Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Battle Scars and Bloody Noses


Spoiler Alert: If you are a Trump supporter you may want to stop reading here. If you don't want to read a political post, please skip this one and come back on Saturday.

Wikipedia says that Brianna Wiest, the author of the meme up above is a twenty-eight year old "American writer and poet. She is best known for her prolific work on emotional intelligence. Her published works include the books 101 Essays to Change the Way You Think, The Truth About Everything, and The Human Element…”

I snatched the meme off Facebook and it spoke to me at a time when I was in a grumpy mood and dealing with a wee bit of depression that led me down a path I knew better than to set foot on, but I did it anyway. Yup, I engaged in an off-again, on-again all day Facebook debate with me on one side and five Trump supporters on the other side and by the end of the day we’d racked up over fifty comments back and forth. I was on a debate team in college, a second stringer, but I learned a lot, loved the process and the rules of engagement and for 3-4 years I was also a message board administrator on a website where I was in charge of giving members time-outs when angry exchanges got too hot and posting rules were broken. I debate fair and square and keep my cool as I did this time on Facebook. But Facebook doesn’t give time-outs and Trump supporters don’t care if they take their fights into the gutter with name calling and belittling those with opposing viewpoints and for that reason I rarely engage in political discussions on Facebook. That's to say I went into this slug-fest with my eyes wide open knowing I would become a pseudo punching bag but that doesn’t take the sting out of getting a bloody nose.

“Your Anger? It’s Telling You Where You Feel Powerless.” Oh, yes, Brianna, my anger is telling me I’m totally frustrated with the state of our nation and feeling as powerless as a dead kitten. We have a president who is incapable of empathy and compassion. He's incapable of bringing two sides of people together whether we're talking blacks and whites, Democrats and Republics, radicals and pacifists. He’s incapable of dealing with the Covid-19 epidemic or any other crisis that might come along.

“Your anxiety? It’s telling you that something in your life is off balance.” Oh, yes, Brianna, I am without words to express the sadness, fear and hopelessness I feel over what is going on in our nation right now. As if the pandemic wasn’t bad enough, now we have Trump sending unidentified troops into Portland uninvited and unwanted by the state or city governments. "Tyranny creeps up on a nation and we’re witnessing its beginning here and now," according to Timothy Snyder, a professor of history at Yale University who in 2017 wrote: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. “Be wary of paramilitaries, "he said in an interview this week. "In 2017 the idea of unidentified agents in camouflage snatching leftists off the streets without warrants might have seemed like a febrile Resistance fantasy, Now it’s happening."

“Your fear? It’s telling you what you care about.” Oh, yes, Brianna, I care about this country, about its future and I fear that Trump is going to get reelected or if he doesn't, he'll weaken our democracy by not giving us a peaceful transition of power for the first time in our history. Part of the debate I took part in today was about voter suppression which, of course, no one but me thought it was a problem for people of color but voting by mail in their minds was full of run-away abuse---setting the table for claims of a rigged election if Trump loses. It came up because we’d been on the topic of the Black Lives Matters. Trump supporters do not distinguish between protesters and rioters and, according to them, just saying “black lives matter” is racist. I brought up the parable of the shepherd who has 100 sheep and one goes missing. When the shepherd leaves the 99 to go looking for the lost sheep, the 99 sheep cry, "But what about us, don't we matter?" And the shepherd says, "Of course you matter but you're not ones in danger. The one is." I read that in a sermon delivered by a Catholic Priest who was explaining to his congregation why the church supports the Black Lives Matter Movement. I hope his telling of the parable got a better reception than mine did.

“Your apathy? It’s telling you where you’re overextended and burnt out.” Yes, Brianna, that sentence really spoke to me because I haven't done anything but the bare necessity of living for over a week, checked out on life, which I’m guessing is why I needed a good slug-fest today to make me check back in and feel like I was adding something to the pool besides the pee others were leaving. We have a do-or-die election coming up and that should challenge us all to help by calling out outright lies within our realms of existence. When I saw the nasty meme about Black Lives Matter that started the whole debate thread I just had to put on my bathing suit and wade into the muddy water.

