Saturday, July 30, 2016

Out of the Breach

I've been feeling okay for the last two weeks. Not great, but I don't have thoughts about killing myself several times an hour every day. Only a couple of times a day. And in between those time there were periods where I may have been grasping at normal; a finger on a ledge and maybe it's possible to get a second and third up until I can get a firm grip. I'm pretty sure it's due to the additional medication my new brain doctor gave to me about eight weeks ago.

Before today, the worst day was a week ago, the 23rd. I was a my brother's in Los Angeles with my parents. My brother and his wife threw a baby shower. Their son is expected in about six weeks. About thirty people were there. Thirty people. That I didn't know. My brain kept shorting out. I would be listening to someone and then I heard everything in the room all at once and couldn't focus. It was awful. After it happened a few time I went to a bedroom and just stayed there for a while. Eventually I could focus again and went back to the party, but I acted the same way as I did before I lost focus: I sat in a chair and didn't say a word to anyone.

This afternoon is a going away/early birthday party for one of my cousin's. He just graduated from high school in June and will be shouting "Semper Fi" in a week or so. But that's beside the point. Today was much harder than last week. Almost as soon as I walked through the door I had trouble focusing on a single conversation without the other babble leak into my ears. So, it was hard to begin with and then I made a mistake of getting involved in a discussion about the presidential election.

It started out fairly innocently. There was a question about the delegate rules and I knew the answer. There was more talk about rules and then some talk about the conventions. (I mentioned how much I liked parts of Ted Cruz's speech and wished that Bernie Sanders had been as brave in his speech.) And then the dreaded question was asked. Who am I voting for in the fall? I gave my true answer, which is I think I know, but I'm not happy with either candidate. My uncle (who said he can't seem to ever vote Democrat because they don't seem to represent white males anymore) asked if the one I'm leaning toward starts with an "H"? And I had to answer yes. My grandpa (who said he doesn't understand the people who simply vote the party line without any thought and is also married to my grandma who has only ever voted Republican, even down ticket, because she won't ever vote for someone who supports "hand-outs") asked why? So I had to talk about Trump not being presidential and that if he's gets angry at internet nobodies who make fun of him online, then how is he going to take criticism, legitimate and not, from world leaders. I don't think he'll handle it well. My grandma said that he's already worked with all of those people, which I assumed meant the world leaders. I said he hadn't, that he worked with people who want to make money off of him and then I ranted about all the people overseas who seem to hate the man, including employees at his resorts and the town-folk who live near the resorts, I then got into his lies about his fortune, his use of bankruptcies to hurt employees and investors to save himself (I acknowledged he used the law to do it legally), and his self-made man crap when he got a million dollars from his father to start his business. My grandma said that she's read about these criticisms, too, but that I have to read stories from the other side.

I was baffled. What other side when you're stating stuff that happened? Were these not things that happened? Were they not facts?

Then Grandma moved on to how people who are on Social Security earn too much money, more than she and my grandpa, and that they constantly whine about not having enough. This is where she always goes. She hates Social Security, for those that didn't pay into it, especially those who aren't of retirement age (even though that was kind of the point when the program was created). She hates food stamps. She hates that people who don't work/pay get medical and dental and vision insurance. I didn't get into it with her over this. We've gone through it before, but she told me what she has always said. She and my grandpa have never taken anything. They've never earned much money. They do what they can to help people through their church and that's the way everyone should be and blah, blah, blah. (In the past she didn't like it when I brought up the uncle who used food stamps to keep his daughters, her granddaughters, fed. So I didn't bring it up again.) She then started in on a story about how her parents would invite people to their farm for dinners and there were sometimes up to 60 people and they all got fed and ... I didn't understand what the point of the story was.

That's when I hit my limit. That's when I had to leave. More was said, but I did my best to turn my brain off and simply look like I was listening. I hope she doesn't think I understood or agreed with her.

Of course I waited the appropriate time before I left so it didn't look like she set me over the edge.

This is why I avoid politics when talking to people. Most everyone, I include myself in this statement, aren't flexible enough to want to hear differences in thought and even is they hear the difference they don't discuss, they go on attack arguing why the other side is wrong rather than arguing why they are right. And attacking is no way to discuss anything.