Believability in unbelievable times…

Why didn’t she report it?

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?

In this day and age, after all that has been revealed by many, many women and men to ask WHY their pain and embarrassment and shame wasn’t paraded about for all to judge, criticize and tsk tsk is tantamount to siding with the abuser.

After all, when our own president vacillates between acting like a wronged man-victim and a cruel bully all within the course of a day it’s not hard to see where the inspiration for all the other abusers and powertrip seekers to assert their new found dominance came from.

But, it’s the supposedly conflicted fence riders that get me the most. If you can’t muster the strength of mind to speak up when you see blatant harassment and abuse occurring in real-time, right before your eyes, then what goddamned hope do we really have?

This is how I see this topic playing out in my mind:

Fence Sitter: But, I NEED to hear all the sides here! 

Empathy: Are you the judge and jury?

Fence Sitter: Well, no but I can’t make up my mind who to believe until I know all the dirt about the accuser.

Empathy: Hasn’t she been hurt enough by this? You do realize that by bullying her into revealing things that aren’t your business just to satisfy your gory car crash mentality is a form of revictimization right?

Fence Sitter: Hey, she asked for this by going public.

Empathy: Wow, can you hear yourself?

Fence Sitter: Hear what? I need to know more so I can make up my mind. She is making some pretty damaging allegations that could ruin a man’s life. You have to admit, she probably just wanted to be with him and he rejected her or something. Scorned woman syndrome.

Empathy: So, you actually have already made up your mind that she’s lying but you just want to tear her apart further by laying her personal life out on the table for the world to mock? 

Fence Sitter: Oh, I bet you weren’t perfect in high school or college either…

Empathy: Great job deflecting and playing the worn out tune of whataboutery. Bravo! Time to get off the fence dude, we all know where you stand now.

giphy[1]

Hey judgemental people, why do YOU do THAT? This is the question I pose to everyone out there that immediately casts doubt upon any woman (and men too but for this piece, I will speak to that which I know) that dares to talk about being sexually harassed, assaulted, molested or raped. Does the subject hit so close to home that in order to hide your own shame its easier to lash out at the person already knocked to the ground by years of keeping their trauma to themselves? Whatever happened to reserving judgment until all the facts are weighed while also remaining neutral AND respectful of both parties?

Wouldn’t that be nice? It would but it doesn’t happen that way. Not that I have ever personally experienced anyway. To mock sexual assault victims with jokes about their appearance, intelligence and morality is plainly a dick move. A big, bullying, shaming dickish move committed by both men and women, which is a huge head-scratcher in itself.

Women have the unenviable position of being shit on mentally and emotionally by both sexes while also juggling the fear of potentially being assaulted, raped or murdered should they dare venture out by themselves after dark to get a fucking chai latte or walk alone to their car doing any number of banal things men just DO without any thought to potential personal risk. Want to talk about something not being fair? THAT right there is hugely fucking unfair and it shouldn’t have to be this way.

So, what can women do to be believed when shit goes down? Start acting like men? Hmmm.. so if some dude tries to pussy grab me at a concert I should just do a sack clutch, squeeze and twist for fair measure? Okay, sounds cool to me! Of course, this is said in jest as I have no desire to touch strange sack but the point is this: WHAT GIVES YOU THE FUCKING RIGHT TO TOUCH ME IN THE FIRST PLACE? Who taught you that it was even remotely an acceptable thing?

Or…were you just taught that if you were going to do it then make sure you don’t get caught? Boys will be boys…until they assault and rape and then they are just criminals. Pretty simple to understand right?

If not, read up on it here

I am tired. Tired of always being on guard. Tired of having to check my facial expressions, emotions, and attire against the preconceived notions of how male society thinks a woman should behave. I’m fucking tired and no longer care if I hurt your feelings by speaking up when you say shitty things to me. I will no longer sit idly by while certain men tell me what a “lady” should be.