“Your feelings aren’t random, they are messengers. And if you want to get anywhere, you need to be able to let them speak to you, and tell you what you really need.” Okay, Brianna, I let my feelings hang out here on my blog and I want to thank you for this ‘conversation.’ You are a breath of fresh air after my day of collecting battle scars and a bloody nose. ©


NOTE: The two memes in this post were shared on my great-niece's Facebook page. It's what she does. Sometimes its surreal to see them show up alternating with the hate filled, misinformation posts from the Trump supporters on my husband's side of the family. Another prolific poster always adds beautiful photos of enchanting cottages into the mix I see on my Facebook feed, and another shares recipes. I've been on a kick lately of posting humorous kitten memes. My favorite posts are photos of the youngest little people in my family. That's Facebook---a microcosm of the world at large. The good, bad and the ugly. True or not, I like to think of myself as a student of human nature which is why I don't unfriend the relatives who irritate the living stuffing out of me...just in case you were about to suggest that I do so.

44 comments:

  1. I'm a student of human nature too. I don't do Facebook, but I am watching a lot of history via The Great Courses Plus. It helps put this transition in perspective. I keep asking myself, a hundred years from now will Trump get much mention? Probably not. Much more massive changes will occur with global warming. the continuing population explosion with its competition for resources and pandemics, the continuing rise of China, etc. Does that bring me down? No, as I wrote in a post once, to me finding joy is an act of defiance and I'm sticking with it.

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    1. That last line must be why you're the Cheerful Monk. LOL

      In my opinion, Trump's administration will go one of two way: 1)a turning point in our history where our democracy doesn't recover back to the rule of law and doesn't return to a place of respect in the world, or 2) like you are guessing, he'll be forgotten, a bad joke like Dan Quayle.

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  2. forgotten? hardly. He will be remembered for what he did to America. He will never be forgotten. He will not be remembered fondly but he sure as hell won't be forgotten. Did we forget Hitler? Quayle was an idiot that was kept in the closet and only allowed out to speak a few times and each time it was a joke. Sadly this guy is front and center and the one to take us down. He should not be forgotten or we'll do it again.

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    1. Thanks, Margaret. Your comment should have mine. I need to stay off the internet before my morning coffee. LOL

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  3. ...yet another reason why I refuse to be on facebook.

    Thanks for the two memes. They're at least pearls from the swine pen.

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    1. My great-niece posts a lot of great memes like these. When she and the enchanted cottage poster get on a roll it can be quite a pleasant experience. With the exception of the day mentioned above, I don't spend much time on Facebook...usually 15 minutes in the morning, and 15 in the evening. The younger generation uses it to post their kids' photos and party invitations and I don't want to miss those.

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  4. I am on Facebook to keep up with family and friends. I do sometimes have to comment when someone I know posts something I think is wrong - usually an old high school classmate for some reason. I am not a good debater so usually avoid or "hide" those people who irritate me. Good for you for getting into it - your debating background surely helped but I bet you didn't change their minds. I am amazed when people can still defend him. UGH!

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    1. No, you can't change their minds but I engaged to present 'the other side' for those silent thread followers who could be swayed. Once in awhile one of the couple's granddaughter will post on one of their hate meme that they need to stop with the hate conspiracy stuff. The grandmother's reply was 'unfollow me.'

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    2. That's a Gramma who is clearly so deep into her Cult devotion that Family no longer matters as much as her Cult Leader, how Sad!

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  5. I admire you willingness to go toe to toe. I tend to avoid confrontation with my sisters as they are Trumpers. I just say "don't go there." But I will not forgive nor forget 45 and will do what I can to take him down in the polling booth and via my congressmen and women.

