Note To Self:

I am not a tattoo kind of person. Firstly, I cannot imagine spending money on something that I can't change, and secondly, while I'm sure they look great on people with plump firm skin, I fear I may turn out to be a saggy old lady with indecipherable wrinkly tattoos. So no "ink' for me.

 But if I did get a tattoo, I would get this:



Because I often forget. And I fear it is often at the root of so much of my children's, my husband's and my own often indecipherable behaviour.

It is hard, because I am a pretty gutsy person. I like change, I like a challenge. I get bored VERY easily and like to flit from one new thing to the other. Hell for me is being stuck in one place, doing one thing.
But my hell is someone else's heaven. Some people like consistency, the familiar, stability.

Anything unpredictable makes them anxious and it is important to be empathetic to this, to understand that very real anxiety about the unknown. 


Because if I remember my high school maths; x = the unknown
it could be good x, it could be an indifferent x but it could be bad x.

A bit like this:


For my family, the unknown is like 3 numbered doors in a japanese game show.

The rule is you can open anyone you like, but you must face down whatever is behind the door you choose:

Door number 3 is a bottle of perfectly chilled prosecco.

Door number 2 might be an freshly laundered grey sock,

and door number 1 might be that bear from the documentary about the guy who thought he could live with the bears and ended up having his face, hands and feet bitten off and eaten while his girlfriend filmed him, before she got eaten too.

You have 2 chances of remaining unharmed, one chance of getting something you really like and one chance of having your face torn off and made into a bear snack.

Do you opt out of the game completely and go home empty handed (but with your face intact) or do you try and quiz the host about all the possibilities of what could happen as you open each door and increase the odds of getting the nice prize?

I do have a tendency to go through life seeing the prosecco glass as half full. When I perceive risk, I see potential possiblities, and in challenges I can usually identify opportunities and parameters for influencing the outcome I want. But sometimes I too can be overwhelmed by the bear...


Let me explain; Times are tight. We have been economically challenged for the last 6 months, and our usual family holiday in Nerja, Spain just isn't possible. Work is too precious to be taking 3 weeks off and funds too short.
So this year I am taking Liam to Nerja on my own. I'm using our annual respite grant which thankfully we still receive and giving them each a break from each other

I've trimmed back the size of house we usually rent, I've trimmed the time and,
I have for the first time booked us on to  a "low fares' airline as it was half the price of our national carrier.

And I'm terrified. I found the website perplexing, I didn't understand the "extras" or whether I had even completed the booking the first time and I had to start again.

Even after I confirmed the flights I kept asking my husband whether I will be able to book a seat when I check in, how the carry on baggage is supervised, whether they allow priority boarding for special needs, whether people will respect that priority?

And he recognised my anxiety. He said: "you are talking about this a lot" - which made me smile because it is exactly what Liam does when he doesn't understand the parameters of a forthcoming event. It could be something good; it could be a new tutor who is giving him a bit of lee-way, or a visit to a different park or shopping centre where he could get something he really likes.
But he just can't cope with the anxiety of not knowing exactly how it will all turn out. So he keeps biting his hands while asking the same questions to get the same answers and scrolling and scripting through the steps that will be involved

I have learned from experience not to give him too much time to work himself up over a minor event, or to give him a LOT of time and a lot of visual tangible structural preparation.

My husband has similar anxieties, but he just rejects outright any new suggestion that he hasn't had a chance to get used to. Then maybe a week later he will revisit the idea and express luke-warm interest, and then maybe another week later he will tell someone else about it as if it was his idea all along. It is just a process.

Me? I am a planner. I prepare, I plot, I map. I really really want the prize. I want the sun, the break from the doom and gloom of our economic woes and a chance to bond with my giant son again.

I just got to work out how to avoid that bear....

x

Comments

Ooops this is me too, I find the idea of taking my special girl anywhere new very stressful because I don't know if I'll be able to manage when I get there. And then I bite my hands...
Jean said…
Gotta say I'd kick that bear's arse for a glass of prosecco. Enjoy your holiday! XXX
jazzygal said…
Oh brilliant! Love this! I tell ya, that booking of the low cost airline seats ALWAYS freaks me out and I still get anxious when going on holidays. there was a time I could blame that on my son's anxiety but no more. I must lay claim on my own anxiety. Btw...that airline DID accept a letter from his previous card (days before IAA cards) and actually allowed us avail of priority boarding. That was then though....

xx Jazzy
Can be treated in several ways. Better start on proper and daily exercise.

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