— Bill Maher (@billmaher) November 12, 2016
Here’s the plan
I’m going to publish this post, wait a few hours on the off chance that my friends see this, and then I’m temporarily deactivating my Facebook account.
I have to. For my mental health.
Before I go into why, can you please do me a solid?
There must be several people who feel as I do; despair, despondent, hopeless, a stranger in their own land. No matter your affiliation, please reach out. No platitudes. No even slightly political references. Just, “Are you ok?” or “I’m thinking about you” or, if you’re a fellow democrat, “Even though it doesn’t feel like it, it will be ok.”
(Damn it, I’m crying again.)
Because we feel like it won’t be ok.
We need you to tell us that it will be ok.
I sat down at 4pm Tuesday night with MSNBC, a bottle of cheap merlot, and a new crochet project to keep my restless hands busy.
I felt cautiously optimistic.
As you may know, the first polls closed, and election night was off to a rocky start.
State after state, the projected winner was not Hillary.
At one point, a Clinton campaign staffer (or was it Rachel Maddow?) said (paraphrase), “Don’t worry; none of these returns are a surprise to the Clinton campaign. They have a solid strategy, a plan, a path to the White House. The returns haven’t come in for states they concentrated on.”
The calm, reassuring, dulcet, contralto tones of Rachel Maddow kept my foreboding apprehension from getting the best of me. Until… 7ish. (CST)
Around 7pm, while in almost constant contact with friends from all over the world (literally!) via Facebook, I started getting worried about the results. It wasn’t looking good. At all.
I continued to refresh my feed, posting, commenting, Sadding (as opposed to Liking) others’ posts and comments who were also Clinton supporters and had chewed off all their fingernails. People from all over my world. Online friends from blogging in 2007. MichFest Systers. IRL friends and fellow democrats and disenchanted republicans who had crossed over. We cyber held hands and tried to keep each other from becoming completely terrified. There was one happy moment when New York was called for Hillary. There was one hopeful moment when California came through with her 55 electoral votes.
Around 9:30pm that night, I started crying on and off (mostly on). Only these online people, a few IRL friends via Messenger, and Tom beside me, kept me hanging onto the ledge by a few fingers.
Around midnight, Tom announced he had to try to sleep since he had work in the morning. In Tom world, this means when the head hits the pillow, you’re OUT like a tagged base runner. I told him I’d be there soon; I just wanted to see if any more returns came in and keep watching the popular vote and electoral votes.
The beginning of the end
Around 1am Wednesday morning, after David Podesta went to the Javit Center and made the announcement that the Clinton campaign would have no comments until morning, I put up my last status update.
The Clinton camp has gone dark. As will I.
I went to bed and cried myself to sleep.
My stupid brain went worse case scenario, because, ME.
That night I was not suicidal.
But there was the overwhelming feeling of, I don’t want to be here. This is can not be my country. Half the voters in this country listened to him; spewing his awful, divisive, violence-inducing hate speech; and went, yup, that’s my guy.
And they’re all around me.
My friends, real and online. My neighbors. And I don’t know who I can trust.
He’s going to appoint Supreme Court Justices that want to repeal Obamacare, it’ll be worse than Medicaid, reinstate pre-existing condition clauses, and people are going to die. He’s going to appoint Supreme Court Justices that want to undo marriage equality, and what will happen to my LGBT friends’ marriages? And LGBT people will no longer be able to marry who they love. He’s going to appoint Supreme Court Justices that want to overturn Roe v. Wade, and women are going to lose the right to their own bodies, we’re going to turn back time and see a return of back alley abortions, and women are going to die.
As the night became longer and sleep became more elusive, there were further feelings of, This is It. We are all going to die. A random foreign diplomat is going to disparage Donald’s elbows, and he’s going to hit the nukes. And I don’t want to be here when it happens.
I assure you, it’s different from suicidal. But it still is the awful feeling of terrifying, utter hopelessness.