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    1. I would not engage a close relative like a sister either. Your 'don't go there' is enough to let them know you don't agree without creating tension in the family. My in-laws relatives I've written off from every seeing again. I never would have said that before Trump got elected.

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  6. You at least tried to engage, I gave up on engaging with Family {his side} and just a scant few people I know who are in The Cult, they're just too Cultish to sway, as anyone deep into Cult behavior just is. I just Unfriend them now from FB and tell them Why if they happen to ask why they're no longer Welcome... sorry, can't align with your Hatred and Sickness Dahlinks, Get Well and mebbe then we can have a Safe Space to discuss things with mutual Respect, until then it ain't gonna happen clearly. *LOL* BTW: I am not going MIA from the Blog, Blogger just switched to where I can't Post into the Future and manipulate it to hit Today, dammit, and I'm already scheduled out 'til 9-3 as you know *Le Sigh* so now Today's Post HAS to wait to hit on the actual Day of 9-4... I could catch up on all my swearing right now... ha ha ha... since expletives convey how I'm feeling about having to now Create Posts and wait over a Month for them to hit the Ole Blog and not have contact with my Peeps... Le Sigh.

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    1. I usually write my posts in my Word program and only schedule them in Blogger a week or two ahead. Have you tried keeping posts on your dashboard as drafts that you can publish at will by undrafting them? I keep a few generic posts in draft for when I might not have an inspiration to write and I need something quick. You should also be able to unschedule something and just click 'publish' to make it go live. I change scheduling dates all the time.

      At some point in the next year I'm probably going to unfriend my in-laws but for certain not before the election.

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    2. I figured it out with the epiphany of just reverting posts dated past Today to Draft Form and then assigning them an earlier July date so that sequentially now I can Post in Real Time and have that Post be the Lead one... the rest are all Archived anyway so I didn't care what sequence Blogger shoved them in? *LOL*

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    3. Oh BTW: The Son-In-Law back East, Husband of our Oldest Daughter re-shared a real Moron-In-Chief Covidiot statement by a 'friend' of his... I really had given him credit for being a more intelligent guy than that, it was disappointing to say the least and I refuse to engage or exchange in such drivel that is so out of touch with Reality and Truth. I have unfriended many Family {The Man's}, Acquaintances and Friends from FB if they've become Cult Devotees, I don't even want exposure to such Cult indoctrinated shit.

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    4. Whatever works to keep us all going, is good. Funny how it always seems to be the in-laws and not our own families that we have issues with. LOL

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    5. My extended Family is Crazy... but we're not Stupid and we're not Racists, Extremists, Fanatically Religious or easy Con Jobs. We'd rather be Crazy. *Winks*

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  7. I've long since given up trying to discuss politics with any Cult members, but I do admire your tenacity. Sometimes it feels good to just blast someone. I have two brothers who got into it big time over the last election, and although we all still interact (or did before Covid), there is a definite tension in the air. My SIL still says things that tempt me to rush into it, but overall, I've just come to the point of thinking if they're that brainwashed, I have no hope of changing their minds. DH plays golf with mostly right wingers (in this area, that's no surprise), and he comes home amazed and discouraged every time anyone brings up politics. They are all regurgitating Fox News talking points and have no room for logic or facts. UGH.

    As for FB, I don't post much there anymore, but I do belong to several groups that I enjoy - none of them political. And if you want to read an intelligent FB synopsis of the news each day without any ranting or drama, I recommend Heather Cox Richardson. That said, some days the news is just more than I can take. I listened to a bit of AG Barr yesterday and cannot believe what they are doing to the Justice Department. If Trump is re-elected, I will have no hope.

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    1. I listened to Barr's hearing too. I honestly don't know how anyone can think he's not destroying the Justice department...totally in Trump's pocket.

      Until the pandemic when I want to debate politics I went to a website set up for doing that. It's large and anonymous with monitors and rules that get enforced. For self-care I cut back on my news intake and politic website. I'm hoping after the election I'll enjoy a robust debate again, something I'll never get on Facebook.

