Say No to Narcissism

I have noticed a lot of posts on LinkedIn and blogs and YouTube videos lately that are so completely self-centered on #firstworldproblems.

Parents with jobs who are SO lucky to be able to work from home are whining about actually having to look after their children and help them with their homework (oh the horror!).

Celebrities are obsessively asking each other how they are “holding up” as if living in a mansion with a swimming pool is so traumatizing… then having the nerve to instruct folks to stay home when millions cannot because they have to make sure people get their deliveries of non-essential crap, or pick up their garbage, or stock shelves because these assholes decided to hoard all the flour and peanut butter and TP instead of act like decent human beings.

Then everybody likes to say “we’re all in this together” as if our lives are also very identical. One woman on the radio bragged about how she gave part of her stimulus check to the station’s pledge drive, which just made me think, clearly you didn’t need it while there are others who are waiting in line at food banks and trying not to become homeless. There are these massive assumptions out there that everybody is receiving their unemployment and that everybody is eligible for stimulus checks when it’s simply not true, when individuals and small businesses are getting screwed right and left.

I could tell you about how I’m not eligible for a stimulus check because our money taken out of our 401K as last year to pay for two failed adoptions was considered income and therefore pushed us over the amount that would make us eligible…even though my consulting business closed in March and we are living on my husband’s $32K salary (which is more than he normally makes because he’s now got “hero pay” that he will of course lose when they determine the pandemic is over). And I could tell you about how the fact that I’m an independent contractor means that I’m not eligible for regular unemployment, and that my state literally just opened up the filing for independent contractors, like myself, 3 days ago, many weeks after the first “CARES” Act was signed…but that it will still take at least a month to get my first check, meaning we won’t see a dime until June at least. And I could tell you how our internet is so bad that most jobs that I look at that are working from home require three times the bandwidth than we can even get in our rural area.

But I’m not going to talk about my fears, because I have a home, my husband has a job, and with ultra conservative spending we will be fine.

I’m not going to whine about self care and I’m sure as hell not going to assume that everybody else is okay when I know they are not. I’m not going to condescend to assume I know what’s best for people who are in truly dire straits.

And I sure as heck am not going to listening to the people who are complaining about having to be around their kids all day while they are blessed to be able to work from home and still bring home the same paycheck they always have. I’m not going to listen to how they claim they are homeschooling when they are actually closer to teachers aides pretending they are teachers when teachers are still busting their arses trying to connect with their students. And I’m definitely not going to give any of my time to those privileged folks who are not grateful for what they have. Being a survivor of 7 failed donor egg IVF attempts, miscarriage and 3 failed adoptions, I would do anything to be “stuck” like those parents are. And I know many of my fellow infertile sisters feel the same.

I see that Amazon is making record profits and people are hypocritically complaining about big corporations while ordering from them, the biggest and worst one of them all. I think about what horrors that company is putting its warehouse staff through so people can get their unnecessary crap even though the people making sure they get this crap are not getting protected nor treated with respect or given the benefits they work so hard for and truly deserve.

We need to start writing about things that are beyond our own little situations. The fact that we are blogging means we have privilege. Let’s take a break from comforting our bruised egos and let’s start drawing attention to those whose lives we can’t even imagine having to live… And how we can help.

I’m going to help. I’m going to call attention to the fact that women are being abused at exponentially higher levels because they are forced to stay home with their abusers… Then make a donation to my local women’s shelter. And I’m going to try and improve my level of knowledge about what is going on in the rest of the world along with right here in my County, to see what I can do to help. To spread the truth when our executive branch of government is full of lies.

Let’s all give and share of ourselves in any way we can to those who need us. Let’s do better. Let’s check our privilege.

