I’ve been dodging texts. I’ve been scrolling through Facebook quickly. I’ve been avoiding certain friends and even some family. Because I can’t take one more thing.
I’m struggling to explain it. It feels like a form of PTSD. And not just because I’m a whiny bleeding heart liberal. It’s because my hope is broken, and it feels like a gaping open wound.
Smug, mocking words from gloating friends who don’t understand this pain is like salt in the wound. They aren’t trying to hurt me, I understand that, but what hurts is that they don’t see it. They don’t feel it. That they aren’t empathetic to what seems so obvious a problem to me.
I’m going to try to make this connection. I don’t know how to articulate it very well though so please bear with me.
Over the last 2 years I’ve been treated pretty roughly, pretty indelicately, and disrespectfully, by men.
I’ve dated. I’ve been on dating sites. There was even a very short period where I was a little self-destructive or just less cautious, I let down my guard, and some bad things happened. I learned my lesson, but at what cost?
I have met some very lovely, friendly men – but I have also met many, many who don’t care two shits about me, my life, my sons, or my story.
“Show me your tits, babe!”
“We’ll go out sometime – why don’t I just come over tonight so we can get to know each other?”
“What’s your favorite position?”
“Wanna see my big cock? I can’t wait to see your pretty little mouth on it.”
“Don’t worry, I like big girls.”
That last one from the worst of them. A predator who doesn’t see himself that way.
I even had one guy, who provides Christian-based therapy to families by the way, yell at me, try to manipulate me by telling me I was throwing my life away, losing a fantastic opportunity, making a horrible life-altering decision (and thus I’m a stupid, terrible person) because I wouldn’t let him come to my house at 9 pm at night, with my sons at home, on a school night, during the very first conversation I had with him ever. He was personally affronted that I wouldn’t bend to his will. Men feeling like they can bully women, whether subtly or less so, is pervasive & it’s utter bullshit. I said no. I SAID NO. Why do you think that doesn’t apply to you?
I have been used & abused. I have been insulted. I have been made to feel that there are no good, loving men out there – or at least none who could possibly care for me.
There was one man early on in this second single life – I was so careful at first, but he was so loving, patient, and kind. He nursed my aching heart following my divorce with such care. When I finally allowed myself to fully trust him, to love him … well, he walked away. With no explanation. Ouch.
So here I stand at the beginning of 2017. We are inaugurating a new President in less than 2 weeks. A man who, from my point of view, hates women except for what they can do for him visually or sexually. A man who has condoned reprehensible behavior and disrespect towards women. A man who, when I see him, I see the face of every man who has ever said, “hey baby, want to come sit on this? I got something for you and it’s really good. You’ll love it. You’ll be screaming for more.”
He’s a host of other things too, of course. He’s not *just* a sexual predator.
He’s not a real conservative; I’m sorry to all you hardcore conservatives who got saddled with this guy. I wish more of you had the balls to vote differently. He’s only in it for himself. He’s not a real patriot. He condones racism, xenophobia, and, this is the kicker for all you real conservatives, he’s dismissive of cultural & ethical mores that are inherent to our American history – including our reverence for the constitution. All you 2nd amendment diehards can’t fly that flag anymore when the president you elected is planning legislation that blatantly violates other amendments.
He’s going to ban Muslims – well, I work with a bunch of Muslims and they are the kindest, most loving souls. Some were born in America. Muslim is their religion. This is their home.
Every gay friend I have feels like their lives are a little more in jeopardy.
The farmers from my hometown who voted for him so heartily because he’ll bring more water to the valley, they think – but should we calculate what the new tax burden will be for middle-class farmers? And building that Great Wall on the border to Mexico & deporting the illegals will be a double whammy to those farmers. Higher taxes to build the wall & they’ll lose a lot of their field workers. Poof! But maybe you’ll have water. I hope you have people there to harvest that crop.
It’s like a never-ending series of blows. All of these things hurt. Grab them by the pussy. The media are idiots. Sore losers, he says. It’s not just because he won, you see, it’s not losing the battle itself, but it’s the fear of what he will do! He’s a bully on a big playground with thin skin and a penchant for beautiful women, and in his life he’s publicly enjoyed nearly all of the 7 deadly sins. Literally in public. He flaunted his skeletons and you judgemental, sanctimonious sheep all blindly normalized every one! Or passively turned a blind eye.
And he hates women, and don’t we have it hard enough? Haven’t I experienced enough without all these imbeciles feeling like they are validated in their creepy, predatory behavior now?
So though I mourn for all my minority friends who feel imperiled right now, I have to say this fear everyday is for myself as much as them. Will rapes go up? Maybe but how will we know since most aren’t reported and even fewer prosecuted? Our society doesn’t trust women.
I am in fear that I will hear someone I like or love, praise him. That someone I trust will think he will do good in our world. I don’t want to lose respect for my family & friends any more than I already have. This election is tied to my heart, my physical well-being, in a way I can’t explain or even fully understand. I am scared. All the normalization of him as our next president is bothering me so much I can’t stand to think of it.
My hope is broken. So I avoid certain friends who maybe want to good-naturedly tease me, but they don’t know what they are doing. They don’t know the pain they have caused simply allowing such a man to be elected. I feel personally offended, outraged, and resentful of every single person who voted for him. I feel abused, again. I feel like every vote for him was a vote against protecting women from sexual assault, from independence, from equality.
So when I say to you, “please, not one word about the election, please!” It’s because I want to still like you. I want to still trust you. I want to still think that you have my back. There’s a reason I’m making this request. Please respect it.