Monday, November 14, 2016

Processing

Like many of you, I’m still in shock over the outcome of our recent election, and I’m trying to process my feelings.  I rarely comment on current events on my blog, or even on Facebook for that matter, mostly because I think others can say things better than my blathering.  Plus, if you’re like me, sometimes you need a break from all of that and want to come here for pictures of dogs and cinnamon twists and cute knitted items. But I’m a writer, and it usually helps when I write things out, so I’m writing this today in hopes of clearing my mind and maybe even getting rid of the headache that I’ve had for nearly a week.

I have never been so dismayed in my life about something, and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I’ve had some pretty wonky things thrown my way over the years.  But this presidential election, insane as it's been for months, took a turn that I honestly didn't see coming.  And I'm feeling very down as a result.

Let’s rewind to a few days before the election.  My former boss, who has been living out of the country for the last several years, came back to the U.S. for a visit.  First thing he and his longtime partner did?  This:
That’s right, they got married.  Legally.  In the state where they first met.  I was so happy for them!  I'm thrilled that they could finally do this, that marriage equality was truly real for this committed, loving couple.

I still get choked up, seeing this.

Then, on Election Day, I saw news pictures showing women lining up at Susan B. Anthony’s gravesite, to leave their “I Voted” stickers on her headstone.  The enormity of this day had already been on my mind, as I’d early voted, and had posted this on my Facebook timeline:
…about as political as I get on social media.

Our country, backward as it has been, was moving in the right direction, where everyone has the equal right to be married, and where it was possible to have a woman as our president.  I was so proud of our progress…finally, FINALLY, things that shouldn’t have been an issue were being laid to rest. 

On election night, I waited for the polls to close on the east coast and turned on the news, eagerly anticipating the moment when we would have our first woman president.  But within a short time, the unthinkable was happening.  I couldn’t stand it after a couple of hours and switched the channel to soothing HGTV, where I watched House Hunters and hoped for a miracle.  It got worse, and I went to bed, hoping that a recount would be necessary and that this nightmare would be just that – a nightmare.  But no. 

I’ve been unsettled ever since.  I’m worried.  During his campaign, our president-elect said a lot of horrible things and emboldened the masses to parrot him and act out toward our fellow human beings.  I'm worried that the strides we've made will be negated.  I'm worried for my transgender daughter, who just a couple of days after the election, was told by her Trump-supporting boss that she was emasculating a coworker by being better at her job than he was at his.  Now, her boss does not know that she's transgender - he just sees Allie as a woman, and obviously that's bad enough in his eyes...imagine if he knew the rest of the story.  He'd never said something quite so sexist until after the election; has he become one of the emboldened?

Despite my worry, I will say that I've been amazed by people coming together after the election.  From the Pantsuit Nation Facebook pages, I've read stories of hope.  From Ravelry, designers are offering up patterns for free, in a stress relieving act of generosity and kindness.  People are wearing safety pins to show those who feel they are in danger because of their race, religion, gender, or sexuality are safe with them.   In more ways than I can count, there IS good in our nation.  I suspect we need to be a lot stronger in showing it, now more than ever.

Thank you for reading this.  I do feel a bit better for having written out my thoughts...still have that darn headache, though.

38 comments:

  1. It does feel like we are living in a dark time in our country and our world right now. I was shocked by the result of our election.You are right that we must show our goodness now more than ever.

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  2. Ugh, Allie's boss' comment... what BS. If her male co-worker doesn't want to feel like he sucks at his job, he should try harder. That's on him, not anyone else. I really hope she reported that comment to HR. I had stuff like that happen to me (and worse, unfortunately) when I was younger and I didn't say anything because I was just starting out and was worried it would have negative ramifications on me. And those jerks just kept getting away with crap like that. Even recently, I suspect a significantly less qualified man was given a position over me, which is ridiculous.

    I was disappointed and shocked by the results of this election too, but I have seen a lot of good come from it. People are feeling more inspired to actually get involved in what's going on in their country because of this, which I hope continues.

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    1. I hope so, too...the involvement, I mean.

      It's ridiculous to STILL be dealing with sexist stuff in the workplace. It's 2016!!! Sorry you are experiencing this, too.

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    2. Yeah, I think I'm isolated from a lot of it in my department, since all but one of our managers are women (YAY!), but I've applied for jobs in a different department twice in the past year, and both times been passed over for a man. They are math/stats-heavy roles, but geez, what year is it where we just assume men are better at that stuff?? I'm really good at both of those things too (in fact, better than a lot of men)!

