FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WANT + LISTENING TO THE FEELINGS BEHIND THE WORDS
I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. More estimates coming on remodel. Friends are having things going on. In-laws.
One particular friend is having marriage problems and DH and I feel concerned for that couple. (Different friend, not Divorcing Friend who is formerly Abused Friend. This seems to be "growing apart" problems rather than "abuse." Thank god. Not that it is FUN, but at least it is not abusive.)
Hung out with the parents and I could tell they have been snipping at each other. Mom's trying to hang in there but our patient Dad is on a roll.
He was hopping from topic to topic, behaving kind of manic, anxiety wittery, and having a minor cow.
At first my attitude was dread
-- because I really dislike roping him back in. I don't like Dad having alzheimer cows. I don't like having to deal with bringing him back to earth.
Kid was picking up on his fusspot and adding her own fusspot. I had to correct her a few times.
"Kid when you do X behavior -- does that ADD to the problems or take away?"
"Adds. I'm sorry."
It is hard for a kid -- she wants her own name. Today Dad couldn't deal with putting the right names on the right people and kept calling her the wrong one. Makes his communication harder to understand when you don't know who he is talking to or about which person for what.
But if you can't change something, you can at least change your attitude. Focus on what you want, not what you do NOT want.
So I changed my own internal channel from "Argh.... stupid Alzheimer! I don't want this today! I don't need this today!"
My internal Brain Board of Trustees kicked in:
Ms Emotion: Noooo! I don't want to deal in this today! I don't need this today! I am tired and cranky as it is from running errands and allergy shots and having to be patient with the kid, my patience bucket is running low!
Ms Logic: This is not a new thing. We've handled this before. Let me pull up the file. LAST time we were here that he had a cow was... and we did what to solve it?
Ms Diplomatic: Could focus on what you want. Don't focus on what you do not want.
Ms: Logic: Yup. We did that last time. Focus on what you want to get more of. Not what you do not want.
Ms Chairman of the Board: So what DO we want people?
All the voices in my head representing various thoughts and emotions -- stops yammering in my brain and answers in unison:
We want to minimize damage, we want to not have dad and kid stuck in a loop, we want all people to CALM DOWN. We want to visit a while, and then GO HOME.
Ms Logic: Divide and Conquer then.
I don't think Dad took his meds today. He was just too boingy manic seeming. But he had a bee in his bonnet about contact paper. So I told Mom to watch the kid and I took Dad out shopping. There. Divided.
On to conquering fusspots:
- Mom and kid would play something and chill. Mom would get a break from dealing in Dad witter. Dealing in kiddie is easy to Mom. (They ended up calling my sister to skype with baby cousin and talk about Christmas)
- Kid would get distracted playing something else and would get Dad off her back about how she was doing whatever it is wrong and get back in better temper.
- Dad would get away from Mom and get alone time with me to do what he wants -- get contact paper. He also gets the bonus of telling all sorts of "unload" -- who sucks and why in the car.
- I get an endpoint in sight. Given the the choice of feeling trapped in the house listening to suckage that has no end in sight, I'll take suckage on car trip because by the time we get to the store, he's off on a store kick and I can try to change his channel. Which stink choice stinks the least? Dollar store!
Possible cupcakes for all -- so let's try it and see. I was willing to pay the price of admission to find out.