phantom limb syndrome

I lost a friend over the summer. They didn’t like some of my choices, and… okay, fair, one thing in particular was an interesting decision on my part, but at least everyone else who called me out on it saw the disaster for what it was. As opposed to my former bestie, who decided that another person in my life didn’t quite check off enough diversity//oppression boxes to be tolerated.

Ah, yes, because someone who’s knowingly screwed up someone else’s marriage should TOTALLY judge other people’s choices. Good grief, even the BUBBLE would draw the line against that one!!

So, that happened a while back, and it hit me this week how much I MISS said ex-friend. Like, I don’t miss the way they only liked me when our traumas mirrored each other, or the way they expected me to be SUPER SUPPORTIVE of *their* bizarre life choices while simultaneously guilt-tripping me about my own for TOTALLY BULLSHIT REASONS (yes, my wolf friend has both a dick and a personality; no, that does NOT make him pure evil)… but I miss the good parts. I miss having someone who’d experienced the bubble the exact same way I had and who understood that some things are just impossible to explain to outsiders.

A friend of a friend posted on FB this week that she didn’t find her husband attractive until after they were married and only accepted his interest in her ’cause of how spiritual he was. Every alarm bell in my body went off when I read that, and my first thought was that my ex-friend was probably the ONLY person in my circle who’d understand why that anecdote made me want to vomit. Except… ex-friend is ex-friend for REASONS. I don’t want them back in my life. I got a lot out of that friendship, but the lowkey manipulation and guilt were probably not worth the five years I sacrificed.

And yet there’s still that empty place where they used to be. Waiting, I guess, for someone else who managed to get out of the homeschool bubble WITHOUT drifting to an extreme. And hopefully the next person, the bionic arm in my future, will be a little less hypocritical. Fingers crossed.

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sometimes an asshole is just an asshole

Earlier this week, my baby sister did something super awesome. Apparently her college has a bit of an infestation of “preachers” who like to harass anything that moves, and one of them attempted to have a go at my brother. Welp, little sister is nothing if not protective of her people, and she decided that the correct response to that kind of wildlife was to pick a fight with him. (For reference, my sister is an adorable skinny blonde white girl. NOT the sort of person one generally expects to be the brave one in this sort of situation.) And sure enough, tiny badass ended up having the last word and got a heck of a video of the incident to post on social media.

So what does that situation have to do with the title of this post, you ask?? Simple – various people, some of whom I know and some of whom I never will, responded to that video with “you should’ve been nicer to him, he’s probably mentally ill”.

Newsflash, buddy – mental illness is not an excuse for being that kind of trash in a public place. If you can form coherent enough sentences to harass dozens of innocent passers-by, then you’re mentally present enough to take responsibility for your actions.

Sometimes an asshole is just an asshole.

If you’ve followed this blog long enough, you’ve seen my own mental-health issues. I’ve written extensively about some of the stuff that goes on in my head. I am enough of a person to admit that a lot of the stupid shit I do has nothing to do with my depression and everything to do with my poor impulse control and maladaptive self-defense skills. Explanations that are character flaws I can fix (and am actively trying to). Not a screw loose or a hamster missing or one tiny screwed-up strand of DNA that gives me an excuse to do what I want without consequence.

Most of my friends are the same. Most of the people I care about have bad brain of some sort, and all of them take ownership of their actions. I’m constantly amazed by my wolf, who has been through more than I knew a human being could even survive and yet remains the most gentle and kind person I know. And really, everyone I know who fights monsters in their head is focused on being a decent and functional human being.

So no, longtime “family friend”, putting some label on someone you’ve never met doesn’t justify inappropriate public behavior. Sometimes an asshole is just an asshole.

do something

I’ve had it up to here with passive-aggressiveness.

As usual with most of my frustrations, there’s a few contributing factors here. There’s the culture of random catfights at my work (for those of you who don’t know me in RL, I work in retail and that’s honestly a whole ‘nother post but sufficient to say, I have some INTERESTING coworkers). There’s the wildlife on Facebook who I can’t unfriend for whatever reason (usually ’cause I want to watch them completely trainwreck in a couple years) who post so, so many political things but don’t have actual SOLUTIONS. There’s similar bullshit on Tumblr, which is why I haven’t even checked my tracked tags on there in like a month because I can’t deal with people. There’s… guh.

Again, my background comes back to bite me. Again, having grown up in a fairly normal family that for whatever reason attempted to blend in with the conservative wildlife comes back and my disillusionment has roots somewhere in my teens.

I guess my frustration with people who have problems but don’t ACT ON THEM started with the pro-life movement. (I’m about to ruffle some feathers here, so if that topic is really important to you, this is your warning to quit reading.) Obviously, as a good Bubble kid, that was something I grew up around. Worse, as a good Bubble kid who was adopted right after birth, that was something I couldn’t escape. When I was younger, my mother was prone to waving the “I adopted three unwanted children” flag every chance she got. (She’s toned it down over the last couple years, but still brings it out for special occasions.) It was her sainthood, and as far as that goes… far be it from me to judge one of someone’s more harmless hangups, but as one of the kids in question it did feel an awful lot like a guilt trip.

But as per usual when dealing with the Bubble, my mother was comparatively tame. On this issue, a little more dramatically than most. Even outsiders know that pro-life is THE issue that defines the Bubble. It’s not an optional belief, like headcoverings or the more obnoxious strain of Calvinism. It’s a REQUIREMENT. But at least in my experience, it was dealt with the same way every other cause was – talk about it until lungs and lips turn blue, throw money at the problem, maybe serve on an organizing committee if you’re REALLY dedicated to the cause, and… that’s it. That’s where it begins and ends.

Now, apply that approach to literally any issue that bothers anyone. That’s generally how it works. For issues of a wide variety. By people from a wide variety of backgrounds.

I just… I can’t.

I can’t.

If something bothers you as much as you claim it does, DO SOMETHING. Time goes a hell of a lot further than money. Don’t just sit there and post shit on FB. DO SOMETHING.

And if you’re not willing to put up the effort to turn your beliefs into actions… maybe you should rethink them. Y’know. Maybe.