YOU’RE NOT A FUCKING WOMAN SO HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT WOMEN!!! I would never proclaim to be an expert on men but, yet…women aren’t even allowed to be experts on their own minds, attitudes, likes, dislikes, jobs, education, pay scale or their own vaginas. Fuck that!

Lady? Why should any of us be a LADY when abusers, molesters, and rapists hide behind the mask of GENTLEMAN all the time. Women have very legitimate reasons to not believe or trust men yet we are vilified as bitches, she-devils, banshees, sluts, whores and on and on just because we might have wounded a man’s pride somewhere down the line 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years ago?

Your pride? I would take a bruised ego and dented pride any day over being choked unconscious, slapped, hair ripped out of my head, drug across a room, thrown down stairs, beaten, stabbed, shot, raped and murdered any day. Pride! Get out of here with that!

Seriously, get out of here with that nonsense and start doing better. We are better than this and I’m ashamed at how little we have progressed. Boys can be tenderhearted, kind, loving and considerate just like girls can. It’s how they are taught to interact with others that makes the difference.

The issue of abuse of women will never end until men are taught to value themselves enough to invest in their hearts and stop being so fearful of women taking over. Aren’t you tired of this shit yet? I know I am.

© 2018 L.A. Askew
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The lessons learned after the loss of a loved one…

Loss.

It never gets easier.

Over the past year, I have lost family members to grudges, jealousy, and plain old meanness. This past week though, I lost the only father figure I had in my life to the ravages of old age; the kind of fight that beats both the body and mind to ragged pieces and leaves family members emotionally shattered. This particular beat-down lasted 3 years and while we begged him to “hang on” the reality was that we totally missed the mark on understanding what he really wanted.

He wanted to be free.

Free from pain, free from the depression associated with loss of mobility, loss of meaningful purpose and loss of the life he once led. I get that now. I get that he wasn’t purposely trying to hurt us by checking out months before he actually died. He just wanted to be out of pain, both physically and mentally and the only relief available was to be found in the finality of death. We didn’t want to see the simplicity in this and chose to make it about our own needs.

For those left behind the lingering regrets will gnaw at our own minds as grief is want to do and, if left unchecked, those regrets will start the insidious erosion process on our bodies as well. The goal now is to stop the cycle and choose how we approach this new chapter in our lives; live with regrets or LIVE.

I want to live. I want to make my dad of 8 years proud of me. Proud in a way my biological father would never have the capacity to understand. To say that I didn’t send a grief-stricken plea out to the universe with a note attached that said, “I needed you to be my dad a little longer” would be a lie because I did. I had to voice that truth and then promise to do better going forward.

I will do that for this dear man who I grew to love and respect. Whose stories about the exciting life he led were always a highlight of every visit and whose quick wit was always several steps ahead of mine and so awe-inspiring. I wanted to hear more stories because they connected me further to him and also made me realize that we had a lot in common. But, since that’s no longer possible it becomes my duty to pass what I know of him on and to live my best life for this amazingly witty man who literally impacted the lives of so many doing what he did the best which was teaching.

We learn from loss if we choose to listen to the stories it tells. Choose to listen.

© 2018 L.A. Askew
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Moving on

I moved.

Both physically and mentally.

It was time.

The house I lived in for 18 years, a house filled with good ghosts and bad ghosts, the specters of a past I have both hated and loved. So what now? The answer to that is this; I finally get to go to a place I am wanted, loved and respected. And, it feels nice.

Some people are miserable after they move…I was not!

I’m not saying that no one has loved me in my past. My grandparents loved me, aunts, uncles, cousins and I’m sure, somewhere deep in the cortex of their brains, my parents and siblings loved me at one time. They had an odd way of showing it but I am sure a small sliver of like, if not love, was there briefly. And if not, I am not going to lose any sleep over it.

