic pain every day of his life. Plus the fact that he can never work again took a very large toil on him. Mentally he was worn out and started lashing out. We of course understood and could handle it but one day he took his anger out on Buddy because he was being his normal loud self. He didn't hurt Buddy but was screaming at him to shut up and threw a pillow at his cage. The very next day, I was looking to rehome Buddy because I would never ever allow that to happen. Buddy did not deserve treatment like that and I would rather him be in a home with a loving family even though it would break my heart to lose him. My husband found out what I was doing and was so appalled and ashamed of himself, for he is a huge animal lover. That day he went to get help for himself to control the rages and he has never raised his voice to Buddy again.

I don't know if a different combination of meds will help your or not. But please don't let your Monty suffer at your hands, even though I do understand you could not control yourself. I have seen birds die at the hands of their owners, from a slap to a punch because they lose control and I would never ever want you to go through the loss of your bird because of that. Again, I am not saying that you would do it but when a person is in that type of rage, you never know what will happen.

Your honesty is very touching, and again it shows how much you do love Monty but unless something can be changed to make sure Monty is safe at all times, if you feel that change come over you, back away from Monty, go somewhere away from him until you feel yourself calm down.
Posted By: AJMontyBird

Re: A Confession - 03/30/12 10:23 PM

@PJ: The lovebirds are "twitterpated" right now and are constantly chirping (even if covered), so I'm not sure how well Monty has been sleeping lately (he's been complaining about them, too. "Stupid little birds," he tells me). His hormones seem fairly stable right now, so perhaps I'll gradually change his bedtime to the lovies' bedtime (at seven, rather than five). I sleep like the dead for twelve hours each night, thanks to my sleeping pills. However, as it's a drug induced sleep, I rarely feel well rested.
Posted By: Ellen W.

Re: A Confession - 03/30/12 11:15 PM

AJ... I am in awe of your brutal honesty. Not many people would have the internal fortitude to bare their weaknesses to others. You seem to be a truly wonderful, caring person. You will have the strength to overcome this for Monty's sake.
Posted By: Janny

Re: A Confession - 03/31/12 03:34 AM

I am glad you are not closed to the thought of having to find him a different environment to live.As hard as it is sometimes we must put their lives and needs before our wants.It's a tough one and I hope you know you have support here with whatever it is you need.Whether you need to come here to vent and type your fingers away or work up a safe plan and finding your trigger and the recognizing the feeling of anxiety and therapeutic ways to work through it...we can do that for you.One of the most important things to remember is when we are faced with stress and anxiety the first thing that is effected is thinking and breathing.If there is one thing you need to remember and think of it's telling yourself to breath right.Big deep breaths in through the nose and out the mouth.Slow and steady and try to think the process of breathing through.Deep slow breaths almost hypnotic and that should bring the mind more clear and the breathing normal again.You have time to think but you don't have time to panic.

I am also thinking you need a place "safe place" to go when you are to this point that is away from everyone and everything.Usually it is the bedroom but since you share this space with Monty it may be a good idea to think of another place for future.Do you have somewhere to go in your home should this happen again that can give you solitude?

Posted By: AJMontyBird

Re: A Confession - 03/31/12 05:01 AM

My current home is rather minuscule, I'm afraid. There aren't many places I can go that aren't already occupied. When weather permits, I take a walk when I start to feel my anxiety rising. Otherwise, I hide in my bathroom and take a nice long bath.

I must have missed your post, Stormy - I've felt for a long while that I need an updated "drug cocktail". I'll be talking to my doctor as soon as I can get an appointment. And, if worst comes to worst, there's a lady nearby that would take Monty in while I get things straightened out. She's quite experienced with birds, and owns wonderful female M2 (if you can actually "own" them!). At least then I could still visit him every once in awhile.

On a lighter note, it's finally starting to warm up here; so much so that I took Monty outside. We took a nice walk around the thawed portion of the property (my snow boots have a tear in the sole... gets kinda wet), played on the rickety old wooden swing set beside the corral (Monty sat on my lap with his wings spread saying "wheee!"), and he climbed in the little willow thicket while I sat on the lawn chair. I had to use a nut to get him OUT of the trees, but he had a really great time. I've never seen him so happy. smile I think I'll take him to town tomorrow and do a bit of shopping, maybe get him a new harness.

