Circular Thinking

Confirmation has been received from the state that mom’s driving retest is on the 9th. The department of licensing district manager that spoke to mom’s attorney asked if mom was able to take the written portion on paper or needed to take the test orally. The Island isn’t set up with computers for the written portion of the test. This is fantastic! If mom fails the written (and she indicated she’ll take the written on paper), she won’t be able to blame the computer. She’ll blame the state’s driver’s manual, which is indeed a shining example of wretched writing, if ever there was one. I am left wondering why there is an option to take the written test orally. If you can’t take a test in writting, how can you read the road signs?

Despite reading and hearing that the state does not issue provisional licenses, mom is convinced that after passing this retest she will be allowed to drive only on the Island. This combined with her focus on divesting herself, one way or another, of her mainland home, seems very self-reinforcing. She is convinced she won’t be able to drive on the mainland and will therefore be unable to get to her mainland home, which she feels ambivalent about. She wants to stay in her Island home. Not being able to drive anywhere but the Island consecrates this loop. It seems as though everything needs to be connected, rather than simply say, “I don’t want to live on the Mainland,” independently of her driving status. It’s hard to know whether this is a conscious strategy on her part or whether she fixates on the things she does because they ultimately give her a sense of control, comfort and familiarity.
So far, in the spirit of Go with the Flow, I haven’t corrected mom’s thinking about the fact the state does not issue provisional licenses. Should she pass the retest and tell me her license is provisional, I will have her attorney help her understand that is not the case.

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