Irrational Fear

images-2

I don’t know whether it’s listening to all the news stories or terrorism, hate, and violence, but I’m becoming more and fearful of even normal things. I’m not sure it’s at the “I need a psychiatrist STAT” mode, but it’s enough that I check in with my kids a lot, I look around nervously when we’re in a crowd, and I lie in bed at need creating terrible scenarios in my head.

I guess I’m wondering how many people are dealing with similar issues. I don’t think I’m alone. These are scary times. I don’t want to get into a political debate but the current turmoil in our country is not helping.

If you take one look at Facebook you’ll scroll past people bashing President Trump followed by people saying horrendous things about “Libtards.” I’m wondering where we want wrong that the two sides are so far apart that we don’t even listen anymore.

I’m of the believe that 15% of the people on each side are extreme and the other 70% of us fall somewhere in the middle. While we may not agree or like Trump, we’re not pretending he isn’t president. Or while we may have strong beliefs about abortion, that doesn’t mean we can’t find common ground on other issues.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not seeing any of that at all. There’s not much in between, even at a local level. I have previously discussed the nightmare of politics in my small town. I won’t rehash it all as it’s been two years but when I attended a meeting this past week and realized things haven’t changed all that much.If thing scan’t change in a small town with so many people working for the betterment of schools and the community, how can we do it on a larger scale in the country?

But it’s not just politics that are causing my fear. I’ll be driving down the road and fear one of my cats got out and eaten by a bobcat. Or I get a strong feeling on our boat that it’s going to crash.

At the moment, I’m not stopping myself from doing things, but I’m also pretty okay staying home if I don’t need to go anywhere. I guess one could say these are irrational fears, but then I start to think, are they? There are people murdered every day. There is human trafficking, kidnapping, and so many other horrifying things going on and I’m here in my bubble.

I know enough psychology to know that my fears stem from losing people I love early in life and then again when I was a grown up. I’m afraid that something will happen to my kids and I won’t be there to protect them. How do you balance letting them grow up and holding on for dear life.

My kids are my everything. They are three very different little (not so little) human beings. My son is starting high school and I keep thinking I only have 4 more years with him at home. I’m NOT ready!

I’m not going to be a good empty-nester. I’ll be one of those women with 30 cats an a few dogs. I need to mother something! In the meantime, I need to find a way to push back the irrational (or even rational) fears standing in my way. I’m not afraid to say I’m scared. I just need to figure out some sort of plan of action (other than Xanax) when I’m a mess.

I’ll work on that. If you have better ideas, I’m happy to hear them!

Advertisements

Politics: Tearing Relationships Apart

 

images-2

It’s no secret that this country is the most divided it’s been in my lifetime. Frankly, I’m not sure how we’re going to fix that and I’m the first to admit, I have no ideas.

I’m a middle of the road kind of person. My social views are liberal so if the fact that I’m pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro- some kind of stronger background checks for guns, then I will understand if you want to stop reading. The difference I’m finding is, I have a deep respect for pro-life people. I see their side and do see where they are coming from. I don’t think a woman ever enters that decision easily.

I have two daughters and perhaps that has crafted out my view on the subject. If my daughter was raped and didn’t  Is want to have that baby, I would respect her decision and stand by her. If she chose to have the baby, I’d stand by her and help her in any way. Why? Because I love my daughter and I want her to make the best decision for her.

But I don’t think we’re really arguing about abortion and gun control at this point. I mean, those issues are on the table, but they aren’t the great divide. I think the great divide comes from not being able to listen to each other’s opinions.

I just had a rather large argument with my husband over the president’s decision to exclude some media outlets from his press conference. To me, that goes against everything America stands for. When we take away Freedom of the Press and the right to criticize the government, we start to move toward a scary path of dictatorship where we are told what news we can watch.

I don’t like that. My husband’s point was that Trump kicked them out because they aren’t reporting the truth. Is there media bias? Of course there is. But did Fox have anti-Obama stuff going on a loop over and over all day…yep! And that is their right to do. I wish we were back in a time where a reporter’s job was to report the news and not put their spin on it, but we’re not there.

In some ways it’s good that people have become passionate about what is going on in their country and some have learned how to contact senators, etc. But how do we get to a point where there is a compromise and we can work together?

I don’t think this current president will get us there. Whether he intended to or not, he incited a feeling that it was okay to want people of different race and religion out of the country. It gave white supremacists that had probably otherwise held their meetings in secret, a platform that it was not okay to speak.

In the next town over from where we live a Swastika was painted on a family’s house. While we  are Catholic (yeah, I’m a pro-choice Catholic, that’s between God and I), this incident bothered me a great deal. A friend of mine told me a story of when she was a little girl and the morning of Halloween she woke up to a Swastika painted on her door. She said it was the first time in her life she was afraid because of who she was and even embarrassed.

The newspaper did not release the name of the family but many in our community wanted to surround them with kindness and know that it’s a very few that that kind of hate. I do believe there is far more kindness than hate in the world.

Another issue I tried to bring up with my husband was President Trump’s decision to repeal something Obama put in place where people who were not able to take care of their own finances (another person had their financial guardianship because they were not capable of doing it) could now purchase guns again.

I think I mentioned before that we live minutes from Sandy Hook. My friend lost her daughter that day and my niece lost 11 friends. I don’t want to take guns away from responsible gun owners, but if a person isn’t capable of taking care of themselves how is it okay for them to own a firearm?

This is one issue my husband and I agree on. We actually both feel HIPAA should be thrown out the window if a person owning a firearm is admitting to a psychiatric facility, we think there should be a red flag if they are a gun owner. You can agree or not agree, but we have one side blaming guns and one side blaming mental health. We need to address both.

So what now… other than I’m sleeping in my daughter’s room while she’s at a sleepover and I’m too mad at my husband to talk to him. Do you think we can get back together as a country or are the conservatives and liberals so far apart at this point that it’s not going to happen?

One thing I really hate is seeing posts that start with “You stupid liberals…” as if all people with liberal views feel exactly the same on every issue. Have you ever met anyone that you agreed with on every single issue? I haven’t, but maybe that’s because I’m crabby and don’t like many people 😉

The hate between the two sides needs to subside before a real change can be made. If I had a clue how to make that happen I’d suggest it, but I don’t. I will say Trump supporters posting Anti-Muslim videos and Democrats posting anti-Trump everything isn’t helping. Kellyanne Conway…also not helping. Hello?? We’re concerned abut fake news and yet you have that woman go on the news shows and make shit up? Not helping.

The American people want the truth. They wanted an Education Secretary that has a clue about education. As someone who works as an advocate for children with special needs, Betsy DeVos frightens me. She has the potential to do a lot of damage. I think, in my eyes, if Trump had some cabinet choices that appealed to a wider range of people maybe it would be easier to come together. But hey, she donated a hell of a lot of money to the Republican party so who gives a shit that she knows nothing about public education?

I’d feel better about the president if he chose someone qualified.

I don’t know where we go from here, but it’s not getting better any time soon. Oh sure, my husband and I will talk at some point tomorrow when he stops being an ass and realizes that other people can have different opinions…but when is the rest of country going to catch n to that?