Street work is going on outside our house. Evidently the lifespan of a suburban street built by the contractor's son-in-law is about 30 years. We got the note in the mailbox that in four days our stretch of the nepo-street is to be re-poured, and we cant use our driveway. So we must park on the street, thus our in-home electric vehicle charging station will also be inaccessible.
This one tick of stress kicked Gary up over his stress horizon and he was out of control, stomping around the house, escalating.
"THEY WANT US TO PARK ON THE STREET SO THEY CAN DROP GRAVEL ALL OVER MY NEW CAR AND IF WE DON'T MOVE OUR CARS OUT OF THE GARAGE IMMEDIATELY ALL THE SPOTS WILL BE GONE."
I told him I didn't have time for this, shut the door, and ignored him until he came back in completely calm.
"I PARKED MY CAR IN THE Street ... And ... I feel better."
I pointed out he had places to go in the next four days, and he said he knew that, he knew it was irrational, but he felt total peace now.
So I suppose that's the trick. I always try to reason with him, but really I just need to wait until he invents whatever personal stress placebo he needs.
I mean, yes, finding a thing you can do so that you feel *part* of the situation is under your control rather than it all just happening to you without any recourse... that is often helpful. For me, usually that is a "well, I've done what I can do, so at least whatever happens isn't going to be my fault" and yes, it's 99% irrational because 1. my tiny action is unlikely to change the outcomes significantly and also 2. people *will find a way to blame you* (or not to blame you) for disastrous outcomes, whether that's a tornado or gravel being poured on your car, so it's not fully escaping that fear, either.
But placebos can be good stuff sometimes. And sometimes your tiny actions really do make a difference, however minor. And having a tangible action to let things go with does... a thing... like a ritual does, in your head. (I know someone who has a hard time *throwing away* cards but if she puts each through a shredder, it's easy; it's her own action that is taken with each card and which makes her not feel guilty about throwing them away, even though a shredded card is... not being less thrown away?... than an unshredded card. But on the other hand, the shredded card is *definitely done* whereas you could always retrieve the unshredded cards until they actually go out in the recycling, so...I don't know. Human psychology is a weird mess of rational and irrational!
Posted by: KC | March 29, 2023 at 11:05 AM
KC - the card makes sense to me. Here I am, holding a card too close to the shredder, whoops, the shredder got it.
Posted by: theQueen | March 29, 2023 at 04:39 PM
What she was describing sounded less "oops" and more... uh... viking funeral-ish? Like, honoring an item by individually destroying it in a somewhat meditative and definitely deliberate manner.
But yeah, I could see "oops" working as well. :-)
Posted by: KC | March 30, 2023 at 04:47 PM
KC - She could burn it in the Weber Barbecue. That's where I have my Viking funerals.
Posted by: theQueen | April 01, 2023 at 08:59 PM