CAUGHT BETWEEN A RACIST AND A FEMINIST

A True Story About the Two Loves of my Life

Labels. Everyone seems to have one for themselves and for others. Our new generations of “millennials” and the “Baby boomers” who have raised them, along with the mixings of social media, the fear of terrorism, and the lack of morals on TV, have initiated a new breed of LABELS.

Myself, I am an Empath. I know this because I have read about what Empaths are, how they feel, how they live, and what their behaviours encompass. I am okay with being empathetic, but I feel conflicted about having a label. It makes me feel like there is some magical box that people are all put into according to the label, make and model of their personality and generation.

My daughter is a self labeled feminist. She has read multiple books, articles and studies of the world, and how women are treated and seen in multiple cultures, generations and situations. She is 24, newly graduated from University with a Psychology Degree, and she is, in many ways, more intelligent than I am. This is a good thing.

The thing about my daughter, is she has been raised strong and independant. She moved to a big city from a little town when she turned 18 and started University and two jobs immediately. She learned the culture and diversity of the city and thrived. She also learned how to take a stance on her beliefs and how to voice them accordingly. Sometimes, only to me, but she voices them regardless.

Oh, and she HATES my boyfriend (life partner, common law husband____ whatever title you give someone you have shared almost 8 years of life with)

My man is very strong headed, voices his opinions loudly, wears his heart on his sleeve and is very patriotic. He is old school. He believes in rights as a Canadian, he hates paying taxes and bills (but has never NOT paid anything on time), he’s meticulous, protective, responsible, loves to travel and loves cigars and the very occasional Scotch. He gets extremely upset when he hears of children or animals being abused, he hunts every other year to provide meat for us and he loves hockey. He is a typical man’s man. My daughter has given him a different label. She calls him a RACIST.

The reason he is dubbed a racist, is because he voices his opinions regarding refugees entering our country on our dime. He also voices his thoughts on our Government and the grief they have impeded on us as the country pays for other countries’ needs before our own. Fair enough. I am not in full agreement or disagreement with his opinions.

So, the two loves of my life are on opposing ends of a very intense spectrum. This makes visits with the two of them extremely awkward, as I empathize with both of them. That said, I don’t see why they just can’t put all their shit aside and have a normal conversation. Quite frankly they make my head spin and my heart ache.

Yesterday some terrorist activity happened in Edmonton, really close to where my daughter lives. As a mother, I tend to “over react” and make sure she is okay, and I require her to communicate to me, whether that be a phone call or text. I just want to see something from her that lets me know that she is safe at home watching Netflix in her pajamas, and not being forced to run for her life in the wake of a random attack. And she did. She texted me back.

The text she sent back, however, was regarding how much she didn’t fear the terrorist attack as much as she fears people like Dave (my partner). She then went on a full rant about how Redneck Albertans are the reason for all of the fear when it comes to terrorism. Her words were: “ I’m so much more scared of middle aged white men than I could ever be of Muslims or terrorism. I’m scared of men like Dave.”

WHAT????

Dave has a huge heart, would literally die for me or my daughter, believes in rights of Canadians and has mine and my daughter’s best interests at heart. ALWAYS . How does her thought process work? Why would she say that she is more scared of MY middle aged guy than she is of terrorists? It confuses me and makes my heart pain to the core. She only sees his posts on Facebook that hate on terrorists (ISIS) and some of his political rants. She is not his “friend” on facebook anymore because he once posted a joke that she read as “Misogynistic”. She honestly has NO contact with him, unless I drag him with me to visit her.

I am very proud of my daughter for standing up for her beliefs. I am also extremely proud of my man for all of his love and support that he gives me (and her), but HOW can anyone live in between the two of them?? There has to be a balance somewhere between. They are both very well read, both highly intelligent, but totally on different pages. It is beyond frustrating trying to share a space with them. I can’t have family brunches or Christmas or any holiday celebration with the two of them, because she chooses to not spend time with us, and for me it almost becomes a relief. Time spent with the two of them, for me, is constantly putting out fires, followed by making excuses for the two of them to each other when the shit hits the fan.

The labels that we have, and the boxes that we fit in are not compatible. At least not as the 3 of us. Dave and I can fit in a box, and my daughter and I can share a box, however, there is no “fit” for the 3 of us. Maybe that is the defining factor of an “Empath”.

Whatever way I try and encourage the two of them to work things out, or just have a normal conversation, its a futile effort.

Is THIS how war starts? Is THIS how hatred begins? And FEAR? Maybe its not as easy as “Political Terrorism”. Maybe it begins by giving other humans labels based on vague perceptions and assumptions of the actions you believe others are capable of. Maybe its based on the split between generations and opinions that are built on false perspectives and judgement.

My daughter knows Dave hunts, so he MUST be capable of shooting people and causing riots. My daughter lives a very basic lifestyle with 2 roommates and a restaurant job, even though she has a degree. His perspective is that she is “entitled and spoiled”. Two very different generations with very different outlooks of life. I am somewhere in between. I fear guns but can shoot one, if I had to. I want my daughter to pursue her career but I know I cannot control what she does. She is an adult, and so is he.

My daughter has never seen Dave shed a tear from seeing a wounded animal or having his heart broken.

Dave has never kissed my daughter’s owies as a child or eaten ice cream with her in the middle of the night because she broke up with her teenage boyfriend. They have yet to share any emotional connections, yet they are eager to JUDGE each other based on what they see posted on social media or how each other reacts to certain situations. They are nothing alike in their belief systems, its true. But they are almost identical in the way they react and act upon their own opinions.

I just have to find my OWN box and hide for awhile. I think my new label is LONELY.

Writer of relationships / early childhood and mental health . Poetry and fiction dabbler