Tuesday, November 6, 2018

November 6

I feel numb and torn apart all at once.

I see the Facebook statuses, the emails from everywhere - the place I volunteer, the school district, even Tinder, a reminder on Google's homepage.  Go vote, I voted, please vote, it's election day, instructions for how and where to vote, reminders to return ballots, instructions on what to do if you are turned away at the polls.

I looked yesterday at some numbers, and unbelievably, this might all be closer than we thought.  I have never cared so much about a midterm election.  I have never paid so much attention.  I have never had so much hope and fear about how things would turn out at the end of the halfway point of a presidency I never, ever thought could last this long.

Often on Monday or Tuesday morning, I listen to the main segment from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on my way to work.  Night before last, with the midterms imminent, Oliver decided to deliver a reminder of one of the most abhorrent policies that's been put in place in my lifetime - family separation.  If you're feeling brave or need a reminder of how vile a situation it was is, you can read about/watch the segment.

I was doing okay until Oliver highlighted a documentary (The Separated) that highlights the damage and trauma caused to kids by this cruel, unnecessary legacy of Trump.  I watch Jenri, a 5-year-old from Honduras, cry to his mother about how he wants to go back to the jail and how she doesn't love him anymore.

And. I. Am. Undone.

It's not just a week, just a month, of separation.  It's a lifetime of trauma, recovery, broken trust, emotional wreckage.  Done by OUR GOVERNMENT.

An hour later I sit at my desk, my eyes brimming with tears, my heart raw and wide open.

I don't know how to shake it.  I don't think I should, either.  This is important, this is an example of who we are becoming.  It's not who I am, but it's all around me and I don't know how to make it stop.

I sent in my ballot weeks ago, I voted.  But it doesn't feel like enough.  It feels like our country is in an abusive relationship, and I know that the damage and trauma caused by this presidency will be years, maybe decades, in the undoing.  The scars will be deep and they'll never completely go away.

I don't know how I'm going to work today.  I feel like I could sit here and write for hours and still never capture the brokenness of all of this.  All the feelings from that November two years ago, the disbelief, the disappointment, the full, heart-exploding grief, it's bubbling and returning.

Here we are.  I pray, I weep, I hope with all that is in me that today, something will change.

November 6.

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