Growing up I had a number of siblings near my own age. Young siblings usually don’t see the advantages they have and instead compete with each other for attention and privileges. There were a lot of insults flying around in my childhood. Some even made it onto the family blackboard.
Even if an insult appeared on the blackboard, it just needed to be spotted to be immediately erased. Then one day my older sister did something new. She wrote an insult and beside it wrote “True if destroyed”.
At first I didn’t know what to do with this new thing. I probably went to erase the blackboard but then stopped myself. It would be as if I was making the insult true. That “True if destroyed” preyed on my mind and I finally decided that erasing it would activate the “True if destroyed” thus actualizing the insult.
To me the insult existed in a state of neither true or false, some kind of Schrodinger’s cat which was neither alive nor dead until the box was opened. So I had to deal with leaving up an insult directed at me in order to keep it powerless. I swear it was about this time that I developed a nervous tic.
I stayed strong and left these insults up. It became obvious to me that not allowing my sister to complete an insult or the “True if destroyed” part was the best solution. So I became better at catching my sister in the act.
But unfortunately she came up with the abbreviation “T.I.D.” which stood for the tic inducing phrase. Occasionally I’d stop her in time, but only some of the time. I swear my tic became worse.
But eventually my sister became unsatisfied. She was not content to wait for me to actualize all these insults. So she started putting “T.I.N.D.” up with the insult and “T.I.D.” She figured this “True if not destroyed” gave me no room to get out of the insult.
And I saw that my sister was just nasty and trying to leave me with no avenue for escaping the insult. If there is no way out, of course, there is no reason to leave any insult up. So instead of deep thinking, the solution was to keep erasing all insults. There was no more hesitation.
My sister had been winning up to this point. But with no insult left up and no deep thinking necessary, I swear any nervous tic I had went away. Not being able to stand me having a way out, my sister lost her ability to prey on my mind. To me it became one of those rare victories for the younger sibling.