What Now.

I am not in a good place. I haven’t been in a good place for a long time, and I’ve been seeking help with my mental health. Admitting this is hard because even the people very closest to me have expressed disbelief at the reality of Anxiety disorders, which have now damaged my heart, given me an ulcer, and helped my grind my teeth to chalk. I felt so much shame, and I didn’t want anyone looking too closely, so I hid while I sought help.

Last night’s election results nearly killed me. I am absolutely heart broken. I’ve cried, I’ve hugged and mushed the faces of unwilling cats, I’ve wondered how to get out of bed, how to face this world that treated racism, sexism, sexual abuse, mocking of disability, homophobia, rape culture, attacks on voting rights and freedoms for press and religion, demanded the largest mass relocation since Nazi Germany, was endorsed by both the KKK and the American Nazi Party with indifference.

Sad though, isn’t my MO. Angry is. For me feeling “bad” = “mad”. And now that it’s over? I’m furious. And I realize I have done myself an injustice by staying silent. I went to bed hopeless and I wake up today recklessly committed to battling the evil that is winning in the US.

I will not be asked to be “respectful” of these positions. I will not move away. (I can’t afford to, for one) But I’m also needed here. My family’s marriages are at risk. My friends may be deported and forced to register, identify themselves by religion. They may be the victims of violence and their voting rights are at risk. Bodily autonomy for women is at risk, even while anti-life policies like the death penalty, restricted access to health care, and unrestricted access to military weaponry are on the rise. Finding a good job in America as I’m being laid off (oh yeah, I’m being laid off in March. But they still need me for work on Christmas) will be very hard. We apparently can’t spare anyone who would defend anyone who is about to become defenseless.

I will not be silent in the face of “whitelash”. I will not dignify this by being “cooperative” with the abuser. I will not ignore the potential for evil with optimism – this is not normal and it’s not okay and I’m not going to allow myself acceptance. We should be terrified. We should be angry. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote that “Remember, everything that Hitler did was legal.” The normal system of checks and balances is moot because the same congress that tried to repeal the Voting Rights Act is still in power without a President to veto it, and without Supreme Court Justices to challenge. I’ve begged everyone not to get complacent and I beg you again – don’t under estimate evil’s ability to triumph if good men and women don’t stand against it. The extreme is not only possible, but likely. Have you ever wondered how Prohibition was possible? Conservative Congress, Court, and President. Then Herbert Hoover was elected and conservative politics started the Depression and a global nationalist movement raised fascists in Germany, Italy, and around the world. There is real risk to the foundation of our democracy.

I will stay. I will stand. I will speak.  I will fight and be more active than ever in our political system. I will try to make you laugh even if it’s hard. I will be here tomorrow. I will make tomorrow better. Then the tomorrow after that. One tomorrow at a time until my faith in us is restored.

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One thought on “What Now.

  1. Let’s do it! You’re there, I’m here. We have half a country between us but we can be involved and powerful in our respective communities, cities, states… Using the anger and grief we are feeling at this moment. Lauren, I hope you know what kind of can you opened here. You may not love keeping in touch but I assure you, I can’t keep quiet and I’ll be looking to you when I have questions that the internet can’t answer.
    Questions like: When a manic person of color is screaming at the top of his lungs for a full 20 minute bus ride amongst mourning Seattleites about the wrath of God and how he “was glad it is finally happening”, what do I do?Should I send my favorite feminist literature to my mother, grandmother, cousins and aunts? What if I actually still feel safe even though I’m a gay woman? And if I feel safe only because I’m a WHITE gay woman, what do I do with this security?
    These are just a few. I bet you probably still find it annoying that I stole your taste in music, borrowed your shoes, clothes & jewelry and begged to sleep in your room when I was scared until well into my high school years. I can’t apologize for all those things because I just wanted to be like you, spend time with you and learn from you. Now is my chance! You opened up and I’m going to continue to follow in your tastefully adorned footsteps as respectfully as I can. I’ve grown up a lot in the past year and I think we are more alike than we’ve ever thought before. I love you sister and I am super duper uber amazed by you. And I don’t care that I’m a bit more vocal/emotional and that this could potentially push you away. Gotta do me 🙂

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