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July 08, 2020

Comments

KC

That is *fascinating.* New habits can indeed be formed - it just might take... how many weeks?

How is this interplaying with abandonment and/or being asked questions while peeing?

TheQueen

KC - there seem to be not quite as many abandonment issues on all sides, and he hasn’t talked while I was peeing since I made such a big deal about it!

KC

HOORAY! That is excellent on both counts!!!

Arlene

The best marriage I know of is two people who have separate and in-common friends and separate and in-common interests/activities.

TheQueen

KC - I spoke too soon. I was just interrogated when I left the room he was in for ten seconds.
Arlene - I wish Gary had more hobbies and more friends, but if he needed more of either he could easily get more, I suppose.

KC

HA! Gary: perfect timing. :-)

I think lots of men need more hobbies - interests and activities that reduce their wives' need for therapy - but yes, one cannot foist them on them. (my husband is adequately-hobbied and also not retired, but oy, the retired men I know who do not have hobbies aside from getting angry at the news... it's not a good thing.)

TheQueen

KC - his hobby is feeding and watching the nocturnal creatures, but that's not really a hobby where you can develop or grow.

KC

Mm. Yes. Time for an additional hobby, perhaps? (I mean, I think there are ways people could squeeze every last drop out of local animal feeding - doing controlled long-term experiments on food preferences, or research in various other forms - but most people don't even write down what birds show up at their birdfeeders in a day, so...)

But at least he has *one* hobby other than Internet/News Rage - I'm pretty sure that's at least an improvement on many!

TheQueen

KC - for a while there he was reading up on physics and string theory. Again - not something we’re you can develop or grow. He does have a set of golf clubs downstairs ... that might give him a chance to socialize too.

KC

You can totally grow and just keep on going in straight-up-learning-stuff hobbies, but they are generally not hands-on so much (which is a Hobby Utility), and most people do hit an "okay, I'm tired of this now" or an "okay, I'd probably need to take a course where I can ask questions to get any farther at understanding this" point. Some of the latter go to grad school in various ways/forms (I've met quite a few) and then end up being independent researchers the rest of their lives, if the discipline they're studying doesn't require institutional support (labs or research materials that are not within the grasp of the semi-finanically-independent scholar).

Golf baffles me. I mean, it's not that it doesn't seem adequately technically challenging: hit tiny ball into tiny hole a very long way away (while coping with wind and the grass and various other forces). But it seems a lot less active/interactive than, say, tennis. More walking than baseball, anyway, though...

TheQueen

KC - I think the appeal of golf is that you are really challenging yourself, not the other people you are playing with, like in tennis.

KC

Eh, there are competitive golfers who will only agree to play with people they think they can beat. But yes! There is somewhat more of a Personal Best option as with swimming or running, unlike in tennis.

Lynn

Well, this is encouraging, even though I read the comments and I see there has been some backsliding. But now that we are all in the house together all the time, it's like this for me - I feel like I can't leave our shared common office for five minutes without my husband dropping all his own work to come and find me and figure out what I'm doing. I am just about ready to build a She Shed (and trust me, I hate that term SO MUCH) in the backyard.

TheQueen

Lynn - so you have the opposite situation? Interesting. I wonder if Gary’s releasing his grip on my time isn’t just because we’ve had limitless time to spend together. It might be because I’ve been asking permission. Truly, I say “hey, is it okay with you if I go in the basement and paint for a few hours?” He never says no (as if I would change my plans if he did). And even on the day I was still painting after three hours, all he did was call out “Paintpaintpaint!” from upstairs. Perhaps I just need to “ask” when I use the bathroom and let him know how long I expect to be there.

KC

An aversion to not knowing what's going on plus liking a cushion for introducing new ideas to the brain (because he *could* theoretically say "I thought you were going to [do thing] now?" if he was on a different track) might make a lot of sense, actually.

"Heading to the bathroom. Any last words?" would be pretty hilarious. :-)

TheQueen

KC - he grew up with a pretty strict schedule, and he Really likes the unstructured days — but I need structure and I need to go to the bathroom.

KC

There's liking a lack of structure imposed on *yourself* while still liking to know what's going on and approximately what's going to go on around you, though? (which is not as hypocritical as it sounds unless you try to make other people comply with not structuring you while you structure them and you pretend this is Fair Somehow)

I mean: some people really hate loud noises, unless they're the one in control of the loud noise and aware of what it's doing and going to do and how it's going to change, which results in *the people who hate snowblower noise the most* being the ones who do the snowblower-ing, sometimes. So, I could imagine something similar for structure, sort of.

Also, yes, it is important to be able to go to the bathroom. And to have whatever structure is necessary for your mental health! I just don't know whether Gary would care (or perhaps even like knowing what your structures are even better than not caring!) if you have your structure as long as it doesn't force him to do something at a specific time or whatever.

TheQueen

KC - That’s very specific. Who in your life hates snowblowers?

