Don’t put one tension up against another

This is from the meeting of Tuesday, 11 October 1983, at Newport. The second question of the evening came from Annabelle. I have not even tried to accurately render the continual back and forth, of a few words spoken, then Annabelle talking over the top of Mrs Adie, and so on. But everything in Mrs Adie’s answers, such as she was allowed to speak, is faithfully rendered.

Annabelle’s question began by relating that she showed excessive emotion, especially towards her daughter. She asked whether it was all right to change her sleep pattern in order to do a good preparation?

“How did you get on this morning?” asked Mrs Adie.

The reply was that she had not prepared, and that she had felt quite weightless. However, while Annabelle had said a good deal about her reactions to her daughter, it is striking, in retrospect, that she did not explain why she asked about her sleeping pattern.

“Your reactions with your daughter fall into an old pattern,” replied Mrs Adie. “You speak about being there, ready and waiting, but if you can’t respond, and can only react, you are not sufficiently well prepared.”  At this point, I am sure, Mrs Adie understood to her to be saying that she thought she might need to get up earlier in order to do a longer preparation. And this was partly correct. Yet, Annabelle went off on a different tack, still neither directly stating why she felt might need to set the alarm earlier, nor what she thought the danger might be.

“Is it true that if you are more present during the day, you need less rest?” Annabelle asked.

“I think it’s very difficult to generalise about that,” Mrs Adie began to say. Then Annabelle cut across her, and stated the issue: it was that her daughter wakes up at 6.00a.m., and she, Annabelle, also sets her alarm for the same time, because she believed that she needed to sleep until then. She asked: “Should I get up an hour earlier? I feel it’s easy to get lost when I awake with my daughter and then it’s all go.”

“It’s easy to get lost no matter what you’re doing,” Mrs Adie said. “What you are describing is a regular pattern of getting into a dreary negative state.”

“And that gives you your answer. You have to try different things. Try getting up twenty minutes earlier, or fifteen, or thirty. See what works. If you can discipline yourself do a preparation then, rather than spending the time to get ahead with the housework, you might even be able to come to a state where you are not reacting to her mood.”

“It will not be easy to maintain that. You have to try. But try in a very relaxed way. Don’t put one tension up against another. Be very relaxed inside. Let the yelling pass through. Don’t let it pull you out or get on your nerves. There is no need for it to. But it needs a constant effort. The effort to start up is one thing. But it needs another effort to maintain it. Try.”

7 June 2016

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