The election is over. Donald Trump is now President-elect. I don’t understand how this is possible, how this is allowed, how someone who openly bragged about illegal activities is permitted to lead the United States of America. I am hurt, heartbroken, angry, confused, scared, and depressed. I started writing this days before the election when I thought Secretary Hillary Clinton would undoubtedly be our next President.
Trump will be able to nominate a Supreme Court Justice — a life long position. His list of possible candidates are conservative people who will carry out Mike Pence’s wish that “Roe vs. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs.” Say goodbye to Obamacare too, a huge step to a reformed healthcare system that works for the people. And quite possibly an overturn of same sex marriage, too. We’re going backwards now.
But besides all the damage a Trump presidency is inevitably going to do to this country as a whole, there is still internal damage that his rhetoric and actions during his time in the spotlight has done to me, along with other women I’ve spoken to and read pieces from.
When the video of Trump and Billy Bush came out and the world heard one of the nominees for President say he can do anything he wants and can’t help but start kissing beautiful women, “and when you’re a star, they let you do it — grab them by the pussy,” half the nation was appalled, and the other half brushed it off as “locker room talk”. I know men like Trump exist. I’m not the only one to be grabbed by the pussy, shoved in a corner by a man, and for that matter, raped by them. But how is disregarding bragging about sexually assaulting people as locker room talk supposed to make us feel better? It made me feel worse. “All men say it,” Trump worshippers said. And that exoneration made me furious. I started hating and lashing out at good men who don’t deserve it. I couldn’t get through 5 minutes of my day without thinking about it.
And then more disgusting stories came out. Trump on video boasting about how he got to go backstage at the Miss USA contests while the women were getting changed and he was allowed to get away with things like that because he owned the pageant.
All of this coverage by every media platform there is made it impossible to escape it, and it quickly began to cause PTSD flashbacks, and as I said before, triggered my misplaced anger and sadness. I ruined the chance at some possible romantic prospects because I was so jaded by my hatred for men that I wasn’t able to be myself 100% of the time. I isolated myself and cried in my room, asking myself over and over again, “How is this allowed?” “How is he still allowed to run?”
And when the women came forward claiming Donald Trump does in fact do the things he explicitly said he did, he said he was going to sue them after the election. You know why victims don’t come forward? Because of that, Donald. Because of the shaming, death threats, and humiliation you and your followers felt the need to inflict on these women.
I cried watching these women speak out. I related. These women were frightened, and put in a frightening situation where they were objectified and alone against a very powerful man. When something like that happens, a common reaction is to freeze up and give them what they want, because it seems like the safest thing you can do in that moment. It is very rare that victims of sexual assault fight back.
So through all of this mayhem, my weekly therapy sessions promptly turned into dealing with the horror I felt because of Donald Trump. I felt crazy and alone. He didn’t do anything to me personally, but it sure felt like it. My therapist told me something that comforted and disturbed me: that I wasn’t her only client being affected by Trump’s words. And after knowing that, I cannot fathom the number of women who are still going through what I had to because of this sexist, fear mongering, dangerous man.
So, if you talk to me you can see clearly see how deeply depressed and defeated I am because of the election results, it goes way beyond the fact that the candidate I wanted to win lost. This isn’t a Republican who I disagree with on almost every issue. This is a predator who haunts my thoughts and trauma. And now we have to get ready for four more years of this anguish.
Cover Image by Jodeci Zimmerman