A simple analogy.
I am trapped in a cage with a tiger. It can be fearsome and actually, pretty bloody violent! Well, that’s tigers for you! This tiger can take great big swipes at me and if it catches me with it’s claws then ouchie!
When you’re trapped in a cage with a tiger you learn ways to coexist. So sometimes I might just run round and round in circles with the tiger chasing me. Other times if I play dead and hide in the corner the tiger will come and paw at me but it’s not so bad. Sometimes the tiger goes for a sleep. I never know how long his nap will be. If it’s a really long sleep then I can almost forget he’s there as I go about, y’know, regular cage stuff.
Apparently though there are better ways to manage a tiger. It’s called Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, or DBT. I’m learning this tiger taming stuff but, I tell you, it’s hard. Sometimes my tiger just doesn’t do what he’s supposed to – my mother in law would say he hasn’t read the book! Other times I’m so busy trying to stop the tiger from mauling me, like he might have me pinned to the floor, that trying to implement these tiger taming skills is nigh on impossible. Sometimes the coaches pop by and they will shout advice from outside the cage. All very well and good but can’t they see I have a tiger on top of me?! There are occasions when their shouts feel critical and that really hurts. I’m doing my best. Who wants to be bitten and scratched by a tiger? Not me!
So I’m learning all sorts of tricks. Happily I see him behaving every so often. I’m tired though. So, so tired. Learning how to tame a tiger when living with an out of control tiger is utterly exhausting. It’d be much easier if I could just pop in to the cage for a few minutes a day – like learning a musical instrument – instead of being stuck in this cage with him all the time.
A ringmaster suggested a pill I can give to the tiger. This should quiet him a bit which will give me a better chance of learning how to control him. Control is the wrong word actually. It’s not about control: coexisting or managing are better. The DBT coaches are purists. They believe it’s best to tame tigers naturally and that’s what I’ve been trying to do but I really am very injured by him. I’ve been told that this pill could cause all sorts of problems from me and my tiger and I’ve been very reluctant to try it. After all, I wanted to learn to tame him properly, I wanted to please the purists.
Thing is, though, I’m scared. Tigers can actually kill people. Did you know that? Being locked in a cage with a pissed off tiger does increase the chance of that happening. So, I’m going to get that pill and try it. It will make him very sleepy. That could be a bad thing as he might be too sleepy to learn but I think I need to try really. I do feel like a failure for resorting to it and I’m very nervous about how it will go. I’ve asked lots of people and been given a variety of answers but the decision is made.
Next time I see the ringmaster I will ask him for quetiapine for my tiger.