There hasn’t been one morning since Trump became president that I haven’t woke up with my stomach in knots and my heart racing. It’s impossible to get back to sleep and the first thing I always do is pull up Twitter to find out what the latest calamity is.
I’m edgy with people, edgy at work all the time, edgy with my family. I can barely function due to the constant nerves. And it’s all because of the political situation which occupies my mind 24/7 and is growing worse with each passing day.
Self care (which I recommend!) is only a temporary respite from the endless rollercoaster of anxiety, anger, dread, and depression. Going on vacation helps, but I can’t afford to do that more than once or twice a year. And even then, in the back of my mind, is the heavy feeling of knowing that soon, I’ll once again have to face our dark reality. Self care activities are necessary, but all they do is keep me from falling into the abyss. They don’t remove me from its edge.
I have NEVER had this kind of reaction before to ANY president. Even when I didn’t particularly like the president or his political platform, in the back of my mind I always knew he knew what he was doing, was going to protect democracy, and that we were more or less safe from terrorism, both foreign and domestic. I could focus on other things besides politics. Since January 9, 2017 I can’t.
I read somewhere that in functioning democracies, people don’t obsess about politics. They can actually live their lives. Since January 9, 2017 I feel like my life has been on hold and I can never relax.
Maybe in 9 days, we can put some much needed checks and balances back in place to keep this despotic president under control. Perhaps then I can relax a little. But I have a feeling no matter how the election goes, calamity will ensue. Trump’s base is so huge, so violent and so full of hatred toward most Americans, that I fear if we win, there will be civil war waged against us (which Trump himself has threatened). Already there seem to be bands of roving vigilantes and right wing militia groups sprouting up like metastatic tumors in the body republic, and not just at the southern border (where they await the “caravan” which consists primarily of women and children seeking asylum, not rapists, MS-13, and murderers). I have no faith these groups will be kept in check by our military, and no faith our military will even take our side (even though they’re supposed to protect the Constitution, not the president).
Two days ago, pipe bombs were sent through the mail to Democratic leaders and reporters by a Trump supporting white supremacist (yet the Trump camp, as they always do, blames the victim, claiming Democrats sent the bombs to themselves). We were fortunate this time that the bombs were intercepted and defused before a disaster (or many disasters) happened, but next time, someone may die. And there will be a next time. We have become as tribal and violent as a third world country — and the violence isn’t coming from Antifa (which is a tiny minority on the very far left that engages in vandalism, not violence against actual people) or the left. Resistance protests have been peaceful, with any violence that occurs stirred up by counterprotesters (Charlottesville) and far right domestic terrorist groups like the Proud Boys and other far right extremist groups. The left (which now includes what used to be moderates and Never Trumpers due to the rightward shift of the Overton Window) has been gaslighted, demonized, and smeared by the Trump regime and its cult members to the point that anyone who disapproves of Trump and the toxic fear based rhetoric he spews at his rallies is seen as an enemy. We have been identified and marginalized. Removal of our rights and finally elimination will follow. People are going to die.
If we lose, I don’t even want to think about what’s going to happen. It’s too terrifying to contemplate.
I just want this madness to end. I don’t want to have to obsess about politics anymore.
I just want my life back.