Bye, bye, bye…

The stories my former house can tell are a mixture of hilarity, aggravation, joy, anger and finally, resignation. Some I recall with relish and others I wish would slip quietly from my mind, never to be replayed again.

a32dac6705fc0299ff7891f23a59bfb2--abandoned-homes-abandoned-buildings

I feel the same way about most of my childhood homes as well and we moved around a lot! But, none of those homes had my name on the deed nor did I pay the mortgage. This house was paid for not only with my hard-earned wages but also a pound of flesh here and there combined with nearly every ounce of my self-respect.

And now, its sold. A done deal. A new start for someone else and I am glad.

My only hope is that the bad juju does not stay attached to either the house or myself.

Release, restore and relax!!!! It’s over woman. You are finally free!

© 2018 L.A. Askew
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The silence continues…

It has been 3 months since I have heard anything from my immediate family. Nary a text from sisters, nieces or nephew. Radio silence. Not even a short email or text asking for clarification about what happened. It’s almost as if they don’t give a shit! I say that with great sarcasm because…I know they don’t and laughing it off is my coping mechanism.  Ha! Ha! My family is a hateful lot of selfish assholes! So hilarious right? One sister’s emotional outbursts rule the rest of the family.

In this time I have sold my house, planned a move and my dear daughter graduated from high school. The last event they knew about but didn’t acknowledge except for one blurb via social media to my daughter from her cousin.

This is own new life.

A fractured family that no longer cares about our momentous occasions (unless the occasions are their own) and the weight of this realization sits square on mine and my daughter’s shoulders.

The-Family-Paradox-A-Dichotomy-of-Joy-and-Dysfunction-1140x751

The guilt I feel about offering her such an uncaring family tree is immense and something I think about every day. She has no caring and involved blood relatives left on my side of the family that she can count on for true emotional support. And, to now know that they don’t care about her or her accomplishments breaks my heart. All I can do is reiterate that the failure is theirs and not hers but I know she still feels the sting and my guilt remains.

Believe me, (and this is a Reverie “believe me” not a Trump one) it has been a tempting option to just call and try to smooth things over for my daughter’s sake. But then, I remember that I did that several times before and the shit kept rolling my way. And, I also took into account the respect I earned for not letting those who wish me ill get away with continually heaping verbal abuse upon my head. My daughter’s respect means much more to me than any one-sided, short-lived truce between me and a sister who has made it clear that her true allegiance is with herself, her spouse and her children, and is not shared with me or my daughter.

In the past, if something bad was happening to my younger sister or her family everyone was expected to rally around and offer support, which I did. I helped my nephew get an apartment on his own by acting as the guarantor on his lease since he had no credit and his parents had poor credit. I also helped out twice when he had car issues. Although, the second time I wasn’t quick enough to jump to and got accused of brushing family off to have dinner with friends when in reality I was offering crisis support to a client. I felt no need to explain that to my nephew or my sister at first because it was really none of their business but even if I had the selfish response would have probably been the same.

I forgave that particular outburst and was willing to move on yet the resentment apparently lingered on her part and the emotional imbalance grew. This is very evident in hindsight and I do not foresee receiving a peace offering in the near future…or ever really.

When my sister expressed how much our parents had hurt her and her children, I supported her without hesitation. When our mother chose to send a scathing letter to my siblings in defense of the indefensible abuse we experienced I backed my sister completely. During that time I also expressed to my mother descriptions of the abuse I, myself suffered. I effectively shut the door on any relationship I had left with my parents but did so gladly because it was for the right reason. I was defending her and her family while also standing up for myself.

Do you always have to forgive?

If the tables were turned?

Suck it up! Our problems are more important stupid snowflakes!

This I know and this I accept.

Does it still hurt and do regrets linger? Hell yes! When I think about everything that has transpired over the past few years the tears immediately well up and I get a burning lump stuck in my throat. That is pure pain moving up from my gut to my mouth, ready to burst forth in the loudest fucking scream imaginable. I want to punch things, to kick out and sob until I’m weak. I want to stop feeling it but, I can’t.

Am I angry at my family for what has happened?

