Friday, November 11, 2016

Moving On and Not Moving On. Yet.



I’m going to post a personal essay, not related to my writing. This will probably be the only one on this blog unless other unforeseen things happen.

I’m a liberal, a progressive. With over half the voters in this country in shock, the majority who voted for Secretary Clinton, the atmosphere in this country has turned toxic to us. Many of us worked hard for her victory, which, the polls assured us, was imminent. Some of us donated money, made phone calls, went door to door, even did texting campaigns. Others of us spoke up whenever and wherever we could. We worked hard. And this has hit us hard.

Beyond the loss, this is what has elevated my dismay. Some are using their victory to spread the messages of hate and violence. I’ve read of school children being taunted and beaten up for their dress or their race. The KKK is openly celebrating. These things would not have happened a few months ago. Those of us who are mourning are grieving for the loss of civility as well as the dream of electing a capable woman president who would have worked for the ones being tormented.

But that’s not why I’m writing this blog today. It’s self-serving, certainly, but I hope these words can help some others who are grieving. My therapists have always said that the antidote to my depressions is writing. So I feel I have to write about this in an attempt not to slide into a pit so deep that it will take months to crawl back out of.


There are many calling for action, saying it’s time to get over “this” and to move on. I’m glad they’re able to do this. But many of us can’t.

We are grieving the loss of a bright future, one we were looking forward to. The sunshine is a bit dim. The birds don’t sing cheerfully, but annoyingly. In the state where I live, Tennessee, many votes went to TP. I know that some of my neighbors voted for them because they displayed signs in their yards. I don’t want to speak to them for a good long while. I wave when I see them and keep walking. Going to the hairdresser, chatting with the grocery checkout people, even sitting next to people in church—it’s all awkward. I don’t know if they voted for the ones who have wounded me and my friends or not. This will prevent me from “getting over” this very quickly.

Here’s the main thing I want to say. Everyone has to deal with this tragedy in ones’ own way. None are the right way for all and none are the wrong way for those doing them.

Some will quickly spring back and go into action. I know one woman who has vowed to do a good deed every day and has already stared by contributing to causes that will benefit those who may be disenfranchised in the near future.

Others will get through the anger and the grief in a few days and will recover enough to function normally.

Still others will take longer. Many writers I know are unable to write now on their projects. Many have posted long, eloquent essays on their feelings, their actions, what they see as consequences of hatred for so many. Others point out catastrophes that may happen in the near future, such as the actual repeal of Roe v Wade, which will send women back to coat hangers; the repeal or gutting of the Affordable Care Act, which will actually be a death sentence for some and will cause others to emigrate; stripping of hard-won rights for gays—several I know are moving abroad and I probably would, too, if I were them; persecution of many races, cultures, and religions in this country which was founded by emigrants for emigrants (to the detriment of the natives, to be sure, who will also not gain anything but will probably lose even more).


Those writers have poured out their battered feelings, most of them better than I can. But this is my therapy here and now.

I went to bed on November 8th in denial, even though the numbers were telling me the story. I awoke to anger and stayed there several days. In fact, that part isn’t gone yet. I’m still in the grieving stage, crying whenever I’m alone and giving way to hopelessness and despair. This is melodramatic, you say? Then you don’t suffer from clinical depression, lucky you. That’s the way we get, melodramatic. It’s certainly not what we want to be doing!

I want to say, to those of you who are still suffering, that you need to let the process take the time it needs. You need to let yourself heal at your own rate, no matter how long it takes. When you come out on the other side, the sun will sparkle and the birds will cheer you with their trills and warbles.

It’s my hope that everyone will be over the stun and shock and depression by January. And that we will all work together to make this country a better place. I plan to support a few causes. I would like to do more, but there’s only so much cash. My choices are Planned Parenthood, NARAL, RAINN, and the Sierra Club.

Here’s a list that I won’t vouch for, except the ones I know.

And here’s a site validating the grief.

I wish for healing for everyone.
Luke 23:34

Weeping Angel phot by at Morguefile.com
Hole phot by at Morguefile.com

Statue of Liberty photo by at Morguefile.com 

17 comments:

Reine said...

Yes. Thank you. I feel alone but not so much now.

Kaye George said...

I'm so glad. That was my purpose for doing this. So happy to know I've helped someone.

Linda Thorne said...

All I can say is sometimes weird things just seem to balance themselves out. We may have more power in our galaxies and universes than we will ever understand. I don't get the active protesters (especially the destructive ones). Are they protesting people's right to vote? I'd like to protest the set up of the electoral college. Always hated it, but since I've done nothing constructive to change it all these years, I certainly don't feel entitled to go out and turn over or bash a bunch of cars or set something on fire because I don't like it.
To keep my sanity in all of this, I want to watch how it plays out. Sometimes things just work out. It may take a while, but maybe, just maybe, some strange bubble of life will spin all this into something manageable. Seems like a "pipe dream," but hey, we can all hope.

