A few weeks ago, pre-election (I assume we will all start talking about life before the election and after because everything feels so different!), I sat in my living room scrolling through all of my Hillary shimmying to a win articles when something made me stop in my tracks. I was so shocked I almost threw my phone across the room. I got a friend request from my mother. I should have seen it as a sign of the strange, new, darker post-election world to come.
My mother is on Facebook. What the hell? Over the years, I thought my mother was going to die on more than several occasions...the times she overdosed, the car accidents, the psychotic breaks, the Thanksgiving she fell and broke her neck. I used to prepare myself for THE call. I tried to prepare myself for helping her through various recoveries. I did help a few times, I think, I hope. But I was never prepared for social media with my mother.
I'm happy she is alive. I'm happy she is doing well-ish right now. I'm happy she is discovering the Internet and Google and Facebook for the first time ever. I mean I guess I'm happy for her about that last stuff, I'm just not very prepared for it. Our relationship is complicated. Loving someone with mental illness and addiction issues is complicated, especially when it is your mother.
My mother is prone to insults when she gets mad. What's she going to do, tell my siblings and me to go to hell online and tag us in the post? How does this work? It's a new world. A world where I feel uncertain about what's next and how it's going to work. A world where I hold firm to boundaries that I worked hard to set. A world where I protect myself from negativity and hold onto the positive parts of myself for my kids and my family. A world where I continue to work to find coping strategies and cures and help people and try to create positive change. A world where I don't accept my mom's friend request.
Everything has felt weird since the election. It took me days to wake up and realize Trump winning was real and not just a bad dream. I was one of those people who felt shocked and like someone punched me in the stomach. Sadly I wasn't surprised by rampant racism or people that wanted to live in their wealthy bubble and not have to pay higher taxes ever. But I was completely gobsmacked by the amount of men and women that simply didn't want a woman to be president.
I am not even sure what to say next. Or do next.
Except only to react how I am to my mother joining social media. Yes, I am comparing my mother friending me on Facebook to Trump becoming president.* Because seriously if you would have told me either of these things five years ago, I would have laughed and said NO WAY IN HELL! I would have confidently bet my last dollar against those things ever happening. But here we are. So, I repeat, in this new world I will hold firm to boundaries that I worked hard to set; I will protect myself from negativity and hold onto the positive parts of myself for my kids and my family; I will work to find coping strategies and cures and help people and try to create positive change. And I won't accept my mom's friend request or Trump as president.
*I in no way want to minimize the real fear that people are feeling because of Trump's win. Sure, I am gobsmacked. Others are scared. I stand in solidarity with people that feel fearful. I will volunteer, march for and work to find peaceful, inclusive, social and civil justice for men and women and children in our country that feel scared and unsupported by this new administration.*
|Another eerie quote from the past that could be on Humans of New York today. Scary.|
|All I know to do is to keep talking, keep listening, keep writing, keep educating and informing my kids; and finding voices and stories and teachers and people to expand our compassion and understanding.|