KC

Some random person I met on a trip to Minnesota? I suppose perhaps I shouldn't have believed them? But I've observed the phenomenon with other people and other Loud Noise Items; even industrial-size stand mixers are less jolting of a noise if you personally flip the switch on them (although also watching the switch being flipped is less startling than just having the loud noise out of nowhere in an otherwise completely-silent kitchen).

And, personally, I hate the sound of a vacuum cleaner *less* when I'm the one running it than when someone else is. I still kinda hate it, though - the loud and then abruptly rattling/clattering lego-stealer of my childhood, and also I had recurring fears that, if a hamster had escaped and someone was vacuuming, that they'd poke the vacuum nozzle under a sofa and slurp up the hamster. (note: none of our hamsters actually got slurped into the vacuum cleaner nozzles.) I have come around to hating the sound of a vacuum cleaner less over the years, though. But it's still loud and unpleasant.

TheQueen

KC - I don’t think( have any aversions to loud noise, unless it’s attached to some kind of violence ... wall punching , Door slamming.

KC

I've always disliked home vacuum cleaner sounds (not shop-vac, not industrial) and have had some sensitivity to loud noises (because they can give me a headache. However, once my ANS got screwed up and started doing weird stuff with adrenaline, my startle reflex and my response to loud noises are both really frustrating, because 1. I cannot fully turn off the response by logically explaining the stimuli and 2. they come with symptoms (nausea! pain!) caused by the overload of adrenaline within my malfunctioning body.

But out in the normal not-actively-sick population, I know a whole lot of people who are sensitive to loud sound - some just have exceptionally good hearing and low toleration for the heavy-duty noise levels, others have focus issues that mean loud sounds result in losing their train of thought, others have easy-onset headaches, and others have mild to severe sensory processing disorder aspects. (I don't think I know anyone who has identified as having misophonia, although that's also apparently a thing?)

Anyway. Yes. If the noise is associated with something bad-emotional or alarming, then I personally respond to it worse than if it's an Unpleasant But Explicable As Non-Catastrophic noise, so I'm with you on the violence/anger side there.

TheQueen

KC - your ANS description sounds awful, like nausea and pain on top of a panic attack. It sounds dreadful.

KC

Yeah, it honestly is pretty awful when it is being awful! As far as we can tell (there's a diagnosis but it's not a syndrome where we actually know what's going on underneath, and it has various different subtypes), my body interprets more input than it ought to as bad stress that should be immediately reacted to. Also, if there *is* bad stress, it reacts to it several notches higher than it ought to, and the physical residue of this collects/accumulates (I mean: think of one of those days, where things just *keep going wrong* and your stress level goes a notch up with each AUGH and while it comes slightly down in between, it doesn't fully return to normal until you have a longer time to decompress? It's a bit like that, except with physical symptoms coming along with each lump of stress, and with the body not merely interpreting "I just dropped my keys into the garbage disposal and I have to leave for work in three minutes" as stress units that don't immediately vanish, but also interpreting things like "video ad for car in sidebar of page" or "wood chipper is making noise outside" or "you got excited about a book that is coming out" as legitimate sources of cumulative bad stress). So I have to substantially limit stress and stimulation, otherwise the body fries out. (and yes, when it's fully toasted, it ends up in something with symptoms strongly resembling what I've heard about a panic attack, except 1. it can be several hours long and, in theory, panic attacks are supposed to be shorter, and 2. there are some people who have had both this condition and have had panic attacks, and they say there are "subtle differences" - whatever exactly that means. Okay, plus the pain layers; I think nausea/vomiting is a relatively common panic attack symptom, though?)

Let me tell you, this has made the current presidency and the pandemic *really* fun.

Fortunately, it is not always being awful, even when things are prodding it to some degree. So there is that. And I can often remain "within budget" mostly and keep symptoms at a relatively low level. But there has also been lot of awful, which is no fun.

But there are lots of worse things to be sick with, so there's that? :-) And when stress levels do go down, then symptoms go down and function levels go up, and there's a chance of recovery if we can just get *enough* things to stop malfunctioning all at once. So! There is possibility, but there is also lots of unpleasantness.

KC

(I should probably note that it is a syndrome that the Mayo Clinic verified as "yes, we clocked your body doing that weird thing that defines this syndrome and also these other weird things that tend to cluster with this syndrome for reasons we don't know yet but are very curious about" and is not something Dr. Oz or similar quacked up. And I am uninterested in any random "BUY OUR MLM SUPPLEMENTS" commenters, although if actual humans with a brain attached have suggestions of things to read up on and try, I'm often game. I've read reams of medical literature at this point, but there's always more!)

TheQueen

KC - I read that people with panic attacks (not your syndrome) have found that the pandemic has reduced the number of attacks they have ... something like “They don’t have to be on guard anymore because the crisis is here” so they don’t have adrenaline surges. But it sounds like your thing is doing the opposite.

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