TheExHusband is not one for being active in politics. Sure he votes but he votes for his conscious and his reasoning as such is pretty sound (to him) but we tend not to get into political fights even if we disagree. He did the much the same this time around, however, he aligned much of his vote with mine (#ImWithHer) as he believed she to be a better candidate than Tr*mp and he was supportive (mostly) with her ideologies.
After we voted at 6:15AM, we arrogantly believed Hillz would take the presidency because every major news outlet told us so. They was predicting the margin would be wide, 538’s gap was 80/20. Hillz triumph seemed like a sure thing. I started watching CNN after we came home and lasted about four hours as the predictions started to waver as exit polls and interviews of voters started to occur.
(When the returns started rolling in, we watched MSNBC while I kept tabs with BBC, New York Times, and CNN on my laptop.)
When the ballot counting began, and Tr*mp started pulling ahead, pundits tried soothing the nation with, “Losers always pull ahead with the smaller electoral votes and peter out around the 200 mark,” and, “Urban counting takes longer than rural counting due to population density, so calm the fuck down.” But the train wreck and horror as time wore on of our election slowly proved otherwise.
TEH was knocking back vodka/fruit punch (I believe he had four) while I was fetal position on the couch, one glass of wine barely finished in front of me. I have never seen him like this — this agitation and worry. It was clear he was worried, very worried, and if his own person was shaken by the obvious outcome, what did it mean for me? Him? Our future separately and together? And most of all, our country?
When time started ticking after the midnight hour, my breathing became short, I was panting, and a physical anxiety attack started to happen. TEH got me a Klonopin which blissfully hazed me for a few hours until around the 3AM hour when I heard the announcement the remaining states had fallen to Tr*mp and he was now our next president of the United States.
Then I started to cry.
TEH, slightly sloshed on vodka, and myself, hazed up on Klonopin, our mouths became agape, and the it was the end of the world but we were not feeling fine.
As I watched my timelines across the internet, many felt the same as we did: anger. Disbelief. Shock.
But there was also hope.
This just happened to me (cross-posting from Twitter)
Going back& forth w/ the organizers who escort people at abortion clinics (to volunteer) & they said, “you have to be prepared for filming.”
(It’s legal for the protestors to take pictures and film you.)
I told them I was fine w/ that & gave them the details on #teamharpy, b/c honestly, once you’ve been smeared on internet, anything is gravy. They said they knew from googling me when I emailed them to volunteer but ALSO because they were following the case while it was happening.
It’s weird, for me, people were watching outside of library world and I’ve also come across them irl who’ve offered up sympathy. And in some way the case is even more valid nearly two years on from the dismissal. Tr*mp and the allegations about him and how the media just swept that shit under the rug is PERFECT why women won’t come forward.
(I am so desperate to not name names and let loose a string of obscenities about them, but last time I did this, I named names and I got sued. So.)
The morning after, admittedly, I was a bit manic, I started taking on a zillion things: donating / volunteering / spreading support to overcome my anxiety. (I had another panic attack later yesterday afternoon so my actions from that morning were not completely bright.) But as the anxiety marched on, my mania started getting worse, and I felt pulled too thin.
I wanted to do all the things but my self-care started to show cracks and I knew I had to pull back.
First, I needed to grieve, which I didn’t do. Next, I need to assess my life and I was not realistic about how much involvement I could do. Third, I needed to figure out how to best spend my time rather than going crazy on all the things. (TEH is worried my overextension may be problematic to my mental health.)
After I stepped back from my crazy morning, I became more frightened of what this potential presidency will mean on a personal level. First, my mental illness and gender are going to be heavily questioned and possibly terrorized. First and a half, if ObamaCare is rolled back and Medicaid cut, I am seriously fucked. Second, my pathway into spirituality will have to be locked down to the closest of friends (and on my anonymous blog) since it doesn’t fall into the Judeo-Christian tradition.
It is also knowing once this post goes public, I’m opening myself up for attacks, criticism, and threats.
After calming down a bit, I decided to take action as much as I mentally could:
- I signed petitions and passed on those websites on my timelines for others to sign and they to pass on
- I donated small amounts of money when I could to the places really close to my heart
- I contacted the local abortion clinic to volunteer as an escort and I will be starting training soon
- I contacted my local suicide helpline to volunteer and that training will start soon as well
- I subscribed to Ms. magazine
- I searched Facebook for groups / organizations / events I could locally attend / join
It seems like a lot but it doesn’t feel like a lot as my natural instinct is to do all the things. But it’s what I can afford to mentally, physically, financially do and I take comfort that anything is better than nothing.
Through all of this, I’m keeping my white privilege in check. I’m acutely aware of what is made available to me mainly has to do with my skin color. I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and clothes on my back. I’m also acutely aware if Obamacare AND Medicaid get repealed, TEH and I are half-seriously considering getting married again so I can have health care (if I’m not working at a place that offers it).
It is my duty, no my responsibility, to help those that are not as fortunate as me and fight as hard and as much as I can.
Below you’ll find a list of phone numbers to call if you’re in crisis and a list of lists compiled by other outlets of how you can help. If you find this useful, feel free to share it on.
Phone list if you are in crisis
Things you can do
- If you’re a white person go read this list of things you can and should do for marginalized people when you see hate in public
- If you live in Kentucky, the ACLU has provided a list of your rights for public demonstrations
- Here is the ACLU’s national general list of rights for public demonstration (but be sure to CHECK your local state as some of these may not apply / there may be more)
- A bystander’s guide to Islamophobic harassment (also works for other types of harassment)
- Huffington Post’s guide to what you can do now to volunteer / support / donate
- National Popular Vote will generate a letter for you AND send it to your legislators
- Jezebel’s list of pro-women, pro-Immigrant, pro-earth, anti-bigotry orgs you can donate / volunteer / support
- Your rights if Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents approach you
- An open letter to Our Nation from 100 women of color leaders (has an incredible list of various groups you can donate / volunteer / support at the bottom of the page)