Holding My Breath

Like many Americans, I’m having some feelings this week. Lots of flashbacks to the last election.

Four years ago, I was pregnant with my daughter and I was excited. I was so sure my daughter would be born into a world where she’d be able to take a female American president for granted. To me, it seemed like a no-brainer: our country’s most qualified candidate in history was running against our country’s most unqualified, outwardly racist and misogynistic candidate. It should have been a slam dunk.

I believed the polls. I had faith that an overwhelming majority of Americans would not choose fear and ignorance and hate. Needless to say, the outcome was shocking and traumatic. The experience was definitely a loss of innocence.

That election day I attended a goodbye party for another mom-friend of mine. This was a sad occasion for my whole family since her husband was friends with my husband and they were basically the first friends we made after moving to Oregon. This party was also the last time I planned to leave the house for a while, as my goal was to potty train my 2 year old son as best I could before the new baby came.

We had election coverage on in the background while we ate dinner. We had to turn it off while my husband put my son to bed, and I remember sitting in my room on my phone, scrolling. My first indication that something was wrong was when Florida went to He Who Must Not Be Named. After that, we watched with growing fear and went to bed in shock and disbelief.

I woke up the next day in a daze and proceeded with the potty training plan. It was horrible, stressful. I spent a good portion of the day in tears, not knowing what exactly I was crying about. All of the day was spent elbow deep in piss and shit, one way or another.

I remember thinking that my daughter would be ALMOST FOUR before we’d have the chance to vote him out. Four years is a hell of a long time to do a lot of damage. And so much damage has indeed been done.

As I write this, it feels akin to how one might tell a story of where they were and what they were doing when the twin towers fell or when Kennedy was shot. It was a dark day; one I’ll never forget. Looking back, it spun me (us) into a crazy-ass couple of years. My daughter was born. My post-partum anxiety took off like a brush fire. I went back to therapy. I spent a good few years just trying to get ahold of myself and figure out who I was and how to leave the house with pants on. All this with a background of news reports on hate, ignorance, fear, anger, violence. Rolling back progress and denying human rights.

Fall of 2019, I finally started feeling better, consistently better. I, like many others, declared that 2020 was going to be my year. And it was…until the pandemic. And now the election.

So you can see (I hope) how I am holding my breath. I’m white knuckling this. I’m so angry and scared. I want to believe the polls. I want to have faith in people to do the right thing. But frankly, this country is not what I thought it was, and we’ve all been here before, on this abusive rollercoaster from which we can’t seem to get off. I’m honestly not sure how I’ll get through the next few days…or weeks…or longer, depending.

To those in power who are using that power for personal gain and to manipulate and spread fear: we see right through you. You might be fooling some, but you sure as hell aren’t fooling me.

Abusive people use anything at their disposal to have power and control over others. If they can’t control others, their power is gone. Abusive people try to stop others from voting. Abusive people try to sue for votes to not be counted. Abusive people lie and manipulate the system. Abusive people threaten violence. Abusive people intimidate (in this case, by bringing guns to the polls, or by blocking traffic, etc.). Abusive people gaslight others and deny any wrongdoing. All of these behaviors are coming from a place of insecurity, NOT love, NOT protection, because if these people knew they could be fairly reelected in a just, democratic system, then there would be no need for such devious theatrics.

Abuse is not strength. Make no mistake, we are in an abusive relationship and that is an incredibly powerless feeling.

I voted as soon as I possibly could. I even made sure my ballot was received. And now, I wait. Full of dread, fear…and some cautious hope.


Day 2

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum

You guys, I am so fucking pissed I don’t even know where to start.

As a courtesy, I’m going to say now that this post is about politics and I’m extremely liberal and I also am not looking to debate right here, right now. If bearing witness to my rage is not your cup of tea, then by all means, please stop reading.

