This isn’t a sunshine-y post, so if you don’t want to read something angry and depressing, please move on to your next Internet station.
This morning, I was looking at Facebook and noticed that one of my relatives posted. There was obviously supposed to be a photo attached to the post, but there wasn’t. My aunt pointed out that my cousin had forgotten part of his post. So he shared the photo in the comments.
There was a photo of several deer that had gathered in the snow under the window at my cousin’s father’s house. My cousin’s father is a RABID Trump supporter, and unfortunately, it showed in the photo, which included part of a baseball cap that appeared to read “Trump Won.”
In spite of the pretty scene my cousin obviously meant for us to comment on, I couldn’t help but notice the cap. So I asked if it was a “Trump Won” cap I could see in the corner. Someone else also asked. My cousin came back and basically chastised us both for not focusing on the deer.
Some people may be surprised that I’m legitimately really upset on many levels right now. I know that some people will find my being upset “silly”. If you are among those people, I will advise you to keep that thought to yourself. You may think my being upset is “silly”, but that’s only because you either don’t understand my perspective, or you haven’t taken a moment to consider why my cousin’s response to my question is upsetting.
I’ll put it in context, for those who are interested. My cousin’s dad and I used to have a loving relationship. He was an excellent uncle, most of the time, when I was growing up. I remember him taking me and many of my cousins fishing on the James River in Rockbridge County, Virginia. He was an uncle I could trade jokes with, and he was always friendly and fun. However, like my dad, he had a strong affinity for corporal punishment, and he is also one to get drunk and abusive. He’s now in his mid 80s. I don’t know what his mental or medical status is right now. For all I know, my uncle has dementia or something akin to that. Or maybe he’s finally pickled his brain. But he is really deep in the Trump insanity, and I don’t think he’s ever going to come out of it in his lifetime. So that makes me sad.
As he’s become elderly, my uncle developed a habit of sending political and religious emails to the whole family. A lot of his emails were offensive, but I mostly ignored them. One time, back in 2017, he sent me a pro-Trump/Pence email. I responded by writing back that I wasn’t impressed with either of them and looked forward to seeing them leave office. That’s pretty much literally what I wrote; I didn’t use profanity or hurl insults. I just wrote that I don’t support Trump or Pence. He responded with a lengthy diatribe that was extremely abusive and insulting, and he referred to me as a “liberal nut case”.
I can’t tell you how sad and upsetting it was for me to get that vitriolic response from a family member for whom I used to hold high regard. Moreover, his words brought on a “PTSD-like” response that made me see red. It reminded me of the many horrifying fights I had with my late father, who died in 2014. A lot of those fights led to violence and/or me hyperventilating as the abuse continued.
Anyway, after my uncle sent that email, I ended up responding in kind, used a lot of profanity, and warned my uncle to leave me alone. To his credit, my uncle eventually did leave me alone after showing me what a colossal asshole he really is. I know I’m not the only one who has been on the receiving end of one of his drunken screeds; however, I am no longer capable of tolerating that kind of abuse from anyone anymore. I try not to be verbally abusive when I speak to people, but sometimes old habits die hard when someone is unapologetically horrible.
So… seeing that “Trump Won” cap in the photo, even though it wasn’t the focus of the photo, was a reminder of what I feel like I’ve lost. I found it very triggering, as was my cousin’s castigating response, which he obviously felt wholly entitled to deliver to me. I don’t think I can go home again, and that makes me feel sad and angry. And then, my cousin basically chastised me for being triggered, and pretty much told me to shut up. He obviously also didn’t pick up on my sarcasm. Maybe that’s a good thing. I am actually really pissed off at him, and hurt, even though there’s a little voice in my head telling me I shouldn’t be. I want to tell that little voice, along with any other “toxic positivity” types, to go take a flying fuck.
I have spent my whole life having controlling men telling me what I can and can’t say, how I’m supposed to feel, and chastising me for not delivering the expected or approved response. It seems to me that he could have simply responded with a “yes” or “no”. Or, barring that, he could have cropped out the hat in the picture. He shouldn’t blame me for politely commenting on something that he put on social media, especially when it involves politics, and especially since I wasn’t aware of any rules about how I’m supposed to or allowed to comment. It would have been one thing if I had been salty or rude. All I did was ask a simple question.
I know that many people will think my feelings are invalid. I would say that those who don’t think my feelings are valid just don’t understand. I know my uncle isn’t the only Trump zealot in my family, so now I don’t feel like I can connect with a large number of family members or even some of my friends anymore. It’s like experiencing a bunch of deaths at once.
Add in the fact that Bill is leaving for a business trip tomorrow and he’ll be gone all week. I hate it when he travels. It’s part of his job, and I know it’s part of his job. I still hate it. I’m sick of this lifestyle, yet I know that I don’t have it as bad as a lot of people do. I’m tired of waiting for Bill to come home, and I’m tired of the pandemic and its ever changing restrictions and rules. And I’m wondering what the point of any of this is, to include writing posts like this one.
Even though I feel like I need to write out my feelings, I also know that just as I reacted to the “Trump Won” ball cap, some people will react to this and take things away from it that I wish they wouldn’t. On the other hand, as I’ve already pointed out, we can’t control what other people see in a posting, right? So in the interest of not being a hypocrite, I’ll try not to be upset if people think I’m being a whiny bitch. I can own that. But I am legitimately angry and hurt, and those feelings aren’t invalid, either.
I doubt anyone cares, anyway. And you know what? The critics are right that I’m whiny. But this is my place for a pity party, so I’m going to have one, and those who don’t like it can just leave. My cousin is lucky that I responded rather politely. My first instinct was to post something inappropriate and profane. Instead, I think I’ll just withdraw, and let him enjoy responses from people who post the predictable comments he obviously appreciates more.
It depresses me that so many people are wedded to a fucking criminal like Donald Trump to run the country. I worry that he, or someone worse, will get in power again and we’ll be doomed to more of Trump’s dumbfuckery. It makes me wish I were among the unvaccinated so I could get COVID and depart this miserable place. I’m tired of trying to engage with people, because I never seem to get it right, and I keep ending up feeling like shit for just being myself. And I am fed up with the pandemic.
There’s a lot more I could write about this… but I already feel like this post is going to be misunderstood, and I just don’t have it in me to try to explain it more today. So I’m going to end now, and go do something somewhat constructive.
On another note… a friend shared a post about gender fluidity yesterday. I was confused when she was praised for that by someone who referred to being insensitive to gender fluid people as “douchey”. I wonder if my friend’s friend has ever thought about how sexist and offensive the term “douche” is. 😉 But because I really don’t try to get into conflicts with people, even when I’m “triggered”, I decided to keep scrolling. I probably should keep my own wise counsel and just keep scrolling… right off the Internet. Most people simply aren’t worth the effort.