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.
Weeping Angel phot by
Hole phot by
Statue of Liberty photo by