Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Thursday, November 10, 2016

No Glass Ceilings, Only Blue Sky

The Trumpocalypse happened.

And here we are.

I am trying to type these words without hyperventilating and it's not working very well. Wednesday I was consoling Dennis. Today, I'm a mess.

The night of the election, things started to look a bit unfavorable for Hillary as we approached 9 pm. We went to bed early. We both woke up around 12:30 and decided to check, even though we didn't want to. They had just called the election for Trump.

I was okay on Wednesday. I decided I wasn't going to worry. I decided that if we got through 8 years of Bush Cheney, we can get through 4 years of Trump. I was hanging on to desperate hope.

I ran for 4 1/2 hours today, starting at 8:30 this morning. I had to get out. I went up to Horsetooth Mountain Park and ran the trails, took Southridge and Westridge up to the Towers, down Mill Creek, back up Mill Creek, down Spring Creek to Wathen, up Wathen back to the Rock Repeat route and back down to the trailhead.

It was more like running about 3 hours, with long, 15 or more minute breaks in between whenever I felt myself hyperventilating with anxiety. I was thinking about everything, another existential crisis. Good vertical, not a lot of miles but I took my time. Hopefully I won't be too sore after not doing that much vertical for a while.

I kept wiping the tears from my face, I was a salty mess between the sweat and tears. No blood, fortunately. It's hard to run or even power hike uphill and cry.

I canceled all my appointments today. I just couldn't face it, I was supposed to talk to a breast cancer survivors group tonight and I just didn't have it in me. I couldn't force myself.

After the run I went home, ate some food, then got in touch with Crisann and we went out for a beer at Odell's. It was a beautiful afternoon, sitting there on the outdoor patio, soaking up rays, in mid-November. I had sandals on.

The sunset on the way home was a reminder that another day went by, the sun is still rising and setting.

On one of my run breaks today, I looked at Facebook and one of my friends posted something about glass ceilings. So I commented, "Off the grid, there are no glass ceilings, only blue sky."

I decided I liked the way that sounded.

I'm trying to understand my acquaintances, even some friends, who voted for Trump, knowing they are not hateful people. Trying to understand what was so bad about Hillary Clinton, and knowing she was not my favorite either. I think we need to do away with the electoral college and also the DNC and RNC should be dismantled and the people can form their own new parties, progressive, conservative. Politicians are entrenched, tone-deaf, bought off, corrupt, and only self-interested. But still, how could they support Trump? Was Hillary THAT bad? Was it just total disgust and frustration with the establishment?

If it was, then we had to face it sometime, might as well get it over with now. We do need reform, but having all Republicans taking the country down paths that don't serve the people well, is my big fear. They could seriously set us back a long way. Maybe we need to let the Republicans run things, let them show us if they can be reasonable, if they can run things, if they can lead. Let's see it. But...

We need to be concerned about more than the second amendment- the first, fourth, fourteenth, and all of them, dammit.

And most of all, when empathy is missing, that's what I don't understand.

Best thing I think each of us can do is to talk with someone who voted differently from the way you did, listen to them, don't judge, try to understand their point of view. You don't have to agree with them.

Just have empathy. We need peace. But we don't need silence and fear. Remember their life experiences have played an important role in shaping their point of view. But when you cannot empathize with another person's experience, there's trouble.

Here's an example.

When the story broke about Trump on the Access Hollywood bus with Billy Bush, the "grab 'em by the pussy" story- that was a glimpse into a sexual predator's mind. That kind of abuse, and yes, it IS abuse, is what so many women have been subject to for all these years. And it is a crime.

I really thought, at that moment, there was no way any woman could vote for him. I was wrong.

"Smile" "Loosen up" "Get over it" and the idea that a man is entitled to force himself on a woman, or anyone else, is the same kind of crap that we've dealt with for years, women of my generation, street harassment, feeling like you're being undressed by someone's eyes as you walk by, having to listen to rude and lewd remarks, wishing I were in a burqa just for that moment to hide myself from their leering eyes.

Do you know how many women have been subject to some kind of sexual assault in their lives- whether it's groping, touching, verbal assault, outright rape? Do you know how many women have feared for their safety or been threatened with sexual assault?

Most of us, if I count all the women I know. It's not okay. It doesn't go with the territory. And it's not a man's birthright to harass or assault women.

People must not realize how traumatic that is for women, or the extent of re-traumatization that occurred when that story broke. Or maybe they just don't have empathy.

I don't need to go into any more stories or details here. There are enough examples from what we've seen during the 18 months of hell of this election, and I am sure there are plenty more that haven't come out yet.

Personally, I don't like Hillary all that much, but I didn't think Bernie was going to win if it was him. Though I know Hillary would have made a great President, had she been supported by at least the Senate. Even if Trump doesn't last the four years, Mike Pence scares the hell out of me. So does Paul Ryan. So do Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani and Ben Carson and Michael Flynn and whoever the damn hell else he is going to have on his Cabinet. Peepol R stoopide.

People are upset. I have seen some ugly discussions on Facebook and I've had people try to pick a fight with me. I don't fall for it.

I am worried about healthcare. I am worried about what will happen to immigrants, what will happen to people who are not white, straight, men, Christians, wealthy, and willing to be silent and compliant. I am worried about hate. I am worried about young women's reproductive health and options.

Being on the "wrong side" of most of those categories, I worry about those who cannot "pass" as I can. Those who don't have privilege that I have as a result. I am afraid that the ugliness we saw from the extremists covered by the media will become more prevalent. I am hoping it was the media stirring things up for a story because that is what they do, but that most people are not that way. I don't think they are.

What I think is that people are lazy, ignorant, and don't think very deeply about anything. I think they are fearful as a result, and I think they are shallow and distracted and have allowed themselves to become that way because it hurts too much to think about what our lives are like, and it hurts even more to think about how they could be if we made the effort. It would be a hell of an effort at this point. But still possible.

I think this is true for both Democrats and Republicans, and across all of the possible categories you could think to label someone.

There's always the possibility of a meteor. Talk about shattering a glass ceiling...

I'm trying to be positive here, but I'm not very successful.

WTF, tomorrow is Donut Friday and I need to get up early.

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