The next morning
Almost every morning, the first thing I open is Facebook. But Wednesday morning, I just couldn’t do it. I was pretty sure there was nothing that would feel good. There would be people celebrating and there would be people in pain and despair. I was sure I could handle neither end of the spectrum. Being an empath sucks. Especially if you’re an empath that’s a chick who thinks more like a dude and truly hates feelings because feelings suck.
I immediately turned on MSNBC. I noted that although Hillary won the popular vote, Donald won the electoral vote, and that’s what counts. That was a bitter pill to swallow. I knew that the Clinton campaign wouldn’t pull a ‘Bush/Gore 2000’ and take it to the courts. Because Hillary would think that it wouldn’t be good for America, and she puts that above herself. Donald Trump was President-elect, final answer.
I was just in time for Sec Clinton’s speech to concede the race. I cried all the way through it. I saw a couple of Donald’s sickening, awful, hypocritical quotes ticker across the bottom of the screen and felt like vomiting.
But life goes on, and there was an eye doctor appointment (I’m not having great luck with these fucking progressive lenses, I think I want old-fashioned bifocals) and after running a couple errands and cleaning house, and Tom (my rock, my home base, my safety, my person) returning home, I felt almost ready to open Facebook for the first time in almost 24 hours. (That’s the longest I’ve went without opening Facebook in EIGHT YEARS, BTW.) We were talking about it, and I pulled my phone out of my holster. There was one notification 9 minutes old. It said, “[‘friend’/trumpeter] commented on your link.”
“Nevermind, Tom; I don’t think I can do it.”
“Give me your phone,” he said, gently.
He opened my phone (of course we know each others’ passcodes), opened my notifications, clicked in, and read the comment.
His face went stormy, he swore under his breath, and he said, “I don’t want you to read this stupidity. Permission to delete insidiously idiotic comment?”
He handed my phone back and I opened Messenger. A friend from Canada had IMd me that morning to check in and make sure I was ok. She said many Canadians were almost as shocked as their American friends and that they were feeling for us. It was truly touching and I answered as such.
I woke up this morning and immediately turned on MSNBC. (You may be noticing a trend here.) They were talking about him going to the White House for a meeting with President Obama regarding the transition. le sigh
I steeled my resolve and opened Facebook.
I started with my notifications. I touched it and read. Someone who I love and I knew had voted for Donald commented, probably with the best of intentions, that now was the time for our country to rally and unite.
I do love this person. I do. They probably commented with the best of intentions.
But immediately I thought, (and please forgive the yelling; I honestly feel this vehemently)
REALLY?! When your guy had RALLIES ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AND CREATED THE MOST DIVISIVE AMERICA SINCE (I concede the time is arguable) THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT?!?! NOW is the time to RALLY and UNITE?!?! SERIOUSLY!?!?
I. Can’t. EVEN.
I. Just. CAN’T.
I closed Facebook and deleted it off my phone.
I deleted Messenger off my phone.
I deleted the Messenger app off my iMac.
My next step is to temporarily deactivate my account.
Turns out you can temporarily deactivate your Facebook account for 7 days.
After those 7 days, I’ll open my feed and re-evaluate.
We’ll see, I guess.
Either I’ll reactivate it and go through my feed and decide I can handle it, or I’ll reactivate it and go through my feed and decide I can’t handle it. At that point, I’ll probably copy and paste about 8 years of status updates and pictures into my blog and delete my Facebook account.
What about my business Page? Honestly, I don’t think anyone has ever gone to my business page, and based on its contents, decided to hire me. Facebook’s algorithms have always made sure that any Likes I earned from friends and acquaintances meant nothing when it comes to putting my updates into my Likers’ feeds.
What about the groups I’ve joined? Geez — buy/sell/trade, MichFest, backyard chickens, crochet, Deaf/HoH, entrepreneur… I’ll miss them, but I know me, and I know I won’t be able to just click into the Groups feed. It’s a compulsion. If it’s an option, I’ll check my feed, and I’m at a point now that I know if I do it, I’ll go into the Black Pit.
