Stress doesn’t always show up in ways we easily recognize as stress. For that reason we fail to remedy or eliminate a stressful situation simply because we do not realize it is, indeed a stressor.
Let me give you an example to clarify what I mean.
I live in the country. When I first moved here I pretty much screamed whenever I saw a mouse in my house. It freaked me out! (I know. Big me. Little mouse. You can stop laughing now.)
Well here I am 1 ½ year later. I no longer have a mouse catcher (more commonly known as a cat). I now have an upstairs mouse and a downstairs mouse in my house. Yuck!
Maybe I no longer jump or scream but I no way want pests in my house.
I could not figure out what to do to remove them. They move faster than you can imagine. Zoom– like a flash they fly across the floor moving from one hiding place to another!
Maybe I don’t scream any more but I definitely feel the stress of the situation inside me. I am not calm. Silly me. Until last night I thought that keeping m bedroom door closed would keep them out!
I discovered they are cagey and tiny and cannot keep them out of any more. I know. I discovered the mess they leave behind in my bedroom closet and in my office closet too. YUCH!
I didn’t stop to think about how stressed I feel until today. We spent hours playing hide-and-seek last night. I tried to think of the mouse as a pet and thought maybe I can have some fun – until I found all its messes on my things and had to clean it all up.
I did not sleep well. After barricading his known hideouts I had no clue where he wound up. Hoped he was not in my bedroom but had no idea really!
Today I definitely feel the stress level increasing.
I asked friend with mice problems what to do. She said she puts out poison. They take it back to the nest and no more mouse problem.
Realize I never liked killing anything – not even a fly. So for me to take steps to kill a mouse seemed impossible.
But here he was running through the room while I was teaching class. Not acceptable!
So I bought poison and put it out, as my friend told me to do.
I woke up this morning to the sounds of a mouse crying something awful. I never heard it make a single sound before. That pitiful squeak accompanied thrashing – behind my stove. I know that is his favorite hiding place.
I got this sinking feeling the poison was not fast acting and that little mouse was dying a slow and painful death,
Gee! My stress level went even higher.
I felt so bad – and guilty. I just did not know what to do.
The thought of a dead mouse behind my stove ran through my head. Pictures of that mouse writhing in pain ran through my imagination as I listened to it cry and thrash about.
Oh man. What do you suppose? Out he came again – all fine and playing more hide and seek.
Now I get to choose whether or not to let the mouse’s presence bother me or…send it love and hope it will allow me to catch it and put it outdoors.
Which do you think I chose? What would you do?