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Depression

Question
Posted by: WVR | 2018/09/20

Q.

Killed my cat 17 years ago

I'm a 34 year old woman, life long vegan and animal lover. I grew up in a house full of domestic violence and drugs(not using this as an excuse, just for insight)... on the eve of taking my GED test when I was 17, I strangled my pet cat. I've never told anyone. I've felt so much guilt and still do to this day. I've had many pets including my current dog who is 11, since, and loved them so much. I wish I could go back in time and undo what happened so much. It's not like I'm tortured every day thinking of it, but when it comes to mind, I wonder wtf did I do it?! I also hurt my hamster at age 6. I felt horrible after that too. Like I said, I wouldn't do it now, feel immense guilt and regret, but I knew what I was doing was wrong when I did it. Please give constructive feedback. Thank you.

Expert's Reply

A.

Depression expert
- 2018/09/20

Hello WVR,
Sorry to hear of these awful events, and how they have haunted you for so long.  There are some kids who hurt or kill animals, without thinking there's anything wrong with this, and that may be an early sign of being a psychopath / sociopath, as their subsequent lives shows.  They view other creatures, human and animal as purely here for their use ; they do not grow up to become vegans or animal lovers !
What is ore likely is the factor you almost apologized for, that you grew up  in a household of domestic violence.  In such circumstances, whether you personally were directly abused, or mainly witnessed it in others, some otherwise normal and loving children may react to the atmosphere and experience of uncaring violence and of feeling helpless to intervene in it, by themselves acting out violently, to creatures a little lower in the pecking order than themselves, and they do feel awful about it. 
Indeed, some victims of child abuse may eventually become abusers themselves.
It's clear that you appear to have grown into a loving and caring person, and a benefit to the animal and human world !  Congratulations on surviving the difficulties you faced, and using them, rather, as the basis of becoming a caring and kind adult.

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