A Case Of The Karens

I’ve got a bad case of the Karens.  This happens when your world seems to go haywire.  Sometimes I ask myself this question as I go about the day.  Especially when I look around the world and it all seems in chaos.  And then into the chaos steps a superhero.  Or a supervillain, depending upon your perspective.  Look up in the sky!  It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  No!  It’s Superkaren.  Fighter for truth, justice, and shame you into submission.  Because that’s how Karen’s roll.  When the world does not fit their liking, they feel it’s good to change that world, for their betterment.  And for the present time, I’ve been having a case of the Karens.

No, this doesn’t mean I have had to fight an irresistible urge to force people into my will.  Mask, no mask, riot, no riot, I have not felt an irresistible urge to make others conform to my nature of the good.  But what it does mean is I feel like I have entered a world inundated by Karens.  They don’t believe they are Karens.  While “the other” Karens should be shunned at all costs.

A Case Of The Karens

A Universe of Karens

Of course, this just goes along with the general hypocritical nature of the world today.  Everyone else is to blame.  And if we would just see the world the way I see it, it would change everything.  Maybe that’s the downside of Social media.  When everyone has a platform, and it’s hard to say whose platform is more or less legitimate, then people end up sucking up their own Kool-Aid.  They must be write because it went out on Twitter and a bunch of people agreed with them about it all. 

But Twitter comes with its own set of problems.  You have your hangers-on and those who will praise you for every little thing, hoping to get something from you.  And then you have your trolls, whose whole mission in life is to tear down everyone they possibly can.  Now a Karen would be a troll who wouldn’t think of themselves as a troll.   Because obviously she’s doing things for the right reasons. 

With mass amounts of Karens running around Twitter, it’s only a matter of time before the planet blows up.  And I start needing to look for a new home.  It’s just too bad I didn’t get my spaceship done ahead of time.  I just didn’t realize 2020 would be the problem.  Maybe I can hitch a ride with the aliens.  They are out there after all.  2020 told us so.

A Case Of The Karens Can Happen To You

But I have avoided the nature of my getting a case of the Karens long enough.  Of course, many on social media can find themselves amidst scolds perpetually.  We find all kinds of people trying to shame us into whatever position they take.  And if we don’t take their position, they have a bunch of names in their pocket ready to call us.  I find it amusing, not the names per se which are harmful, but that both sides are now engaging in that kind of name-calling. And if everyone is all of those bad things we call each other, then what do those words even mean anymore.  It’s something to ponder.

But the truth is, I don’t take those kinds of Karens too personally anymore.  Even if they have every intention of wrecking my job, career, family, and livelihood in the process.  Yes, I think of them as a threat or a menace.  But it’s never those Karens which I take personally.  When you know where someone stands on an issue, you never have to worry about where you stand with them. 

A Case Of The Karens

The Karen Within

But it’s the Karens in our midst.  The Karens who have wormed their way into our lives and have found a spot in our hearts which drain me of the kind of intense emotional energy which makes me want to quit being.  Because it’s the friend who stabs us in the back which truly hurt us.  Never the enemy who stands throwing arrows from afar.  Even if those arrows should strike, you don’t take it personally.  But the enemy within.  The person who knows us the most and hurts us in a way we do not recover quickly from.  I had one such Karen which hurt me more than I want to admit a couple of weeks back. 

I read an interesting tweet this week via social media.  It mentioned about the way we treat people.  Far too often we become enamored with someone quickly, without taking the time to know them for who they really are.  And then when we are finally confronted with reality, face to face, we end up reacting very negatively.  And in this instance, they end up becoming a Karen.  A scold of everything thing I do because everything done must be wrong.  Because they have been disappointed somehow in the way you have fallen from the pedestal they put you on.

I must admit, I am tired of pedestals.  I exist as a human being with problems and issues, just like the rest of humanity.  But I don’t love the situation I exist in.  I’m there for my daughter and parents.  But because of needing and wanting to be there, it’s limited the scope of the world and opportunity.  I’m like the Jimmy Stewart character in It’s a Wonderful Life with all the plans and aspirations about the future.  But those things have been changed when mugged with reality.  When faced with divorce, and other issues, my life has limits.  And I need to appreciate an enjoy those limits or lose my mind in the process.

A Karen Goeth Before A Fall

Unfortunately, those limits make pedestals feel lovely, right until the moment they push you off of it.  And the fall can be quite painful when you reach the bottom.  Because the other person behaves as if whatever you did was a betrayal.  And so, everything you are must be wrong and shunned and avoided.  It may start out with misunderstanding and misinterpreting everything you say.  But inevitably it leads to a soft or hard block.  Not because you deserve to be treated so ill, but because something inside themselves snapped, and their inner Karen came out.  And because you crave their friendship, interest, companionship, etc. they see weakness and pounce.

