Saturday, October 12, 2019

THAT Moment of Fucking Clarity

I was reading the NY Times this morning and I was smacked with a moment of clarity that whipsawed my brain. It put into print a problem I have been having since our long national Trumpmare began. I have pointed out the ways Trump and my father have the same personality for years. It was amusing, then scary, not sits on my mind like a gargoyle incubating a precious egg.

Here is the passage from this morning's opinion piece (here is the whole article):
But it is also crucial to understanding the electorate’s response to Trump — particularly the traumatized majority that opposes him.
“We wake up each day much like the kid of a narcissistic parent wakes up, in the sense that we don’t know what the crazy parent is going to do,” said Brian Baird, formerly a Democratic member of Congress, and before that, a professor of psychology with a private practice in Washington State. “Yet we have to somehow go to work each day and act like things are normal.”
And there’s the rub: You can no sooner quit your president than you can quit your family. If you look at the children of pathological narcissists, noted Baird, their symptoms look a lot like many of ours: “Anxiety, foreboding, depression, anger, frustration, fear, bewilderment at the state of the universe.” Their minds have been annexed; they doubt their perceptions. “What they know to be real,” he said, “is itself challenged by this person’s actions and statements and deeds.”
(Online, in fact, there’s a shadow universe of children of pathological narcissists, who argue that “what’s happening on a national level is activating and retraumatizing a lot of people who have been gaslighted in the past,” in the words of the writer and memoirist Ariel Leve.)

Yep, that was my entire life from about 9 to 18. While my father was reasonably good to me (like Trump is to Ivanka), it was either to a) help get him laid or b) it cost him nothing.

My father with a child he cannot screw, talk to or make fun. He is annoyed and perplexed.


And it has created so many obsessions that I know about:

Like my mortal fear of being late. When I was a minor, being late meant we couldn't do "it" today and would have to do it later (i.e. never). Not just fun things like miniature golf, but things like shopping for school clothes, visiting my grandparents for my birthday, going to the dentist. I wasn't  taken to the dentist from the age of about 9. Once I got to college myself, I went. Although my front teeth look pretty good, I had 4 wisdom teeth removed, 2 impacted morals removed, 4 other teeth shaved down to take 2 bridges and about 5 cavities filled. I went to a Mexican dentist because they don't yell at people. (Now I have a nice gay dentist and I go 2 or 3 times a year - of course the fact he has botox helps immensely).

Like my ability to spot and lie, and my inability to call people on it (to their face).

Like my phobia of conflict. My father was a great guy, unless you crossed him. Then he was petulant and nasty. Lashing out verbally and belittling you in front of people.

Like my inability to argue when something is important. Because I know that I'll lose, or if I don't lose, I'll pay for it for a long, long time.

My dad wasn't a bad person to me. One adapts. One changes their life to avoid getting into a bad position EVER AGAIN. But now I have a President that is not just like my dad, but one I cannot avoid. He's on the TV or in the paper every day.

In 2020, something changes. Either he loses or I leave. If I stay, it will be like choosing to live this way again. Yet, if I leave I force Ed into a terrible situation. See it's all fucking coming back to me.

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