I was for a long time.

But now? I am simply sad.

Sad to know that if the silence continues they will not get to know my daughter as an adult. Sad that they will not get to visit me in my new home. Sad that they will not get to experience all the great things my daughter, their niece, and cousin, will accomplish while in college and after. Sad that they will miss weddings, births, birthdays any potential family get-together with us and all for what? Built up envy and resentment disguised as a disagreement online over gun control? Amazing! I know it isn’t just about the latter but it’s amazingly ridiculous nonetheless.

Adult Sibling Estrangement

With all of this…I still hang on to hope. Hope that 3 months will not turn into 3 years and hope that I someday we can all sit down and talk, face-to-face like adults rather than tossing nasty texts and Facebook comments back and forth. To facilitate this I set up parameters that limit my sister’s ability to text me or contact me on social media but email, phone and in person are still options I will permit. Sending a nasty text or leaving a shit comment online are cowardly acts so, I figured, if I take that avenue away then, if the message is important enough, it will get to me.

I hope.

Again, giving it time, giving it space to breathe. It’s all I can do.

© 2018 L.A. Askew
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Willfully Ignorant or Ignorantly Willful?

What keeps us in the dark? Do we choose to stay uninformed because it seems safer or do we actively seek out flawed information to feed our own biases? Does being viewed as “right” matter more than actually being factually correct? I have many questions about this because I have seen the avalanche of scorn heaped upon the supposed “educated elite” by self-labeled conservatives or evangelicals and the snarky ridicule launched back in retaliation by those of a more liberal or progressive mindset.

I, myself have been insulted by family members who see me as “putting on airs” just because I have a college degree. I know they are lashing out in reaction to their own insecurities and not because of anything I have said. Not once have I said anything to them about this topic but it still doesn’t surprise me to have venom directed my way in the form of  “I may not be college educated” passive-aggressive comments. I never had to say anything to trigger this response. It was bound to happen because I chose to take advantage of an opportunity that was offered to me but not them. Simple as that.

The words “ignorant” and “arrogant” are bandied about as the ultimate politically charged insults to throw during an argument that isn’t going as planned but I like to think of both as a temporary state.  Everyone is ignorant or lacking knowledge or awareness in one way or another. There is not a single person on this grand green Earth that knows everything so let us all get past this point right now, shall we? The purpose of education is to fill in the gaps and improve our reasoning skills and worldview.

So, what makes the state of being uninformed attractive? If it is purposeful…what happened to make this route a reasonable one to take?  Who or what shaped your views on higher education? Was is a religious, socio-economic or maybe even a political influence that acted as the guiding force? Or, was it just a simple lack of desire to learn new information? It’s okay to admit to feeling lazy! It’s also okay to consider that maybe learning about boring things isn’t for everyone and seeking out subjects that spark imagination might be a better option. The great thing about learning is that there is a little something for everyone. Gasp! EVERYONE???? Yes, everyone.

Willful Ignorance and Self-Deception

Choosing to stay unaware and unconnected both helps and hinders, that is a fact, so which side of the equation are you on? We may not be immediately hurt by the information we don’t know (ignorance is bliss) but eventually not knowing certain things can impact our future earning capacity and, more importantly, it can impact how we see the world around us or even our mental health. If our worldview is negative then odds are great that our ability to function positively within said world will be impacted negatively and, to some, the only way around this would be to isolate. Choosing to let fear act as the decision maker is sometimes easier than actually plodding forward and stepping outside of the comfort zone. After years of this, though, that zone gets smaller and smaller.

Why people choose to isolate…

Sadly, the need to pay bills, access food and just generally be outside kind of prohibits the hermit lifestyle for me because I like being around others once in a while and would go stir crazy in the company of one. Experiencing everything the world around me has to offer, good or bad, is too tempting to turn down and…IT IS A FREE EDUCATION! FREE!!! For every shitty life event I have endured, 1,000 positive lessons have been born. And, being able to relay these life lessons to others not only helps me cope…it helps others feel less alone, less odd, less angry, less sad. We suffer, we take notice and do things differently moving forward and then, we LEARN. What is so bad about that?