7 thoughts on “Say No to Narcissism

  1. Put me in the amen corner. I’m right there with you. I understand that my divorce settlement gave me the privilege of not having to worry about taking 2 weeks off from work for self-quarantine. I understand that I’m lucky to still have a steady paycheck, even if it is a shitty one even after the hero pay bump that will eventually go away.
    And as for all these people complaining about having to home school their kids and etcetera, I always think of you when I read about them. I think about how there are people in this world who would love to have that problem, but don’t get to have that privilege (((hugs)))

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Aimee,

    I enjoyed reading your perspective and have really appreciated being able to connect with you via writing in these last few weeks. Your post is on a similar vein to one I wrote a while back after I just couldn’t take it anymore. It sounds like you have reached your limit as well. It’s frustrating for sure and I wonder if it is all futile. I think this is the part that I struggle with the most. As much as we rail against injustices, do we make a difference? I have to believe yes but it can be so disheartening at times. Do you feel similarly?

    I would love to get your perspective on this as well: https://www.wmalia.com/2020/04/22/class-in-the-time-of-the-pandemic/

    It might have been my equivalent to an old Calvin and Hobbes comic (business isn’t too hot, nobody’s buying what they really need…referencing a kick in the pants).

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    1. Today I put my ballot in the mail for primary elections here in Oregon, voting for candidates who support the things I support, both locally and nationally. In our country, we are lucky if 60% of citizens vote. In my husband’s country of Australia, it is in the upper 90 percentile. Along with donating what I can to the NRDC (environment) and local causes to support women (Women’s Foundation of Oregon is my newest passion), and use LinkedIn to share with my professional network the things I’m learning…and on the latter, the best part is to have the notes come back from people who thank me for calling out injustices, calling out bad behavior that is often swept under the rug, and sharing little victories that are happening in the world. And I’ve used this time to learn, and direct my career in a way that is more personally accountable to the world. As long as I keep doing these things, I can’t feel that it is futile.

      I suppose it comes down to what I’ve been through in my own life, as it makes me think of infertility where I *did* have to give up on the dream after so many years of failed treatments (and emptying out our retirement savings on that and 3 failed adoptions), and I’ve learned that while I can’t cure the worst, there’s always something we can do to make life better for the world and the people around us, even if it’s on a small scale. The hope of, to borrow from Maya Angelou, folks following the motto of ‘when you know better, you do better’.

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  3. Fabulous post, and bang on the nail!
    We are most certainly not ‘all in this together’ how can we be, when wealth is not distributed evenly and people are starving? Food banks here are struggling to supply the increasing demand from people who have lost their jobs and suddenly have no income from their small businesses.
    First world problems make me rage… some people seem caught up in creating their own drama when it’s not actually a drama. I couldn’t care less about my grey roots etcetera.
    I’ve been reading about the USA as you know I have family there and am scared at the protesters demanding lockdown is stopped and how different places are opening up, it feels like it’s way too soon…
    Meanwhile in a similar vein to you, I have been an active participant in helping my neighbours locally and supporting my local women’s refuge (I have 2 good friends who work in 2 of these here) and raising awareness about domestic violence when we are in lockdown. I’ve also been supporting my local food bank and trying to raise awareness of them on a local forum I’m a member of.
    Maybe those who have been thinking I must have a lazy, relaxed life because I don’t have kids living with me during lockdown would be surprised to know that I and a good many other CNBC people actually get off our arses and are proactive in helping others during times like these.
    Sorry to hear about your financial situation, a stressful and worrying time for you 😦 xx

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sorry I’ve been absent. Work was hellishly crazy just before being furloughed (laid off with pay, counting my blessings, no idea how long this is going to last). My company are one of many whom have been designing tech gear for use in hospitals during the pandemic.
        I’ve missed you too, although have been reading 😉 always enjoy your posts, you’re so innovative!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes I too have fallen through the cracks and receive no government assistance. I can survive a few months but then I will have to think of something.
    It’s hard for a lot of people and really it’s not a competition; in some ways I am better off and in some ways not.
    I’ve definitely moved away from social media the last few months. if I have to read one more post from someone moaning about how hard done boy they are or smugly displaying their perfect life I will scream

    Liked by 1 person

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