      Anyway, I hope Allie keeps showing up her male colleagues. :)

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  3. As I've said many times over the last days - these issues have always been present, just under the surface. With the campaign and election of that demagogue, the kraken were released. They are going to be out and open now. Perhaps those of us who do not want to live in a hate-filled world are just going to have to step up in ways that won't always be comfortable.

    I hope your headache eases and I hope Allie kicks that male ego to the curb.

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    1. Kraken, indeed. That's a nice term for them.

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  4. Well, you know how I feel about it. Time will tell. The problem is that no one remembers how to discuss things anymore. It's just who yells the loudest the longest.

    At least things can't be changed willy-nilly in government and some laws would take many years to even be brought to the Supreme Court to be overturned (thinking gay marriage and R v W) - and the court really does look at precedent and there would have to be amazingly good reasons for them to overturn a previous ruling. I hope that gives you some comfort. It doesn't stop the hate. You can't legislate that, but do note that really only a small portion of the entire US wanted whats coming. I hope smarter hearts and minds on both sides will work together (big hope, I know).

    The only things that can be rolled back immediately and likely will be are those executive orders done to help protect the environment. The one thing that truly has no business being political somehow turned that way. The environment doesn't care about popular vote/electoral college. When you have a climate change denier put as director of the Environmental Protection Agency, that's kind of scary.

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    1. And Allie's boss is a complete dick. He probably thought he was complimenting her.

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    2. No, Allie's boss definitely wasn't complimenting her - he's just that much of a jerk.

      I hope you are right about the changes not coming fast and furious. I hope he was more bluster and will back down on his campaign promises, as he already seems to be doing.

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  5. I still am so shocked by the vitriol that is being spewed by people on both sides of the aisle. I'm limiting my time on FB because it's so ugly. I can't engage. I have to be hopeful. It's all I can do. For now.

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    1. Oh I know, I have barely been able to internet since the election. I suspect a lot of people are feeling overwhelmed by the negativity online and are taking a break.

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  6. What Allie's boss said was so wrong! I am not a Hillary supporter and never will I. She is untrustworthy and never had a true platform. I am all for a woman president but she was not the one. Trump is not anything to be proud of as a Republican, but he was all we had and between the two evils I felt he was the lesser. Is he a big mouth and spews stupidity? Yes. But we have had 8 years of someone who was not prepared for office and was voted in because of his color not his platform or experience. He is a good person but you have to have leadership qualities to represent your fellow countrymen. There will always be the underbelly of society in every country. We as Americans must accept the outcome and do our part. I might be a conservative but I believe everyone should live their lives as they want. I am not placed on this planet to judge that is not my job. And believe it or not many of us conservatives believe in equality and the right to marry and be who you want but like with all things the media speaks about the few that are rotten on each side of the table just to up their ratings. That is how they make their money and will be that way until we stand up and say no more. I'm sorry you have this fear and Allie is being spoken to in such a disrespectful and horrible way. The thing is that her boss has always been this way and either way the election went his true self would have came out. We as parents teach our children our values. I know I have taught my children to be open minded and care for our fellow human beings no matter what color, religion, or sex. It begins at home and only then will things truly change throughout our planet not just here in the US.

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    1. I appreciate your comment, Wynette, even as I disagree with your regarding President Obama. But that's what makes our country good - that we CAN disagree, without fear of persecution.

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  7. I am so saddened by the results. FB is making things worse.

    It's going to be a long 4 years.

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  8. Good morning! The Pollyanna side of mYe has shown up since the shocking results of the election. I'm thinking about how frustrated many people were with the status quo, and maybe that's how he got elected, and not because they were so hate-filled. Of course, I also think they are foolish for choosing a completely unqualified, self-centered person to change things... The depth of people's frustration shows when we remember that he also beat a number of qualified politicians to get the republican nomination.

    The Pollyanna in me is choosing to believe that our complex system of government will work in the long run. And good people willing to stand up for what is right. I have been very impressed with all the kindnesses shown as "stress relievers."

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    1. I hope you're right, PollyannaDebby. I'm usually on the "always look on the bright side of life" (and now I have that tune in my head, LOL) but this election has made that attitude disappear. I hope it comes back, I miss my optimism.