But the truth is, something was broken inside them, to begin with.  Their need to put you on a pedestal represented a problem.  Sure, heroes are a good thing.  But they are inaccessible when those heroes don’t have their own flaws.  Even Homer gave his Greek heroes tragic flaws, which made them more real to the audience at the time and to us today.  When they put you there, it’s because they want you to fulfill something they have missing.

In A Case Of The Karens, It’s Never Karens Fault

Next, when the moment of break comes, frequently it’s because they cannot reconcile things that they did, and find it more convenient to blame you for their own faults.  Now faults may be a strong word.  Because a bunch of drunken texting or twittering with allusions to things they don’t want to think about and are not ready for is hardly something a person like me would blame them for.  We can always discuss whether the person who receives the drunken amorous words is responsible for making sure the other person isn’t guilty of them.

So then you find yourself face to face in the eyes of a Karen.  You didn’t think they were a Karen at first.  They were so caring and considerate.  And they had your best interest at heart.  They laughed with you.  Shared music with you.  And spent hours just being there with you.  But then you find yourself on the other end of a fire breathing dragon.  One who pretends to like you, but finds fault in everything you do.

You knew you weren’t perfect to begin with.  Obviously, you have screwed many things up in your life.  You wouldn’t necessarily undo any of the choices you made.  They made you who you were.  But you definitely weren’t this evil lurking out there in the heart of the world.  You had a soul and feelings.  And you weren’t trying to attack the Karen or the world by the things you were doing.

A Case Of The Karens

The Place Of No Return

Of course, she never sees it that way.  She will never again see things the way she once did.  You are off your pedestal now.  And sinking faster than quicksand.  You could call out for help but the only one who could throw you a lifeline seems to be pushing you further down into the sand.  It’s truly “sink or swim” until you cut this person off.  Leave the toxicity behind.  It doesn’t matter what you had or might have had.  This person now sees you as a threat.  Something to be eliminated.  So you walk away.

You have to walk away.  Part of you feels so beat up and not sure which way to turn that you feel empty inside.  It feels like you took a beating on the head and we’re asked to like it.  And even though it’s all over now, and the beatings have ceased, you feel like a person who has suffered spousal abuse thinking you should have gotten more.  But you shouldn’t.  And you can’t

This person carried this toxicity with the into you getting to know them.  They may have hidden it for a time.  But it was always there buried under the surface.  Maybe they even warned you about it from the start.  Well, let it go.  That’s all you really have left between you and peace.

It all comes down to your case of the Karens.  Are you going to let the Karens of the world get to you?  Will you let them overrun you and deny your worth and agency as a person?  Or are you going to allow yourself to be fully you?  Because if you can’t be fully yourself, then who are you?  If you don’t know.  I guarantee no one else will.  And allowing someone else to tell you who you should be, shy of intentionally hurting other people, they should have nothing to do with it.  Now to remind myself so I can get rid of this awful case of the Karens.

Wrapping Up A Case Of The Karens

This has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad post.  Not because the post is particularly bad mind you.  Although, it’s probably the most disjointed thing I have ever done.  I wrote two fifths, then another two fifths, then the first two-fifths vanished, and had to rewrite.  And then I had to finish the last fifth.  So if it feels me at my most scatterbrained, I blame it on my case of the Karens. 

But seriously, toxic people in your life, whether they started out as toxic or not cause problems.  It’s not that you don’t want to forgive them.  And for those who cannot forgive, I do not blame.  Forgiveness is hard.  But it’s never about the person being forgiven.  It’s all about the person we become later.  And if we let someone else change us, especially someone who should have no impact on our lives whatsoever, then we have lost a little.

I for one am tired of allowing the world to impact me.  Doesn’t mean I don’t want to be tenderhearted.  And of course, as a dad, I know I have to take care of those I care about.   People who need my assistance and affection.  So becoming cold to that isn’t exactly the right answer.  But removing those things which do not add to my life sounds like the best case of action.  The most prudent case of action.  At least until Tuesday and I start all over again.

A Case Of The Karens

Taking On A Case of the Karens

What kind of toxic people do you know in your life?  Is there anything you do to remove them?  What do you do if you cannot remove them because they are a friend or family member?  Do you put up with it?  Try to understand?  Or avoid as much as you can?

If you liked this post, thank you for putting up with the insanity.  Things will return to normal in time.  I have found some beautiful people.  And someone who lights the days and nights.  As crazy as this little crazy life is now, I wouldn’t change it.  So definitely click the like button and leave us a note in the comments.  Share with some friends who are having a down day.  And finally, follow us here at the Guide to get the latest parenting, fitness, film, satire, and lifestyle posts.  As always, thank you for stopping by and checking in with us.

Until next time, this is me signing off.

David Elliott, The Single Dad’s Guide to Life

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