This past week proved challenging and there were both sweet and sour unexpectedly and simultaneously.
Valentine’s Day was low-key due to my own limitations, but in the end will be more dear to my heart than most any other before. I feared for my life and wanted to surrender to death at all once, due to uncontrolled pain which anguished me both physically and mentally. I hoped for my future relationships while sulking in the loss of others. There was both confusion and clarity. There were moments of bravely being vulnerable, bearing my soul and asking for help, while wanting to run away and hide from everything and everyone.
I dared greatly, but not yet all the way. Not because I can’t go there, but because there is no where to go, nor anyone to go with.
I keep getting the same message, in short: I need to use my voice and tell my story.
The question I pose isn’t why, but how? Where do you start? Who do you start with?
I’m looking for guidance, friends. Read. Think; and also PLEASE discuss this with me.
Have you had one of those conversations you never saw coming from someone you’ve known, but suddenly find out is willing to introduce themselves to you on another level? A conversation that tears down walls and opens up doors?
I had that conversation tonight.
It was if I was looking through a key hole and suddenly everything aligned, illuminated and gave me a desperately needed glimmer of hope.
Good people exist.
They’re tired and skittish, but what a brutiful sight when a spark sets off a blaze of bravery to share their souls once more.
I hate “we’re fucked.”
I mean, I don’t want to shame anyone who has said it, thought it, or posted it. I have too. But as a philosophy, as a statement of belief, I hate it. Because it means you’ve given up.
We are absolutely NOT fucked.
Things are so bad. This country has taken a turn that I could never have predicted. It is absolutely fascist, nativist, and extremist. It’s every bit as scary as it seems.
But we are not fucked.
I read a long-form article on the Russia hacks in the New Yorker not long ago. However much you think that influenced the outcome, it was an instructive piece of journalism. There is very little indication that there was a specific political agenda that was being wished for. The goal was simple: Sow chaos and undermine the faith of Westerners in their own institutions.
This is really important to think about right now.
I have a high regard for Mueller and I think his investigation will have some influence. But don’t wait on him to save us. He can’t. And don’t wait on impeachment. I would support it fervently, but it is nothing to bank on. And especially don’t assume Trump can’t win again. He absolutely can. Our best bet – better, even, than all of our protests and actions – is actually voting.
It’s so square. It’s so old-fashioned. Many of us involved with the hard-left or anarchist scene have been trained to disregard it.
Fucking don’t. NOT NOW, guys. It is the best tool at our disposal. Yeah, you can say that they will sabotage it, reject it, whatever. “Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.” In other words, don’t create troubles before they exist. Anything seems possible to me right now, but it remains the case – despite hacked voting machines and gerrymandering – that there is no known mechanism by which our government can deny massive voter turnout.
Take back the House in November. Then take back the Presidency in 2020. The worst thing we could do is pretend that these are givens. I never, ever, ever thought that this piece of shit could sit in the Oval Office. I was so humbled by my error. Therefore I assume he could take it again – I know he could – unless we accept the threat as real.
When we say, “We’re fucked,” we roll over. We defeat ourselves. We do their job for them. Don’t do that. We are NOT fucked. We are in a fight. It sucks. It’s hard. People are suffering. The earth is suffering. It will get worse.
You know, since everyone loves the Nazi comparisons, there were people during the HEYDAY of the Third Reich who NEVER said, “We’re fucked.” They said, “We’re in a fight.” And you know what’s interesting? Nazi Germany went from the worst regime in the world to a liberal democracy within a lifetime.
Look at Japan. Take the historical view. Stop pretending that the worst of what’s happening now is what is going to always happen. This is what is happening RIGHT NOW. That’s all you know. If you think it’s going to be this way forever, read a book.
Countries slide into fascism for long periods. It happens. Countries also have short-term extremist right-wing governments. Happens in Europe all the time. They get voted out. The threat remains. The threat of fascism will remain in America in a way it never has before. It’s a real movement. But we’re not fucked. Not even close. We can get off the ropes in the mid-terms and knock them out in 2020. But only if we stop saying that we’re fucked, and start seeing this as a fight.
I’m no Pollyanna. Things are so unutterably bad that I walk around in a constant state of nausea and horror. But you have to take the historical view, and you can’t lie down and say we’re doomed, or else they have beaten you.
Again, I don’t want to shame anyone who says, “We’re fucked” as an emotional reaction. I get it, I really do. But if you say that as a historical reality, then you SHOULD be ashamed. We are so far from being fucked. It’s time for that warrior spirit, from everyone.
Our best bet, actually our only realistic bet, is to mobilize the vote. There has always been a silver lining to this situation. I have always hesitated to state it, for fear of sounding like I am not taking the horror seriously. Fuck that; I do. But there has always been the possibility, there remains the possibility, that this is a time when our country faces up to its worst reflection, sees it truly, and breaks the fucking mirror. A time when the last bastion of white power and male supremacy and oligarchy attempts to enact fascism, but the antibodies of the American system and American multi-culturalism kick in to reject it.
Where do you want to stand in that equation? As someone who rolled over because we’ve have had two awful years of shit that much of the world has already experienced many, many, many times over, so you decided that we’re finished and done for? Come on. Look at Europe, look at Africa, look at Asia. Back and forth with this shit, and much worse.