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  9. The problem is that the right person to be the president of the United State will never run because of the craziness involved in getting there.

    I am just going to take a deep breath, and hope the country is better off in four years. It's out of our hands now :(

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    1. I think you are correct about the right person not wanting to run for President because of how insane our political climate is. Sad but true.

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  10. I feel much the same as you, Shelley, and just pray the kind and accepting people of the country will step up and make sure hate and violence and misogyny aren't able to gain a foothold. And Allie's boss, regardless of his politics, is a Neanderthal and should be dealt with accordingly. It just chaps my hide to read about stuff like that still going on. Grrrr...

    It will indeed be an interesting 4 years!

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    1. Here's hoping we will get some good leaders along with the president-elect.

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  11. I really appreciate your words! You've articulated the feelings of many. I cannot thank you enough for sharing your thoughts!

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  12. Wow I cannot believe what Allie has to deal with in her workplace!!?
    I'm glad that her personal life & past is just that, personal.
    Those comments make no sense. Perhaps he would like to compliment Allie on her work!!? Ug.

    I have been doubling my efforts to be kind to my fellow Americans! I liked what our President said in his speech - "We are not Democrats first. We are not Republicans first. We're Americans first. We're Patriots first."

    Chrissy

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    1. I am trying kindness (and patience) too, and it's helping me, even if it's not always being noticed.

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  13. What a jerk that boss of Allie, he's probably worries she's so good that his job is on the line one day.

    I am worried what will happen to the US and the rest of the world. It feels like the US has gone back many years in time by electing this man and embrace his plans.

    When I read in the news that already people tell coloured people or immigrants to go back to where they came from or that there's no room in the USA for them anymore, it shocks me. If you are born in the US, it's your country too, no matter your colour or your ancestors.

    I sure hope everything will turn out fine Shelley. Normally I would say that you could emigrate here if it doesn't but we have elections coming up with a similar clown. He was the first to speak out his happiness when Trump won.

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    1. The thing is, we are ALL immigrants (except for the Native Americans). It's just absurd. Sorry about your similar clown; I sure hope he doesn't win.

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  14. I really, really hate name calling, but I'm going to put that hate aside and call Allie's boss a dickhead! OMG, I'm so sad she has to work for a person like that. Hang in Allie!!!! And my heart hurts for you Shelley. You and your fellow citizens. Last week, I shed tears for the results. I have never shed tears for an election here in my own country, so the fact I was so emotional and the depth of my sadness shocked me to the core. I cried for the world, more specifically for my gay friends in the U.S., I REALLY worry for the climate, I worry for women and their rights, I was devastated that the bully won. (I too work for a bully who surrounds himself by yes men, (all men), he belittles people, he worries more about "optics" than doing what is right, he is arrogant and stubborn and if I didn't need the paycheque, I'd move on. Easier said than done here at the moment, so we endure) I am so sad to hear of the rampant anger and unrest....your country is divided, badly, and my hope is that somehow, eventually the wound will heal. In the meantime, please know that there are good people (as evidenced in comments here, on facebook and in our little "circle) who are behind you, support you and are here for you. There is absolutely boom all I can do for you politically, but emotionally, I support you! And I send a big hug!!!

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    1. Thanks, Roz. This is going to be an interesting time ahead.

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  15. I'm also quite afraid at what is ahead for our county! I hope Love wins out (and those who have been blinded awaken and see the truth and start acting in love!!)

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  16. As a fellow parent of a transgender child, I too am terrified where this is going. We will get through!

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  17. I'm so sorry about Allie's boss. I never cried about an election but I've cried for a few days. I want to vomit every time i hear "president elect". I work in social services now and the attitude at my office the day after was very somber. What's more depressing I think, is the realization of some of your friends voting for him. Then thats when you figure out you really didn't know someone. :(

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    1. I know - it's really staggering to see his supporters in person; I want to say "you KNOW he's this and that and this" but of course I don't because I suspect they do know, and they don't care.

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  18. I'm very late in my comment, but I just wanted to thank you for sharing your thoughts and sharing Allie's experience. I've felt ill since the election--just sick with worry and anxious and just flabbergasted. It just seems like the news get worse. I'm sorry Allie has to deal with this horrible boss, and I hope she knows that a bunch of strangers on the internet are pulling for her and supporting her. (Weird but true.)

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    1. Thank you for this - I'll make sure Allie reads your kind comment. :)

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