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My sister and her partner recently order a trampoline for their almost teenager daughter. She’s on the autism/aspergers spectrum. When she needs to burn off energy she likes to bounce on a trampoline. She has a small one person trampoline with handle bars that she used to like and it seemed to burn off alot of calories too. Sometimes you need something bigger though.
So a full size trampoline was ordered and duly dispatched to be delivered by a courier company.
Unfortunately one part was sent to my niece’s house and the other to her grandparent’s address! The company returned to collect the bit from the wrong address and promised to take it to my niece’s house to unite it with the other bit with the result that the trampoline could be assembled and my niece could bounce.
Sadly, frustratingly, increasingly exasperatingly, it took almost a week for the part to be delivered to the right address.
During this time my niece became increasingly frustrated. She’s autistic. She expected (as did everyone) to have the trampoline at the house when the delivery company said it would be there.
It took all my sister’s ingenuity and creative thinking to divert her daughter’s increasing frustration.
One of the other families in the neighbourhood heard and said to my sister, “If your daughter needs to bounce send her over here.”
The neighbour had a trampoline which could be used for emergency bouncing in the meantime.
It could avert a possible trampoline still hasn’t arrived meltdown.
It made me think.
How do we bounce?
What do we do to release our frustrations, when our exasperation levels are rising too fast, when our expectations are disappointed, when we clench our fists to the stage we’d fancy ourselves in the ring with Mike Tyson in his prime?
How do we bounce?
When I was a kid I used to get my football and batter it off the side of the house, much to my parent’s dismay, pretending I was whatever world class footballer was around at the time.
Nowadays I might take the dog for an energy sapping walk.
Some people will go to a gym or stick on their trainers and pound the poor pavement till the council needs to step in to repair the damage.
Some people go for a drive in the car and play screamingly loud music. This means they can also, should they so desire, scream their frustrated heart’s angst dry, on the grounds that anyone watching would think they were merely screaming along to the tortured voice of the angst driven singer.
I have heard of people who would go somewhere safe without people around and throw crockery at a wall.
Some people have boxing punchbags and let off steam on that.
Some lock themselves in the toilet, bite down on a sponge and let out the quietest blood curdling scream they can.
Some people fire up a games console and blast some pesky aliens critters to kingdom come.
I hear of someone once who would get the garden hose to water plants but turn the pressure way up so the plants were getting water cannoned. I suspect if the unfortunate person causing the upset had been present they’d have found themselves soaked.
Maybe you have a very good friend you can call up or go visit and if you spend an hour growling and groaning and screeching and shouting at the unfairness of everything and anything…they don’t mind a bit and will keep feeding you cake or chocolate or whatever while you screech. You’d do the same for them.
How do you bounce?
Bouncing is an essential part of life.
If we don’t bounce, if we don’t have safe ways to get rid of our frustration levels, our growing annoyance and anger, they can explode in more dangerous ways.
It’s important to have safe ways to bounce.
How do you bounce?