This afternoon, after Bill and I spent a few hours watching the latest season of The Handmaid’s Tale, we started talking about current events and how they kind of tie in with that show. It’s not that I think the United States will eventually turn into Gilead or anything of that nature, but there have been some disturbing parallels to themes of the show. Take, for instance, the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and the misogynistic nightmare some women are being caught up in, as authoritarian, conservative males decide to try to force them to stay pregnant. I’ve read some disturbing ideas on how some of these power mad men intend to try to enforce the abortion bans in some of the red states. There’s even been talk of preventing pregnant women from traveling to another state for abortion purposes. That sounds pretty “Gilead-esque” to me, actually.
Then there’s the very violent nature of the society, where the citizens get used to seeing people being shot, hanged, or stoned. That kind of barbarism is extending more and more in the United States, as people are getting shot as they do their jobs, go to church, shop for groceries, or attend movies and concerts. Yesterday’s blog post was about a young teacher in Virginia who was shot by one of her first grade students, a boy of just six years of age! It’s just another reminder that anyone can be a threat, especially in a country where guns, and the right to own and carry them, are so revered.
Then there’s the story of June and her husband, Luke, who are still obsessively trying to track down their long, lost daughter, Hannah. And Hannah shows in the fifth season that she still remembers who she really is. But there are so many forces against June and Luke. Every time they think they’ve made progress, another roadblock comes up.
I can’t necessarily relate to how that feels, since I don’t have children. But my husband knows all about it. He’s missed out on most of his daughters’ lives, simply because his ex wife is a selfish, narcissistic asshole. Like Hannah, my husband’s younger child has not forgotten who she is. It definitely wasn’t for a lack of effort on Ex’s part, though. She really did her best to try to eliminate Bill, even as she held onto his extended family. These are “nice” people who aren’t so knowledgeable about who she is. They are sympathetic to her, because they’re nice, but they don’t realize that there’s an agenda.
Bill and I have come to the conclusion now that we will never be totally rid of her, because she’s always lurking in the shadows, especially when she’s in need. I suspect that she’s in need right now. I’ve been watching the signs for a long time, and I think this year could be one for the books.
Over the past few months, I’ve noticed some patterns in Ex’s behavior. She’s been trying to raise money, even to the point of visiting my husband’s stepmother and asking for it. She even proposed having SMIL move in with her in a different state. She also asked for any items SMIL might want to “pass down”, even though older daughter doesn’t speak to Bill anymore, and Bill is the only reason Ex even knows SMIL.
Ex has made some social media comments that suggest that she’s on the brink of divorce. I don’t actually know if she is or not, but I suspect she could be. Recently, she’s made mention of a certain television show having the potential to save her marriage. She’s made some oblique comments about her husband, as well as made some creative financial decisions. And finally, there’s this recent tweet.
She continues by posting to the same person…
And some more entertaining, but less relevant tweets that I feel like sharing for Alexis, whom I’ve been missing… As you can see, she’s still tweeting Mark Hamill and other “somebodies” out there… people who might throw her a bone.
You may be wondering… what does this have to do with the title of my post, or The Handmaid’s Tale? As I mentioned up post, I think Bill can identify with June and Luke. He loves his daughters, and he was denied access to them. There were times when he didn’t know where they were, and he felt powerless to do anything about Ex’s craziness, back when it would have mattered the most.
Hannah has been raised by “new parents”, and June and Luke have been told that she loves them and has “moved on”. That’s how Bill felt for a long time. He thought that his daughters had moved on and forgotten him. Of course, they hadn’t, and haven’t… One of them has come back, and compares notes with Bill regularly. And now we know that hope is a good thing, as long as it’s coupled with reality. I guess, in a sense, being raised by Ex might be something like being trapped in Gilead… or raised by Aunt Lydia.
What really sucks about this situation is that, on the whole, people tend to be unsympathetic to men. They get mixed messages, too. Either they hear that they should step aside and let their kid bond with the new “daddy figure”, or they’re reminded not to “give up on their children”. I’ve been told, more than once, that I shouldn’t write about this topic, because I’m “obsessive and unhealthy” and it’s “inappropriate”. I usually respond to such comments by first reminding the person that they don’t know the people involved and therefore shouldn’t judge. Then I wonder what they would do, if they were parents of a child who was pretty much “abducted” from their lives. It happens all the time when marriages end and parents try to force their children to choose sides.
I know I’m just the stepmother. Hell, I’m barely even that, since I’ve only met my husband’s daughters in person once. But what kind of wife would I be if I didn’t have empathy for my husband and his tremendous loss? He was a very involved father when his daughters were small. Younger daughter remembered how loving he was to her, and even though she was scared to talk to him again after so many years, she managed it. Why? Because Ex wasn’t able to erase those memories, in spite of her best efforts.
Even today, she tries to turn younger daughter away from her dad. But her efforts seem to be having the opposite effect, as younger daughter can see pretty clearly what her mother is doing. She knows her mother lies, exaggerates, and takes things out of context, so she can spin an agenda and keep people under control. Better yet, younger daughter knows she doesn’t want her kids exposed to the same crazy train.
And what about the title of the post today? Well, if you notice in the gallery of tweets, Ex posts “I will not be tomorrow who I am today.” She posts that as if it’s a positive thing. It’s like saying “the sun will come out tomorrow” or “tomorrow is another day” or “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” Maybe that’s true… but the opposite can also be true. You won’t be the same as you are today. You’ll be worse off. Or maybe better off. But you won’t be the same. The sun might come out tomorrow… or maybe it’ll be a dark and stormy day. Who knows?
I’d like to be at a point of my life at which I don’t really care about this anymore. That would probably only happen, though, if Bill and I split up. Ex still harasses people Bill loves. And we are not going to be splitting up, because in spite of everything, we’re still very much in love. We’re still very compatible. So I will keep writing about this, for as long as there’s reason. Just think of me as like Prince Harry, writing “my truth”.
I don’t know what’s going on in Ex’s world… but I suspect it’s nothing good. She’s putting on a face to her public. But behind the scenes, I think she’s probably on the verge of a crisis. Just a hunch I have.
Well, that about does it for today. Time for a shower and some black-eyed peas. It actually has been cloudy recently. It would be nice if the sun really did come out tomorrow. Here’s hoping.