Kaye George said...

We should hope for the best, but we also need to work for it, I think. I understand the protesters, having been one during Viet Nam. It's a way to express frustration that your voice wasn't heard. If people are turning over cars, those are most likely thugs taking advantage of the situation to get their kicks. At least, that's what happened in the 60s. The actual protesters were in favor of peace. People who are now protesting bad behavior are, I hope, not indulging in it.

Linda Thorne said...

Okay, I didn't want to go this far with the power of the galaxies and universes, but I will tell you why it came up. I couldn't help but think of an old black and white movie I saw called, "The Bad Seed." The story is about a child born rotten and murderous and stays that way. Her mother finally sees the horror in her daughter and tries to do something about it. Meanwhile, the sociopath, murderous daughter goes out to the beach one night and is struck dead by lighting. Of course, this is not what I'm hoping to happen here, and it's a totally different situation. I'm hoping that something good comes out of the "woodwork." I've seen that happen in past situations and hoping for the same here. I don't think the good will be Trump staying in office.

Kaye George said...

Oh yes, I remember that movie! Terrifying. I see your point completely. I think in those days they really liked happy endings. I'll bet it would end differently if it were made today.

Reine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaye George said...

I do remember the protests in the 60s. I did some marching myself. I also remember the "race riots" at the end of that decade. I'm happy to see the protesters now, but it looks like the people who get their kicks out of destruction have joined them and are ruining things. I guess there will always be people who like to destroy things.

Now, as then, the same faces would show up in pictures of the protests that got out of hand, places very far apart. The T half of TP calls them "professional protesters." No one is paying them, but I do think these are people who seek out situations where they can indulge their destructive desires. Some of them are getting arrested, which is good, so that the real protesters can get on with it.

That's my take anyway, based on the history I've lived through with protests.

Librarian D.O.A. said...

Like many, I'm stunned by the election results. That every state race was so close revealed us to be a nation divided. Every person who didn't vote or voted for a third party candidate voted to let hatred and evil run rampant. I thought we'd have a quiet period till January before we saw what has been wrought, but we're deep in it already.

I always believe good triumphs over evil, and that love is stronger than hate, but it is going to be one of those dark periods in history, before light is restored. I'd like to be wrong about that.

Anonymous said...

Kaye, you are such an inspiration to so many of us. Thank you. I am also volunteering and trying to make a difference in my community. I still want to give Hillary a hug, and thank her for all she has done to make this a better world. Let's stay united in love.

Kaye George said...

Librarian D.O.A. I totally agree. All we have right now is hope and the belief in good and love. The suddenness of this darkness has stunned so many of us!

Anonymous, thanks so much. If any lasting good comes of this, it will have to come from us, the ones who are immobilized for the moment. But not forever!

Linda Thorne said...

We all got to vent in different ways and I think a number of us really needed it. Thanks for the invitation to join in. I actually went to bed wondering if I'd said a thousand inappropriate things. From the sound of these comments, I think all of us were just being us and it's nice to be able to "air" disappointments. This was a huge one.

Kaye George said...

Any number of writers are trying to provide safe place. Jess Lourey is one and Sarah Paretsky has a closed group. I feel like I'm going to boil over from anger sometimes. And then someone tells me to "move on" and "get over it." I finally started blocking everyone who says that. As Jess Lourey says, so what if they don't buy our books. We're not making any money from them anyway. It feels good to be authentic and honest.

This country IS divided and I've decided to be unashamed about which side I'm on. I'll start wearing a safety pin whenever I go out. I'll also carry mace, because I'm in a very red state.

Reine said...

I started out in an unbelieving state about what people were saying and doing. Then it became clear it had happened, what had happened felt like such a slap in the face. All of it. Not just the part. I went to a friend's FB page and saw where she had referred to, god I can't say it, the list of people disabled like me, as if we were... no, I can't say it. But she was one of our teenage foster children. We gave her a home and took care of her baby... but she was talking like we were paid big money and profited off her. We did get a small allowance for her and her baby, but in no way did it cover the expenses. We didn't do it for money. When I looked at her page it was a solid slam of serial Trump memes and vitriol towards those of us who don't think like Trump and didn't deserve to live. It's getting damn scary. We can get back to our regular lives, but I don't dare stop my Trumper Lookout.

Kaye George said...

Very, very damn scary.

Reine said...

Linda, I'm sorry. I am the one who was out of control with my emotions. I am trying to get a grip on my fear.

Kaye George said...

Yesterday, I felt much better, like I was finally healing. Then this morning it all crashed down. Things pile up and pile up. Then I go off the rails and snap at people or rant. It's very hard!

Actually, it's time for me to be back in therapy and I VOW to make a call today.