Is This Thing On?


So… it’s been a while.

I have a huge backlog of posts to get up here.

Those are all, for the most part, amazing and awesome things.

However, it hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows… As I’m sure you’re aware, Donald Trump won the US Presidential election in November and I took the news hard. I immediately panicked but was able to set the panic aside for a while, to try to enjoy the holidays with Andy, G, and Ziggy.

But then in early December, Ziggy got sick. The vet first thought she had a canine flu that was going around, but a blood test revealed that she also had an infection. Even after a course of antibiotics and a modified diet, Zigs was still exhibiting symptoms and losing tons of weight. We celebrated Christmas with her and she squeaked her new squeaky toy, but not with the same excitement she normally showed for new toys.

In early January, her symptoms were getting worse again. She ended up at the vet with an IV. Another blood test showed that the infection was worse. They also biopsied a lump on the inside of one of her hind legs to see if that was the source of infection or an additional issue. (It had been found earlier in December, but we opted not to biopsy it then because she wasn’t well enough for surgery.) While she was at the vet, she ate two cans of wet food and then pranced her way home.

The next morning, however, she wouldn’t eat that same canned food. She would hardly drink. She deteriorated so quickly that day. I went to bed on the 4th with Ziggy on her bed right next to ours. I didn’t expect her to make it through the night. She did, though. Genevieve and Andy hugged her before they left and mid-morning, while we were in the midst of arranging for the vet to come to the apartment, Ziggy passed away.

I miss her every single day.

I spent a week doing hardly anything while G was at kindergarten. Just staying in bed, crying and sleeping.

In short order, however, it was time for Trump’s inauguration. And I had another reason for despair. I’m still generally in shock that he won and that he is following through with his campaign promises so fucking fast. I didn’t think I’d ever be so upset about a “politician” being productive.

I didn’t attend a march on the 21st, but I have signed up for 10 Actions/100 Days, among other things. I’m trying to stay informed and involved without overwhelming or exhausting myself.

Here’s where I’m struggling:

I know I’m not alone. Tons of Americans and people around the world are appalled by Trump and his actions. But I have been unfriended and chastised by friends and family for speaking up and posting articles that resonate with me.

It makes me feel very alone. It makes me feel attacked. It makes me feel like I can only make people happy if I just shut up and post happy pictures of my cute kid.

I mean, I’ve got those. I post them.

But there is important shit going on in the world right now and it’s more important to me, for me to stay informed and motivated than to gloss over everything.

I may be taking this more personally than I should, than people mean for it to seem.

But I’ve been judged and gossiped about for admitting that I’ve struggled over here. Some of my personal struggles have been directly expat related (language barrier, unemployment), but some of it is just life (parenting a smart, independent kid). Would parenting G be different in the US? Somewhat, but we would still have power struggles; that’s just a part of the job. (She’s almost 5, by the way. It’s almost her birthday again!)

There are days that I regret our decision to move to Switzerland. There are days that I think we definitely made the right choice. I want to, and should be able to, talk about both of those things. But when talking about the bad leads to people questioning and criticizing you, instead of supporting you, it seems easier to just stay quiet.

But I can’t stay quiet.

(So watch this space. More posts about life and probably some political ranting to come.)

11 thoughts on “Is This Thing On?

  1. Dear Liz – welcome back! I was very sorry to hear about Ziggy. RIP – she looked like an awesome dog. For the rest of it I say: Good on you – keep doing what you gotta do. It’s SO TOUGH being an expat sometimes, I don’t know if anyone who hasn’t done it could possibly understand! x

    • I don’t think you can understand it if you haven’t experienced it! And I think, besides the language barrier, that it’s probably one of the main reasons why expats tend to befriend other expats.

  2. Big hugs to you. 🙂 I want to let you know that you aren’t alone. My family and friends are criticizing my choices and actions with regards to Trump as well. They are slamming me, chastising me, and unfriending me for daring to condemn their leader, and they laugh when I voice my concerns. 😦 if you need someone to talk to, whether about the inauguration or being an expat (tho I’m not one and probably won’t understand as well as someone that is one), I’m here and I’ll listen. 🙂 in the mean time, thank you for not being silent and staying involved in the politics going on here.

  3. I am sorry you’re going through such tough times.
    i am not sure if living in the U.S. is more pleasant right now, though. Not one day goes by that the guy who claims to be President puts in place something that upsets me, and I’m just the little Swiss girl.
    The good news is – with every day that passes, one day is deducted here:

    • The election is definitely one of the things that makes me glad to be here. But I do wish I could be involved with the resistance at home. It’s a major privilege to be able to watch it all from a safe distance.

  4. Wow, Liz, you have gone through so much. 😦 I’m sorry that you’re being criticized. I’m sorry you feel like it might be easier to keep quiet. But you’re not alone. Not in the feelings about the election. Not in the feelings about making tough decisions about how to raise your family and feeling doubts, and then not doubts, and then doubts again. I’m so glad you are open on social media. It helps me to see that I’m not alone. I know the feeling about wanting to be home to DO something about what’s going on and at the same time being happy that at the moment, my day to day life is still relatively stable. Gosh, there’s so much I could say! ha ha, but anyway, I’m sorry about your pup. I’m doing my part about the orangeness, right there with you. Vent away. So many of us have your back.

  5. I wonder if you have had a chance to visit Dornach, which lies close to Basel. If not, visit the Goetheanum there to see a building with no (apparent) right angles; and visit the Schloss Dorneck for a picnic amid the ruins. You might also enjoy an outing to Passwang, also near Basel, for magnificent mountain and valley views; it’s a popular hiking spot.

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