Tired

My mother finally got up the balls to private message me.

Here’s a bit of background. My mom has been different levels of abusive and neglectful of me for most of my life. She says she loves me, but her actions rarely prove that.

I’m an expert at recognizing emotional manipulation and gaslighting because of her.

So.

Under my real name, (for anyone in doubt, this is the real ‘me’, I much prefer my chosen name than the one she gave me) the morning after I stayed up all night, horrified while I watched the country of my birth turn the angry orange into president-elect, I told everyone I know via a facebook post that *I* am queer. That I was distraught because even though they’d ‘known’ about me, even though we’re mixed race, so many ‘even thoughs’ they still elected that creature into office. I called them out for their bigotry.

It’s not that I’ve been hiding, I’ve been ‘out’ to my mother and father since I was around 16, any one who bothered to spend time and talk to me over the years also knew I was queer. As long as I kept quiet about it, my family and friends didn’t care much. Since I eventually fell in love with, married, had kids with and continue to live with a man they’re happy enough to just continue brushing who I am under the rug.

They don’t care that I could just as easily have fallen in love with a woman, that I’ve had female lovers who I loved and would have spent my life with if things had worked out.

All is about appearances to them and that has never been more clear to me than right this second.

As long as I pass, and don’t say anything to the rest of the people I know who are bigoted, racist, nasty minded people, they’re fine ignoring it and saying they love me.

My mom argued with me, publicly, on my FB excusing everyone who voted for Frump, which, I learned today included her. She got butt hurt and pissy when people pointed out the things Frump has done. When my friends stood up for me and called her on her bullshit (she was being her standard emotionally manipulative self).

I posted a few articles, explaining why I and people like me are so fucking terrified of the angry orange.

Of why it hurts so much to know that close to half the voters who turned out, either hate us enough to vote for that man, or are willing to overlook what he clearly stands for enough to still vote him in.

Of how we feel betrayed. And why.

She accused me of being elitist today, because I enjoy spelling and grammar and looking things up.

She said ‘not everyone likes to research things like you do’. (Turning on the news isn’t ‘research’ applying an iota of thought to that mans actions isn’t expecting much.)

Especially when your daughter is queer.

Even now, the worst part of what I did, *to her* is using the word ‘queer’ to define myself.

It’s the one that fits me best, because I’m more than one of the letters of the QUILTBAG.

Her reaction was as if I’d mooned everyone in church. Lol, I wish I had mooned everyone in church so long ago. That would have been freaking hilarious.

Her words exactly were “Did you have to use the word queer? Isn’t there a better word you could have used? You have no idea what you’ve done. I’ve had to explain why you’re like you are for days.”

Explain why I am the way I am.

After 40 years of one kind of abuse or another from that woman, you’d think I’d be used to being hurt, or inured to it. Guess I’m not.

Cause that hurt.

I’ll get over it, on the scale of things she’s done to me over the years that ranks pretty middle of the road.

She cursed me, saying she hopes my children as much smarter than me as I am to she.

I take it as a blessing. I hope desperately that my children are wise, loving beings who see humanity as a beautiful quilt, stitched together with kindness and understanding. Different pieces of one whole that keeps everyone warm. I’m certainly going to raise them to be accepting of differences. Hopefully, from me, they’ll learn to apply their minds to any sort of inherited prejudice or hatred they pick up from society.

I pray my children are smarter than me, kinder than me, more empathic than me.

And I pray that tomorrow doesn’t hurt so badly. Cause right now I’m so damned tired of hurting.

 

 

 

Normal

I’m trying to find what normal means to me now. People who helped trump get into office, either by voting for him directly, not voting at all or by voting third party (demonstrating an almost criminal lack of understanding of the system in the states), they don’t get it.

They really don’t.

Not a single person I’ve spoken to (and I’ve been talking, a lot) gets it.

They give me excuses such as I voted my conscious.

I voted for the economy.

I voted for anti-establishment.

