Sunday, February 12, 2017
The Other Shoe
I’m on a plane by myself this morning. Last night I didn’t sleep. Nor did M. Thankfully, D was sawing logs. I hate the idea of not being near them. Of purposefully moving in the opposite direction of them. Even if only for a few days. I used to love solo work trips – the promise of a big bed, an unhurried morning run, a hotel breakfast, even several hours on a plane to work uninterrupted? Why wouldn’t I say yes?
But now I’m shaving flight times as close to meetings as I can get them. Meeting starts at noon? Great. My flight will come in at 11:30 am. Ends at 3? I think I can hit the 5 pm plane home. I’m texting at every transition point and location to assure M I’m fine. That I’m safe. This is crazy. I am a white woman travelling within my own country’s borders. Yet I am acutely aware that something batshit crazy can happen at any minute that might impact my ability to get back to my family.
Yet this is our new reality. One of paranoia, anxiety, and fear that our “president” will trigger some sort of horrible action/reaction while we’re apart that will somehow keep us apart. For a few moments, my anxiety gets replaced by rage. We’ve worked too hard to be a family to let this fucker fuck it up.
There I’ve said it.
You know, it’s been quite a while since I’ve felt like I could break into tears at any given point in a day. On any day. Oh about, 8 or 9 years. (nine???? I and J would be nine????)
Having this man in that seat of power is Grief all over again. I am actively Grieving. So it feels only right that I return to this space. A space that’s offered me comfort and safety as I try to find a path forward in the past.
The sight or sound, sometimes the very mention of him is a trigger, and I promise I don’t use that word lightly. Anyone who has ever been bullied, lived through a horrible and abusive relationship, had to deal with a narcissist they couldn’t escape – I know you are feeling this too. And I’m so sorry. I’m sorry. For you, and for all of us. I know many of you are grieving too.
So now what?
I keep trying to find the opportunity among the chaos. To be thankful that someone so horrifying to so many has actually been a unifying factor. That someone whose words and actions are so contrary to what I hope to believe most Americans believe is their country finally allows me to wear my politics on my sleeve in a way I have never done before. I try to find strength in the sheer number of people marching, calling, acting, rising up.
I try to appreciate that this horrible person has compelled me to write again.
But it’s hard to feel empowered when a very limited number of very corrupt men are steering your country toward ruin and have little regard (or understanding) of checks and balances. It’s hard when you have to look at your son who cries when he hears at the Women’s March that Donald Trump is waging a war against women and that we have to fight for what we believe.
“Mommy mommy, we HAVE to go home RIGHT NOW. I don’t want to see Donald Trump! I don’t want him to hurt you. Why does he want to hurt us, mommy, why???”
I don’t know, sweetheart. I really don’t. But know we will do everything in our power to keep you safe. But to also show you by our actions that we do have to stand up for what we believe is right. That kindness and compassion are the most important things we have as human beings, no matter what that man says or does. That, I promise.
God, D, I am so sorry.
If you’re familiar with this space, you know that we went through a pretty substantial life transition recently. I quit my job, got a new one. M left his job and is taking care of D full time and exploring completely new skills (landscaping and gardening? Really? Seriously, he’s pretty amazing). We left the home we assumed we would raise D in. We moved to our nation’s capital (ok, just outside of it). We bought a house. We’ve invested in a community. We’ve made wonderful new friends (hey, old friends, you are wonderful too). After a rocky and uncertain start we finally settled into a pretty wonderful existence. We kept wondering when the other shoe would drop, because that’s who we are.
We never imagined it would be the boot of an aspiring totalitarian.