It was just a moment

I

So, I guess this is what we’ve been waiting for.

I don’t know how the impeachment proceedings will end, but I do know life is going to get more weird.

I think we’re finally in the shit of it. Or at least rushing toward an end.

I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted by this. I am tired of the mental energy the stupid president sucks up. I also know it doesn’t matter if I’m exhausted or not.

Here is something I know about most adult children of narcissists.

We have an abundance of empathy.

And if you are me, you already had empathy. Then, you got some kitties and you found your empathy extend to so many more creatures.

I’m even worried if trees have self awareness. Or if they feel pain.

I’m good with my extended empathy. I don’t think caring is ever a bad thing.

So, I had this moment.

It was like the time I went to my uncle’s funeral. My dad’s older brother.

This was before I understood malignant narcissism.

I just thought my dad was an insufferable asshole. Which is true, I guess, I just didn’t know the name for it.

Anyway, this was years after the heart issue left him mildly brain damaged. He had been mostly quiet and not sickening to be around for well over 10 years at this point.

So, I watched my dad walk in between his remaining brother and sister and they looked small. They looked small, scared, sad and I felt something I hadn’t felt for my father in decades. I felt compassion for him.

That didn’t last long, though. He managed to destroy the feeling by the time I reached the back of the church. He had an audience of long forgotten about cousins. When I went to say goodbye to him, he ignored me. I thought perhaps he didn’t hear me, so I said it again.

Then came the face I knew so well from childhood. The curled lip. The contempt.

“I heard you the first time.”

No idea why I wasted my time and feelings.

Then comes the impeachment hearings.

I watched clips (with the sound down, I hate the sound of his stupid voice) and he looks so bad, you guys. He stumbles when we walks. He can’t form a coherent sentence. He’s fading fast. He looks unhappy and unhinged with just a bit of confusion.

For a moment, for the briefest moments, I felt bad for him.

Kinda the way I felt bad for Annie Wilkes at the end of Stephen King’s Misery. She was horrible, but she didn’t know she was horrible.

Then, the moment passed.

I didn’t need a kick to the head like I got from my broken father.

The president is broken and pathetic. But he made his choices. Broken or not.

He made his fucking bed, he can die in it.

Because of him, I know who Heather Heyer and Fred Guttenburg are. I shouldn’t. They should both be living a normal life. But Heather is dead and Fred had to bury his daughter.

Because of the president, there are toddlers at our southern border who have to stand trial. Babies. Standing trial. IN OUR COUNTRY.

Because of his arrogance and illness, he is poisoning the earth. He is allowing destruction. He is taking from the poor and feeding it to the rich.

I don’t want to lose my compassion. I don’t want to dehumanize anyone. That is what they do. That is not what I want to do.

But I refuse to feel compassion for this man or for any of his enablers. The destruction they are causing is breathtaking.

When this is all over, we’re still going to have to find a way to live with each other.

At this point, I have no idea how that even works.

Also, for the first time in a while, I feel some hope.

Not a shit ton of hope. I know we still haven’t seen the worst of it.

But I do feel hope because I feel like we’re finally moving forward.

Hold on to each other. Be as kind as you can.

I’ll be over here. Teaching myself, again, how to let go of bitterness.

 

Photo courtesy of Free-Photos.

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34 comments

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  • Thank you.

    Your posts are like attending a Codependents Anonymous group — they reassure me that I’m not alone with these exact feelings, this terrible exhaustion, the self-betraying and automatic empathy response, all of it.

    Most of the time I hate him and and the entire administration that has greedily enabled him, but there’s always a part of me that can feel the pain of the hatred and derision directed at him, that can feel a pang of sympathy for the stoop-shouldered, sad-looking broken man.

    I’m so ready for this awful moment in history to be over and for the healing to begin.

