Deleting is so simple. I don’t even have to tear out pages and rip them to shreds. One simple tap – make that two total – one to delete and the second one to be really certain I want to delete and voila. Just like that, the words to a recent post were obliterated as if they never existed.
It’s just that in my mind they do exist. And that will have to be a good enough place for them. I originally wrote about my recent vacation in Redmond It ended up being the same old diatribe against slurring remarks by certain relatives. They do this everytime. Me? I resort to the reactionary tactics I usually employ. This simply doesn’t work. In reality, it backfires miserably on me.
Lesson learned: I can’t argue with ignorance. These relatives believe that any one who doesn’t think, look or act like they do is grounds for stigmatic dismissal. I realized in a mini moment of self-discovery that I too am the subject of their vitriol, even if it may be in an underhanded way.
I own what I stand for and what I believe in. One of my finest virtues is empathy. If someone attacks another person based on their color, beliefs, sexual preference then I too have been attacked. We are one people. The God I truly believe in loves everyone and also has great empathy. The two words are interchangeable. I learned about empathy when a mean nun who taught my kindergarten class caused a boy to cry as she struck him and yelled when he couldn’t recite a prayer. I felt so badly for him that I too cried.
But what I am doing in reaction to the verbal slander is not healthy for me. I know these relatives. There are things about them that I love. The characteristics I don’t love are not malleable. They never will be. I have to work extra hard to ignore the slights, because there’s no arguing. It’s no use.
My goal is not to give my relatives any more of a platform than they already have. Everytime I try to defend people, they answer by reducing the target groups ever further. Perhaps the hardest thing in all this is their lack of respect for me. Many years ago, I asked these relatives to please politely refrain from using slurs in front of my children and myself. That request was only honored for more than a few gatherings, then abandoned. And yes, that slander hurt. Especially the “r” word because though this usage has become socially acceptable, it causes anguish to people with intellectual disabilities. I know because I have worked with these folks for over thirty years. And everyone in our circle knows I work with them, yet some throw that word out there anyway.
I certainly hope that I can maintain my resolve not to go after the bait. We have several vacations looming on the horizon. Staying home is not an option. Therefore, keeping my cool has to be.