Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Can we talk? Please don't normalize his behavior!

Can we talk?  I just need to!! I need to talk about what is going on in our country for the past few months. This is what I think, what I think. It's gotten really ugly, name calling, violence increasing and just a sense of distrust and unease. So I want to ask if you voted for Trump, how are you feeling about him lately? Specifically on Saturday when he sent out that crazy tweet where he was "beating up CNN." Did that make you proud? Did you cheer him on and say yeah, you get 'em? Or were you horrified that the dignity of office of President was trampled?

Truth time for me, we are all friends here on Facebook, all 2 billion of us. I did not vote for Trump, never liked the guy. I have always been a Democrat. And I hear you, you didn't like the alternatives, you didn't like the Clintons. And the EMAILS, all the emails!!! But what I will never understand is why the tape of Trump admitting sexual assault wasn't enough for you not to vote for him. Why that didn't turn your stomach to the point of you could never vote for such a predator, such an abuser?      

But Bill had affairs, I can hear you say. Yes, I'll give that to you, but they were consensual, not assault. He didn't just grab someone by the pussy because he was a celebrity. And, and, and, he wasn't running for President, Hillary was. So let's be real, you didn't want to vote for her because she was a woman. You would rather have an admitted pussy grabber in the White House than a woman who devoted her life to public service.

More truth to all my friends here so you can understand where I'm coming from. I was molested when I was 4 by a friend of our family, I was assaulted in college, fast forward thru several suicide attempts, 3 hospitalizations, severe anorexia, suffered with debilitating endometriosis but now I'm leading a wonderful life. I'm not trying to minimize or gloss over these things, but they don't define me, I feel no shame about them. I worked my ass off to get where I am today, did so much work, so much reading and therapy.  Everything that happened to me is part of my story that has led me to be who I am today. I couldn't be me without having gone through those struggles in my 20s. I am happily married to an amazing man, we have 2 wonderful, silly beautiful daughters. I'm living the life I dreamt of but never felt I deserved in my 20s. I feel things very deeply and act very strong, like Mama Bear. I feel healed from these wounds of the past. I feel like one of the lucky ones, some never heal from these kinds of wounds. They are haunted every day. I felt the need to share these parts of my life with you not for pity or praise but for you to understand what kind of fighter I have become. I literally hit the lowest point anyone can hit and I crawled back up. There is no greater fight than that, so I will do whatever I need to do for my children, always, without question.

OK, so Trump is President, I did not vote for him. As a survivor, it makes my skin crawl.  His admission of assault was watered down to "locker room talk." The woman really wanted it. Well, I am here to say that the men I know and respect, would never talk like about any woman.  And that she was asking for it or really wanted it, is just crazy talk. I was 4 when I was first assaulted, so I couldn't have been asking for it. But I remember every detail of the assault in college. I wasn't asking to be pinned down on the bed with my hands over my head so I couldn't get away. He had complete control over me, I struggled but couldn't get away and I consider myself to be a strong woman. He had been a friend. But when people started normalizing what Trump had said, it felt like what I had gone thru and what I had fought for didn't mean anything to anyone. This was the new normal for women was heartbreaking for me and I would just have to deal. I also heard that they were just lying and just coming forward for money. But assault victims don't always come forward right away. I didn't and he wasn't a billionaire. But I wasn't lying about what had happened to me just because I waited to tell people about it.

Now, I consider myself one of the lucky ones, meaning that even though I went thru hell in my 20s and almost didn't make it out, I did! I had wonderful counselors and psychiatrists and friends and family. My faith in God grew so much during my 30s, after I met my husband and I had my daughters. I knew God had a plan for me that I couldn't see. I could begin to thank God for unanswered prayers. I felt at peace. I have so many blessings that I thank God for every day!

