I've been trying to write this blog post for two days. I either kept erasing what I started with, or found I couldn't begin at all. There is a whole in the world right now, and trying to speak to that seismic rupture feels a bit like shouting into a supernova.
As an author, I indulge in words. I love them. I coddle them. I stroke them gently and string them like beads, wearing them with pride the way a child wears a candy necklace. And yet, there are times where I find words are woefully inadequate to express all that I'm feeling. This is certainly one of those times.
To say I woke up on the wrong side of this election is a gross understatement. We are all on the wrong side of this. And right now the country is split not between Republicans and Democrats, nor winners and losers (for we are all losers in this election), but between those who recognize our peril and those who do not.
Of course, I'm used to seeing things others do not. I am an INFJ. An HSP. An Empath. And a Projector with a 'spleenic authority' in Human Design. My natal Neptune is conjunct my ascendant in the twelfth house (Sagittarius). I am extrasensory--clairvoyant, clairsentient, clairaudient, and claircognizant. I do, indeed, see dead people (I call them "the people who aren't there"). I am a master reader and teacher of both tarot and lithomancy.
I say none of this to impress you. These things are not glamorous. In fact, they are far from it. I am hypersensitive. A human barometer. And in practical application this mostly amounts to me being and feeling a mess a great deal the time. There are many occasions where my senses are feeding me an enormous amount of information that my mind struggles to process, my body struggles to hold, and my spirit struggles to translate. These are the occasions where words often fall short.
And I have never felt about an election the way I do this one. In the last 48 or so hours, I have slogged through a fog of cognitive dissonance and wrestled with a maelstrom of extrasensory data that is near debilitating. For all my gifts, I could do nothing to stop the calamity I saw coming much too late, prefaced by an increasing sense of urgency about the need to vote as we neared the election and an unspoken horror at having Trump as a candidate at all.
I do not write this as a Democrat. Nor as a liberal. Nor even a woman. Though I can be defined, in part, by those terms.
I write this as an American and a human being.
We owe it to ourselves, to one another, and to our children to be better than this.
I wanted to take a step forward. To celebrate the first female American president. To laud that victory not just for American women, but for women all over the world. For that's truly what it would have been.
Instead, I don't just find myself mourning what could have been, but as I said in another blog post on my other website, mourning who and what I believed we stood for, civil liberties and religious freedom for all. Because we didn't just miss a step. We have taken a humiliating slide back toward oppression, hatred, and violence.
I don't agree that Trump voters are all, or even mostly "deplorables". I know good people who voted for him.
And I have witnessed enough elections and presidencies to know that a great deal of what is promised in campaigns never comes to pass.
But we have, without a doubt, elected a textbook narcissist into the highest governing office in our country. And I don't mean he is arrogant. I am referring to Narcissistic Personality Disorder (Google it), a mental health condition that is near impossible to treat and is characterized by an inflated ego, an obsessive need for attention, a total lack of empathy, and a penchant for erupting at the slightest criticism. Dangerous qualities for anyone in a position of power.
Good leadership cannot exist without compassion. And compassion is not possible without empathy. This is very simple math, folks.
Trump has shown us who he is on the campaign trail. He will not magically evolve into the man we'd all like him to become now that he's the president-elect. A narcissist sees noone but himself. We don't exist in this man's psyche. We have erased ourselves from the conscience of the White House. Indeed, we have erased it's conscience all together. The misogyny, racism, and bigotry he used to win are not going anywhere.
I cannot, try as I might, wrap my heart around the fact that we made this choice. That despite how verbally abusive he proved himself to be, and how physically abusive he was overwhelmingly accused of being, we didn't stand together for something higher. We deserve better.
Let me say that last part again: WE DESERVE BETTER.
Is this is how much our culture and our country still fears a woman in power?
The reason I have never felt about an election the way I do this one, is that we have never had an election like this one. In the end, this did not come down to policies and platforms. It was not about trade and economics and legislation. However you chose to vote, whatever your motives and intentions, and I believe many of them were good despite the outcome, this came down to humanity. We either voted for it or against it.
I would like to express something with the power to inspire, but I'm not there yet. Mending the rent in our collective anima will take time. My healing is a broken road I am just taking into view, where the light dawning ahead has yet to reach the footfalls of these last couple of days. Hope still feels a long way off. Belief, optimism--they have become points on the journey I aspire to. But they are there, in the distance. And that, in spite of it all, is enough to carry on.