It is 8:45 in the morning and I am just getting up. I am drinking coffee and listening to music waiting for what use to feel like blessed liquid to enliven me and wondering if it can. Getting up late is not that unusual for me. There is many a night I cannot sleep due to pain. That was not the full story last night or the night before. Yes, I was having chest pains but my head was spinning at a hundred miles an hours and I was trying every method I had at my disposal to get my thoughts to slow down, nothing was working. Deep breathing, talking, praying, meditating, alternate breathing, not even medications.
It is the night when it is dark and quiet that the pain and questions comes. When the unnamed pain enters our room and I cannot find peace. Last night, as I tried to escape into Netflix, while Eric laid next to me reading his book, it was there. Heavy and unnamed in the air. I even tried reaching out my hand to him, he took it gently. We haven’t been very gentle with each other over the last few months and so the gentleness is not lost on me nor is the fact that the strength and size of his hand feels safe. I feel safe. I realize I haven’t felt safe since I watched Hate Rising and knew without a doubt that Donald Trump would win though I prayed, meditated and hoped against hope he wouldn’t. Hate Rising had opened my eyes to what I hadn’t wanted to look at, what I had tried to ignore but couldn’t. America has a very deep love problem, and it isn’t that it loves too much it is that it only loves what is white, and fears what isn’t.
I laid there trying to find a word to describe what I was feeling. It is not like I have never lost. I have often voted for the opposing nominee and seen the other candidate win. Sure, I am bummed maybe a little angry but I get over it So I know losing, isn’t what I am feeling.
So my husband tries, he throws some more words out, none of those stick. They are close, but those are not the emotions I am feeling either. I keep grappling with words, trying to find a word to give this man who is holding my hand, who is holding me. We deserve to know what this feeling is.
I tell him I am okay in the morning. I am a WARRIOR during the day. I do the impossible, I rally. I am the change. The first day, I went to Salem and I found out how I can make a bigger difference. Yesterday, I made plans and will be making even bigger differences. So, babe I tell him, “I am fine during the day.” It is when I first get up I tell him. Like today, when I woke up I realized that the first lady will be a model who posed naked ALOT and with a lesbian leaning. Yet, the very people who put her there freaked when Michelle showed her arms. Irony, isn’t lost. Hypocrisy, maybe that is the word.
I am starting to get that tingle, in my belly, you know the kind you get when you know, what you have been searching for is right around the corner. So I keep searching holding ever still onto the only thing that feels anchored, my hand in his. And then it hits me. I am grieving.
I am grieving. I say it again and again and again just to see if that is really it. Each time I say it, it sticks. It feels acknowledged. It feels seen. Now, it can be felt, now the painful healing can begin.
I tell him, “honey I am grieving.” I have done this enough in my life to know what it feels like. So now, I know what it is, but why? Why would I grieve so deeply, as if someone died? It is in that moment I realize someone has, I did.
The part of me that knew better but wanted to believe differently, she died. She died when she looked at the exit polls. She died when she realized that the truth of who and what people were was finally unavoidable clear. She died when she realized she in her own way, in her own privilege owned everything that happened. She grieved because her 12-year-old self, came out of her safe warm place when Donald said,”Grab them by the Pussy.” She was sitting in the corner crying and she was afraid again.
Half of the county, half of my family did exactly what they did, what her church did, they looked the other way, they blamed her, they made excuses. They ran away. They were more important than the scars he had left on her body, mind and soul. They would rather look at her and find faults with her then look at the monster serving them communion. She had been sleeping for thirty years, thanks in large part to the man holding my hand but the country and some of my family that I wanted to believe in, they were J’s mother, they were J’s brothers, they were the Church of Christ. They went into that polling booth and pulled the handle for Trump, just like J’s brother’s pulled the keys out of the ignition of my dad’s car, leaving him weakened and me helpless. They stole what innocence I had left. My hand instantly looked smaller in my husband’s hand.
So, when I hear people saying get over it your candidate didn’t win. They don’t get it they never will. They aren’t grieving, something in them didn’t die. They aren’t reliving their abuse. They aren’t watching with horror as the man who looks just like their grown up abuser and the abuser of MANY, there is a sickening irony when I write many, that is Trumps favorite word after all, women arrogantly walks into their house, the White House use to belong to me. Now, it is just another church, another unsafe place. They aren’t getting the phone calls from girls, yes girls they have known for years saying this is why I never told. AMERICA YOU JUST TOLD US WE DESERVE IT!!! So on top of our grief we are trying to forgive you.
They aren’t watching their Soul Family try to figure out how to keep their family together under the new anti gay Trump/Pence dictatorship. They aren’t seeing their Soul Family wonder if their grandmother will be deported. My Soul Family, the ones who showed up when others just ran away. My Soul Family, who has called me or emailed me to see how I am feeling over the last year, when my blood family was just too “busy”. My Soul Family has been affected by this and they are afraid therefore I am afraid. So mixed in with my sadness, my grief, is a righteous anger. Some of my blood family, some of my countryman, they don’t get it and I think that maybe is that saddest thing of all, they don’t see, they are blind. The world has a way of making even the blind see. I was blind and now I see and it hurts like hell. But just like my husband did last 28 years ago and again last night, I will be there ready to hold their hand while they cry and try to figure out the word for what they feel and when they realize it is grief, my arms will hold them while they cry and until they stop shaking.
Until that day, I will be as Anna Kunnecke says a Flamethrower by day:
If you are ready to take your Flamethrowing to the next level that is her website GO THERE!!! 😉
At night, I will allow myself to cry for as long and hard as I need to. In order to be a Flamethrower during the day, to be that change you want to see, to be the activist, you have to embrace every emotion you feel. You can’t cover it up, you can’t ignore it. You have to be willing to look at it, name it, and most importantly feel it, for as long as it needs you to feel it.
If you need someone to talk to I am doing something completely unprecedented for me. I am offering a phone call completely for FREE for you to just vent, cry, scream, and heal. I am marking it off for 90 minutes. In that 90 minutes, I am not selling you ANYTHING. I am just holding the space for you to process your pain. To help you get to the place where you too, can be a Flamethrower during the day.
This is how we heal
This is how we make a change
It starts with me
It starts with you
I always have
I will always believe
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