January 20 was a significant day in my life and in the lives of everyone in America, but not for the same reasons.
On January 20, 2013 I walked away from an abusive relationship with a narcissist. I was consumed with the anger of a thousand fiery suns. I had been lied to, gaslighted, verbally abused, financially raped, physically intimidated, sleep deprived, starved of food and affection, beaten down emotionally, isolated from my family and friends, and kept on a very short leash “for my own good” which led to my questioning every belief I ever had. I was a shadow of myself and I knew it. My life was a dark hole I was determined to crawl out of at any cost.
On January 20, 2017 I was on a news blackout so I did not see Lord Cheeto* sworn into the office of the President of the United States. By all accounts (not his, as he reminds us with every TV appearance by himself or his minions) it was a shining shit-show that was poorly attended. Meanwhile the first of what will become hundreds, if not thousands, of protests was quite well attended the very next day. On all seven continents! I attended my first protest on a day that should have been a celebration of one more year of freedom from a narcissist.
This has become my life –
I really didn’t want to get all political here (hence my silence) but I find silence impossible, just as I found mute acceptance impossible four years ago. Others are much more knowledgeable and well spoken than I am, and on some level it feels like shouting into the Void, but I don’t think I’ll be able to keep my mouth shut any longer.
I’ve done some research, read a lot of articles, talked to many people, watched hours and hours of political coverage on TV (and not just the “lying liberal media,” but FOX and other conservative outlets as well), hoping that the crawling in my gut is just an overreaction to a situation that *feels* like being back with the narc, hoping I really am just being “too emotional,” that life will go back to normal (whatever that is) and I won’t wake up with a feeling of dread, wondering what our so-called leader has blown up in the night. Sadly, the nightmare just won’t end and I feel compelled to put a voice to my fears and concerns, if only to get them out of my head.
Never having been overly concerned with politics, I am sadly under informed on the subject. Alarmingly, Lord Cheeto appears to be even less informed than I am, and that should scare the shit out of everyone. The difference is that I am working hard towards an understanding of our political system while he is signing Executive Orders and pissing off everyone he comes in contact with while hiding what he’s REALLY doing behind closed doors. Hint: he’s making deals that will one day be called treason.
Way back when he was just Candidate Trump he made many statements that showed his true colors. I was horrified that a man who said “grab them by the pussy” got the republican nomination for the highest office in the land. “Blood coming from her wherever…” didn’t disqualify him in the eyes of his supporters, either. WTF?!? There are too many examples to recount here – you’re all familiar with how trashy and small-minded he is.
But, okay. Fine. He got the job. Not exactly fair and square, but we have a process and that process landed him in the White House. No one has to like the results, but we must all respect the process. And surely he would surround himself with Smart People who would guide him and counsel restraint and common sense. Right? He said he’s a “really smart guy” and smart people know they don’t know everything and he, being a “great businessman” knows that he will need savvy advisors to help guide him in his quest to “make America great again.” Right?
Oh, but wait! Turns out everything logical or moderate he said while on the campaign trail was just a big ol’ pile of bullshit and he really does intend to rule America like a king, appointing his favorite courtiers to choice positions in his kingdom; stripping the country of all its resources to line his own pockets; killing off the peasants by relaxing regulations for all his friends so they can continue to poison the air, water and soil with no consequences; well, the list just goes on and on, doesn’t it?
But that’s not why you’re here, is it?
The bottom line is that Lord Cheeto is just like Captain Bligh** and I feel like I’m back in that Dark Place. Every time I hear him speak his lies to the press (and it’s about everything, even things that can be easily refuted) I’m reminded of being told that I’m “not remembering that [incident] correctly.” Every time he dismisses a reporter with that damned snort and eye roll as soon as they say what organization they’re with I’m reminded of how Captain Bligh would do the exact same thing when I was trying to defend myself against yet another of his wild claims of my “misbehavior.” Every time he answers a legitimate question with word salad about how great he is (and, really, can someone please give him a few new adjectives?) I’m reminded of all the late-night speeches Captain Bligh would grace me with, telling me, over and over, how I should just toe the line and do what he said so that one day I would finally be worthy of him. Every time one of his minions lies on TV about something he said, or did, or didn’t do (taxes, anyone?) I’m taken back to the times Captain Bligh’s loyal minions backed him up about something he’d told them that was completely false.
The list goes on and on, folks. I’m sick at heart. Those of you who have lived with an abusive partner understand how I feel – they all read from the same script while telling anyone who will listen how very unique and special they are.
Short of leaving the country, what can I do? I’ll tell you what I can do: I can raise my voice in protest along with the thousands and thousands of others who will not sit down and take abuse from men like Drumph and his minions. It’s an overwhelming task and it’s easy to get burned out as every new lie comes to the surface, as each executive order seeks to take away another civil liberty for everyone who is female or has brown skin, as projects like DAPL get pushed forward at the risk of the water we all drink, as refugees starve and die because our borders have been closed to “those people.”
Because there are so many protests, so many reasons to march and advocate, we all have to pick our battles or get burned out by the emotional roller coaster – anyone who has lived with a narcissist or other abusive person knows the cycle they use to wear you down, and this is no different – we shut down when it becomes overwhelming and then we’re caught in the trap, too busy trying to survive with the shred of sanity left to us to protest each new atrocity.
I’ve chosen Women’s Rights and Clean Water as my causes because no one can support ALL of the issues we’re facing today. I will be marching in Eugene and attending rallies and supporting my representatives any way I can. For the very first time as I was filling out my tax forms online, I sent donations to Planned Parenthood and the Oregon Food Bank because if those of us who have a little bit to spare don’t support those who are desperate for food and health care, we’re no better than the monsters in the White House.
*I can’t even say “President Trump” out loud because he is not deserving of the office. I will not glorify him in this way, therefore I will use various nick-names in place of the honorific. I hope you don’t mind.
**Still not ready to out that asshole, but calling him “narc” just ain’t cutting it any more. I actually called him Captain Bligh to his face once and he was confused. “William Bligh was an amazing sailor and led his men on an epic journey – they would have died without him! He was a superlative navigator and masterful captain. How is that an insult? We all should aspire to be as great as Captain Bligh,” or somesuch, was his reply. My jaw dropped. “Everyone hated him!” was all I could muster in reply. “So?” He really didn’t care, so long as he got his way, but everyone who knows him knows exactly what I mean when I use that name.