Surviving in the land of learned helplessness

Have you have ever heard someone incredulously wonder, out loud or under their breath, “how have you survived on your own as long as you have?” Be honest. You have either thought it, said it or possibly had someone utter words similar about you even.

It’s easy to believe that this is a generational thing, only the young these days are helpless but, I have run into just as many individuals my age or older that can’t chew gum and walk at the same time.

Oh, they try to say their lack of progress in life is the fault of this person or that circumstance but I know it’s really because they like the attention they get, good or bad and/or they just don’t want to try harder. Some blame their parents, their boss, their teachers but once you hit a certain age that blame turns stale when nothing has been done to change the equation.

Why try when enablers abound and “help” can be extracted from even the most unwilling helpers simply because it’s easier to just fix other people’s screw-ups than to teach them how to be more detail oriented and self-sufficient. Even the best teachers can’t reach the willful woe-is-me crowd.

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-learned-helplessness-2795326

We live in times where adult children still live at home with their parents (nothing wrong with this IF they help out and pay rent). Or, they live on their own but still can’t function in the adult world without constant supervision and intervention. How has this happened? Is it because we want to just give up and blame depression, anxiety, lack of opportunity or personal resources?

The world is just against me!

No, it isn’t. It is YOU working against yourself, not the world. Also, please! You aren’t THAT special!

https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/learned-helplessness-seligman-theory-depression-cure/

Life is frustrating for sure. I experienced the disappointment, embarrassment, and fear when I was younger and literally didn’t have a pot to piss in. Hear this…you aren’ t the only one that has had this happen to them. You aren’t the first nor the last and in each case, the sun still set and came up again the next day.

Reset. Restart. Resolve to do better than you did the day before because if what you have been doing thus far isn’t helping do something different.

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/how-to-overcome-your-feelings-of-hopelessness/all

You are not a robot. You are not programmed to only function a certain way. And, no one can do this for you. Enablers aren’t helpers, they are hurting and expecting people to clean up all of your messes is inconsiderate, lazy and self-limiting.

So, here’s the point: Choosing to be helpless when you are fully capable of doing all the same things every other responsible, overworked, stressed, depressed, anxious person in the world has completed for eons is on you. Own it and choose to do better.

The world owes you nothing but dammit, YOU owe yourself the opportunity to see how good it feels to be reliant on no one but yourself for success and happiness.

Go get yours!

© 2019 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.

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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.

Lying Tree…

I do not have a conventional family tree. I have a lying tree.

For as long as I can remember the “facts” behind who my blood relatives really are have been blurred and carefully edited to fit a narrow narrative of acceptability. What will the neighbors think? What will random strangers on the street think? And, finally, what will the people at our church think? That last one always created pause for me since church implies certain moral values and the very act of lying to cover personal embarrassment from fellow churchgoers is ironic and laughably hypocritical.

But, don’t say this to the patriarch and matriarch of this fabricated fable!

In modern times there is this little thing called the internet. On this construct exists a massive online newspaper archive called Newspapers.com ( and I am sure there are many more) where anyone willing to pony up a few bucks a month can search the names of relatives, friends, ex-friends, and ex-lovers to see if they ever “made the news” from the 1700’s to the 2000’s.

On this website, I found out that my paternal grandfather was charged with and eventually found guilty of misappropriation of funds while a Justice of the Peace for Cook County, Illinois in the 1960’s.  He was sentenced to 6 months in county jail and not once, in all the years I have known my mother or father have either said one word about this.  Not surprising really since my mother said once, in church, that my older brother was “away at college” when he was actually in jail.  Being a scofflaw runs in the family you see but, Que sera sera, there is not one thing that can be done about it now. The fibbing branches just keep falling…

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Several years ago, after a few glasses of wine around my younger sister’s kitchen table, my older sister mentioned a conversation she had with our mother that included the words, “That was the time when your grandfather was away in jail.” Wait! What?  “Oh, didn’t I tell you that?” was my mother’s response to my sister’s shocked surprise. No, you sure as hell did not!  Much like the various health conditions relatives had that were not shared with us or the fact that she had been borrowing on life insurance policies our maternal grandmother purchased for us for years without our knowledge. I’m sure there is more but will stop at the tip of the ice burg for now. What they don’t know won’t hurt them right?

THIS is the kind of thing I am talking about here. This is also the kind of thing that the truth-impaired bemoan as  “ancient history” and “what’s in the past is the past” but my argument is that this very shit stabs right at the heart of what is wrong with my family and many others. Lying just for the sake of lying, lying for personal financial gain and finally, lying to save face. Once you have protected your image to the point of alienating and potentially physically harming family it becomes clear what is more important to some people:

Not us. Not me. Not my daughter. Not my partner. Everyone is fair game for an attack apparently. I have the letters, emails, Facebook posts and text messages to prove it.

My family is a sad stomach churning potluck of avoidance, delusion, resentment, and selfishness. And, I too have experienced and participated in all of these things over the years and will make that clear. In order to write this I have to be honest and in order to write this, I also have to shore myself up for any pending attacks on my recollection and character. I have been attacked on both fronts by both my mother and my younger sister so any further vitriol is easy to shrug off. They will do what they do and have always done and I will do the opposite because to do anything else is a sure recipe for self-harm and I’m too old for this shit!

As you, dear reader, peruse this little essay I am sure that there are other eyes scanning as well. Eyes that are looking for any mention of them, any mention of blame, any mention at all. Hello! Despite our falling out, I am glad you are here and I am even gladder that you might be reading my words. Take them in. Mull them over for a bit before responding and, might I add, before firing off in a flash of keyboard courage consider picking up the phone to address any grievances with me personally. I will take your call and I will listen to what you have to say. I may hang up without saying more than an initial “hello” but I will listen none the less.

So, for the foreseeable future, I will be HONEST. Everything I write about will involve confession, confrontation and, finally the search for redemption. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need to be redeemed in my family’s eyes but in my own. I am looking for peace, nothing more and nothing less.

Stick with me on this journey okay? I might need a cheering section when the wolves arrive…

© 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.

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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.

We all need a break

Well, it’s been a few days since the Big Blow Up.  How do I feel now?

I feel okay.

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At first, it was a sense of shock at having a family member lash out at my daughter online over her stance on gun control and the short-sighted blame game both sides engage in. Then it was irritation that they moved on to heap scorn upon the thoughtful words of the man I love. But, when the real story revealed itself, the continuation of a gripe started months before and long-held resentment, it became clear that whatever relationship we may have had is now almost certainly irrevocably broken.

Can it be fixed?

I don’t know.

Am I going to apologize?

I did apologize to the people that I owed an apology to.

To those that aren’t owed one?

Nope!

That may sound harsh and cold but you know what? I have never really felt like I was a part of this family unit so whether I acquiesce and roll over for these DNA bullies or not it still won’t matter much. Their resentment will remain and I can do nothing to change their minds.

I could never quite put my finger on what it was that set me apart from them and that is not to say that I feel better than them on any level. I just feel different.  Maybe it was that I learned to mistrust people at an early age and the teachers of that lesson were other members of my own family. Maybe it was just some difference of heart that I inherited but they did not.

As time goes on the real outcome of this reality check will make itself known but for the time being, I will just keep breathing, keep improving and keep living my life. I know who I am and take responsibility for the mistakes I have made. I will not, however, take responsibility for the mistakes, misunderstandings, and misery of others. And with this declaration, I accept what the future holds for me and wish them peace.

Elle

© 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
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