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  8. I think one of the reply comments on my last post is from a Trump supporter. Maybe?
    Really really want for Trump to disappear from the face of the Earth.

    Today he has been whingeing that nobody loves him, that other people (Fauci etc.) have a much higher approval rating. He thinks it must be his personality.

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    1. He at least got one thing right...people who don't like him don't like his lying, whiny, self-centered personality. He's really jealous that an expert on contagious diseases gets higher rating then him like it's a competition. Unreal!

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  9. It's sad that politics and mean people have taken over Facebook. But not visiting but once or twice a day (and UNfollowing so many mean spirited or depressing people, yes some relatives) I see what my family has posted. I post to our WLLO Village page every day so I go on to find relevant articles and laugh out loud memes.

    Even if I disagree with someone, I can be kind and not post on their level.

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    1. Family and politics don't mix, do they. Glad you've found your niche for posting and internet reading.

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  10. I have friends who have joined the 'Cult' and continue to send me the same old YouTube videos from years ago for what? To make their point? They've made it. Stupid and mean trumps thoughtful and kind.

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    1. I can go along for months on Facebook without posting or commenting on anything remotely political. But I get the baiting videos sent to me too from the Cult all the time. This time I wrote about was like the Bermuda triangle of emotions for me coming together. It felt good.

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  11. I may have said this before on your blog, but a very wise counselor once told me (with respect to my loony mother-in-law) to stop wearing myself out trying to use logic on illogical people. I applaud your efforts to sway those that may be on the fence, though. Please think of your own mental health and well-being, Jean - and leave the crazies to themselves.

    Hugs,

    Deb

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    1. That was wise advice.

      It was kind of fun to use my brain and research fingers to try to keep them off balance. I learned a long time ago that the calmer I stay when someone else is losing their cool, the more it drives them crazy that they can't get a rise out of me. Insults from Trump fans are kind of a badge of honor. Trust, me I don't engage these people very often at all. I usually just read their posts and move on.

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  12. a bloody good and interesting post that made this 57yr old woman think and for some reason I thought about my nephew's mother maybe because she is a fruitcake.....

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    1. Then I'm glad I had the guts to write this post. It's such a touchy subject these days to bring up.

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  13. I just found this copy-and-paste on Facebook and thought it was really funny and mixed with truth as the same time:

    So we're into our 5th month of defeating COVID-19.

    1. So let me get this straight, there’s no cure for a virus that can be killed by sanitizer and hand soap?

    2. Is it too early to put up the Christmas tree yet? I have run out of things to do.

    3. When this virus thing is over with, I still want some of you to stay away from me.

    4. If these last months have taught us anything, it’s that stupidity travels faster than any virus on the planet, particularly among politicians and bureaucrats.

    5. Just wait a second – so what you're telling me is that my chance of surviving all this is directly linked to the common sense of others? You’re kidding, right?

    6. People are scared of getting fined or arrested for congregating in crowds, as if catching a deadly disease and dying a horrible death wasn’t enough of a deterrent.

    7. If you believe all this will end and we will get back to normal just because we reopen everything, raise your hand. Now slap yourself with it.

    8. Another Saturday night in the house and I just realized the trash goes out more than me.

    9. Whoever decided a liquor store is more essential than a hair salon is obviously a bald-headed alcoholic.

    10. Remember when you were little and all your underwear had the days of the week on them. Those would be helpful right now.

    11. The spread of Covid-19 is based on two factors: 1. How dense the population is and 2. How dense the population is.

    12. Remember all those times when you wished the weekend would last forever? Well, wish granted. Happy now?

    13. It may take a village to raise a child, but I swear it’s going to take a whole vineyard to home school one.

    14. Did a big load of pajamas so I would have enough clean work clothes for this week.

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  14. Thank you for the copy and paste list. I actually laughed out loud.