Thanks for your support, all of you. It means the world to us.
Posted By: PJsMom

Re: A Confession - 03/31/12 07:13 PM

Sounds like you had a good day! Hang in there AJ. It sounds like you live in a very pretty place. Makes me thing of Anne of Green Gables. It is a good thing that spring is here and you will be able to get outside more. You need a place to excape to. We find that since we live in such a small place its real hard to get away. Outdoors for a long walk when the temps arent so chilly or it isnt so damp. There is nothing like a long walk in rain gear. Ugh.
What part of Canada do you live in?
Posted By: AJMontyBird

Re: A Confession - 04/01/12 01:53 AM

I live in British Columbia, just outside of Kelowna. While Kelowna is already nice and snow-less (if a tad rainy), we still have some snow up in the mountains. It's actually snowing as I type. Ew. As soon as I can, I'm moving to town.

I got Monty his new Aviator harness today (as well as a new toy, the bum). He reacted surprisingly well to it, even letting me slip it over his head (although he wasn't keen on me tightening it into place)! Hopefully I can get him in flying shape in the near future so he can get some quality exercise. smile
Posted By: Beeps

Re: A Confession - 04/01/12 05:02 AM

Getting our birds outside is something that can be extremely beneficial to them -- however I feel the need to make this disclaimer any time someone mentions taking their bird outside, unless it is specifically mentioned that the bird was in a secure carrier or harness. As much as for people lurking, as we are here for the birds and don't want to give our tacit approval of taking birds outside unrestrained.

Even if a bird is well-clipped, even if a bird has never flown before, it is not safe for them to be outside unless they are in a secure carrier or in a harness. I learned this the hard way nearly 7 years ago. I took my clipped TAG outside "just for a minute." She never flew, so I figured the worst thing that could happen is she'd fly to the ground, like in the house, and I'd pick her up. A gust of wind came from nowhere and took her over the rooftops. We were lucky in that we eventually found her, but it was 34 hours later, and she could have been lost for good.

Again, I want to stress that I think it's great that Monty gets to go outside, but please make sure it's in the Aviator or in a secure enclosure as you really don't want him to get lost outside!
Posted By: AJMontyBird

Re: A Confession - 04/02/12 12:26 AM

Monts just got his new Aviator yesterday - no more going outside without it! smile
Posted By: Janny

Re: A Confession - 04/02/12 12:32 AM

Another thing to be aware of when bringing birds outside with us is there are Predators that are sneaky and can be in an area stalking without us even knowing.People have been walking with their birds on harness on their arm and a hawk or other predator bird takes their bird away right from the harness and there is not allot you can do.Other people's pets,dogs,cats etc.One of our members was walking their cockatoo Cleo and a dog came and snatched her right from her grip.

I do have a couple that are harness but I don't find them "safe enough" for my liking.We screened in our deck with heavy gage wire to go outside and it was relatively cheep.
Posted By: PJsMom

Re: A Confession - 04/02/12 04:52 PM

What type of wire did you use Jan? Im getting more and more nervous about taking PJ outside and would like him to have a safe place to go outside.
Posted By: Janny

Re: A Confession - 04/02/12 06:11 PM

Stainless Steel mesh is best to use but we did not.We used a mesh that we found for sale on kijiji in rolls and used it only because my birds are not actually climbing on it or hanging around outside without their play stands and us being there with them to help them around.We pretty much just used it to protect an area.I didn't have to worry about them climbing around or being left outside.Living on the Prairies our weather is far too unpredictable for them to be able to go outside and live out there lol.We also put up a layer of metal screen (like the screen in windows) to protect from Mosquitos and other bugs.

