So, like everyone who supported Hillary, I realize that I’ve been going through the classic 5 stages of grief. Well, possibly 4 – I may have skipped one… I’ll explain.
Stage 1 – Denial
I don’t really think I have to say much to explain this. Sitting there, looking at the screens watching the results come in and just going “No! No! This is NOT happening! This is NOT my country!” Other things that happen in Denial? You go numb, you’re in shock. Remember how I wrote about how silent everything was even when I knew there should be sound? Numb. Denial.
Stage 2 – Anger
Again, I don’t think I need to say much here. I was pissed as hell. Pissed that so many of the people in this country seem to think that I shouldn’t exist. That friends and family shouldn’t exist. That friends who are immigrants or 1st or even 2nd generation should leave. That friends of other faiths should be kicked out. That men have the right to grab me or otherwise invade my body. And so on.
Stage 3 – Bargaining
This is the one I’m not sure I really hit. Looking at the classic definition for it, I don’t recall consciously saying anything like “I will do X if I can just wake up and find out this was all a nightmare.” I suppose the questioning of if there was anything else I could have done – like, “What if I had sucked up my fear of calling someone to have the spouse burst into tears because the person I was calling for had died (that actually happened to me when I was volunteering on a gubernatorial campaign before – I’ve avoided phone banks ever since) and done phone banking?”. Looking at the explanations on grief.com I guess things like that would fall in the bargaining stage.
Stage 4 – Depression
All my tears on Wednesday are all the explanation that is needed for this one.
Stage 5 – Acceptance
This is where I am now. To be clear, that does not mean I think it’s ok. Here is what grief.com says in its explanation…
“Acceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with what has happened. This is not the case. … We will never like this reality or make it OK, but eventually we accept it. We learn to live with it. It is the new norm with which we must learn to live.”
So yeah. I’ll never be ok with what has happened – and what likely will happen. But I am beginning to accept that this IS the reality in which we are living, and I’m looking at what I can do for myself and others to help where I can.
Thursday morning, the sun began to rise. The rain and crappy weather of Wednesday was over. And again, music hit where I needed it to. First song that popped up when I hit shuffle on my iPod? Gloria Estefan’s “Coming Out of the Dark”. And it just felt right.
When I got to school, I looked at youtube on my phone for a video. One of the first that I found scrolling down the list was one of Ana Villafañe, who plays Gloria in On Your Feet! performing the song at the White House! Perfection.
I’ve also gotten myself back to the dojang, and that has helped a lot. Master Lim and I had a good talk last night, so that was awesome. And kicking and punching things that I’m ALLOWED to kick and punch has helped a lot. (Ok, so I may be picturing someone’s face…or certain parts of his anatomy…on the pads. But it’s LEGAL!)
And I have started re-reading the Harry Potter series. Because it’s comfort readings – and ultimately good does triumph. As of now I’m just into the second book, but in the first book, there were two quotes that hit me as so relevant. Both by Dumbledore.
1 ~ “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” – Albus Dumbledore
Excellent advice. And so I’m looking at how I do that.
One way is participating in the Safety Pin movement. Safety Pin movement
Another way is taking care of myself. Getting my butt back on the mats – mainly dojang but also yoga hopefully.
And another is looking for ways to help. Help those agencies who will be affected and/or will be potentially at risk under the new administration. I already have monthly recurring donations that go to Human Rights Campaign and Emily’s List. I am planning to add Lambda Legal, Planned Parenthood, and at least one other organization that works with environmental causes or immigrant causes. Possibly both…I just need to check the budget. (I also have plans to make donations to PP, Lambda, Emily’s List, and at least one other organization ON January 20 in Trump and Pence’s names – and putting their mailing address in for the acknowledgement letter.)
My friend Cristen and I are working on our own list for the First 100 Days. It’s in its infancy stages right now, but once it’s a little more firmed up I’ll share it.
The second is about using the name of that which terrifies us.
2 ~ “Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” ~ Albus Dumbledore
I freely admit I had taken to saying “The Orange Chupacabra” (cribbed from the El Bloombito twitter during one of the debates. But… I need to stop. I need to say “Trump” – and I suppose “Pence”. I don’t have to say “president” or “vice president” along with the names though.
And so slowly I do feel like I’m coming out of the dark. I’m not stupid – I know the stages are a cycle. And I suspect I’ve still got some cycling left to do – I expect that there will be another strong cycle around January 20. But with my friends and family – and my action plan – I will make it.
We all will make it.
Have faith my friends!
And… Wands up!