I wish my parents knew what my kids say every time Trump levels up on the crazy
Unfortunately, we are estranged from my parents. While my position in my family was set as scapegoat by four years old (have them tell you the story some time about 4 year old me, I’m sure you will understand why they brought it up for decades after, I’ll let them tell it), and we have been estranged before; the latest one started shortly after beautiful leader took office. My parents didn’t start out as Trump supporters, but for reasons you can usually tell by the Tshirt my dad is wearing or like either of their entire Facebook feeds…. they have fallen BIGLY for the man who makes promises to Make American Great Again. They used to care about things like unions, and unfair taxes, and common sense gun laws; heck, they voted Obama BOTH times. Anyway, we don’t talk and it isn’t just about Trump, but that was the catalyst this last time.
I have two teenagers that used to be the apple of their grandparent’s eyes. Well, one of them was anyway. The other one kinda got on their nerves a lot and everyone knew it. Both big kids noticed favoritism and luckily they knew it was their grandparent’s shortcomings, not their own that caused this behavior. Yuuuge dysfunction to say the least.
It has been years, but the further we remove ourselves the more I feel safe to talk about things. My dad unfriended me years ago for saying that we can support and respect our good police officers while holding the bad ones accountable; that neither are ‘all or nothing’ statements. And as sad as it was, after a slew of ‘if you don’t want to die, start following the law’ and ‘thug’ and ‘Antifa did it’ kind of posts by my mom I made the painful decision to unfriend and block. Digital disengagement has been healthy for us, but it has robbed us of one thing; the ability to peek at what they share to see if *maybe* this was the final straw that snapped them out of the cult mindset. The answer was always ‘no’. It was just healthier for us to not give them that access to our lives and not have that access to theirs.
But the question one kid asks EVERY. SINGLE. TIME Trump does something extra crazy kills me.
“I wonder if when Grandma and Grandpa saw that they finally knew it was wrong and they might love us again.” One teen
“Your grandparents do love you in their own broken way. ” Me
“Right, they love us, just not as much as they hate you.” Other teen
“I think if you asked them; they would probably say they love me.” Me
“They don’t act like it; they act like they hate you.” Same sassy ‘other’ teen (who is not wrong)
“They don’t love us as much as they love Trump.” Original teen
And listen, our issues aren’t all about Trump, but the Trump worship is a symptom of the cancer that was already there. And it doesn’t really matter that it isn’t all Trump; that is how the kids see it and they have valid view points. Anyway, I am tired.
We had almost this same conversation verbatim this past week when Trump first tried to find fake votes in Georgia and then again when he staged a coup. Maybe I am just tired of this conversation, or the President’s behavior… but I can’t keep it inside anymore. Who effing loves this president and what he stands for more than their own kid and three of their grand kids? And I may be biased, but my kids are AMAZING and anyone who has default access to them and pisses it away because of ‘law and order’ politics doesn’t deserve them. Another amazing benefit of swapping out the time I spent with them with people with a different is that I FINALLY don’t feel bad saying they were missing out on me too; I’m decent people. I’m mouthy, which made me a perfect scapegoat, but I’m good people.
And I think if you ask them; my parents I mean; they will tell you all of this is untrue. All of it. Of course they love their daughter; she just doesn’t meet the conditions of a relationship with them and she is welcome any time she does. Of course they love their grand kids, with ALL THEIR HEARTS…. they just have not had the time or empathy or desire to give any time to hear how they hurt them. I dunno, I just can’t see how Donald Trump has given them more joy than a boundary respecting relationship with their oldest child and three incredible grand kids. Maybe I am wrong, maybe they are at peace and insanely happy…. that isn’t what their social media was saying, but I am always open to the notion that I could be wrong.
While we have been broken hearted and disappointed, we will always carry a grandparent and parent shaped hole in our hearts. We hope someday we might be deemed worthy of the hard work it is going to take to have that.