We were watching a show about campus cops. (Yeah, I know, I have an indefensible weakness for this kind of thing.) So, anyway, they are trying to serve a warrant on a young woman, they know she's in her apartment, and is just not coming to the door. I'm imagining her sitting there in utter denial, thinking if she ignores them, the problem will just go away. D added the image of her in fetal position on her bed, completely freaked out and immobilized with anxiety. And we talked about stories of postmen who have stopped delivering mail, instead stuffing their homes with it. Or a lawyer who seemed to be functioning normally, but instead of filing motions, did nothing at all with the paperwork he prepared. Le Carre tells the story in Secret Pilgrim, of a handler who removed all sorts of secret files, not passing them to the enemy, but hiding them in his office, and baffled at why they'd gotten lost.
When I entered 4th grade, it was mixed with 5th grade in a three class divided into tracks. One mostly 4th grade, one about half and half, the third mostly 5th grade with a few bright 4th graders. I did very well in the last class, mostly because my reading levels were already at high school levels. Problem was, 4th grade is when multiplication tables were learned, and I was never much ahead in arithmetic. I began to ignore my math homework, assuming it would just go away. Mid year, reality yanked me hard. Demoted to the second track, I spent every day after school with mom drilling me on times tables. And weekends. Bullied by the kids my own age who figured I deserved it for pretending to be smart. I took it all very personally, and bitterly.
Seared onto my brain, never let paperwork slip, and that problems do not go away if I don't deal with them.
I would be one of those people who turn so far in I can no longer move, when stressed that much, but for this early lesson.