Problems with me I can fix. I don’t really know how to approach an issue of this magnitude beyond accepting that I am part of the problem. That may also be depression that pushes that view as well. Even if it’s not entirely me, there are things I can do to make the situation easier/better, so maybe it is a healthy thing to focus on those?
What’s the problem?
I live almost 1000 miles from where I grew up. My parents and siblings still live there. I live here. I don’t feel like I’ve changed the core of who I am. It seems like my mother at least has changed. We never had the easy transition from adult child relationship to adult adult relationship. I’m not even entirely sure we’re through that transition either. Maybe that’s normal, I don’t honestly know. I’ve been married for ten years now and I have an 8 year old so maybe it isn’t normal either.
Especially with the election and my mind going toward things political, things have seemed different. I keep getting drawn into discussions involving politics, usually at the tail end of a conversation and usually my fault. Like I got asked about my facebook connections with extended family. I’ve left those active simply because it would be more drama to remove them than it is to just restrict what they can see [and frankly I don’t really post much]. I don’t encourage that connection at all. I don’t comment or like their posts [which caused some drama years ago]. Maybe it would be smart to remove them. But then it leads into dramas and not having information about health issues of grandparents because I am just kept out of the loop. I made an offhand comment that I had unfriended people from high school due to ugliness [my mistake – giving too much information] but I believed that leaving the extended family on there was less an issue than removing them.
Well then of course I get asked about what ugliness. And an offhand answer doesn’t suffice. They want details and specifics. I should know better by now. They believe information is power and somehow when I’m talking to them, I turn into a little girl again once in a while and just run off at the mouth with every bit of information I have.
Yeah, I nuked my facebook a month or so ago because I was tired of logging on to ugliness and hatred. And most of the people I removed are of the liberal persuasion – who hate anyone who voted for Trump or who calls themself conservative or Christian. It seemed reasonable that these people, whom I haven’t seen since high school or college and who I have no connection with and really didn’t like to begin with, be removed from my facebook when they were uttering pure hatred and stupidity. Why should I have to read it?
And I still have liberals on my feed – I didn’t just go through and whole sale take them all off. I just got tired of the hate and worrying about pleasing people I really didn’t care about and who really didn’t care about me either. Not one person I removed has noticed, commented or cared to ask why. And I’m not shocked by that either or even bothered. None of the people I removed remembered my birthday. A lot of wasted time that was – reading those screeds from people I don’t really know or care about. Don’t just add everyone you knew in high school and college to your facebook. Seriously, save yourself that time and insanity and if you choose to belong to social media, take care with who you’re friends with.
Anyway, back to the parents, or my mom. She’s very anti-Trump. To the point where I’m not sure I’d admit to having voted for Trump if asked. I’ve already told hubby that I’ll just claim I voted for Harambe if it comes up. On the other hand, I voted for Trump, reluctantly, but the alternative didn’t seem like one for me.
We were headed toward a confrontation the last time we were down but holiday events derailed that. I started to try and read more to prepare to be able to debate her. And then I realized that I needed to stop preparing for a debate and instead prepare me – for peace, for withstanding cutting remarks if necessary. I learned the lesson well from watching my father and my grandmother [his mother] debate when I was a child – the moment you get emotional, you’ve lost the argument. My grandmother ALWAYS lost.
I don’t hate anyone. I don’t have the time or energy to spend on that. I started down that road once many years ago and it’s truly not worth it or what it would do to me. I love my mother, regardless of her beliefs or how far they differ from mine. But I constantly struggle between being myself and keeping the peace. There has to be a balance. I don’t want to be in anyone’s face about things, but I also want to be me. And I won’t ever claim something is okay if God says it isn’t.
But if I see you wearing a safety pin, claiming to be a safe person to talk to, I can be fairly sure that you’re not safe for me to speak with as openly as you claim.