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  15. Man, you and Judy from Gold Country Cottage are on the same rant tear today and I agree solidly with both of you. That's an excellent meme and something we should all copy and save (I am.)

    Rick has a saying you may have heard: You can't push rope. That's how I define trying to deal with those who are either so rabidly pro-Trump (usually because of a single issue -- economy, abortion, gun rights, racist tendencies, anti immigration) or those who are Covid-deniers. It will take many more deaths, personal to them and tragic, no matter who it is, to MAYBE make them put on the mask, keep distance and keep out of their own box. I've ended up "pausing for 30 days" a number of people that I'm considering unfriending. I shouldn't unfriend them because their views are so different than mine (although why I was friends in the first place is a good question and the fact is most are people I don't really "know."); I should be more tolerant than that. But sometimes it makes me so mad I just have to let them be and ignore them. Because I can't push rope.

    I admire so much your ability to debate wisely. If I saw those debates, I'd be able to follow. Thanks for a good post -- just the thing for today.

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    1. I love that saying: 'You can't push the rope' which I was assuming it meant that given time they'll hang themselves. But google says I'm wrong. Instead, it's something like you can't push a rope, you can only pull it. I like mine version better. LOL

      I only have 92 or 93 Facebook friends and most are family. I see some people with hundreds of FB friends and wonder where they all come from.

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    2. Thanks for pointing me to the Gold Country Cottage. I visited and liked what I saw.

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  16. Well, Jean, I see another Jean, has sang my praises to you. I love her. And, by now, you know I am not a Trump supporter. So I read your post and loved it all. You really have a way with words and know exactly how to use them. However, I am really upset that I want to follow you by e-mail because that is how I like to do it. I put in my address in the appropriate box and now I can't get rid of those damn pictures that keep wanting me to click on morotcycle or stop signs. Enough!! Any way I just was watching John Lewis's funeral and the former mayor of Atlanta said that Mr. Lewis whispered in his ear just before his passing, that please vote. This is the most important election we have ever had. I second that and thank you for this post. There are ones in my family who dont' believe that there is nothing wrong except me. I have had words with my sister, but now when she sends some idiot forward of a conspiracy theory, I just ignore it. I too, treasure my family and it is just not worth it because you are never going to change them. Stay well..xxoJudy

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    1. Thanks for coming over to check my blog out. Jeanie is such a special blogger. I love her and she is so generous in helping other bloggers connect.

      Been there done that with the motorcycles and stop signs. They are so annoying!

      I saw most of John Lewis's funeral, too. Gosh, that man as made a huge difference in his life time! I also liked what Obama said about us each having to do something. My something is going to be speaking up from time to time between here and the election. Our nation can't afford another four years of Trump.

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  17. P.S. I should mention to you since you are new to my blog, I will always thank you for any comments to me, but I do them under the post and your comment itself. Just so you are aware of that..xxoJ

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  18. I'm sorry you've been feeling down lately. I swim along nicely for a while, and then wammo, I have an awful day. I had one the other day. I didn't feel like I could get off the couch. Then I'm fine again. I know it's COVID-19, staying home all the time, and Trump, and more generally, the sad state of our country. I fear we will not return to the norm, and I am dismayed at the numbers of people who buy the drivel that Trump is selling - so many more than I ever thought. This is a terrific post, and good on you for writing and publishing it.

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    1. Thank you.

      It's not that I would be going all that many places if the virus wasn't with us, but it just the idea that we have to consider it with everything we do. Until we get a vaccine it's going to be with us, too. We'll get through it, but I hate the insecurity that comes with the virus.

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  19. I deleted my FB account years ago before all the vitriol showed up there. I understand that you can't cure stupid, but for people to defend The Donald's mediocrity is almost beyond me. Almost. Good on you for trying to talk sense, sorry it ended like it did.

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    1. I knew I wouldn't change anyone's mind, but it was worth it because the exchange might make someone who was silently following the exchange think and/or see how unhinged Trump supporters can be when confronted with facts and logic.

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