I haven’t been able to write since the election. Honestly, it derailed most of my productivity. I was all set to blog the Madonna song “Celebration” on the day after the election – that’s how sure of a Democratic win I was – but clearly, given the results, that was a poor choice. I almost blogged it anyway, just to show that we should celebrate the fact that we are surrounded by our like-minded friends and family of choice, but that seemed disingenuous since there are so many communities that stand to be hurt by our current president-elect.
I haven’t really had a chance to process it fully. I’ve kind of been holding it together for everyone else around me. So not much wailing or gnashing of teeth for me. I’m trying like hell to be pragmatic about it, but it’s not working so much the last couple of days. Maybe that’s why I feel so tired when I haven’t been doing anything. I’m headed back to work today after 10 days off and my rule is to not talk about the election. I hesitate to talk about it even with people who feel the same way because it’s easy to get caught in the anxiety loop. When it comes to indulging anxiety, I’m kind of like an alcoholic. I really don’t get to do it even once – all the while recognizing that’s an imperfect analogy because it’s not like there won’t be times I have no choice. But then you get back up on the wagon.
I’m disappointed in our country, in many people I thought knew better. In people that knew he was a bad choice but either voted for him anyway because they didn’t want to pay more taxes or because they hated Hillary. The people that voted for him because they hate everyone else different from them have a special place in hell. I’m sure there are many of my fellow Iowans that fall into all these categories. And now we have the alt-right getting influence in the White House. Frankly, I’m ready for them to announce Alex Jones as White House Press Secretary.
It’s a scary time to live in America, for sure, but I know that I say that from a point of privilege. There are many that do not have my privilege and for them, I will continue to fight. While it’s fine to send money to national organizations (HRC, Lambda Legal, NAACP, etc.), what we really need is action on the local level, because that’s where we can affect real change. I have an e-mail out to the Ames chapter of PFLAG, but I haven’t heard back yet. I wonder if it’s even still active. I could do things in Des Moines, but honestly, I’d rather help out in the city I actually live in.
I’m tempted to curtail my social media presence, but that to me seems like putting my head in the sand. That’s not to say that if you need to do it, you shouldn’t. I just don’t know that that’s the right move for me. I’m not reading as much news as I did prior to the election, and while I never listened to political podcasts before the election, I’m trying to find sources of entertainment that are good for my soul. Self-care is really important these days. If we’re going to be strong for the people around us, we have to keep ourselves healthy.
I suppose at some point I will erupt in fiery anger but right now I just don’t feel like I can. I’m kind of numb to the whole thing. I don’t know if that’s the result of being medicated, but I’ll take it for now if that’s the case.
That’s where I am right now in this bizarro-world where President-Elect Trump is a real thing.