  • My exhaustion is soul deep.
    The ‘Trickle Down’ theory is real, but it has nothing to do with money.
    My biggest fear? That from now on, name calling and covert aggressive remarks will be the standard.
    He has ruined polite conversation and ethical debate.
    *sigh* And I had a hard enough time ‘reading’ people before 🙁
    Are we going to live in the past, or learn our lessons well? Is this our new ‘norm’ with future leaders enhancing this style of ‘governing?’ Is this chapter in the history book going to be printed soon enough for our future leaders to learn from?
    Truly, I’m terrified that what he has so casually and methodically ‘immersed’ us in will be how we conduct business from here on out.
    I hope not. But, I’m still scared :'(
    My heart breaks every time I read or hear someone excusing his behaviour. These types of people are real. They vote. And they are easily fooled/enticed by money and bigly words and there are so many of them. I find myself even more stifled because I don’t want to find out that the person I am talking to is ‘one of them.’
    I hope it’s over quickly, too, but, I’ll bet Donny is willing to spend his last dime proving he is right and that could take awhile with his loan power :/
    I can’t even think of a positive note to end this on, ‘cept – Thank you, Rage-M, for keeping as many people ‘real’ as you can <3
    Your writings contain everything our government needs to be successful and humanitarian.
    Now, to get them reading it <3

  • I am already sick of hearing about it – it is everywhere: the news, the paper, etc. It sucks having a joke for a president. That story about your dad is just heartbreaking.

  • You’re writing really helps me to understand what I’m feeling. I am a very empathetic person. I like to compliment people, I like to do nice things for people. Seeing that I have the power to make people smile, or be happy for just a moment, makes my heart happy. When my daughters (she is 17) ask me why I do so much for others, I tell them that I want to show people that there are kind people in the world, and that all I ask is that they pay it forward. When I’m tempted by Trump and his loyal followers of hate to hit back at them with hate, I *try* to remember that if I do, it makes me just as bad as them. We, the kind, empathetic people ARE better of them, but since they LIVE for the fight, they live to get a rise out of people, fighting with them gives them what they want. I have a brother like that. I can’t have a relationship with him. We just have to hope that inspite of Fuckface Von Clownstick, that afternoon he is gone, people will look back on his presidency & remember the hate that accompanied it, and vow to never be like that again. Sending love and kindness your way…

  • I am so with you. This presidency has eaten at my soul. I feel guilt over the consequences of this man’s unimaginable behavior, even though I know I shouldn’t. Those poor children whose lives were destroyed by his thoughtless cruelty! I know I didn’t commit this sin myself, but some part of me feels this all happened to me personally and that I am somehow complicit.
    All I can practically do is hunker down and try to survive. I have no power here.

  • Lisa K’s comment, “I find myself even more stifled because I don’t want to find out that the person I am talking to is ‘one of them,” really hit home. I spent Saturday with a lady who I love but don’t see much anymore. She helped my husband and I through a very trying time in our lives, and she holds a special place in my heart. But I am so afraid she is a “Trumper.” She was raised very conservatively and has been rather sheltered from the world. I found myself trying so hard on Saturday not to say anything that would even hint of politics so that I wouldn’t possibly have it confirmed that she is “one of them.” Such a sad world we live in.

    • I totally get that. My boss voted for Trump. I REALLY like my boss, he’s a good guy. I told him recently to just not fucking tell me if he votes for him again because I don’t want to lose all my respect for him. He didn’t say either way, but I can kind of tell through our conversations that he wouldn’t vote for him again.

  • I’ve really limited my exposure to all of this over the summer. I needed a break. I’m still going to seek it in small bits, because we have another damn year and I don’t want to burn out. However, I am going to see Elizabeth Warren speak this week, and I’m very excited and encouraged. That, and empathy, is what I would like to carry into this election season.

  • My husband did a 180 politically 20 years ago after his first stroke and became a Tea Party participant. I’ve been politically nauseous ever since. Now he suffers from dementia and while he has no idea what’s happening in the news, insists that Trump is the best president we ever had. Of course, he can’t remember who’s President from day to day, but even so, my throat it tight with unexpressed anger that he can still vote.

