My Demarcation Line

The only consistency in my blogging career has been my wavering intentions.  And I like to wax philosophical about it and blame astrology…I’m a Gemini.  Geminis are depicted as twins…although in my head they’re more accurately depicted as Two-Face from Batman…always of two minds about everything.

Part of me has always loved the idea of frost covered cocktails on a Summer’s night, sipped slowly on a front porch surrounded by potted palms and the sweet song of cicadas. That part of me cherishes traditions.  I horde old recipe books and shop vintage stores for relics of the South’s checkered past.

But another part of me is, and always will be, a non-conformist, a rebel looking for a cause, the voice of dissent and the caller-outer of the obvious.  I usually try to suppress that part…she’s not very nice.  She’s also not socially acceptable.

When Trump won the national election in November, I sighed with relief and relaxed.  I could revel in the afterglow of a Republican victory, content that ‘our side’ was back in power. I stopped, to some extent, monitoring the news, I stopped worrying, I stopped…participating.

I let the other twin come out to play.  Once again I immersed myself in hot toddy recipes and conveying to the masses (seriously I have like 4 readers) the proper way to set a table and the social events scheduled in the local area.  I became the purveyor of social customs and traditions.  And I liked it.  A little.  At first.

But several things happened to me and around me, over the course of a few short months…which changed how I felt about blogging, and living.

In mid February we had a health scare.  I had a health scare.  I’m  fine…but on  a Saturday morning I got a piece of mail from my doctor that scared the hell out of us.  And we couldn’t ask anyone about it until Monday afternoon because my doctor doesn’t work weekends.  In the end…everything was fine.  But by not doing her job correctly, she sent a ripple through our lives that still permeates every waking moment 6 months later.

It sounds pretty simple…two days of worrying and then back to normal…right?  But those two days broke normal for us.  It took weeks to realize we were different…fundamentally altered!  And that we’d have to actively work at fixing the problem.  And then there was a shit ton of anger to get through.  It’s still a struggle.  I don’t have to remind myself that it’s over or that I’m ok…but I do have to remind myself to relax…to have fun…to do the basic things I use to do so naturally.  And he worries about me.  He checks on me more frequently…making sure I’m moving forward…living.  And I feel guilty…then I feel mad all over again.  It’s a process.  But we’re winning…slowly.

The next event was more recent.  Trump banned transgender soldiers.  I’m not trans…I’m not in the military…it didn’t exactly affect me for a few hours.

Then facebook happened.

First let me say….I was taught to edit what I say.  Specifically…if what I wanted to say was hurtful to even one person…and saying it served no real purpose other than to let me vent…I shouldn’t say it.  I think it’s called…being ‘nice’.

Not everyone learned that lesson.  Or…not everyone cares.  Either way, within a few short hours of Trump’s declaration tweet…several of my facebook ‘friends’ were jumping on the hate-wagon, blasting Trump and regurgitating a laundry list of unimaginative names. And to what end?  It didn’t alter his decision to ban transgendered soldiers from serving and they didn’t convert anyone to the liberal left?

I’m a big believer that you’re the queen of your page.  It’s the one place where we truly get to say what we want…but with the caveat that what you say shouldn’t be carelessly hurtful or insulting.  I’ve edited my own comments to avoid offending every single one of those friends who were so fecklessly spewing gross generalizations on their  facebook pages like some newly discovered gospel.  It pissed me off.

They weren’t friends.  They were acquaintances.  But more importantly…I started questioning whether I actually valued their opinions.  Especially on THIS topic.  None of them have served in the military.  That’s a HUGE distinction!  Until you’ve served, you’ve no idea what it’s actually like.  And to be fair…I served in the good times.   It was quite literally the calm before the storm that would last for the next 20+ years.

Which brings me to the final event…two boys died.

I didn’t know them personally. I didn’t even fully comprehend what i was reading initially, but I kept seeing posts on fb about these two young men and it finally clicked.  They were part of the Company my son-in-law was in until November when he was transferred.  I’m friends with most of their friends so I’m watching these young people…barely old enough to drink…grieve this loss and I’m thinking to myself…THIS is what it means to be in the military now.  This is the kind of stress-filled life Trump was talking about when he decided..not arbitrarily…not because of some per-conceived ideas or trasnphobia…to ban the transgender community from serving.

I’m suddenly totally aware of how fragile life is…and how desperately short.  Too short to waste a second editing the truth out of your vernacular…and too fragile to risk with social experiments….so I won’t…

The military works because of one simple tenet…you’ve got to be ‘foxhole worthy’. Everyone who’s served has uttered these words at least once…’they’re ok but I wouldn’t want them in my foxhole’.

Transgenderism or gender dysphoria, is a mental illness recognized by the World Health Organization. Mental illness isn’t curable…it’s treatable. Right now the only recognized treatment is sexual reassignment surgery. However, the medical community doesn’t recognize gender dysphoria as a medical malady.

But there’s more…GD comes with a laundry list of other mental illnesses. More than half of the trans community has been diagnosed with narcissism…also not curable. The trans community has ‘two-fold to three-fold increased risk of psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety disorder, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, self-harm without lethal intent, and both inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment’.

How about this little fact…”Persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behavior, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population. Our findings suggest that sex reassignment, although alleviating gender dysphoria, may not suffice as treatment”.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in conjunction with the National Center for Transgender Equality conducted a survey and found that 41% of the trans community had attempted suicide. ATTEMPTED!  Not just considered. The national average for the cisgender population is 4%!
62% of the trans community has also been diagnosed with clinical depression or bipolar-ism.

In other words…I wouldn’t want them in my foxhole.

I applaud Donald Trump Jr. for his decision. Despite the bleeding heart bullshit we endured under the Obama administration, this country and American society work because we adhered to a few simple tenets…like the good of the many outweigh the good of the few. National security IS the good of the many. And if maintaining national security means we don’t fill our foxholes with the suicidal, depressed and disenfranchised part of society…then I’m ok with that.