Free Online Education Options…Yes, FREE!

Nothing is bad about that.

It is FEAR that prompts attacks on sense, sensibility, and empathy. Caring about and taking care of others doesn’t fill the bank accounts of the green addicted. And, THAT is what all of this push to keep people uneducated is about. If those in power can keep you fearful, if they can play to your insecurities, then you will not question their nasty words and deeds. Looking the other way should be a new resume “skill” apparently because I see a lot of folks who excel at that. “If I don’t see it myself or experience what you have then it doesn’t matter and deserves no attention!”

Yeah, keep telling yourself that Sunshine. Eventually, we all get kicked in the ass by those in “power”, or those wishing to obtain power. And, the best way to protect ourselves is to EDUCATE ourselves!!!!!!

Can’t say that enough. EDUCATE, CHECK FACTS, LEARN FROM OTHERS, STOP CHOOSING TO BE IGNORANT.

Peace,

Reverie

© 2018 L.A. Askew
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The fluidity of change…

Everyone has the capacity to change. Everyone has the inherent will to do better. It’s the motivation factor that trips us all up.

Do I really want to change or am I just saying this because its what people want to hear?

I’m sorry.

I won’t do that again.

I learned my lesson.

Mere words. Without conviction, determination, and drive, these words, hammered into the human engine compartment are meaningless and just fill uncomfortable silences.

12930854_1169147253130504_87887366_n

Meaningless words fill our heads all the time. Okay, that was an awkward moment…what can I say to ease the tension? What trite quip can I toss out to bridge the gap? Sometimes, it’s better to suffer the silence, to feast on the uncertainty until our bellies ache and we are forced to seek relief.

And now, we get to the CHANGE chapter in life.

What I Have Learned From My Mistakes…

Am I going to invest all I have in changing my habitual patterns? Am I going to live up to my mantra of Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say?  Honestly, I am trying. It’s hard. I absolutely want to view change as a river that flows from my heart to my brain and out through my feet and hands with the kindest of intentions. I want that!

When I was a child I remember my father saying something to the effect of: “I don’t make mistakes. Everything I’ve done, I meant to do it so it wasn’t a mistake.” And, at the time, I thought it was just his way of getting around having to say he was sorry for being abusive but now I see that he truly thought he was right and everyone else was wrong. Changing anything about himself was never a consideration. To my father, “change” was for the weak, the godless, the ignorant.  Now, I realize I was none of those things and he feared the day when I would come to this conclusion and rise up. And, rise up I did.

Why People Have Such A Hard Time Changing

Whats so awful about change anyway? Why is it so maligned, so rejected, so ridiculed?

In thinking back, I can now see a clear picture of how I have always been seeking change.  I wanted to change my home life, my parents, my relationship with my siblings, my looks, my way of thinking…change it all! If I could just change then maybe those beating me down would finally love me. God, how pathetic right? Except, that version of “change” was not realistic because I was seeking to change into a person that I thought these other unchangeables wanted me to be. In hindsight, I suppose I was really just looking for approval and never needed to change for these people at all. Truth right there!

Today, I view true CHANGE as a breath of fresh air, a new way of looking at life and not negative at all. It IS fluid and it does move and bend and grow with time, just like me. I am working on moving the obstacles out of my path, releasing the barriers that have kept me stuck in the past. I am also working on a new mantra because saying what I mean and meaning what I say is no longer effective. Now…..

Everything will work out to my advantage…

Everything will work out to my advantage…

Everything will work out to my advantage…

It will because I deserve this, I earned it and I worked hard for the life of purpose that I am living now. No one can take it away from me.