While I am not surprised by today’s news, I am beyond angry. Throughout this process (and that’s using an extremely polite word for the fucking power grab of a shit show the past few weeks have been), I’ve been angry with Republicans. They’ve lied about their intentions and they’ve cheated and they have undermined the democratic process. They do not represent the majority of Americans because they have engineered election outcomes. The people (read: not all Republicans are liars and cheaters) who have done those things don’t deserve to have power and don’t deserve my respect, at the very least. At the most, they deserve to be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

But. Today, I found myself en fuego with rage at another group. Senate Democrats, but also Democrats in power. Why and how didn’t they fucking stop Barrett’s confirmation?! Why is it that Republicans continue to steal cookies from the cookie jar and never get the fucking time out from Mom? What. in. the. actual. fuck.

You know what this reminds me of? When I worked as a counselor to children who had just recently escaped domestic violence in the home, most often perpetrated by their fathers and endured by their mothers, do you know who the kids were most often angry with? Their mothers. They were angry because their moms couldn’t prevent the violence, couldn’t stop the violence, and often, in their minds, allowed the violence to continue. Other factors played into this: Their moms were a safe place on which to place their anger, and rape culture/violence-against-women-and-children-culture is SO embedded in the fabric of our society that these kids grew up taking it as a matter of fact that dads hurt moms and kids, so why get angry at something that can’t change?

Before I digress too much: if you haven’t figured it out yet, for me, today, the Republicans are the abusive dads and the Democrats are the victims/bystanding moms. And I feel like the powerless kid, watching everything unfold and having to endure the lifelong consequences and trauma. Fucking fuck, Mom. After so many hits to the head, I just want you to metaphorically kick Dad in the balls and TAKE THE POWER BACK.

I’m sick and tired of Dems posting shit to social media about how we need to dig deeper and don’t stop fighting and, of course, vote them out. These words have become profoundly empty in the cycle of violence we have been forced to endure.

You know what?! I do vote. And I march. I’ve done what I can in a rigged, fucked up system to get progressive people in office. I’ve done my part. And now, IT’S YOUR TURN. You know who is supposed to fight for me and my views? YOU. You know who is supposed to represent me in government? YOU! And yet, I don’t feel my values represented. Since this is coming from me, a privileged white woman, I can only imagine how women of color and other minority groups feel.

Don’t you dare tell me to keep fighting, when you’re the ones we collectively elected to do the fucking fighting. I realize that Dad is ultimately the one to blame here, but for fuck’s sake, he has proven time and time again that he can’t be trusted to govern the household with love, dignity, and respect. Kick him out of the goddamn house and start protecting your kids.

It’s for this reason that shows like The Handmaid’s Tale are so popular. The adaptation of June, the handmaid who gives zero fucks, is the personification of our collective rage. What we wouldn’t give to be able to shove the fucking Commander down the stairs, or run over a shithead with a car, because that’s exactly what he deserves and no one else is going to do it.

I don’t condone violence. My point is that my rage, and the collective rage I feel with other likeminded individuals, is so powerful and so intense that it hurts. There is this primal yearning to see those abusing power to feel just as powerless as the progressive masses feel right now.

It’s getting harder to bear all this injustice, especially when I know that the repercussions of today’s events will stretch out far into the future. It’s far from over and I’m so exhausted. I’m angry and scared beyond words can say.

And I’m especially sick and tired of waiting for people in power to do the right things.

Frozen Terror

Aaaand now I have two sick kids in the house. Ugh.

To put a funky spin on things, because normal illness isn’t fun enough, my oldest woke up last night in a sweaty, fever-induced screaming night terror. Well, technically he didn’t wake up, but my husband and I did. Thank goodness my other sick kid slept through it all. Oh, and it made the cat nervous in the service as well. Don’t get me started on how weird our cat is.

Most things about parenthood make you feel powerless, but this one pretty much takes the cake. And dear baby jesus, they are aptly named.

Took me a long time to calm down and get back to sleep after that.

The funniest part? My son was screaming lines from Frozen, which would have sounded way creepier had I not immediately known the reference.

Creepy because the line was, “HE HAS NO BONES!!”

I guess Frozen-inspired nightmares run in the family?

Maybe we need to lay off the Disney raves for a while.


nanopoblano2019