It’s bleak out there.

It’s only Day 2 and things don’t look good. Not that I thought it would be good, I just didn’t think it would be this rampant. This unashamed. That there was this much simmering racist/misogynist rage in the country. I’ve obviously underestimated the pure shittiness of so many of my fellow citizens. I guess they were just waiting for permission to be their worst selves, and now they have it. We can’t hide from it anymore. We will have to reckon with this. How? I’m not sure. I guess we’ll find out.

There was so much talk during the election about how polarized we were, and how everyone lives within their own echo chambers on social media and only hear from people they agree with, and it was certainly true for many of us. The election results are only making it more so. I’ve seen so many posts from friends on Facebook about “cleaning house” on their Friends list, because they could no longer tolerate the racist and extremist rhetoric coming from Trump supporters they knew. Many heated discussions are taking place in comment threads about it, some saying that we should not be dismissive of Trump supporters because they’re #notallracist, but in my opinion (and the opinion of most of my friends – my echo chamber), if you voted for him you are either a racist or you’re willing to be tolerant of such attitudes, since he so clearly stoked that fire. Not just racism, but Islamophobia, discrimination toward the disabled, and actions toward women that are literally criminal. This is not just a “difference of opinion” that we must all just agree to disagree on and move forward. These are fundamental issues of HUMAN RIGHTS that are not negotiable. Networks of friends and families are splitting apart on these fault lines at this very moment, and the prevailing attitude seems to be “good riddance to bad rubbish.”

I’m lucky not to have this problem. I guess I’d already self-sorted my networks to exclude these attitudes, and no one has surprised me by popping off with comments I can’t deal with. My immediate family is free of Trumpitude and for that I’m grateful. (Extended family has mixed results but I can easily avoid them when necessary.) I fear family gatherings at the holidays are going to be VERY volatile all around the country this year.

I know it’s only Day 2, but I’m having a hard time deciding on a course of action for myself. How much social media do I want to subject myself to? Can I limit myself successfully? I don’t want to abandon it completely. I have many friends I don’t want to lose touch with and I like being reasonably informed about what’s happening. But this is a situation of “too much will never be enough,” and continually beating myself over the head with all the terrible things isn’t necessarily productive. I normally wake up to NPR, read all kinds of news all day long, and have been listening to a variety of political podcasts during the election season, but since Tuesday night I haven’t turned on the radio once. I haven’t listened to any of my podcasts. I haven’t looked at a newspaper or watched any TV news. I haven’t (won’t) watch Trump’s acceptance speech. I haven’t watched Hillary’s concession speech or Obama’s remarks. I will, eventually. But I’m not ready yet. Maybe tomorrow. My mom tells me it was helpful for her to watch it, it made her feel better. But I’m so tired of crying right now, and I know I will cry again whenever I’m brave enough to watch it.

What will my purpose be for the next few years? What can I do? How can I contribute to keeping the damage to our country (and to myself) to a minimum? This is what I have to think about now. . .

 

It’s bleak out there.

2 minutes to midnight.

(it’s actually 12:53 but i’m being symbolic.)

i watched part of the returns with friends, but now i’m home alone. my body is vibrating with anxiety and i feel speechless, but my mind is also bombarded with thoughts, scenarios, ideas, what could happen. what won’t happen.

  1. hope for an early death. like tomorrow, ideally.
  2. turn away from the world. disconnect everything. pretend it didn’t happen (as much as I can, anyway.) become one of those people who doesn’t know anything about the world outside my little apartment box. ignore everything else.
  3. but no. i have friends who do not have that luxury. African American, Latinx, Muslim, LGBTQI, people I love and will not and cannot abandon to whatever this turn of events throws at us.
  4. become fire. scream and rage and not let anything happen without a battle to the death.
  5. become love. perhaps the hardest choice of all. proven tonight, there are many millions of people for whom racist, misogynist, fascist ideas are absolutely not deal-breakers when choosing a President. The idea of approaching them with kindness and generosity is beyond me at this moment. I could look upon them as dumb puppies who poop on the rug because they don’t know any better. but they are goddamn adults and i will rub your nose in that shit because you should  know better. oh wait this really belongs under #4. Oops. Gonna have to work on that love thing.
  6. Become a drug addict. I understand there are a lot of opiods to be had quite easily. Maybe look into that. It would bring up a lot of other problems that would be more distracting than worrying about this piece of shit and everything he’s going to rain down on us.

done with listing. i just don’t know. i just don’t know. I never wanted kids and now i’m even happier with that decision because all the parents i know are tying themselves in knots worrying about how to explain this to their kids.

aside from the damage being done to our country at large, i am overwhelmed with outrage at the idea of Barack Obama having to hand off the Presidency to this horrible troll, the man who was instrumental in trying to discredit his legitimacy with all the birther bullshit. this fucking enrages me more than just about anything.

i’m lucky to live in the blue bubble of Chicago. I’m lucky to be a white person with a decent job and health care coverage. i’m lucky to be menopausal. but so many people aren’t.

i am scared as shit. but i will do what i can. i will do my best. Sometimes i’ll be fire, sometimes i’ll be hiding under the covers. sometimes, if i’m lucky, i might even be love.

i hope we can get through it together.

2 minutes to midnight.