Friday, November 20, 2015

Difficult Family Disputes

I won't reveal any confidences here or name names. I just thought it might be interesting to share some of what I get from extended family with regard to who I am and what I believe. It does make my life a bit of a challenge. But I try hard not to make it any worse. This individual claims not to read my blog so they will likely never see it. If they do, we'll see how that goes down. Following are the text messages about our events yesterday in the Federal Building where I work:
Just FYI I'm OK. Federal building evacuated yesterday and bomb squad took suspected explosive device.
Family Member: 
Good news. Glad you're all ok. It's not right that it's not safe to go to work. Restaurants, stadiums, airliners, malls, hotels, vacations, concerts and office towers are not safe either.
Federal buildings (like Oklahoma City) seem to be a particular target for some.
Family Member: 
I'm glad you weren't there that day. Or in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon or Paris. Domestic terrorists and foreign terrorists are all terrorists and no one is safe right now. Including the perpetrators in France and a lot of other people getting their doors kicked in this week. Many of them innocent. Also victims of several air strike targets in Syria. Which world leader said his policy on terrorism is "to send them to God and let him judge them"? Give you a hint- no one from here. Good news is anyone here who wets their pants can get free diapers from Obamacare.
Actually the diaper thing isn't true. Obamacare doesn't work like that.  
Oops I apologize. I'm at work and don't have time for worthless pseudo intellectual ridiculous diatribe. I'm a private capitalist who has to generate taxable revenue in order to perpetuate our imperfect system. At least until the current administration completes its societal reorganization into the new social utopia. Next thing I know we'll devolve into a discussion about how pro choice (a pathetic euphemism for pro abortion) is a good thing and if not "selling" baby parts is ok than harvesting them is. Or maybe about "what da law says." What's legal is unfortunately not the same as what's moral. Just ask the guys in St George fighting in Sunday school. Ok... Have a nice day storming the castle.
I couldn't come up with any response that would not provoke more of the same so I thought it best just to leave it. I'm not asking for sympathy and certainly not contention. These are arguments and attitudes that cannot be addressed in any rational or even loving way that I can figure out. Sure, I'd love to be understood and respected even if opinions differ. This individual probably feels the lack of same from me. But I have no idea what to do. So for the most part, I set boundaries, limit contacts, and take the safest course forward with regard to my emotional and familial well-being.

This is only a microcosm of the macro problems we experience in the world at large in our failures to understand and respect each other in spite of differences of opinion.

God bless us, everyone!

I received a rather odd card in the mail this same day. It's from another extended family member who will also go nameless. I don't think this person always agrees with my ideas or politics. My wife suggested I post it here as it "seems to follow" (in opposite-world) from the one above. I am editing slightly for privacy:
Dear Grant-
I just thought I would send a note and let you know how much I regard you - You are a terrific father - loving, caring husband and fun. You can make the room ring with laughter and it's always fun to hear your stories or adventures - I am sorry that I haven't been more forward and make a better effort to visit with you at family activities. . . . Well, anyway - I love you and think you are a good man. You have a beautiful family.
I'm as dumbfounded as I was with the earlier message from elsewhere. And I will try to be a better family member to both. It will just be a lot easier, I think, with the second one.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to disagree as many do. You can even be passionate (in moderation). Comments that contain offensive language, too many caps, conspiracy theories, gratuitous Mormon bashing, personal attacks on others who comment, or commercial solicitations- I send to spam. This is a troll-free zone. Charity always!