In response to the staggering election results in which many members of marginalized communities experienced how disconnected they were from their fellow citizens as the country elected bigotry and hatred; Black Nerd Problems put out the call to hear how people were coping. Here is a collection of short essays on what we’re doing, just to get by.
(1) Indigenous American and (2) Indigenous Mexican, (3) non-Christian, (4) woman.
My self-care began on Tuesday before the election results came in. I went to my regular EMDR therapy session despite the historical significance of the day. I prioritized my mental health. I’ll need it, I joked to myself, if this election goes bad. Ha.
On Wednesday I grieved. If the last four years have taught me anything it is that grief takes its own time. Trying to cover it or hurry it is a waste and a lie. I was able to go home early and join DH on his day off. He had been watching Star Trek Enterprise all day and we agreed that it was a necessary thing to keep our minds off of the despair. I sat in my chair, wrapped myself around the purring knot of our cat Pete, and let my heart buzz and ache as it would. I let the tears fall and I let myself feel the dismay or fear or loss as they came.
On Thursday I began to communicate. I posted on Facebook, speaking honestly about wanting to leave the country to escape the abuser that looms large in our foreseeable future. I asked for help finding reasons to stay.
…speaking honestly about wanting to leave the country to escape the abuser that looms large in our foreseeable future.
When I got home from work, we cleaned the house. It felt good to touch and move and control our corner of the world. It felt good to prepare our house for visiting family, to anticipate laughter and community. On Friday and Saturday I spent time with my mother and step-father.
On Sunday my parents left and DH and I spent the rest of the day together. We bought comic books and small things for our apartment. We holed up with our cats and our fuzzy blankets and enjoyed each other’s company. On Sunday, I kept myself open to inspiration and let it in when I spied a picture of a friend who had recently passed. I asked myself, what would he tell me to do? I know he would have told me to stay. He would have said that if I loved him I would stay and fight for him and his rights to love and marry. He would echo what another friend had said, stay for those who cannot leave.
On Monday I yelled at my husband. We hollered back and forth on our way home from a movie with friends. Tears of anger broke my voice as I nonsensically screamed against nonsensical accusations.
On Tuesday I kissed my husband’s forehead as he slept, as I do every day before I go to work. I let myself feel the relief of tension that last night’s argument had allowed and shared it with DH. I let inspiration in further as I listened to the Savage Lovecast and Dan’s call to arms. I went to therapy and talked about all of it, maintaining connection and allowing my discomfort to exist and motivate me to find my way to becoming a productive member of the resistance.