There are SO many excuses. So many.

And here I sit. (In a different country I remind you, though I am expat American). I’m still terrified.

Not in the way I was that night, watching the states votes come in. I’ve been through a lot in my life (feel free to look through the blog, I’ve talked about a lot of it.)

I’ve rarely felt terror like that. The only time that came close was when one of my kids ran away from me in a crowded amusement park and I couldn’t find them for ten minutes. All turned out well in that case (thank all I hold holy) but I just can’t see how it will be an ‘all’s well that ends well’ situation here.

Anyone who helped that man get into office, no matter their role, I can’t trust them anymore.

That goes for friends, it goes for family, it goes for casual acquaintances.

I’ve always been a person who enjoys political diversity as much as I do other forms. I may not have always agreed with the stances of the other side (technically I’d probably be a libertarian, though I vote the issues, not any particular party.) So now, I’m struggling with finding my new normal.

I know how I’ll be fighting. My writing, obviously, is going to remain inclusive to every form of diversity I can manage to include with sensitivity. My big surprise for January is even more needed now than it was before (and we needed it before). I’ll pick causes I feel passionate about to raise funds and awareness for… I’ve always been involved in politics, so there’s not much more I can do there.

I still can’t trust so many people I was close to. They didn’t protect me when it mattered.

How can I find a new normal with any of them after that?

 

Fissures

This election, it’s driven fissures in country, in government and in families.

I’ve been arguing, off an on, with my own family all day. Not the ones I live with who know me dearly and love me for all of who I am. (it’s been so much FUN!!)

No, the ones that raised me.

After the night, when I waited, with so many others like me, for the results of the US election… you know… the one that would tell us if we were safe or not, I posted on my personal facebook page. I unfriended anyone who had declaimed they’d voted for him. Even my childhood best friend. My eyelids burned with shed tears and my nose ached from wiping it all night as I wrote the personal message to her. Explaining why I had to cut off a connection we’d had for decades.

I didn’t get a wink of sleep that night, and it took me a day to recover, (if I even have) I still tear up at thinking about it. I had to explain to my daughter last night, why almost half of an entire country didn’t think she was worth protecting. (Thank Gods we live in Canada) My only answer was that so many people like to see what isn’t there.

My family sure did.

A vast majority of the people who raised me, the people who should KNOW me, deeply and support me, regardless. They voted for Trump.

I’m out about who I am. I’m several of the letters of LGBTTQQIAA2sP acronym, I’m disabled, I’m mentally ill, I’m… ugh. I’m so many things Frump directly campaigned against.

I’ve been campaigning against my family since I was old enough to know they were wrong. (Especially about race… we pass… obviously, but we’re passing. We need to use that privilege to do better… not. Not this.)

I campaigned for them to vote for Hillary. Not because they LIKED her (honestly, I didn’t like her either, I wanted Bernie, I still voted for Hillary) but to protect ME.

To protect my dearest, closest friends, who also tend to fall on the LGBTTQQIAA2sP spectrum somewhere, and if they don’t, they’re PoC, or they’re, or they’re, yeah that.

They didn’t protect me.

The reaction to my declaration was immediate and evident. I knew it was coming, and I won’t be silent, or nice, or private anymore.

I’m not… by nature, a fighter. Being socially awkward and aspie… I tend to avoid confrontation.

No more. Trump voters brought the fight to my doorstep. To MY life. I will try with all of my heart to fight the battle with love, but by all I hold holy. I. Will. Fight.

In a few days, we’re going to start seeing the inevitable decline of interest in this battle. It’s human nature and we shouldn’t blame people for that. We’re firefly beings, our interest and commitment passes, quickly.

Mine won’t. I may need to step back from time to time to recharge, we should all of us make time for that, or we WILL burn out. But this war against equality is on me, more than it ever has been before. I will fight.

One of the ways I fight is by choosing to help people defend themselves against stupidity and prejudice. My friend, Erin Jeffreys Hodges, is having a bad time with that right now.

