Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Trumped--memory triggers


So there was that—the time America participated in global diplomacy.

I know I do a lot of railing on Trump at this blog which is supposed to be about memories and writing flash memoir. This might be because Trump triggers stuff inside of me, stuff I thought I’d taken care of, a past I’d squished down and hidden away in a drawer. For anyone who has lived with a mentally ill parent and survived all the uncertainty that comes with that experience might know what I mean.

You have no control; you are at the whim of a capricious mother who might suddenly change her mind and throw your life into a whirlwind. In fact you learn not to trust. You build up walls in order to cope. Pretend you really didn’t want to go to camp anyway. Or you didn’t need the car after all. You can’t count on the adults around you.

But a president—

I guess I thought there were certain jobs where the person had to be in charge, knowledgeable, capable. Not crazy or perfidious. Machiavellian, yes, a bit of a shark, playing both sides of the aisle, but not plumb delusional.

But here is a person who has upended words, language. He puts people in charge of regulatory agencies who want to pull them down. He pulls out of the Paris Climate Accord because we will become the bestest and greenest country on earth. (A very hot one at that.) It’s just so opposite. He triggers despair, the fifteen-year old Janie who wants to grow up and get as far away from Mom as possible. Leave behind chaos, the unpredictable.

It feels like I’m living at home again, trying to steer clear, flying under the radar, hoping to minimize the impact—and I’m getting crushed by memories.

This isn’t exactly about the Paris Climate Accord or climate change (I’m not even sure we can save the planet); it’s about living in a global world and working with allies, building partnerships. Something Trump seems incapable of doing.

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