Monday, 1 October 2012

mind = officially blown

Just a short post to relate an interesting thing that happened at my last CBT session.

NB - I feel the need to couch some of the following in vague terms - apologies if this reads a bit weirdly.

I work in Arts Marketing and one of the things I work on is an annual arts festival. This year's festival was last week.

A couple of days later we received a complaint from a member of the public who had attended an event with her young son - just to ramp up the complaint a little further, her son has a developmental disability.

Now whenever I or any of my colleagues receive any messages like this, we automatically go straight into "mega-apology-mode". Then I read her email a bit closer.

Her complaint was (essentially) that the event, which took place at night, was in a location that she didn't know. And that being in unfamiliar surroundings, amongst crowds of people, late at night, can make her son panic.

HUMBLEBRAG - for this particular event, we got an estimated audience of 25,000 people.

So I pretty much spent all of last week completely full of sympathy for her son - who will undoubtedly have had a SHIT time - and raging about his mum.

The basic thrust of my rant(s) was as follows:

With my relatively low level of disability, whenever I go anywhere unfamiliar, I PLAN like it's a military operation.

How am I going to get there? Will there be parking? If I'm getting a lift, where am I going to get dropped off / picked up? Have I got my stick / orthotic support? Where are the toilets and where can I sit down?

Y'know, that kind of thing.

And if she's her son's primary care-giver, she should really have done (at least) that level of research in advance. If she had, she might have realised that this particular event was not the best one for her to attend.

So I relay all of this to my therapist. And she asks, Why am I so upset about this? If anything it sounds like she's deflecting her own feelings of letting her son down, I'll probably never meet him. So why have I been so angry?

"Are you just angry about the fact that you feel that YOU have to plan that much before you leave the house?"

So she totally called me out on it!

This sort of revelation is probably not that big a deal to anyone who has had any kind of therapy before, but my third-eye was well-and-truly squeegeed.

It goes back to something we talked about at the MS Seminar the other week: I need to pick my battles.

And I need to examine my motivations for involvement in any potential skirmishes more closely! The mind is a slippery beast indeed.

Shaw Taylor says....

KEEP EM PEELED

a word of explanation for our younger and more 'non-English' viewers:
"Keep 'em peeled" was the catchphrase from 'Police 5'.

Police 5 was a pioneering, early version of Crimestoppers and Crimewatch, presented by former continuity announcer Shaw Taylor and produced in association with Scotland Yard. Local versions were also produced by ATV and then Central and also Southern Television.

image and description from Ultimate LWT

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