  • Like others here I find your perspective so helpful, although it also saddens me that your perspective comes from such terrible experience. You’ve found a way to turn it into something good, though, and that is no small thing.
    I wonder where things will go from here. I know some people who are desperately trying to keep up the “this is all fake news, this is all a witch hunt” facade, but it’s getting harder and harder for them. And I do feel sorry for them.

  • OK, I feel like I’ve been dealing with Republican cruelty my whole life, so I wasn’t all that surprised when a carnival-barking con man came in and co-opted all of the hate they have been fueling their grip on power with since the days of Nixon.
    Each Republican administration since him has done unthinkably cruel things to cement their grip on power, so I have decades of experience sifting through the mental gymnastics of my stances toward human beings bent on damaging other human beings in the pursuit of power over other human beings.
    When asked in other forums what, exactly, I want to do about the Republican base who enabled all of this (remember, the rat-bastard got the most votes in the Republican primary of any Republican candidate in history) I tend to respond “Give them healthcare, mostly.”
    But, personally, I am encouraged, even hopeful about the recent turn of events for one reason:
    What has had me scared, personally, is the way Fergus has just ignored the institutions of government that are in place to check his bad behavior. Congressional subpoenas, for example.
    Now, the whistle-blower did everything strictly by the book, and it took months, but it eventually caused the Democratic leadership to move on impeachment, which is the constitutionally specified remedy for presidential misbehavior.
    So amid the corrosive effects of Fergus and his felons’ disdain for the institutions of governance, this is maybe the first indication I’ve seen that perhaps those institutions are in fact sound enough to stand up to the disdain for and corruption of them on such blatant display.
    We will, in fact, have a mountain of damage to try to remedy when we get our shot at it again, but that is seemingly always the case these days. Remember what the country looked like when Obama was inaugurated? We were shedding 700,000 jobs per month, two foolhardy wars were raging, and the previous administration had been torturing people.
    We gotta live through this and win by enough that it overcomes the cheating they’re gonna do if we want those babies out of those cages. We have the numbers. Our numbers are only getting better, which is one reason there is such desperation in the actions of the Republicans now. We are majority-minority below the age of eighteen now, meaning the first wave of them will be eligible to vote next year.
    Ten years from now, things will look much different, politically, which is why they are frantically trying to take over the judiciary while they have a chance.
    So now we take that chance away from them and live through the coming decade and with a little luck we’ll make it back to the prospects we had in 2009.
    Elizabeth Warren is kicking ass in the polls here in California, and also Iowa and New Hampshire. It’s not all bad.

  • Thank you for this. I don’t believe we’ve hit rock bottom yet either but it sure as shit feels like we’re close. I’m sending you a virtual hug. I’m sending your dad the stink eye!

  • Brilliant Michelle
    I find letting go of bitterness to be a process that has to be repeated. A struggle but worth it for my peace of mind.

  • I hear that. My ex was really late once and wasn’t answering the phone calls and when he finally got in touch he said it was because his father was sick. I was aware (through the kids) that his father had cancer.

    Of course, I felt horrible and let him walk all over me to get the kids. And of course, I found out he was actually late because he’d slept in and he didn’t answer the numerous texts because he’d left his phone in the car.

    And of course, I’ve promised myself that I won’t do that again. But I know I will. Because stupid empathy.

    All that to say – I feel you hon. And I’m hopeful that we don’t get let down this time.

  • For 2.5 users I’ve thought we were rushing to the end with him, and it never came. I think this is bad for him, but I’m burned. Nothing will come of it in the end. We will just have to wait it out and elect functioning adults next time around. Sorry to be so pessimistic but I can’t allow myself hope. Been hoping too long. And if he wins again, so help me, there’s no way I can stand around and watch it. I’m OUT! Suggestions for a hide out for 4 years WELCOMED!
    Rant over, thank you, I feel better…

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