If you google Stainless Steel mesh Supplier or Manufacturer there are allot of hits though.
Posted By: jm47

Re: A Confession - 04/03/12 06:13 AM

Even in hot weather, our guys usually get less than an hour of outside time each day; it takes longer to get the stuff ready to go out, and move the cages, than they want to stay out. They do, when it's warm enough, get their showers on the deck; it's easier to get them thoroughly soaked, and allow them to "dry out" in the sunshine! Still, it's the high point of the day, judging by their behavior.
Posted By: Jesse-N-Me

Re: A Confession - 04/04/12 06:05 PM

I just added a deck and the smaller cages (BF Amazon and Meyers) roll out easily. I acquired a huge cage that as soon as it is outfitted with perches will be for my B&G Jesse (his inside cage has to be taken apart to get outside) and will stay on the deck. Mac the Ducorps has not been out much due to a bare chest and a too big to fit through the door cage. Soon tho he will get to have the sunshine on him when Jesse isn't using his cage Mac can use it. I do have a Flight Suit with a lead for Jesse and and he goes everywhere with me. I live about 2 hrs from StL and they all went to the last STAR meeting with me. Mac the Ducorps was quite the star of the show. He flitted from person to person then settled down with one nice lady and sat through the 2 hr meeting in her lap.

Oh yes there were a couple of turkey vultures circling and both the BF and the Meyers were keeping an eye on the sky. LOL I ended up putting the playtops on so they would feel more secure. I would love to put some kind of mesh over the deck so they could be on the play stands but that is beyond my meager resources. They would probably chew the deck to splinters anyway. :o)
Posted By: AJMontyBird

Re: A Confession - 04/08/12 12:46 PM

Update: Monty and I are doing much better as of now. I insisted upon taking a fresh psyche exam (it's been awhile), and while I wait for the results I'm undergoing a few general stress/anxiety/anger management courses. Upon further reflection, I really need to work on my impulse control as well. Monty's getting a rather alarming array of new toys each week. I just adore shopping for my babies!

As for His Highness, he's been a total doll. He's been right perky since the sun started shining properly and the lingering snow finally started to melt. I know my depression worsens during winter... I wonder if 'toos can develop SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)?

Oh, and while slightly off-topic, I'm moving at the beginning of May! It's a gorgeous house, with a ton more room than my current place and the additional benefits of being IN Kelowna and within walking distance to my favourite pet supply store. It even has a spacious backyard with room for an aviary! Personally, the best part about the place is the little koi pond in the garden. I've always enjoyed watching fish - they're so nice and calming. smile
Posted By: PJsMom

Re: A Confession - 04/08/12 06:04 PM

Sounds wonderful! Are you and your babies moving, or is the whole family?
Posted By: AJMontyBird

Re: A Confession - 04/08/12 07:10 PM

The whole family, sadly. wink

At least there's enough room, this time!
Posted By: jm47

Re: A Confession - 04/09/12 02:58 AM

Originally Posted By: AJMontyBird
Update: Monty and I are doing much better as of now. I insisted upon taking a fresh psyche exam (it's been awhile), and while I wait for the results I'm undergoing a few general stress/anxiety/anger management courses. Upon further reflection, I really need to work on my impulse control as well. Monty's getting a rather alarming array of new toys each week. I just adore shopping for my babies!

As for His Highness, he's been a total doll. He's been right perky since the sun started shining properly and the lingering snow finally started to melt. I know my depression worsens during winter... I wonder if 'toos can develop SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)?

Oh, and while slightly off-topic, I'm moving at the beginning of May! It's a gorgeous house, with a ton more room than my current place and the additional benefits of being IN Kelowna and within walking distance to my favourite pet supply store. It even has a spacious backyard with room for an aviary! Personally, the best part about the place is the little koi pond in the garden. I've always enjoyed watching fish - they're so nice and calming. smile

You are in trouble, with a capital T! You are now in town, c.ose enough to the store to buy a toy daily, and you also have a fishpond! You are going to be spending far more time cleaning the pond and repairing/replacing the pump than Monty will think appropriate! (;P)
How calming is THAT going to be?
jk. Hope you enjoy the new place.
Posted By: AJMontyBird

