Many people watched in delight as He Who Shan’t Be Named was caught on video trying to get his wife to hold his hand at a state dinner. Initially, I too found delight in the rejection and embarrassment.
Then someone on the twitter mentioned to rewatch the clip, but only watch her expression. I wish I didn’t. It was no longer entertaining to me. It became heart-breaking and to sound like a Millennial, I found myself a little triggered. I now view her a survivor of domestic violence who is still unsafe.
Now, this is where I say that yes, she has made choices that has put her into the situation she is now. But there is no way that she could have guessed how she would end up in the global spotlight. We also don’t know what prompted her to make those choices. And really, none of us are faultless in making choices that have landed us in unhappy situations.
The desperation and insistence that she hold his hand for appearances and not affection is something I’ve experienced. It creates an emotion unto itself: frustration, humiliation, dread, and sadness all intermix. It’s not about affection, it’s about ownership, control, and appearances.
But what sent me over the edge was his nod when she finally acquiesced. That nod gave me chills. I’ve seen that nod. That nod meant “Good girl for obeying.” It meant “There will be consequences.” It meant “See? I still have control.” It makes me nauseous, still, thinking about it.
So I have to give grace to someone whom I’d really rather not. Sadly, I found that we are part of a kinship of being in an unbearable situation with little control or even hope of a different outcome.
To make it so much more worse, he is the face of America right now. That makes it difficult to get up in the morning, for sure. Here's what I suggest:
Hold the hands of those you love. Make a donation to a shelter. Volunteer. Smile at strangers. We're all in this together. Find some grace. That's how I get up in the morning.
Oh, and eff.that.guy. I almost forgot that part.