Yesterday afternoon, I turned away from all interactive media – social or otherwise – and watched Christmas movies on Hallmark. Then I took myself to a local theatre, turned off my phone, and watched The Girl on the Train. (Another post for another day.) My blood pressure had already been going up pretty steadily over the last week or so, I didn’t want it to go high enough to land me in the hospital again. So I just turned everything off for a few hours.
When I got out of the movie last night, I turned on my phone. I started seeing my friends’ status updates and nearly had to get out of the car to throw up. During the drive home, the sickness turned to rage.
I’ve had an elliptical machine (weighing about 250 lbs) in my car for the past month – waiting for me to get some help to get it out of the car and into the house. (It took three of us to get it into my car.) Last night, I was so filled with that rage, I hoisted the elliptical out of my car and hauled it into my house. By myself.
I ended up paying for that a bit today, but last night, I needed something to make a start toward burning off those emotions.
Once again I shut everything down and focused on cheesy Christmas movies. It was hard to concentrate on them, but I held fast. I stayed away from my computer. I shut down my phone. Eventually, I fell into a fitful sleep. I woke up periodically, but just focused in on the cheesiness on my TV and let myself fall back to sleep. Eventually, though, I had to wake up fully and face the day.
My aunt and I had plans to go shopping for a new refrigerator. Mine went out last week and I needed to find a replacement. My aunt agreed to go with me and serve as a “major appliance adult” for me. Technically, I could have done this on my own. But I thought it would be nice to have her there to listen to me list the pros and cons of the various available models. While I was tempted to postpone our trip, I girded my loins, picked her up, and went shopping. Poor thing had to listen to me rant for a bit. But she understood and I knew I could rant because the first thing she said to me was, “How are you doing?” I could hear it in her voice – she truly cared.
So the positive things that came out of today were that I got to spend one-on-one time with my aunt and I scheduled delivery for a new refrigerator. (And it’s 40% off and interest free for 18 months.)
Thus ends the positive for the day.
I’m still reeling, as most of us are. And I’m sure this will continue for some time.
Look, I’m sure that the mundane, day-to-day things in my life will not change significantly. Just the nature of how I live my life will likely see to that. But that does not mean – in any way, shape, or form – that the next four years won’t have repercussions. I am afraid for my friends of color. I am afraid for my friends who are not “feminine-presenting” women. I am afraid for my friends who are not Christian. I am afraid for my friends who are already living paycheck to paycheck. I am afraid for what will happen to our relationships with other countries. I am afraid for the brave women and men in the military.
I am afraid.
So many of us are afraid.
But, unlike those who voted to legitimize hate, I will not give into this fear. I will stand up for my friends. I will stand up for my neighbors. I will continue to treat those around me with love and kindness and respect.
I will hope that the daughters of my family members who voted to legitimize hate do not become victims of sexual assault or domestic violence. But if they do, I will lend my support rather than say, “you brought this on yourself.”
I will hope that my family members in law enforcement who voted to legitimize hate do not end up injured or incarcerated because of their actions in the line of duty. But if they do, I will lend my support rather than say, “that’s what you get.”
I will hope that my family members who voted to legitimize hate do not end up realizing that they’ve declared an open season on a son or daughter who has been closeted. But if they do, I will lend my support, give that son or daughter a “safe space,” and help guide that family member toward full acceptance and love, rather than say, “you may have well just pulled the trigger yourself.”
I will not give into the hate. I will not give into the fear.
Congratulations, Conservatives. You’ve turned this political Moderate into a raging Liberal! You brought this on yourselves!