democratic hang over


In the days and weeks that followed the election, my family went through a grieving process. It took about 3 days just to break through the numbness and shock to accept that this was the leader that our country selected. Well, half of the country anyway. Holly worked on election night but Judah and I walked downtown to meet up with some friends for a watching party. The place was crowded but we had seats. I ordered a glass of wine hoping that it would calm the nerves but as the night went on and the counts rolled in, I could feel myself getting very warm and increasingly frenzied. I found it hard to keep up with casual conversation happening at the table and my attention was glued to the giant projector screen above our heads. I stepped out of the cafe a couple of times with Juju in my arms to take some deep breaths. Around 8p I started to get frightened about the results and had to get out of there. I apologized, blamed it on Judah’s bath time and bolted home. Walking home through downtown Oakland at night can put you on edge. It doesn’t feel 100% safe, ever, which is why I don’t do it often. Somehow though I felt like the massive, overarching issue of potentially electing a mysogynistic, narcissistic demagogue to lead the free world overshadowed my immediate fears; like I was walking in a bubble. That’s how powerful it felt to me. And I sensed that every person I passed that night had the same concerns and the same worries on a much larger scale than what was presently in front of us. For the rest of the evening at home, I tried to maintain our nighty-night routine as best I could. I had the TV tuned to CNN so that I could hear it in the background. That night, Judah didn’t fall asleep in bed like usual; he fell asleep in my arms as I paced back and forth watching the election unfold. I wish I could say that holding my child close to me and trying to soothe him had a calming effect on me that night but it didn’t. I was horrified when all was said and done. I’m still horrified. No matter how many think pieces, articles, well-intentioned and likeminded comments of support, tears, petitions, conversations with loved ones I’ve read/had/consumed there’s still a gigantic neon WHAT THE FUCK??!!!! sign flashing inside of my brain. This loss feels devastating. I won’t sugarcoat this. And I’m not just talking about Hillary, bless her. I’m talking about what it means to wake up and feel like you live in a foreign place that you don’t recognize. In a place that doesn’t seem to represent everything that you thought it did for your entire life. Sure, you may think that my analogies are extreme or overly dramatic but FUCK if I care! Predictably H and I have had the conversation about getting out of dodge but my British citizenship isn’t going to get us much different. They’re going through their own messy pile of shite. So what do we do now? Now that we’ve accepted it (Well, partially. We’ve still got teeny tiny hopes that the electoral college will save us from this disaster!)? We’ve tried to find the smallest silver linings possible. For example – our first lady is an immigrant. Awesome. Also, Trump was a democrat for a very long time…perhaps some of those notions will pop up here and there? Lastly, we live in a resilient country. It’s not unbreakable¬†despite what many people think, but we’ve weathered a lot in our 240-something years and will hopefully continue to do so. For now we try to find silver linings and we wait. We give thanks¬†for our little corner of the world where people share our sentiments and aren’t afraid to speak out. We wait some more. We try to understand the intentions of those that felt like Donald was the best choice, it helps a little. But still we wait. We wait for the worst. We hope for the best. We wait.

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