I’m thinking of it like this: Inside us, there is an adult-self who is wrangling a cynical, sneering, defiant, teenager-self who is hell-bent on or enamored with their powerless role in the unfairness of the world. Rationalizing or reasoning with them won't work because they’re probably right. So we (our adult-selves) engage them in something distracting to ease the grip of their reality just enough to let something else in: The possibility that their grim reality is not our ultimate reality.
This is incredibly profound, Lee. Wow. Explains a lot of my weird behaviors over the past few years. Thank you for this insight. I can use this!!!