Re: A Confession - 04/09/12 04:23 AM

Lol jm, joking or not I totally agree with the toy comment! They have such a fantastic array of parrot toys, too! I'll do my best to restrain myself, though I have the sneaking suspicion that I'll soon be the store's top customer. wink

Luckily for me Monty really enjoys watching fish. We used to have an eighty gallon tank of cichlids, and Monty would stare at them, mesmerized, for hours on end (I did, however, have to frequently remind him not to tap on the glass). There's an ornamental tree just off to the side of the pond, so he can always sit there while I muck about with the koi. smile

I'll certainly be doing my best to enjoy the new place! My mother got lazy and hired a moving team (they're even packing for us!), so it should be a relatively stress-free move. Hopefully all of the kids adjust well... my lovies really hate it when their cages are moved into a new room, let alone a new house!
Posted By: jm47

Re: A Confession - 04/10/12 04:46 AM

Outside on a tree? Doesn't sound very safe. . .unless he's in a harness!
But fish-watching seems to be amusing to some parrots. Our first conure was fond of it. Scared the aquarium fish silly! I wonder if they sometimes catch fish in the wild.
One of the macaws at the local zoo was playing around with a pellet he had dropped in the water (a shallow pond inside the enclosure) one day; kept swishing his beak around in the water, and then, as the swirling water floated the pellet closer to him, trying to grab it. Apparently wasn't hungry enough to be willing to get his feet wet, though. Funny to watch.
I think it's funny, too, that you had to remind him not to tap the glass. I kept having to remind the last person I introduced to the fun of zoo visiting of that ! (adult female, age not to be revealled ;D )
Posted By: AJMontyBird

Re: A Confession - 04/10/12 06:32 AM

Oh no, I wouldn't let Monty on a tree without his harness! He doesn't much care for the thing, but it's much better than him climbing out of the range of my somewhat short stature and/or getting startled into flight. I don't even want to THINK about him startling and falling into the pond!

Your "wasn't willing to get his feet wet" comment brings to mind an incident earlier today. It was nice and toasty out, so I wrestled Monty into his harness and brought him outside. I noticed awhile ago that he enjoys walking on the ground, so I put him on the porch and let him at it. He immediately gravitated to a not-quite-melted pile of snow in the shade and scrambled to the top. The crazy boy dug a little hole, covered his feet with the stuff, and just stood there! I guess that's one way to cool down. wink
Posted By: jenlusbri

Re: A Confession - 04/11/12 02:53 PM

Ha! I can't imagine Sig doing that! Although he loves it on the floor as well, he's just cautious of unfamiliar things I suppose...on your original note, I have chronic depression and am on medication. I sympathize with your situation. It's hard for people to understand some things completely unless they are going through it too. I think our birds, dogs, cats, turtles, lizards, gerbles...well, you get the picture, I think they understand us too and know sometimes things aren't right but unlike people, they don't hold grudges when we make mistakes...
Posted By: jm47

Re: A Confession - 04/16/12 02:01 PM

On the subject of toys: if you invest in a drill and hand saw (not the kind that removes fingers unless restrained, but the kind driven by "hand power") androtary cutter, cutting board and some worn silk shirts or windbreakers, you can save bunches of money for other ( probably more urgent) emergencies by making toys. Check out the list of safe plants and trees in the "Cockatoo article library" here on mytoos, and cut or break (or wait for the wind to do it for you :D) some branches from safe trees. Clean 'em up, and cut them into blocks or beads (BEAD: a block of any size with a hole drilled through it) or just set them in a base of some kind for playtrees. The acivity of making the toys is good therapy (why have "the theys" never figured out that we NEED to be making things with our hands, and that not doing so causes all sorts of depression and frustration?) and Monty will probably love supervising the projects!
Posted By: AJMontyBird

Re: A Confession - 04/16/12 06:47 PM

Oh, that's a great idea! I'll have to take a walk around the property before we move and snip a few branches/saplings - there're lots of nice, safe trees here! Maybe I'll try to make him a second play tree while I'm at it. smile
© 2018 Real Cockatoo Facts!