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Someone in a medical freedom group I belong to asked, “Who here likes to debate?”  Certainly not me!

I’ve spent five decades fighting for my right to an emotion, an opinion, and at least a say in my own life.  At one time I did enjoy a good debate, when that was the only arena where I stood a chance to be heard.  But, now, I’m just battle weary and truly hate debate and disagreement.  

That doesn’t mean, however, that I silence my own voice.  I just don’t want to debate my opinion. 

It also isn’t that I’m so stubborn I don’t want to hear dissenting opinions.  It’s just that I don’t want to argue.  I want to be able to share an interesting article or express myself without having to defend myself constantly. 

Sometimes that means walking away from a conversation.  Sometimes that means walking away from relationships. 

Shortly after the divorce I connected with a young survivor, and we became close.  I cherished her.  Yet, when we met in person my older son and I both felt walked on.  We felt a little bullied.   I tried to explain it away that she desperately needed to express herself because she hadn’t been allowed to.  But, neither had we.   And, it seemed to set a precedent in the relationship.   Time passed, and it seemed that more often than not she argued or negatively commented on much of what I had to say.  When I finally told her that I didn’t like it, she responded that she thought my space was a place for open discussion. 

I went no contact.  I think of her so often.  I hear she’s happy and doing well.  And, that makes me happy.  But, I couldn’t continue in a friendship where I had to constantly defend my opinion or feelings for the sake of her desire for open discussion.

Sometimes I just want to be heard, too.  Sometimes I’m speaking to someone else, and it is interference to butt in. 

What’s wrong nowadays with just listening to someone else?  Just listening.  Respecting where they are in that moment.  Caring enough about other human beings that we don’t always need to make their conversation about us.

This week I posted an excellent article that discussed something many of us have experienced. http://southlakecounseling.org/why-the-church-wont-recognize-abuse/  I shared it with a couple of specific individuals in mind, and I hoped they’d see it.  I knew it would be helpful to them where they’re at right now. 

A woman I’ve never met and who obviously did not even read the article began arguing with it.  Her style of argumentation was familiar.  She mentioned ISIS and an abusive man in Dubai.  She flatly stated a falsehood about our local area as fact.  She told me to call the churches and ask questions, as though I’m just ignorant of what’s really going on.  She talked about her job.  She brought up other entities.  She victim blamed.  She said things like that “burn her buns,” in other words, she let me know it had angered her. 

I was triggered, and I responded, as did a few other people.  The woman continued.  She didn’t let up.  Neither did I, finally telling her this isn’t about her and to just stop.  A friend gently recommended she go back and read the original post.  She never addressed whether or not she had, in fact, read it. 

I posted something to help victims, and she high jacked it and made herself the focus. 

I deleted her comments and unfriended her.

My adult daughter, who does personally know the woman, jumped in to “defend” the woman and let my friends know “before anyone jumps me” that she’s my daughter.  No one had jumped the woman!

I deleted my daughter’s comment.  Enough was enough.  The focus should have been on victims knowing there is help and that they don’t need to remain a victim just because their church tells them they do! 

My daughter responded, “LMAO… my comments were deleted.” 

I deleted that.  The purpose of that statement was……???

Twenty four hours later, I woke up to yet another antagonistic comment from my daughter that stated she was sure her comment would be deleted because it seemed the only comments allowed were those that agreed with the article.  She was right.  I deleted it. 

Like a dog with a bone, some people get a hold of an argument they’ve created and they won’t let it go. 

That is characteristic of my daughter’s personality and how she lives her entire life.  And, I’m on the verge of going no contact with my own first born child. 

It isn’t that I don’t love her.  I long for a relationship with her.  Just like I still love that survivor friend I walked away from.  But, I choose now to surround myself with those who also care enough about me and the things I value to respect my feelings, thoughts, opinions, and words.  Yes!  Theirs count!  But, so do mine. 

I don’t condone everything my loved ones say and do.  I don’t agree with their lifestyle choices.  But, I hold my tongue and love them anyway, connecting with them where we do share commonalities.   I expect the same now.