Love, Light, and Peace

Reverie

© 2018 L.A. Askew
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The family that sociopaths together…

Today I came to the resolute conclusion that I come from a seriously fucked up family. I knew we were dysfunctional and broken but today we crossed the line and became a scuffed, tarnished menagerie of shame, abuse, excuses and crippling paranoia. Whispers behind every back and unspoken resentment crammed into every available mind space.

At first, all the blame for our personal pain was assigned to our abusive parents and, for myself, the brother who targeted me for molestation from the ages of 9-13. I didn’t talk about any of it publicly until recently and this was only out of solidarity to, and support of, other family members who were also molested by additional male members of this religion stamped clan. One of those abusers is dead but another, mine, is still very much alive and apparently on a “rehabilitation tour” with family members he once had no real contact with for years. It’s a lot to follow, I know, but this is the sick diagram of my past. I’m still figuring it out myself.

Trust is a rarity amongst the shame controlled and so it was brought to my attention that my sister and I never really go below the surface with one another. This tidbit of unusual insight was attached to a Facebook post wishing me well on my birthday. It wasn’t talked out over the phone or in person but, the message was still heard. A tiny splinter of truth offered as almost an afterthought and a quick glimpse at the resentment she held towards who? Me? Her abuser? Her life choices? Herself? I have no idea and have tried to share honest expressions of my own pain with at least three players in this dysfunction but suddenly that effort got caught up in the firestorm over gun control rather than tackled under the umbrella of the real issue.

Really?

Guns over family?

That is the take away here?

sott.net/…/268449-Empathic-people-are-natural-targets-for-sociopaths-protect-yourself

And so, we come back to today. A simple heartfelt plea to help end the carnage of young children, teens and other innocent people at the hands of mass murderers was posted online. In not knowing how to do anything else in such a moment of shock and disgust a simple Facebook post became the catalyst or “trigger” for releasing anger on more than the topic of the insane proliferation of guns in America. The boner some segments of America has for guns is mind-boggling but I truly believe being able to purchase these imagined tools of power and control cloud the reality that power comes from within rather than from a gun. Confident, non-conflict seeking people don’t typically feel the need to arm themselves to the teeth in protection of some threat that hasn’t come to them and may never come to them. But, what the hell! Better to be safely paranoid than sorry. It wasn’t about taking your damn guns away.

So, an honest opinion piece posted on social media, by the only positive male in my life and a reply from my 18-year-old daughter to a less than factual missive posted by her almost 40-year-old aunt, acted as the proverbial straw that broke the fragile family into sniping, passive-aggressive shards. Documenting the slashing comments from other family members or my follow-up text asking the sister who felt the urgent need to embarrass and scare my daughter online to call me, if she dared, would certainly feel satisfying but, I choose to exhibit some restraint. However, out of the need for full disclosure of my own failings I will own up to asking this sister about her psychiatric med regimen and followed up by asking her to “lose my phone number” and pronounced her no longer family. And, in place of goodbye I sadly ended with a rousing, “go fuck yourself.” When we burn it down, we go all the way to the ground.

I’m not proud of how I did it but I am also not sorry for shutting down an isolated, reactionary bully. Two wrongs (or two bullies) don’t make a right and I know I will look back on this moment with edits I wish I could enter but, I can’t. It’s out there, it was long overdue, and now I will work with what I have while sending my deepest apologies to her children out into the atmosphere because doing anything else would anger the beast further. (IT DID…SEE UPDATE BELOW. I AM A SLOW LEARNER)

Disagreement online should not be grounds for imploding a relationship with family when the real issue is personal insecurities and guilt. And, initially, my intent was to ignore and move on but then…Brother Molester joined the fray.

And they know what he did. He knows what he did. Yet, there he was joining in on the roasting of “snowflakes” which was stoked by a sister and brother-in-law who arrogantly and erroneously assumed the original post was all about them. And instead of saving the discussion for the next face-to-face get together it gets parceled out, online, for other family members and friends to see. I am more embarrassed for them than myself because I did not respond online but I was also disappointed, hurt and angry they chose to use my daughter and the man I love dearly as a launching point to express their resentment. If it’s really about me then address it with me. Don’t hide behind a flash-point issue.

thoughtcatalog.com/…/26-siblings-of-sociopaths-reveal-the-moment-when-they-realized-something-was-seriously-wrong

It wasn’t about you.