I have your back. Get up. Here’s my hand. Let’s fight.
It can’t become hip to give up. It can’t become hip to say we are fucked. Look at history. People have been so much more fucked than us, and won. If you truly believe we are finished, I’m sorry, but you were the first to fall. Stick a fork in you, turn you over, you’re done. I don’t want to see you do that, if only for the selfish reason that we need you.
Do all the protests, do all the direct action, make all the phone calls, then mobilize in October and November. That’s when we can get off the ropes and start punching again. Take the long view, my sisters and brothers. Don’t let them take you out of the fight.
I’m not trying to catch feelings, I’m trying to build an empire.
That’s real talk.
I’m done with this low level, surface bullshit.
Yes, I’ve been broken, but it’s only taught me my capacity to love and I’ve grown and continue growing.
I’m learning to trust myself and others in ways that have been uncomfortable, but SO worth daring greatly.
My spinal tap showed increased cerebral spinal pressure, which we already knew from the vision loss. This accounts for the inter cranial hypertension diagnosis. The MRI was normal. My blood pressure is finally back to normal. This is attributed to a bad combination of dehydration from being sick all the time and lithium. Turns out lithium had been making me sick for quite some time. My doctor says we will need to keep monitoring symptoms and give it more time before we would move on to brain surgery and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I don’t want my brain cut open.
This means giving it more time. My patience is wearing thin, but I am encouraged by other areas of my life coming together. Finances are just about straight. I’ve had more friends stop by in the past month than all of last year. Kids are back on track. My niece and nephews brighten everyday. There’s just something about raising kids that fulfills my soul. I have also had the sweet relief of knowing my kids would be watched out for and loved, genuinely, for the rest of their lives. I cannot tell you how heavily that has weighed on my heart and the enormous weight that has lifted from my shoulders. That, in and of itself, has been a major contribution to my stress relief. I am so incredibly grateful to my best friend, Tess, for being an unbelievable source of strength and comfort to me.
THIS is where I need to keep my focus.
For awhile now, in relation to the words that have left Trump’s mouth, I sat with my mouth agape, trying to wrap my mind around the possibility that this could be a serious candidate for President of the United States of America. Trump as THE representative of our country? Surely, this is entertainment trying to intercede in politics. Some of it was funny, at first, but as Trump gained momentum it became terrifying. When a party I used to have so much faith in nominated him as their presidential candidate, I was in disbelief. It was surreal and sad. Really sad.
I falsely believed there was no way in hell evangelical Christians would fall in line. Behind this guy? No way. It not only happened, but it revealed the true identity of many who have played integral parts of my life. People I love and respect. It unraveled my faith in not only these people, but in the very existence of God. I still don’t know what to do with that.
This is about more than politics.
As a sexual assault and harassment victim, I feel like everybody is laughing at me, as though I deserved it somehow. I learned from a meme my grandmother posted to Facebook that because I’ve read 50 Shades of Grey, that I am less deserving of being appalled or maybe even empathy. As the mother of a disabled child, I feel like everybody is ok with the most vile acts of his being preyed on and bullied. When I think of his tears through the years, I don’t know how we placed a man who mocked a disabled reporter on this most public pedestal. As a mother of a a child who has planned out their career in the military in the tradition of a grandfather full of integrity, I feel like his life is now more in peril and given less value by a war-thirsty administration of a country that doesn’t deserve my child’s ultimate sacrifice. As the PROUD mother of a child who identifies as LGBT, well, I am simply heartbroken. I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy to ever have to bear the sight of their child in such confusion, pain and fear.
Still, I mustered up my best mother mask and told the kids how resilient our country is. I decided to set an example to push forward into the unknown and hope for the best.
This evening, I left the house the first time since the election results were tallied and President-Elect Trump was paraded in front of the world. I went to Walmart, against my better judgment and experienced something, I had only previously imagined, from the Civil Rights or holocaust era. Maybe, I had read it in a book or seen it in a movie before, but this, THIS was happening, right now…right in front of me. A white suburban mother and her young daughter, ridiculing a middle eastern women in a hijab. It immediately struck me across the face and shook me to my core.
I can only recall this feeling two other times in my life: 1. Seeing a KKK cross burning as a kid and; 2. hearing a gas station attendant tell my boyfriend in high school, “Boy, you’re in the wrong place.” followed by being cruelly intimidated for our interracial status.
I’ve been brought to tears remembering Obama’s inauguration as I look ahead to Trump’s. I remember how proud I was of the progress made across generations because my son didn’t understand the significance in the difference of his skin color.
Just stop and think about that for a second. 8 years ago I had hope that racism was dying off. I wept tears of joy thinking that my children would never experience those core shaking memories from my youth. Things were different. Change had come. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most beautiful dream was a budding reality.
I feel like I have been sent back in a time machine.
We haven’t learned and so history will repeat itself?
Not on my watch. Not my children. Love will trump hate.
It has to.
There’s a part of me that’s trying to hang onto the little bit of rope I have left without stringing it around my own neck, however, there’s another part of me that is already standing atop the rope and is ready to keep standing up for everything I hold dear and love about my country.