I’m never getting over it. I’m never going to heal. The number of family members who supported the evil president and the way we shied away from talking about it. For me, it was like endless, internal bleeding. I kept loving them and I hated them for it. I have so much fucking white privilege and my life is excellent and I’m grateful. I will never know the pain of the people directly affected by Trump’s policies or the violent, racist acts of some of his followers. But I, like many people, have been traumatized and hurt, not to the extent of vulnerable populations, of course. Yet hurt just the same.
I describe it to people like walking with secret zombies, my American neighbors and sisters and friends who vociferously approved of his horror show–the narcissistic blather on Twitter. The open xenophobia –the cruel jokes at the expense of BIPOC (shithole countries and Democratic cities were dog whistles for racists and white supremists) and women; disabled people and war heroes. How could this be borne? By people who shared my blood?
So I work through it being creative. Hiding from the truth. Not talking about it. Gaslighting myself.
I love my family and I hate what they represent. If I try to discuss Trump and his sins against the nature of our democracy–his transgressions and the damage he gleefully causes to our national psyche, some of my loved ones spew NewsMax conspiracies and their words drip hatred. Socialist. Antifa. Libtard. I try to argue but my tongue grows heavy with sorrow and my throat closes with tears. You can’t use truth to fight prejudice. Prejudice is predicated on lies and generalizations. I can’t send links over Facebook. They’re dismissed as fake news. I can’t pray to a God that Mike Pence uses to tell women what to do wit their bodies but also wants to use to put forth the false, bootstrap narrative of America. Work hard and climb the ladder of success. Never mind that foot on your throat.
So I don’t discuss it and I talk to my friends and neighbors and I cry on Jef’s shoulder about how sad I am that almost 8 million Americans found a way to vote for that monster. I hope I work up the energy to fight for the next wave of the change we need to heal this country. I hope I can keep love in my heart and my mind open. But as for now I’m going underground.
Incognito is from the Italian and from the Latin in (not) cognitus (past participle of cognoscere- know) I’m going incognito and pretending not to know. My family voted Trump and I find a way to love them anyway. Even when there’s no excuse. Soon, I will find a way to get active in the causes I care about, the ones that can undo what Trump and his minions tried to do to us. But for now, all I want to do is cry.