Just need to rant today, and I can't really think of any place to do it but here. It has been a really hard year for me; my parents got divorced, I had to adjust to step-family, lost that step-family, and have had to take care of a mentally ill parent. In addition, I have had several relationship failures that did not help at all. I have been very depressed and have developed several anxiety problems that have made me feel like a different person. It has been very hard for me to get consistently excited about anything, until I discovered betta fish.
I haven't been a betta owner for very long, but in the short time that I have I have amassed a wealth of knowledge that many people might take years to discover. I love to spend time with my fish, research them, and be a part of this forum. I get on with anticipation daily. It's exciting to finally fell happy about something, but at the same time I feel abnormal and crazy, like "crazy cat lady" who has lost her marbles and filled the void with something odd. All of my friends and family seem to think I am weird or crazy because of my sudden obsession with these fish, and I can't help but feel really hurt about it. I recently expressed that I would like to open a betta shop, where I would have control of products that I approve of for them etc. I have the whole thing mapped out in my head and I feel it would be the coolest thing ever. So far, no one has even said that they liked my idea or that they thought I should pursue it. Even though I still think it's a great idea, I feel a sense of betrayal, hurt, and overwhelming disappointment that people either think its a stupid or bad idea, or that they think i just cant pull it off.
They aren't meaning to hurt me, but that doesn't make it feel any better. At this point I am feeling extremely vulnerable and I almost wonder if I should stop the whole betta thing because people obviously think its unhealthy or something. It's hard to deal with so much negativity and disappointment.
Sorry to write such a long rant, but I feel like the only place I might get some unbiased (or at least not negatively biased) feedback/support.
Hey there sweetie, sorry about the family relationship troubles. Honestly I can't say I've experienced anything like that, but I feel for you.
My family thinks I'm nuts too, don't worry. But the fish makes you happy. That's all that matters! And I agree that having this community to come to makes things even more exciting. I don't think there's anything wrong with "filling the void" with animals (whatever kind they are). My parents sometimes complain about how much money I spend on the fish, my response is always "would you rather I spend it on drugs and alcohol?" They can't really argue with that, and it's so true. This hobby is a safe place, you are gaining knowledge learning about fish, you have something to kill time, and of course somewhere to spend all your money (haha, maybe not the best thing).
Better yet is the chance to make money doing something you really love. There are lots of ways to make money doing that, I would try selling things online first. Find something you are good at, breeding, aquascaping, plants, and work with that. Aquascaping is huge right now, so you could even try offering some classes on it once you get the hang of it. Read some books, get some practice. There's tons of possibilities out there, the limits are endless, this hobby is alive and well and there are tons of chances to get in on the action. Bettas themselves are popular too, if you are in a smaller town it might be a little tougher to get going though, but you never know until you try it out.
that's exactly how my situation is. every since october there was a horrible scarring scene and my parents are getting a divorce soon. ever since then i have been mentally damaged watching the scene replay every hour each day. every morning i dont feel like there is any point for me to get up. my grades are droppingi just want to be alone in bed everyday. i stayed home today because im literally dying inside.
PM me and we can talk and i could help you with the problems.
I'm not sure if this will really help you. But I can tell you that the issues with your family will get better, my parents have been divorced for over 10 years and I barely realize it's not the norm lol.
I love your idea of the betta fish shop. I think you should go for it. If there is one thing I've realized in this life it's that you need to chase your own dreams and no one else's. Go for it chick and you might find things start to look up.
Thanks for your support everyone :D I knew that if there was a place people would listen, it would be here. I really appreciate it, and I think I will try some things such as aquascaping :) it sounds fun
I love the idea of a betta store! A place where people can come and can actually trust that the person working in the store knows what they are talking about and that the items they are buying won't kill their fish? There is a market for that. Definitely. You could build relationships with some of the breeders on here and maybe be able to order requested bettas for your customers.
I get the excitement in coming on here. I love my fish, my tanks, and learning new things about this hobby. I used to live with someone who also shared my interest in it. Now I don't, and it is nice to be able to come here and people get it.
I also understand how it feels to have people think you are a "crazy fish lady". Don't let it bother you. Everyone has things that they enjoy and it isn't going to be the same person to person. Some people have an obsession with shoes, or with cars, or with dolls... Don't let other people put a label on you and carry around the weight of it. If this makes you happy, then enjoy it. You aren't hurting anyone and you aren't making someones life worse.
Taking care of these fish is therapeutic in a lot of ways and can help you focus on good things, rather than bad. It is nothing to be embarrassed of. Create beautiful tanks and raise happy fish. Do it all regardless of what people say, and with a smile on your face. As long as you are enjoying it, the ones who love you should be happy for you.
Whew. That's my opinion. Take what you want from it. Know that you can always come on here and be understood.
+1 Tabbie82: "Taking care of these fish is therapeutic in a lot of ways...." Part of it is the love you share with your bettas, part of it is what happens to your heart when you care for another living thing. The dream of a betta store is a great way to direct your energies/sublimate your frustrations: It is constructive and creative and fun. Negativity follows us in life whether we choose to embrace it or not, and I for one urge you not to give in, if you can manage it; I think perhaps much of your family's reaction to your love of bettas stems from being consumed with their recent divorce. It sounds as though everyone has been very traumatized, you perhaps most of all, and perhaps it is this stark fact more than a real intent to discourage you, that governs their attitudes towards your prospective venture. These situations are extremely complicated. I hope you don't put aside caring for bettas, because it is a source of real joy in your life.
I'm so sorry you're going through so much. You're not a crazy person for loving your fish. I think opening up a betta shop sounds like a cool idea. A lot of us have dealt with or are dealing with divorce so you're not alone.