The Angry Birds
November 30, 2016
“A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder
Since I’m having to play ‘catch up’ on what a life living with Dissociative Identity Disorder has been like for the last year or so, I thought I would introduce you to some comical friends of mine….The Angry Birds. If you’ve ever followed my blog you know that living with DID has some very funny moments among so many difficult ones. When I have an opportunity to belly laugh I usually will take it wherever and whenever I can. And by the way…..Laura Ingalls Wilder and I have been BFF’s since childhood.
One of the many perks of having DID is the overwhelming anxiety that permeates every pore and cell in my body. While having social anxiety and not wanting to leave the house is very doable. There’s also the feeling of needing to ‘get away.’ This does present quite a dilemma at times. Writing is a great therapeutic tool for really anyone if it’s your ‘cup of tea.’ It never has never been one for me until I started writing this blog. The term “journaling” has always had a negative connotation associated with it. I promise every time it’s been suggested I look at the person like my oldest son does me when I tell him that chicken nuggets, candy and boogers are not food groups. But the Angry Birds are definitely therapeutic in their own unique way for us as well.
As I’ve stated before, living in the state of New Mexico with a mental health diagnosis that carries so much stigma has given a whole new meaning to desert living. Lack of resources calls for creative therapeutic tools such as this blog. Through no intention of my own we are beginning to have a real fascination for a group of birds that live in a city park. The Angry Birds are not the ones watched on TV and the movies by many children. But yes they do provide entertainment for this ‘system’ and to those passing by and possibly overhearing conversations between me and these birds
What started as another place for me to go and decompress, in times of need, is quickly becoming a place where lessons in therapy and life are happening. I’ve always enjoyed animals because a connection with them has always felt safe. People I fear. No I’m not a tree hugger. I just enjoy and respect the human/animal bond.
The Angry Birds consist of a mixture of around 100 birds that include mostly waterfowl. Some of them I recognize and some I do not. It’s pretty much duck, duck, goose for me. I initially started going out to that area and feeding them bread at random times just for a change of environment. Then it got incorporated into my morning schedule. Each morning I would go out and spend a few minutes with these birds talking and thinking. With this many birds at one time behavior issues about territory were bound to arise. I always seemed to have one alpha goose that would keep all of the encroaching birds out of my personal space. This bird is rewarded for its hard work and loyalty with a whole piece of bread to itself. The first therapeutic pitfall with these birds are BOUNDARIES specifically there’s smashing over mine. There was a lot of biting other birds butt feathers and uncalled for loud honking. This I realized is what my ‘system’ looks and operates like at this time……Chaotic.
Soon these birds had grown to expect me to show up with their bread like I was a local drug dealer dropping off a stash. I would drive up to the area and I would instantly see and hear flippers heading my way and the Canadian geese flying in. In these early moments, I have definitely felt like Ace Ventura Pet Detective. They all get that Zombie Eyed look about them while looking and walking towards me. In this moment I feared for my lady bits until I realized that the bag of bread was hanging in that area. Yes I did quickly move it. Because of their territorial nature our very early conversations consisted of me trying to talk to the Canadian Geese about manners for waiting our turn. I would literally be hollering at them, “Be Loving!!!!” And at times I would throw flying saucers and baseballs made purely of wheat bread at them to help correct their behavior issue. The feeding frenzy that would ensue is one that would have Jeff Corwin scratching his head.
One of my moments of arguing with one of the Angry Birds I’ve named Mouthy who is a really, loud mouth grey goose, started hissing and honking at me one day. He was biting the other birds and starting to use offensive language with me so I did the only thing I could think to do in the moment….Honk back. I looked up to see a mother and her small child laughing at this conversation. It was a very immature moment but Mouthy settled down and was grateful for his bread. I told him, “Mouthy you can’t just go around biting and bullying when you’re in a bad mood.” BAM!!! There was a therapeutic revelation. Simple revelation but still a revelation nonetheless. I began to make a connection to my past about this scene of me and these birds. It took me several minutes to be able to convey what this moment was like. ” I know, I know” a certain little insider said. It’s like being in Mr. Popper’s Penguins the movie. I had to chuckle and I said, “Well little one, I guess you’re right.” Granted there was a lot of biting, very unnecessary and over stimulating honking by all of them and I simply said, “Ya’ll are some angry ass birds.” And that’s how the therapeutic Angry Birds have come to be.
Disclaimer: No birds or waterfowl were ever harmed before, during or after any visit.