 

 

No Words

So many of us were terrified of exactly what has happened.

Trump in office. Hillary won the popular vote, but she still lost.

Our families, our government, they chose not to protect us.

All day I’ve been seeing news reports and the words by friends of attacks and grief. Blood and tears from the marginalized. So many of my friends asking… what was so important to you that you’ve completely denied my right to safety? So many families shattered by the realization that… no, they don’t care enough for us to protect us.

People like me. People even MORE marginalized than me.

This wasn’t about money, or the economy, though I suppose that’s what they’ll tell themselves.

This proved exactly how intolerant, racist, sexist, ableist and ignorant of world affairs too many americans actually are.

I’ve seen so many people saying something along the lines of, ‘well, I don’t agree with you but bygones be bygones.’

I’m sorry, no. It’s not about someone simply not agreeing. Bush was about people not agreeing. I didn’t like him as president, and he fucked up a lot. He still wasn’t… this.

Trump is a tragedy.

All through his campaign he made it quite clear that he hates people like me. People darker than me, people who are disabled, mentally or physically ill, those on the LGBTTQQIAA2sP spectrum.

He hates me.

Those who voted for him hate me too.

There is no forgiveness in me for the proof that so many people, almost half of those who voted, hate me so much that they would vote a monster like him into office.

I’ve never been more grateful that I moved away from the country of my birth.

I wish I could offer my couch and floor space to everyone of my compatriots in the fight for equality. My house isn’t that big.

My heart is though. Tomorrow, I will pick myself up and continue my fight. I’ll continue to write my diverse, inclusive stories. Even in the face of my own fear of censure by the very people who should be supportive of writers trying to get it right. Tomorrow, I’ll continue my advocacy and my fight for equality.

Tonight. Tonight I’m still wiping away my tears and looking at my reason for living. My children… and wondering how I’ll explain this to them when they get old enough to understand.

We’ve lost a battle. A big one. We haven’t yet lost the war.

It’s a lie

It’s a lie, you know. That aspie’s don’t feel emotion. We have stone faces, but if anything we tend to be incredibly empathic.

I keep trying to step away from social media to not think about this bloody election and I keep going back to check in on my friends.

I just scrolled through. I have so many people saying the same thing. “I’m Terrified.”

I know. I feel it too. I’m so afraid. I can’t believe it. I’m terrified.

I’ll end this (and go drink some more, like more than half of a nation is doing right now to ease their terror) with a quote from Ursula K Le Guin.

‘We’re each of us alone, to be sure. What can you do but hold your hand out in the dark?’

I’m holding my hand out, in this darkest of nights. Even if he wins (and I pray by everything I hold holy that he doesn’t) none of us will be alone.

Self Care

I need to speak about self care in the face of fear. A lot of us are afraid today. Afraid that the country we live in or were born in, will elect a manipulative narcissist, a rapist, an abuser and gods only know what else, to sit in the oval office.

While being president of the US doesn’t, in all honesty, hold a lot of power (most of the power is in the senate and the house, secretarial positions) the president does hold power enough to upset the entire fabric of the international spectrum.

I’m 40 years old and I’ve never seen a more divisive campaign that brought out so much vituperative ugliness in people.

I woke up afraid, cut clenching, nauseatingly afraid that Trump will be elected president. He’s made it quite clear that *I* wouldn’t be safe in the US if he were president.

He’s made it extremely clear that so many of my friends and loved ones won’t be safe either.

I hope, so badly, that Hillary will be voted into the presidency. She at least is qualified and won’t set the world on end.

A lot of people seem to love Trump for the same reasons people loved Teddy Roosevelt. Bluster, ‘carry a big stick’, thick skin… that mentality. My great-grandfather was a woods guide, he knew Teddy Roosevelt, he was with him when he was sworn in. Teddy was a good man according to family legend.

