Most of the mail I get from estranged parents isn’t what you could call hate mail. It’s more like disapprove mail–attempts at guilt trips (“Don’t you understand how much pain we’re in?” “I came to your site looking for help with my estranged daughter. I feel unhelped.”) interlaced with the implication that I’m making the estrangement problem worse and have a responsibility to steer adult children away from estrangement.
So it was sort of exciting to get an actual hate mail.
At 4 o’clock this Sunday afternoon, Roberta Geary (email@example.com) whiled away the dreary hours by firing off this missive:
We know you…
Our mothers’ group has figured out you are in fact one of the obnoxious estranged adults the book is written about. Somehow you got ahold of it and recognized youself, have no concience and so didn’t feel guilty, and saw it as another opportunity to bash mothers. We imagine you as a 15-year–old pimply-faced geek nancy boy fixated on the slender male bodies of asian boy hookers and haitiain aids-ridden ghetto fags. Maybe your own parents rejected you because of the useless waste of putrid human flesh you are.
We started out intending to just report your sick, twisted, subversive website to the IC3 and FBI because it is clear you have a very sick and twisted mind. They can use these tips to start watching those losers in society who are ticking time bombs waiting to go off. You should be on their list.
“Our mothers’ group has figured out you are in fact one of the obnoxious estranged adults”: Members of estranged parents’ forums are convinced that anyone who objects to them is an estranged adult child. They can’t conceive that anyone else would take enough of an interest to say something. And because they have no concept of the spectrum of abuse survivors, they think of “estranged adult children” as a separate class, unique unto itself, with no ties to any other group. So when I tell them that I’m not estranged from any family members, they accuse me of lying. Kind of a lot.
The assumption that I’m personally related to a member is also common. You see it with narcissists in general; they personalize everything to the point that if someone, say, opposes them on Wikipedia, that person must be an old enemy who’s doing it to spite them. With estranged parents there’s an interesting twist: If you understand them well because of basic pattern recognition, they assume you have insider knowledge, and demand to know which relative or ex-friend you are. Explaining the pattern recognition to them doesn’t help.
“the book is written about.”: Which book? Presumably Abandoned Parents: The Devil’s Dilemma, a self-published neurotic mess much beloved of the less insightful branch of estranged parents’ forums, which I scuppered in a book review.
“We imagine you as a 15-year–old pimply-faced geek nancy boy”: I’m not really sure how I can be both an adult estranged child and a 15-year-old, but okay. Bonus points for assuming I’d be insulted by being called gay. I am a geek, and thanks to adult acne, I am pimply-faced, so two points to Slytherin.
Still trying to figure out whether “Roberta” wants me to be insulted at the implication that I’m male.
“fixated on the slender male bodies of asian boy hookers and haitiain aids-ridden ghetto fags.”: This is the part that makes me think “Roberta” is a troll. Who says that?
The pedant in me would also like to point out that I’ve never written about kagema, thank you very much. Edo-era male prostitution is a vast topic, and my reading has barely dimpled the surface.
“We started out intending to just report your sick, twisted, subversive website”: …And then? You say you started out “just” intending to report my site, implying that you moved on to greater and grander things, but you leave them out of the email! Don’t tease!
“to the IC3 and FBI”: The IC3 is an FBI website for the reporting of crimes, especially fraud, that have already been committed. It’s not a watchdog site.
The FBI is a watchdog, but their main branch is pretty busy right now hunting down terrorists, drug dealers, thieves, fraudsters, hackers, identity thieves, and so forth. They plan to open a “someone said something rude on the Internet” branch in early 2017, provided they can get the funding.
“They can use these tips to start watching those losers in society who are ticking time bombs waiting to go off. You should be on their list.”: It’s true, sometimes I get tired of writing about personality disorders and want to blow up a minor national monument. I’m only 15, though, so Home Depot won’t sell me anything good.
But just you wait. In three years, you’ll all be sorry.
(Unless I get a date with Gackt between now and then. He’s so dreamy.)