12 October 2016

Dog Whistle Trigger Warning

I don't hide the fact that I'm a bleeding heart liberal.  I also don't shove it in people's faces.  I understand that everyone thinks a little differently.  I agree with some principals from the conservative side, I'm not a party-line separatist. I diligently try to see all angles.

In this election however, it has brought out the worst in Americans.  I have to take breaks from social media and the news because it has gotten so dark.  And I don't mean because the "side" I am on is losing or winning.  It's just a vacuum of negativity right now.

I'm utterly disappointed in my friends and family who support He Who Shan't Be Named.  I just can't understand how someone who likes/loves me is totally okay with supporting a racist, sexist, zenophobic, hateful person.  Totally fine with his abhorrent behavior and attitude because he's "not a politician" or the other one is "SO much worse."  How is that even possible?

A writer I recently started following on the facebook finally was able to sum up how I was feeling the night of the debate.  I went to bed exhausted and sad.  I was morose and I couldn't pinpoint exactly why. I read this the next morning and felt like I'd just had a therapy session.

Because it bears being reposted everywhere, in my humble opinion, I am pasting it below:
"Last night, I watched the debate at an oblique angle. From the kitchen. Looking away. Sometimes with headphones playing music. I paced. I left. I sought distraction. I came back. The bile came up in my throat.

I wasn't nerve-wracked by the outcome; the statistical cake is baked. More reputation-eviscerating tapes will emerge. I'm not worried about the guy as president. But I was still a bundle of nerves. I didn't recognize why until this morning.

If you've ever lived with an abuser and made it out to tell the tale, then you remember that not every single day was a nightmare. This was part of the hold over you. Some days were average. Some were somewhat livable. Others were not. You just prayed you could get a little bit of serenity, the tiny chunks on which you learned to survive.

But then, especially if you challenged that person, there was the wind up. You thought last Tuesday was bad? Oh...really? THAT bothered you did it? Thought you'd complain, did you?

The weak signals of the wind up were part of the cat and mouse. Make ME feel bad about something, will you? Well what about...this? Or one of...these? Guess who *I* invited over? When? Oh, this evening. No problem, is there? I'll leer at you and for the millionth time force you to pretend that This Is All Normal.

It was never the electrical discharge of abhorrent behavior that was the crux of the abuse - it was that game right there.

When Trump had that press conference with those women prior to the debate, that's when my pulse shot up thirty percent. I didn't understand it until this morning, when I woke up and asked, "Is it over? Is it morning?" and remembered when else I felt that way.
That same weight, the awful obligation to make it all normal, was plastered on the faces of both the Trump and Clinton families. But you saw it make its surprise appearance on the face of America's top television journalists. Dear God, must we? Can we really make it through...how long will this be? What if he...? What is he planning here?

That series of questions and the inexorable focus onto one person's sick behavior is the essence of living with an abuser.

Luckily, like with all of our adult relationships, we get a choice to be in this one or not.
See you all November 8."


I lived with someone just like he described for two years.  I had people in my life who didn't believe that he was just like that.  I bet, if asked, some would still express doubt.  Even with a permanent restraining order in place, there's a tiny bit of "Well, who knows?"

That is how insidious this type of behavior and person is.  That is how dangerous a person like he is.  Twenty seven years later and I'm still triggered by this type of behavior.