Lost (thoughts on the outcome of the election)
The most devastating thing that’s ever happened to me was when my Grandpa died.
I’m sure if you’ve lost a loved one, you will understand what I am about to describe…
The thing that struck me the hardest was the next morning, waking up, and realizing that the world was going on as if everything was normal. I walked out my front door and I had to do some things….I had to get gas in my car, I had to stop at the store on the way to my grandparents’ house. It was absolutely insane to me that no one around me realized what huge loss had just occurred.
Everyone was walking around like life was normal when it wasn’t.
I felt a little like that waking up the morning after this election.
I had a brief 10 second of just waking up, enjoying my bed…and then it hit me. That election happened and the outcome was real.
And the world was just going on like normal.
What was worse was not only were people unaware of what tragedy had just occurred, but some people were, of course, gloating over their “victory”.
I am devastated. I am gutted. I sat on the couch the night of the election, watching the returns, growing more and more anxious. I watched my teenage daughter and her friends, who were excited to witness history, getting more and more somber. I was so devastated for them…..I felt like I needed to apologize to them. I still feel like I need to apologize to young women everywhere. We let them down. We devalued them. Instead of witnessing this amazing historic event….they witnessed…….this.
Yesterday I was grief stricken. I am lucky to work for a progressive organization, so I trudged to work and wept with my colleagues. And then came home and wept with my husband. I was terrified of running into supporters of the new administration, but luckily I kept a low profile and didn’t have to deal with them.
I have friends who woke up the next morning and vowed to fight. And said some very inspiring, positive things. People all over social media were talking about how this means we need to pull up our bootstraps and fight harder.
And a tiny part of my brain knows that’s true. But my heart is too broken to do anything right now. I’m struggling to see any light at the end of this tunnel.
This wasn’t a regular election and this isn’t a regular fight. We aren’t butthurt because our candidate lost. We are terrified because hate won. Long gone are the days of good naturedly ribbing your friends who voted the other way. There’s no joking about any of this that feels appropriate. The fact that so many don’t see the terror that is right in front of them is even more depressing and scary.
It’s day two after the election. I write this and am holding back tears. I write this while commuting on the train to my company’s San Francisco office, where I know I’ll be met with many hugs and tears. There will be many more conversations about how we got this wrong and we badly we underestimated hate.
I am grateful for my positive friends today because I don’t have it in me. I am telling my self, every hour of every day, that God has this. That He can fix this. My brain keeps saying that but my heart is this crazy combination of broken and numb that makes it hard for me to see anything but the hate.
I’m scared to go to church on Sunday. I’m scared to be confronted with “Christians” who voted for that guy. How do I look them in the eye?
I’m scared to find out who in my family voted for that guy. How do I break bread with them and love them?
I feel so broken. I feel so deeply scared for our country. I’m scared of the hatred that got this guy elected. I’m scared of the ignorance of the people who elected him.
I hope that soon I’ll find my bootstraps. Right now I just feel lost.