It wasn't until Trump's behavior started going off the rails that I started having a problem. Some people call him out on his behavior but he attacks them on Twitter and somehow, none of his advisers, his children or his wife can get him to stop tweeting. I believe those show his real character. He has no respect for women, other races or other religions. He is so incredibly narcissistic, I just can't even. But people still are normalizing his behavior, making excuses for him. "He is new to politics" He is being attacked so he attacks back" I could go on and on. The thing that I always come back to though is that tape with Billy Bush when he said he grabs woman by the  pussy, when your famous they let you do whatever you want. That is assault!!! That is what happened to me and by brushing that aside, by normalizing it, I feel like what has happened to me has also been brushed aside.

I occasionally read his tweets but I'm not a follower.  The tweets he put out make my blood boil, he infuriates me. The morning after the election, my youngest daughter, Emma, burst into tears because she thought that Trump could shoot anyone who disagreed with him. I said no, he couldn't do that. She said "But Mommy, he said he could stand in the middle of the street and shoot someone and no one would care." I was speechless. He had said that, how could I comfort her? He had incited violence at his rallies. His unconstitutional travel ban is SO important to him to get the "evil bad hombres" out of this country. The enforcement, before it was banned was merciless.

This tweet where he wrestles (which by itself is just insane) a man with the CNN logo, incites violence against reporters. Reporters risk their lives to get a story. They should be protected, not bullied by the President who has thin skin and thinks any negative story is fake news. But I think it's not just that, it matters to the people watching and the children. It trickles down.  And the children are watching and it is emboldening people to do things they never would have dreamt of before.

This spring, I got a call from Emma's principal, there had been a incident at school. She wasn't in trouble but in her gym class, they had split into groups to do different activity stations. She was at one with boy and another girl, this boy felt emboldened to run his hand down Emma's back and say "I want to rape you."  They took it very seriously at school and he was punished and they were kept apart for the rest of year. She got counseling at school but didn't really want to talk about it. But normalizing violence, normalizing sexual assault by the President has trickled down to this 10 year old boy to say that he wanted to RAPE my 10 year old daughter.  I am NOT OK with this!! They weren't sure if he knew what it meant, I'm not sure, but Emma knows what it means for some other awful reason. I love our school and our principal. Things like this have never happened before. I did feel sorry for the boy too, what type of environment did he live in that he had heard that phrase and thought it was OK to say to another human. Emma was traumatized by it though, she didn't want to talk about it and she wants to forget it ever happened.

A few weeks later, she came home from school and told me that some boy had brought a toy gun to school. She wanted to tell the teacher but was bullied by her classmates not to tell a teacher. Her classmates said that if she told they wouldn't be her friends anymore, that she always ruined the fun, and all other kinds of bully bullshit. When the teacher finally questioned Emma, she did tell the truth. And when she got home we had a very long talk about telling someone immediately. Toy guns can look real and real guns can look like toys. As it turned it there was no gun at all, thank goodness. But the bullies are in their heyday right now, living the dream, being just like the President of the United States.

We can not normalize his behavior!!! It is not normal!! And politics aside, are you still proud of your President? My daughter is 10 years old and these things are happening in 4th grade. I don't want to fight with you, I probably can't convince you of anything.  I know, THE EMAILS!!! But I want you to know that the President's bullying behavior is trickling down into the schools. It matters!! I'm not sure exactly what to do except to be more involved at school with my girls and know the kids they are with. Chaperone when I can, just be around and pray. I do need to talk to our principal again and see what she is thinking. My children and my friend's children mean the world to me and I will do what I can, whenever I can for them. But it starts at the top and runs down hill. We have an admitted sexual predator as our Commander in Chief, the highest office in the land, what does that say about us and our values as a country?

I know none of this is new news or new information. But I needed to process this somehow and this seemed like a good way for me to start. So there are a lot of other things I could say, but I choosing to just keep it about his behavior right now.

So I don't know where to go from here. We seem to be at an impasse. Civility has broken down. But I do have faith in humanity, that love will win out in the end. This is the same country that elected Barack Obama. I have read so many heartwarming stories about people coming together. I do have faith, but we just have to wait it out and Mama Bear needs to stay out and alert for her girls. My faith is strong and so is the love for my family. So I pray for peace, strength and a way to make a change. I believe with every fiber of my being that love trumps hate every time!!

1 comment: