Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump, Depression and Looking After your own

So, it's happened. Donald Trump is now the President of the United States. There's been a media frenzy and amongst it all, barely even acknowledged, a wave of suicides.

So, whose fault is it? Trump's? ours? The media? The victims? More importantly, what can we do to protect our own?

The Trump presidency is a macrocosm of the microcosm I currently find myself in. Yeah, it's all about me…. it's a similar microcosm to what many people, particularly those with differences, find themselves in every day.

...and the answers are just as simple, and elusive.

It's not the end, we're still here!

Despite all his pre-election rants, no president has the authority to take away basic human rights. They can't launch nuclear weapons simply because they don't like somebody and they're not going to wander through homes deporting or imprisoning people simply because of where they were born or what their sexual preference is.

To suggest otherwise is “fear-mongering” and it's very harmful.

The Microcosm of Depression 

I've worked in the same place for sixteen years. I'm quite comfortable there. We have taken our specialised IT systems at work to levels of complexity that the original designers never dreamed of. The stability has worked wonders for me, for IT and for the company in general.

A few months ago, my boss of 10 years left the company. He was replaced by a new one who doesn't have the time or the interest to understand our current systems but simply wants to “rip and replace” them with things that he is familiar with…. regardless of effort, security or record keeping.

My once-trusted advice is now being ignored and I'm going from a position of deep expertise to a relative “newbie” in these systems. It's all very depressing.

Of course, there are rumours flying everywhere, will I be replaced? Demoted? Rendered obsolete?

It's been affecting me badly. I've hated going to work these past months and I've found myself pondering how nice it would be to just die.

Fortunately, I'm an old hand at dealing with depression and when I reach that point I know “it's the Aspergers talking” and I have to make changes in my life and thoughts.  I have responsibilities to my family and no stupid job is worth a life.

Things are a little better now. Nothing has changed except my attitude. At this point I'm going to follow the new boss into the abyss and accept the change for what it is and see what I can learn from it. All going well, I'll be an expert in the new technology in no time.

I'm not going to keep trying to rescue the company from management stupidity. It's not up to me to rescue people who don't want to be rescued. If they fail, it's on them. If they succeed, I will have learned some valuable lessons and will probably develop new respect for the new boss.

There's no need to go burning bridges but I'll be keeping my eyes open for other jobs just the same.

The Macrocosm - It's only four years 

Back to Trump. He's the president for four years.Many of his policies might sound terrible and they may have a short term negative effect on the country but then again, they might work- even if it's not for the reasons that he intended.

At the end of the day, America will still exist in four years and you'll all have another chance to vote. In the meantime, the different management style is an interesting learning opportunity (not just for America but for the rest of the world too).

Looking After Your Own

As I mentioned earlier, it's an easy slide downhill from depression to suicide and that's a real problem. Now, more than ever, we need to be protecting our vulnerable people.

Protecting people means reassuring them that you love them, that they're not alone and that they're valuable members of society - and valued FOR their differences, not “in spite of them”.

It means that we need to think twice before forwarding on yet another fear mongering meme about Donald Trump.

Sure they're funny but they're clearly affecting our vulnerable, special people - and like jobs, no stupid politician is worth a life.


Becki said...

Thank you. I needed that. <3 These past two days have been overwhelming. My son is on the spectrum and , of course, has very black-and-white thinking. It's hard to teach him that Trump's rhetoric is NOT to be emulated but that we will be "okay" with him as president. How do we do that?

Jessica said...

My kids are 6 and 2 (6 y/o is aspie), so while I haven't had high-level conversations about figures of authorities, public figures, celebrities, my strategy is to teach them that no one will ever be a perfect role model, not even their parents. They need to learn how to decipher fact from fiction, how to develop their own views, how to tell when they are being swayed by others' opinions, how to argue rationally and respectfully, etc. I will teach them the appropriate way to interact and address people in authority that they may distrust or disagree with (I don't want my kid's insistence on being right to be misconstrued as disrespect!) but I won't teach them they have to respect them simply because they're have authority.

Anonymous said...

"They can't launch nuclear weapons simply because they don't like somebody"

you should read

Anonymous said...

See too.

Moreover, some peopel commit suicide because they can't *afford* to stay fed and sheltered, so their only choices are faster deaths or starving on the streets (and psosibly getting beat up and/or raped while there).

Now that about what happens to vulnerable people's abilities to stay fed and sheltered when a country's social safety net gets damaged.

If you want these folks to avoid suicide, just talking them out of depression may not work. Simply talking about their feelings, and how much their loved ones will miss them, isn't going to feed and shelter them.