Have you ever had the feeling that your wife was not your wife, or that your son was not your son, or that your mother was not your mother? Odd question, I know, but weve all had instances where someone we know well behaves in such a fashion that they almost seem like a different person.
Obviously old age can have an affect on our personalities, but this usually is a slow process that happens over a long period of time. Im speaking of the quick, Jekyll/Hyde phenomenon where someone suddenly seems entirely different.
This curious circumstance happens frequently with young children, usually triggered by the onset of exhaustion. I know that if my son skips a nap, sometime around 7:00 p.m. hell begin to show signs of being overtired. If I dont act quickly and get him into bed, all hell can break loose. He can go from a happy, carefree young boy to an enraged psychopath almost instantly. I learned pretty quickly to not engage this creature, as it is incapable of rational thought. The key is containment; never attempt to fight the monster head on.
My wife can also fall victim to the Jekyll/Hyde phenomenon. While she is also capable of snapping because of exhaustion, her release into the mental abyss is generally triggered by a lack of sustenance. Well be having a lovely conversation and suddenly Ill notice that she isnt paying attention to me anymore - and then shell start to clean. I would love to understand why the physiology of her body is such that when it requires nutrients, she feels the need to play with Windex or do laundry. Of course, theres nothing wrong with cleaning. The problem is that she cleans like an enraged madwoman and at such a feverish pace that no one around her feels safe. When this happens Ill generally hold her down and force a donut or Snickers bar into her mouth until her blood pressure drops.