Trump is not. You see. This isn’t 1901, and even if Trump has a thick skin (he doesn’t demonstrably show this) the rest of the world does not. We live on an international stage now. Above and beyond the fear I have for my loved ones who are not cishetwhite males. I’m afraid for the entire world.

So… I ranted a bit more about Trump than I intended to. I wanted to simply remind everyone that self-care can help against fear.

I hope everyone practices self-care today. Get your votes in, take a buddy with you so you’re safe please and check in with those who care for you to let them know you’re safe.

Drink water, snuggle up with a comfy blanket and netflix if you can. Go to lunch with a friend. Whatever form your particular type of self-care takes, I hope you do it.

For me, I took a little extra time to make a nice breakfast. I have a large container of water and my coffee. I’m going to write today, since my vote had to be in weeks ago as an expat.

But please. Remember to take care of you. It’s a scary day for so many of us. Remember to check in with your friends too, to see if they’re doing okay and to let them know that you are too.

Hopefully, we’ll all wake up tomorrow with the first female president, instead of a megalomaniac.

You’re not alone

When I wrote my blog post, calling out the writing community on twitter. I never expected it to be read as much as it has been. The hits its gotten daily (not sure if everyone is reading the whole thing… but most seem to be by responses) are in the hundreds and the hits continue to grow every day.

I’d just reached a point where my pain at seeing what writers were doing to other writers overwhelmed my fear of speaking out.

Since that post when live… the outpouring of thanks and support I’ve received publicly and privately has absolutely floored me. I’m humbled, and so, so grateful. I physically shook for hours after publishing that, waiting for what I felt were the inevitable attacks.

You aren’t alone.

I’m not alone in feeling this way.

Our community has been reduced, it’s now on the skids. Last night, I read another writers words about her fear that ‘if she gets it wrong’ she’ll suffer twitter backlash and end up suicidal again. She fears that, even though she does her due diligence, because she’s not as marginalized as some of her characters, (she is marginalized) she’ll be taken to task for it.

The number of writers who have said to me privately that they’re right on the verge of leaving writer twitter because of all the ugliness that’s gone down in the past few months is also staggering.

Twitter is one of the best places I’ve ever been for writing. The community, the contests, the amount of information is unparalleled. Lately, so has been the hatred and feather picking.

I get it. I really do, under the skin, how we marginalized folks feel. How much pain we experience from micro-aggressions every day. I don’t even experience the PoC issues because I DO pass. I experience a lot of my own though. Ableist, sexist, sizeist, Neurotypicalist, cishet and more.

Sometimes, I too get so fed up and just want to lash out because of the combined toll these micro-aggressions take daily. This is where I’m lucky to be Aspie. My emotions often do feel a little more distant, by that, I mean they don’t usually control me. There’s always a little ‘person of reason/logic’ in the forefront of my mind. That little thought that says… “Wait. I know that hurt, but do you really want to hurt someone else because you’re hurting?”

I know that’s what’s happening in many of the demographics I’ve seen people lashing out in. I feel it. I know.

I’d still implore you all, my marginalized writers, to step back away from your keyboards when you’re hurting, apply self care and don’t lash out.

Speak your pain, yes. We HAVE TO speak our pain, or there will never be change. But don’t lay into another writer in a negative way. It ruins writer twitter for us all. If you have a large following, influence, don’t feed people to your followers feeling, maybe, that it’s just an object lesson in what not to do. I don’t want to see what is such a wonderful community (even with its flaws, it IS wonderful) go away because we didn’t take the time to step away until we could share our pain in a constructive way.

If we don’t, each and every one of us, start behaving better. All those people (of every demographic imaginable, many are marginalized themselves) who said they’re on the verge of leaving twitter… they’ll go. And this platform that can be SO useful in helping others understand our pain will be gone.

Because of a few, noisy, bullying voices and the mob mentality that supports them.

Twitter can be great, educational, and supportive. Or it can remain toxic. It’s our choice.