Trump must have the best ones — held hostage under Trump Tower — because I sure don’t got ‘ em. Not lately, anyway. I’ve had angry words. Frustrated words. Major depressive words. Anxious and frightened words. But where are my clear-sighted words? My poetic words? My witty words? The words that come from whatever that place is that I call “me”?
Since the election, words have baffled me. My words are my Voice. They are my way of communicating my experience to the outside world. I feel my anxiety rising and my heart beating faster simply thinking of using my words and my voice. This is who I am, dammit! I’m a writer. I process my experience through writing. So where is my voice? Where are my words?
And it is Him. The Deplorable One. Trump. This Election has been and still is the reliving of a trauma. It really began with the “grab them by the pussy” comment. How could any woman accept this sort of speech, when not a day passes that we can truly feel “secure in our own bodies,” as Michelle Obama described it? For every woman who has ever been ogled, groped, silenced or passed over, victims of unwanted advances, abuse and trauma, that comment shredded old wounds open. Of course, the true horror is that some women argued vehemently in defence of the remark, and even embraced it!
Are they suffering some form of Stockholm Syndrome? A legion of Patty Hearsts?
And now that IT happened, it’s worse. Women scold me daily for my assertiveness, for my apparently blasphemous notion that “women’s rights are human rights” as Hillary Clinton said, or because she said it. But there is another side as well. And that is I’ve rediscovered the value and comfort of speaking and sharing with other women. It’s a sisterhood that I once had, but lost. I lost it to an abusive husband. To someone who reminded me with every action and word that I had no value, and my words and wants were less than worthless: they were laughable. Someone who cut me off from any companionship that might comfort or lift me up. A relationship in which I had no control, no voice.
Staring down a Trump Presidency seems to me like my abuser, my torturer, has become President of everything. I’m right back in those worst moments. And it has shut me down. But realizing that other women felt the same has been a revelation! I am not alone! And these women are struggling right along with me. We can listen to each other. Support each other. Help each other find our hard won voices again. To find our words.
This is why I feel that men, with certain exceptions, cannot possibly understand how I feel this moment. How I have been feeling. If you’re a white, straight, gentile male it will never be the gut punch it is to me. You may hate Trump, disagree with him on everything, and even think he will bring on WW III, Fallout and The Walking Dead all at once, but you must have lived through some sort of abuse to get it as a straight white guy. And even there you have me beat. You are still a man and benefit from status and privilege that brings. One day you may have come home and socked your abusive father. But I don’t know if women are even supposed to do that. It makes us damaged, crazy chicks. And gloating over our shitty ex’s failures just doesn’t feel like something women can do freely or with as much glee as men speak of their “psycho bitch” ex.
That’s how it seems to me. These are my words. I don’t want or need male input on this. My experiences, my feelings, my words do not require your permission, endorsement, approval or comment. These are my words. This is my voice. I’m taking my words back. Writing this piece was scary and hard. This isn’t the sort of thing I eagerly share. Some will say I’m playing the “victim card” or the “woman card.” And honestly, if you feel that way, you really do have the Trump card now. At least I have my voice. I have my words. These are my experiences. They don’t need your understanding. They just want the right to exist.
I have my words again.
Post script: To my sisters, let’s help each other and find solidarity in each other. Please feel free to contact me through this site (see below), or Facebook Messenger if you are interested in brainstorming and creating with me a group of like-minded women, a sisterhood of support, sharing, of laughter, joy and awesome.
Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of things I like and hate! 😊
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January 4th, 2017 at 2:47 pm
[…] any women are interested in this post or my previous, please consider joining a new Facebook Group: Women’s Community for Psychological Strength […]
December 15th, 2016 at 3:33 pm
this is good jess, really good. and on so many levels, proud of you for being so bold and vulnerable.
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December 15th, 2016 at 4:01 pm
I love you Jenn. I don’t just do this for me. I do it and say it for us. We’re not just cousins, we belong to a club, and we got take care of each other. Especially the little cousins. We gotta make it better for them. We come from strong women. Great grandma leads us.
December 15th, 2016 at 4:37 am
Oh Jess, you have managed to give voice to much of what I myself could not express. I will tell you honestly that I am a terrible person to be friends with. Despite my best efforts, the life I was forced to have in my formative years prevents me from getting close to people. I will also say that you are the first person in decades that makes me want to try harder. I admire so many qualities in you. Your depth, your passion, keen intelligence, open mind, curiosity, uniqueness and certainly your humor. I do so hope that once your voice is back as a clarion call proudly proclaiming your truth, that your magnificent sense of humor soon follows.
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December 15th, 2016 at 5:23 am
Thanks Erin! And you’re not a terrible friend or person to be friends with! You’re you. And I love you. I’m fairly shy and awkward and like to be alone with my thoughts. So maybe that makes us perfect friends. I don’t know, but I’m really glad to have gotten to know you. And I can thank one of my favorite things. Star Trek! A Fistful of Datas and your excellent taste in profile pics! But hey, your satire is pretty sharp! That one post on Trump was eerily prescient. Thanks for everything, and no pressure. Be you. I am thankful to know you.