This morning I awakened around 5:30am. I have trouble sleeping. I was awake at 2:30am the first time.
What I did not do – I did not check Twitter. I did not check Twitter at 2:30am, I did not check Twitter at 5:30am. I have yet to pop over to Twitter this morning (currently 9:22am).
I checked my email this morning at 9am (post celery juice, lemon juice, egg in the nest with avocado, and very dark very smooth very elixir of the g-ds coffee breakfast natch) and saw that I had not checked any of my email accounts since 2pm yesterday.
I did go to the supertastic plastic Facebook and ‘liked’ all of the people’s cute pics of their inaugural celebrations! Instagram was a hard pass because of the ads. Something has changed with Instagram, and Facebook, over the past few months and they seem to be pulling algorithms maybe from everywhere, including my connections lists to pop certain ads into my feed. Most of the time I can scroll on by, but sometimes the ads just punch me in the gut (oooh, look at the people falling in love on this show! look at the child being abducted on that show! look at this gorgeous holiday destination that you will never ever ever go to!). Somehow it’s more obvious on Instagram to me. Probably because I get so distracted with all of the cute pics and updates on Facebook of my real life connections. Whereas my Instagram feed is more design, architecture, museums, books, authors, social justice advocates, poets, artists – so perhaps a bit more bohemian than the everyday.
Aaaaaaand my Ms. Distraction Delilah point is… that I did not need instant Twitter this morning. I did not need my email instantly.
Since April 2014, I have used social media and email as pieces of protection for SonHerisme and myself. MrexH was on there posting vague threats for some time (which became more specific and in writing later). Email was my lifeline to my attorney and SonHerisme’s attorney. I had to keep myself aware of what was going on for safety, as a touchstone with the reality of what was happening because everything was very disorienting and honestly truly unbelievable.
About 18 months into that untenable unpredictable potentially lethal situation, we had a presidential election where we voted into office a narcissistic abusive asshole. My parents, knowing my situation, observing me in real time and supporting me, voted for that abhorrent human anyway. More disorienting brain twists.
Once the situation with MrexH abated somewhat, my mother asked to move in with me “for a few weeks,” in late 2016 (spoiler alert – she is still living with me) to get some medical treatment. Her medical situation evolved into a shitstorm where she refused to move back home with my father, and found her being treated through Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. It has been an adjustment we are continuing, despite going into her fifth year. drama, drama, drama Have I mentioned that she came with two little puppy dogs? I’m fine.
Driving into Georgetown is lovely, EXCEPT when you have an unpredictable dangerous abusive narcissistic racist misogynist president… Every single time I drove into the city, I would check my back-ups, my back-ups to the back-ups and their back-ups to make sure that no matter what craptastic storm of shit the president instigated, SonHerisme would be safe until I could return to him or, g-d forbid, if I could not return to him. I am the parent who gave my child a cell phone in elementary school. It is highly controlled by me, even to this day (he is only 12), but has brought both of us immense peace of mind on Georgetown days especially.
Every single time we heard helicopters fly over, I ran to Twitter to see what our asshole in charge may have instigated and if we were safe. My house sits on the side of a little foothill mountain in the flight pattern to Camp David. If the three military helicopters in formation flew over, I refreshed Twitter obsessively (I follow a lot of journalists, politicians, government agencies and employees plus the BBC because our media can be, let’s say, a bit nationalistic shall we?). The three helicopters mean one has the president inside, btw. I am not revealing anything to ne’er do wells – our airspace is fairly locked down around here since 9/11. When President Obama was in office, everyone would run outside when we heard the helicopters and wave like crazy. It was exciting. He was not perfect. I admire, but do not idolize President Obama, or his politics, but we were immensely proud to have him in that office and proud to host him in our area.
COVID-19 has brought a whole new way of life for us, but MotherHerisme’s Georgetown treatments have not halted, save a handful of weeks. As the election cycle ramped up the sychophant racists felt compelled to become more emboldened in their fervent support for the sitting president causing my safety alarm bells to ring on high alert. We saw them gunning down 270 with their flags waving. We saw them put large banners in their yards declaring their unwavering loyalty to fear-based white supremacy.
I checked Twitter more frequently. I had Waze on, watching traffic patterns into and out of the city for days before Georgetown appointments. I packed an emergency bag for my child in the event of some acts of violence which might prevent me from getting home from the city. I packed a safety plan bag as if we were back in the situation with MrexH. I packed a fucking g-ddamned bag. I might be holding some anger there with that.
On January 5th, I was in Georgetown. On January 6th, treasonous seditionists took over our Capitol building until our Governor sent in reinforcements to reclaim the building. All of those employees in the hospital parking garage, at the hospital, in the cafe, driving the buses, taking care of the hurting humans, doing the things that life asks us to do, were put into jeopardy because of those despicable actions at the encouragement of despicable assholes.
I was, we were, we are, fine.
As I recall my attorney telling me (she had to repeat this many times), “our courts cannot legislate degrees of being an asshole.”
Damnit it all
This is a hard lesson. While I do absolutely believe that lack of accountability for egregious behavior is a form of abuse, I have already had the hard lesson of learning that not all egregious behavior can be legislated. It may be that those we clearly see as responsible for inciting the violence of January 6th, among other deplorable behaviors, will not experience accountability exacted by a court of law. But, the law is not separate from us. It’s humans that work for and form our laws and the interpretation of our laws. This is where I know we can make a difference. We can hold those responsible accountable. We can educate ourselves, use our votes, write letters to our representatives, and withhold our passive endorsements (grab-your-wallet, again).
*steps off of another soapbox to say* I have been pleasantly surprised that today I feel I can Twitter at my discretion rather than as a knee-jerk emergency panic response. This is my sign that perhaps I can attempt to be a thoughtful planner rather than a panic-reactor. Or not. But feeling as if I have the choice may be enough for now.
How are you feeling?
Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo
ps – instead of Twittering: I read, I watched short comedy clips, and “liked” all of the people posting the things on Facebook
Random note: on Twitter I am frequently mistaken for a prominent Pakistani politician. This provides occasional hilarity for me as I sometimes respond. Good times.
I need a drink and some giggling
(avoids tagging the comedian bc I see you downloading across the waters which my friend suspects is due to the tagging of the peoples. It is a bit funny yet full of the awkwards. Also, “Hello!” and I am glad you are here because I like you and I want to visit all of your museums I feel nostalgia for, plus take a train ride through your countryside with a footnote seaside adventure, one day. Of course, now I am also thinking about a walk in a random park, a show, and chucking it all in here to move there and share a knowing kindred head nod with a neighbor *sigh* and *internally sings* with imagination, I’ll get there)