My parents fought a lot. You probably know that my mother is a schizophrenic. She would get wound up about something that she thought happened (but hadn't).
I honestly think that she went to my father for help, but he couldn't tolerate her lack of facts. -- "How did you know they'd decided to cut you out of that project?" Simple questions asked for the sake of clarity. He was attempting to figure out what she was talking about.
As soon as he started to dispute her reality, she was screaming.
Nothing was off the table. She would say meanest, most cruel comments (usually not fact based), you could possibly imagine.
As the argument escalated, the topic invariably shifted to the one thing they both hated -- me.
The family belief is that "everything was fine until I came along." Thus anything that was wrong had to have happened because of me.
Finally seeing something he could actually DO, my father would come after me. Many nights, I was dragged from my bed and made to answer for whatever fantastic thing my mother had made up that I'd done. Asleep, I had no idea what they were talking about. Not a clue.
I was "spanked" by my six foot two inches, 200 pound father who was incensed by hours of impotent anger.
As this pattern continued, my father retreated into himself more and more. He stopped dragging me out of bed. Instead, they would come after me in the morning or even worse, when he'd had an entire work day to think about it.
This started when I was about six months old (which ended in her slicing me with the knife she was going to "kill herself" with.) It became a routine when I was two or three years old. By the time I was five or six, I had an eagle ear for when they would start fighting.
The first raised voice (usually my mother's), I would creep out of bed to stand in the five inches between the door trim and the corner where the hall met the door. My little sister came to stand with me (until she realized that being on my team only caused her more grief.)
I wanted to know what my mother was saying so that I could be prepared for whatever came at me.
If she accused me of something, I'd at least know what it was. If he was coming to "spank" me, I was awake for the assault. If they decided that I should be punished in some way, I was ready with a plan to survive it. Whatever happened, at least I would have a fighting chance of surviving it intact.
Night after night, I would stand against that door trim and listen to the insanity. My feet dug into the carpet for warmth. I shivered in the cold.
When the argument was over, I would slip into bed before they caught me.
They never knew that I was there.
Last night, I realized that watching social media, Twitter, in particular, right now, is like standing in the hallway listening to my parents argue.
Deep inside, I'm experiencing these strangers arguing as I did my parents. Their arguments have nothing to do with me.
And yet, I wait for the moment the rage is going to drag me out of bed and rain sheer hell onto me.
I don't know if I'm more sensitive because I've had these spine surgeries.
I don't know if it's some kind of "change of life" thing.
I know the last straw for me was the US Press Secretary sharing the fake video from a white supremacist site.
Just some fake made up crap is pressed out as fact.
And every reasonable, logical person blew up.
All the while, things continue to spin around lies and paranoid fantasies created by madmen.
What I know for sure is that I need to step away.
I need to find my solid ground again.
This is a long winded way of saying that I'm going to step back from social interactions including social media. It won't be for long. I am a social extravert.
But for now, I need to step away from the wall. Let the world fight over what is real and what is fake.
Until then, try to be kind to each other.