Tip O’Neil said that “All politics are local”, and you can interpret that various ways.
For me, I work with chronically homeless, mentally ill, addicts. That description also fits my biological mother and several members of my adoptive family. Usually this is just something that adds character, these little quirks that occasionally land people in jail, prison, and psyche wards. Mentally ill uncles and cousins have been self medicating with cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, and lots of random sex and validation via genitalia. This has led to more cousins than I can accurately count and my Grandma always has some forms of drama to catch me up on.
This is a picture of Darla as we drove home from Grandma’s house for the last time. It broke my heart to say good bye and walk away. My grandma, my aunt, a couple of my cousins and their children are very dear to me.
I live 300 miles from all the crazy by design. But this weekend one particularly poorly tattooed miscreant decided to confront me and try to escalate a fight by threatening me in the street. His father stood by and watched…just watched. I stared Ryan down until he retreated and told him that he was inappropriate. As I walked away he began again and my grandmother ran out of her house to end his rant. If I were at work in L.A. I would have physically hurt him. The constantly raised left hand he was using to poke my face left his side open and as I tuned him out I thought how easy it would be to use my knife key to stab him just below his rubs and puncture his large intestine.
Those thoughts when I’m at work and on clock is one thing, having them when. I’ve made a 5 hour drive to fix my Grandmother’s computer is another issue all together. It is not acceptable. I can love someone who is mentally ill and encompass their sickness into my understanding of who they are.
I refuse to play with the crazies when I am relaxing. I refuse to let their crazy splash on me. And if they will assault me (who has never been anything but kind, patient and loving to this cousin): it is not a safe place for my children.