Well that didn’t go at all as planned.
I am both at a loss for words and flooded with them. I have colloquy gushing from every pore and orifice in my body, clogging my brain and choking my heart. And none of it is coherent. I am wrecked. Wracked with pain and sadness, completely overwhelmed with despair. I am terrified. I cannot focus. And though I am exhausted, I cannot sleep. I lie wakeful in the night planning the escape I fear will be necessary for me and my family, identifying who might shelter us, stand up for us, until we can get away. Who will come for us? How will I protect my children? Particularly Joita. By day I am distracted with daydreams of formulating and reformulating responses to my outrage, sadness and fear. I am bombarded by incidents of outright and shameful hate that I can neither un-see nor do anything about. I am a walking (barely) breathing raw flayed nerve in the middle of a full-blown panic attack.
Of course this is a gross over-reaction and I should just cut the shit and get over it all. Don’t be a baby just because your candidate lost. Jesus Hali, this is a bit overblown on the disappointment scale don’t you think? Paranoid much?!
I am, quite frankly, shocked by how utterly shattered I am. And it is not just the damage of disappointment. That I get. I put a lot of hope into Hillary as the most qualified and first woman president. Having her lose was a tough blow, a bitter pill to swallow. I can see that. Though even that is fraught with layer upon layer of difficulty for me, much more complicated than meets the eye I daresay. First, working with frail elderly (predominantly) women, I am holding their palpable grief – that now none of them will actually live to see the day we elect a woman president. In reality, it can hardly be said that I am holding that grief. More like I’m buried under a avalanche of it. Second, I don’t actually identify as a woman (never have); but I have lived as one, been socialized as one and been treated as one all my life. So on some level I don’t feel entitled to the disappointment women are feeling right now even though I am feeling it. But there’s so much more than just my being a sore loser.
The fact that she lost to an absolutely despicable shitbag takes disappointment to a whole new level. What’s astounding is that the fact that he is completely unqualified for the job isn’t even in my top 10 reasons for being upset. I care more that he is a blatant, open and proud predator and bully who inspires and encourages hate and then sits back and visibly (creepily) enjoys the fruits of his influence and provocation (which he claims he has no awareness of). He is a very sick human being.
In his defense, he clearly suffers (and therefore anyone whose path he crosses suffers) from a personality disorder/mental illness that he cannot seem to overcome (not that he has shown one iota of interest in doing so). The fact that he has so many ardent followers makes me question the rationality of those who voted for him. Or conversely, the fact that I seem to see so clearly the danger of this man makes me question my own sanity. To be honest, I’m questioning my mental health anyway right now.
My friend’s husband is a strident republican and he graciously offered to talk to me about my fears and “talk me off the ledge”. Now, I adore this guy. He is salt of the earth and one of the most likable, kindest and gentlest human beings I know. He’s also really smart. And he walks the walk. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He worked for everything he has and he works hard. And he stands up to bullies and protects those who need protection every chance he gets. He is also a straight, white, cis-man. He put the election results into a framework for me that this wasn’t about candidates per se, as much as it was a thundering calling out of the political elite by the masses, a demand for drastic change. He genuinely doesn’t believe that Trump will have the desire or the power to hurt me or those like me.
I felt safe just being on the phone with him. If Trump does anything to hurt me or my family my friend’s husband will personally kick his ass. I need this guy to live in my pocket for the next 4 years (which would be awkward in so many ways… not the least of which he is quite a beefcake and wouldn’t fit in any of my pockets).
And I doubt this decent and loving man, who probably cannot even fathom intentionally hurting someone himself, has ever felt targeted, or hunted, scared or bullied. I have. I’ve known bullies all too well. My mother is and was a bully. She used shame and threats (as well as physical blows) to teach me lessons that will be forever seared on the surface of my soul. As someone who doesn’t seamlessly blend into society’s fabric, I have also known my fair share of bullies outside of my family. I have been heckled and taunted, teased and antagonized. I have been oppressed and intimidated. I have been loathed enough to loathe myself. I have feared for my own safety. It all becomes sixth sense, with you all the time, a heightened fight or flight response. And right now I am scared, on alert all the time, fearful and anxious.
But maybe I am over-reacting. Maybe my fight or flight response is on overdrive. My anxiety getting the best of me. It isn’t as if we are living in 1930s Germany after all, where some puffed up mental-case buffoon with crazy hair and funny facial expressions and gestures has been, beyond all sane comprehension, elected to the highest office in the land. Or that said buffoon has specifically targeted, blamed and threatened one religious group as the root of all evil. Even Secretary Clinton has asked that we give him a chance to succeed. And it isn’t as if the KKK and other white supremacist hate groups are celebrating vocally across the country. And at least he hasn’t appointed blatant hateful assholes like Steve Bannon to be chief strategist and a member of his inner circle cabinet.
Still not going at all as planned.