This past Monday, after an incident that started last week with user loldumblrlogic, I deleted my blog “Activate the Mechanism”.
This was something that was actually a long time coming. While this incident was the last straw, it was not the sole reason for my deleting.
I’ve re-registered my username, but it’s an empty blog for now (with the exception of this post), I don’t want anyone pretending to be me, and I’ve seen just that happen to other users before.
Anger is a toxic emotion. While it is healthy to have some anger, and it can impassion us to turn that anger into something positive, it can also consume us, turn us bitter and cynical. I feel I had gotten to the point where my blog was a source of stress and in turn, anger.
I am very passionate about my political stances, about my views on society and culture. My opinions on the subjects that I covered most are very strong and formed slowly over years of observation and getting all the information and opinions on these subjects I could until I was satisfied that I was making informed decisions in regards to where I stand on these subjects.
Over the past several months, I have found myself consumed with anger and cynicism over the political landscape of the US and much of the rest of the world. Being old enough to have lived through a few economic bust/boom cycles and to have seen numerous social changes over the years, I can’t help but feel a little crestfallen over the current socio-political and economic landscape.
I get angry when I see people defending rape culture. I get angry when I see people defending the actions of corporations that exploit their workers. I get angry when I see groups of people whose sole intentions are to push back against another group’s attempt at liberation and do so using the same tools that oppressors have used for centuries.
I get angry at groups trying to take away people’s choices about what to do with their own bodies using the same disinformation and shaming tactics they have always used. I get angry with people who refuse to step back and try to understand the anger and frustration of oppressed groups. I get angry at false equivalencies, purposeful misinformation, and willful ignorance. I get angry with bigotry and irrational hate that comes from people who hold a privileged position in society.
I get angry at the lack of empathy and generally mean-spirited attitude that a lot of people display in regards to these topics mentioned above.
While my anger has often fueled my passions, I realize there is a point where it becomes toxic. This incident with loldumblrlogic made me realize that it had. My mind was going to places that I found disturbing and made me realize that the anger I was experiencing was the same type of anger I used to experience in my younger years. The type of toxic anger that often got me into trouble back then.
It’s one thing to be angry and impassioned. It’s another to be filled with rage.
Not only this, but I have my health to consider.
Rage takes an immense physical toll on me. I grew up in a toxic environment. I spent 13 years in a toxic marriage. I have a range of psychological and physiological issues stemming from this. My fight or flight response is basically “all messed up” and negative emotions - frustration, anger, stress, make my body respond like it’s in a life or death situation.
There is nothing I can do about this aside from taking pharmaceuticals (which I currently can’t afford to obtain due to lack of medical insurance) to dull my adrenaline response. Believe me, I’ve tried it all, and while meditation and breathing exercises help with dealing with day-to-day stress that everyone faces, they can’t stop my adrenaline response when my body decides to think my life is in danger.
I care about where we are going as a society, where we are going politically, about what kind of world we’ll be leaving behind for future generations. Maybe a little bit too much. Events and items in the news perhaps get to me a little more than they should, but it’s only because of genuine concern.
I see what is going on in a lot of state governments and I think about how these things will affect real people. About children going hungry where social safety nets are being cut. About people who will be forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term when they aren’t in a situation to have children. About people who are raped and then shamed for it. About people who lose their livelihood so that someone higher up in the company they work for, who already has more than they’ll ever need, can accumulate more wealth. About bigots who would deny others the same rights they have because of differences in race, culture, or sexual orientation. It’s truly upsetting to me and not the world I want to live in.
When I see people defending the types of things mentioned in the above paragraph, and it fills me with anger. There are times when I have hope that these things will change. Then there are other times when my more cynical side comes out because, for all the progress we’ve made, it seems like there are still far too many people who either lack empathy or refuse to see outside their personal bubble and continue to defend oppression, exploitation, and generally treating fellow human beings like shit.
My cynical side has taken over as of late. My anger with the defenders of everything that I see wrong with society is consuming me, so it’s time to step back and remove something that has become toxic from my life.
This is why I had started completely staying away from the internet and news on weekends, and why I decided to stop blogging about everything horrible in our society.
When I post a news story about some new legislation that will greatly impact people in horribly negative ways or about something horrible that happened to someone, only to have assholes defend it, when I see people arguing against policies that would relieve social or economic problems we have, it upsets me. It upsets me because I’ve been around long enough, have seen enough, and have learned enough to be able to understand the impacts these things will have on real people who are just trying to live their life just like myself, my family and my friends.
Perhaps I should have a thicker skin. Maybe I shouldn’t think about or worry about these things so much, but this is part of who I am. I love my passion, but not my rage.
There are people out there that will use anything, including your children or traumatic events/situations in your past to hurt you or your loved ones. People who will do and say things that simultaneously fill me with despair and rage. I need to keep my family safe, and myself in a healthy state of mind.
So, I’m done blogging about politics, at least for a while. If I ever start again, it will be with little fanfare and with no connection to my personal life or previous blog. Maybe I’ll use abaldwin360.tumblr.com to post creative endeavors I dabble in, or to talk about video games, nerdy stuff or something, I don’t know.
In closing, I would like to thank all of the 3,500 or so people who followed Activate the Mechanism. I would like to thank all the people who sent kind messages of support. The friends I’ve met, the people who helped my family through rough times, and all the wonderful people on tumblr I learned so much from.
Keep fighting the good fight, and I’ll see you all around.