It was about a national tragedy.

It was about yet another school shooting.

It was about our growing lack of concern about the well-being of others.

It was about our own government, the NRA and gun manufacturers putting personal profit over the lives of people.

To not consider any of that and to only take it as a hit piece written all about you surely vindicates and legitimizes the author. Right? If you saw yourself in that mirror of personal opinion and recoiled in anger then maybe the response should have been to consider what you can do to help rather than rushing to defend your guns. But, if it was really about built up anger over personal insecurities then address that with yourself.

The moment the perpetrator of my abuse joined their ridicule party and…they let him, well this is where I lost my collective shit.

I should have let it go, like I stated previously, and ignored it as the kind and considerate man in my life suggested but the more I read their true opinion of me, my partner and my daughter the less I cared about their feelings. I let my ego take over. That in itself is a common trait in my family. The skill of forgeting about the feelings of others when we are so invested in being right rather than loving.

Defend your guns, mock the ones urging action to stop the continued human carnage, I can deal with that. But, to actively engage with someone who destroyed my childhood, trust and innocence while spewing bile about me and at the people I love? That is when the real ugliness is revealed about us all. The long denied self-loathing, guilt and shame ran straight up that middle finger flagpole and flapped right in my face. I couldn’t ignore it anymore.

The things I write, comment on and like online aren’t targeted at anyone specific.

They are a composite of everything I feel inside and want to get out.

They are about how I wish the world could be.

They are about my journey to the person I want to be.

I have no control over how my family feels or reacts but I do have control over how I let it impact me and how I react to it going forward. To distance myself now will be hard but it has to be done so that, maybe in the future, we can come back together as repaired, caring people. It is all I can do. I will work on me and they can work on themselves, or not, that isn’t my choice.

And so, for now I will just sit back, wait and remain open in real-time while disconnecting from them in the vast wasteland of online shout downs, personal insults and purposeful deflection. The welcome mat remains out.

*UPDATE*

So, I made the choice to unfriend all of my family on Facebook. Harsh choice but the paranoia runs deep in social media land and to save the headaches I just unplugged. Also the interactions of late have made my own daughter very apprehensive about these people she once thought she could trust since her own aunt lashed out at her.

My dear, sweet nephew reached out right after and asked why I did that. I told him why and said I was sorry. He said it was up to me to add him and his sister back because they had done nothing and weren’t involved in the “feud.” If you can even really call it a feud since it was really a cheap one-sided attack that had to be pointed out to me by a third-party because I wasn’t even following the grousing to begin with.

Anyway, in dutiful hangdog fashion I sent new requests to each child and added a note to my niece’s request telling her I was sorry for deleting them and that I was also sorry that the adults in her life were choosing to behave childishly. I said in closing, “We should all do better.”

WE SHOULD!

ALL of the adults in her life should behave better. They didn’t, including me, and I apologized for my part in it.

And…it got sent on to her mother, who is a master grudge holder, for report and inspection. My fault there since I, myself a recovering grudge holder, should have known better. So now I am “a game player” manipulating her children against her for trying to apologize yet she is a martyr protecting her beliefs by blasting her own teen age niece online for daring to question her fact checking. Undiagnosed Pot Calling Kettle Black Syndrome?

For added perspective, her “children” are teenagers as well whom she states are free to make their own decisions so… yeah…there is that.  But again, my fault. No excuse. Her kids, not mine. Hand slapped and the cone of silence is back in place.

Lessons learned?

Two.

1. Don’t pull kids (teenagers or not) into adult issues.

2. Reading comprehension flies right out the window when self-righteous paranoia is in charge.

© 2018 L.A. Askew
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.