Someone told me sometime during the Summer that I would just have to change my involuntary responses. Really? Do you not know the definition of “involuntary”?
What Are Involuntary Responses
These are emotional or physical responses that happen without conscious thought. They happen automatically. They are hard-wired into our body and brain. Here are some that I have experienced recently:
- Mother Bear: Threat to my child.
- Self Defense: Threat to myself.
The problem is, when I’m overly tired or in the grip of the Fearsome Foursome I cannot always differentiate between the actual and the perceived. An attack perceived brings out the claws and fangs the same as an actual attack.
What I Do
When I’m too tired or the Fearsome Foursome are threatening to rampage I really only have one choice. Separate myself from everything. Why? Because I never know what will set me off or if it will be tears or rampage.
This is usually a simple process of going to my personal space. That is usually just going home or finding a quiet place. I just need time to either take a nap or regroup. Sometimes its only a matter of about 20-30 minutes to just breath. Sometimes I need a lot more time. Sometimes its a few hours or even days.
When People Won’t Let Me
This is when things get out-of-hand. I start to feel frustrated and angry. I start to shake, cry and struggle not to eat someone. This leads to arguments, bad feelings and sometimes the end of a relationship.
Why won’t some people just give me space? Why won’t they listen when I try to explain or just tell them to go away? It’s not that I don’t care. I just need to breathe, regroup and quiet the dragons.
Please Be Considerate
During a family gathering I retreated to the house for some quiet and space. I was tired and feeling overwhelmed. Then the older children began coming in and gathering around me to visit with each other. When asked to go outside the asked, “Why?” Simple. Because it is the rules of a Summer BBQ. Everyone stays outside. “But we don’t have to at home.” I don’t care, this is not your home. Backs were turned on me and I was ignored. Babies were allowed to run around and be noisy. I was angry. After having people be rude to me all day I just wanted some space and quiet. I finally blew up and yelled at someone. They pulled attitude and I threatened to eat them. I was told to just chill and get rid of my attitude.
That was it. I went upstairs and told my parents then I adjourned to my bedroom shaking, crying and very angry. I did come out and explain to another grownup, in very simple words, why I was so upset. My mother told me she would take care of it. I went back to my room. The other grownup did finally apologize later. To this day none of the children have. Not one.
I Won’t Put Up With It Anymore
I cannot change my involuntary responses. They are an inherent part of me. They have been hardwired into the human brain since the beginning of time. If you don’t like it, too bad.
I have joked about my illnesses over the years just to deal with them. Now, some of the nieces and nephews think I’m a joke and they don’t have to be polite, respectful or considerate. Well they do. If only because I am their Aunt. They should also remember that I have BBQ sauce and I know how to use it. Next time I will eat them.