What about my Sponsor Their Smiles project? After Kickstarter declined it because it determined that my project was “charity,” I had decided to transfer all the information over to Indiegogo and try to make it fly there. But if I’m not on Facebook, I doubt I’ll be able to get enough word out for it to catch on. That makes it dead in the water. I don’t think I could take that failure.
What about the good stuff? At this point, the bad outweighs the good. I had some great ideas for some creating some positivity-inducing graphics to share with my photography combined with some inspiring quotes I’ve been collecting. But if I post those as status updates, again, I know me, I know I’ll click my feed, and I know my mental health can’t take it.
No way, José
And the main reason for not being able to handle my Facebook feed?
Is President-elect (I just vomited a little) Donald Trump and his supporters.
His hateful, racist, misogynistic (at least this campaign taught me to spell that word without multiple tries), divisive, hostility-inciting, truly reprehensible words and actions spread across America and brought out from under rocks people whose animosity for “other.” His election to the Presidency legitimizes all the incredibly evil bile he produced.
And the people who voted for him are saying, that’s okay.
It’s so totally NOT okay.
I won’t be one of those people who says, “That’s not MY President!” Because that’s just stupid.
It’s a fact. You’re an American. He’s the President. That makes him, oh hello, YOUR PRESIDENT.
He certainly has not earned my respect.
I will respect the office, but I will NOT respect that (gags) reprobate.
Unless he does some weird 180° with a sincere apology for the damage he’s done to the relations in America, or hell freezes over, whichever comes first, I refuse to give him any respect. He does not deserve it. He is inauthentic, disingenuous, pandering, hypocritical, hateful, and a total waste of… everything he is, does, says, and occupies. To me, he is, as a person, unshowered armpit flop sweat.
I reluctantly, but purposely, state: He will be my President. But I truly believe he will sully the revered office of Commander-in-Chief.
I can’t even get into my sorrow of the Obamas leaving the White House.
Wait, perhaps I can try.
To this American citizen, the Obamas symbolized what is great about America; that anyone can aspire to public service. They’re a loving family, beautiful inside and out. They exhibit a caring approach that reaches beyond tolerance to acceptance, empathy, and compassion. And, to boot, they were involved in exactly ZERO sex scandals the entire eight years they served America in the White House.
President Obama will go down in the history books as the best President this America has ever known. There are articles listing the facts to my assertion; I’m just too despondent to present them presently. But I believe this as certainly as I regard as truth that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
He was the first politician to drive me to research and think critically on my own, abandoning my unquestioning republican upbringing to define my political ideology and become an informed, proud democrat.
President Obama is an exceptional orator; eloquent, inspiring, and charasmatic. He’s selfless, funny, and, I truly believe, wants to make happen what’s best for every American, especially the bottom percent of us. This American citizen felt unquestionably safe knowing that President Obama was on the watch.
I’ll miss them occupying the White House terribly.
I can’t even express the depth of my sympathy for the Clinton’s loss.
As much disheartenment, discouragement, and pessimism as I feel right now, it’s a drop in the ocean of theirs.
I truly believe that Hillary Rodham Clinton is a good woman with the best, most experience any presidential candidate has ever had.
And how she must feel about losing to that reprehensible, unqualified, ignorant, narcissistic, terrible joke of a man; well, I can only shake my head, because words elude me.
You have my respect, Sec Clinton. President Clinton? It’s shaky. Getting a blow job in the Oval Office tends to spoil esteem.
We could have made history (AGAIN!) by electing the first woman to become POTUS. A smart, savvy, experienced, go-getter who just happens to be female.
But no. Let’s turn America into a reality TV show. Right on track.
I guess that’s all what I have to say for now. Probably too much. Sorry – not sorry.
Rip it, roll it, and punch it, dude.