Wesley and I weren’t doing so well, when it came to many things, but especially in regard to Mr. Panic Sonic. I persisted in trying everything I could think of to get through to Wes just how bad the problem really was for me. So I weaved my way, back and forth, between various tactics.
I tried explaining calmly. I pointed out to Wesley that Mr. Panic Sonic was making our walls vibrate. He looked at me as if I were speaking Latin. “Look,” I said, “do you notice how the pictures are always askew?” He cocked his head to one side and looked at me and the walls. He didn’t understand, nor did he care. “Wesley,” I had to try again, “it’s because that TV is SO big and SO loud, it makes the pictures bounce around.” He still didn’t get it. I looked to convince him also by using his dog as proof of the severity of the situation. “Look at Shayla will you, don’t you see how the noise causes HER distress? It’s not just me, watch her ears and eyes, she doesn’t like it either – please, PAY ATTENTION!” Still, all my pleading went unheard. Calmly explaining didn’t work.
I resorted to yelling frequently, not because I really intended to but because I couldn’t make a dent by being nice. Well, yelling didn’t work either, it just got him yelling at me.
I threatened, too. “I swear to God, Wes, one of these days you’re going to come home from work and Mr. Panic Sonic will be sitting out on the curb.” Of course, threats didn’t work either, he simply supplied them back. “Go ahead, have it moved, but don’t be surprised if something of yours comes up missing.” Ouch! But, also understandable.
Another six months went by and I was literally a frantic blob of DNA. Though it might sound silly or sensationalized, the television did bring me that much grief. Obviously I am not a huge fan of TV, but I can tolerate it in small doses if the thing puts out ‘reasonable’ levels of volume. Which, by the way, is why I like small ones, because the big ones are like being at a rock concert or a movie theatre, additionally intolerable things. When the SOUND IS THAT LOUD, my skin crawls and I start sweating like a lumberjack. My heart beats rapidly, my rate of respiration increases and I want to run screaming, as fast as my little legs can carry me, away from the racket. Obviously, I have a noise problem, a hair-raising physiological response to being provoked in this way. I am not consciously choosing to respond like this, my brain is hard-wired to do so. Oh, my poor Amygdala!
If I can escape, get away, leave the ruckus behind, then I am fine. I calm down rather quickly. But when I can’t withdraw, I have a SERIOUS problem. And that was exactly the issue, I could NOT avoid Mr. Panic Sonic. Our living space equals EXACTLY 629 square feet. There’s not a whole lot of room TO escape. I could hear Mr. Panic Sonic in the bathroom, even while showering. I could hear him in the bedroom I shared with Wesley, even with the door shut, damn hollow thing. Mr. Panic Sonic boomed throughout the garage, the kitchen, even in the backyard. There was no way to GET away.
Oh, so you’re thinking, well why not just go for a walk or a drive? Yes, that’s a great idea, IF you can walk or drive. Alright then, so why not headphones – listen to some music? Well, who wants to wear headphones eight hours a day? It’s not very practical at times. Other times, even music I like gets distracting.
So, I felt stuck, that’s pretty obvious. Actually, not stuck – caged. I felt trapped. Like monkeys at the zoo, like any animal at the zoo. My unbearable anxiety soon enough turned to outright rage. This flight-or-fight response is no joke. When you can’t get away, your body is in deep doo-doo, eventually becoming wired for a downright shoot out! I heard whistling in my mind, it was time for a showdown.
When Wesley added theatre speakers to the already roaring television, I was fit to be tied. It was then that my rage came out a-roarin’ – panther was me. I was so consumed with irritation by the din of outrageously booming bass and high-pitched trills that I completely lost control of myself. Now, understand something, it’s not that I WANTED to be out of control. I just wasn’t thinking in terms of the damage that I was causing Wesley (or myself), because I couldn’t. Yes, that is right. I couldn’t. I didn’t yet possess the right skills.
The rage that came out a-roarin, hmm, how did it manifest itself? I threw dishes. Shattered them on the floor, tossed them against walls. I went through so many that Wes finally had to go out and buy a whole new set. I slammed doors and windows (yes, myself making the walls vibrate). I punched holes through walls, with my feet, fists – and doorknobs. I threw beverages, hot and cold, at least three times a week. Coffee, juice, tea, you name it, splashed everywhere. Once, I even through a hollow, four-foot tall ceramic statue of a Native American guy clear across the living room (I’m still sorry, Wesley). I screamed bloody murder, OFTEN, to the point our neighbors started pounding on our adjoining wall. I was, yes, absolutely, outrageously out of control and out of line. But I was still determined that Mr. Panic Sonic was leaving, one way or another, because the truth was, I REALLY COULD NOT take it anymore.
So, how DID I finally get rid of Mr. Panic Sonic and why DID it take so long? Stay tuned for the conclusion, Part 4, which contains the SHOCKING answer.