Do you want to know how I feel? If you don’t, then don’t read the article. If you are triggered by certain topics including sexual assault, racism or any other topic such as those, then I caution you as you read what I have to say. In light of the presidential election results I have reflected on what exactly I am feeling. The feeling that resonates with me most is passion. Amidst all of the fear, hatred, negative rhetoric, racism, sexism, and all of the other bull I’ve had to deal with these past week, I am passionate about the things I’ve been feeling.
I’ve been feeling terrified.
I’m terrified because I already see how differently i’m being treated by my peers. I can tell that as soon as I woke up Wednesday morning, my life in this country would never be the same. My relationships with my friends would never be the same, and our class discussion would never be the same. I could feel the divide that was widened when Trump was officially elected as president. I’m not scared by Trump. In fact, he isn’t the thing that has ever scared me, it’s how he has mobilized hatred toward minorities and other marginalized groups. He has literally turned half the country against each other, and that’s evident with the results of the popular vote. Although Hillary won the popular vote, Trump was not far behind, which is terrifying. I’ve seen and watched the way people are treating each other, friends are breaking bonds, families are cutting ties, and people who are supportive of both parties have already put themselves in an “Us vs. Them” category.
I’ve been feeling emotionally drained.
I don’t know what to feel half the time. I’m quick to anger, but cool of just as quickly. Tears well in my eyes, but then fire burns in my heart. My heart aches with the struggles my fellow minorities and marginalized groups will go through, but I have such pride in them and of my friends who have supported me constantly these past two days. I have been feeling every emotion I possibly can and I am so drained. I am so numb now, and it’s only been a few days. I can only imagine what four years will do to me, and anyone else who feels this way.
I’ve been feeling physically drained.
I already have aches and pains from being a dancer, but these pains are new. They are chronic in nature. They won’t ever go away. They are dull, subtle pains that feel like a small weight will always be on me, holding me down. I feel so weak. I can’t sleep well, I can’t eat well, and I am constantly looking over my shoulder for danger.
I’ve been feeling paranoid.
And rightfully so. I am so scare of who might turn on me, or worse, who will show their true colors. I am so paranoid of walking anywhere outside of campus. I’m terrified of walking after classes, now that night comes so early. I am paranoid that someone will jump out and terrorize me, because the president can, and does. I am paranoid that I will get wrongfully accused of committing a crime for just being who I am, a black woman, and that a fair trial isn’t something that will await me. I’m paranoid that of all of the groups that support Trump will come get me. My paranoia is real because these things have happened to others.
I’ve been feeling sad.
This election was met with a huge grieving process. It feels like liberty died. Like I am not longer American, because the America that I identified with is gone. I feel a huge hole in my chest because I already never felt like I had a true home here, but now I really feel unwelcome in the only place I have ever known. I am so sad for everything that we will have to deal with now.
I am disappointed.
I am so disappointed in literally so many people and things. I’m disappointed in the system that got someone like Trump elected, I’m disappointed in some of the people I know who refuse to try to understand my feelings, I’m disappointed in the people who threw away their votes or just didn’t vote at all, i’m disappointed in people who believe in God, but decide to treat me, and so many other marginalized peoples like shit, I’m disappointed that kids see this and imitate Trump, I’m disappointed that we are looked at as the country that decided to repeat the most heinous parts of history, and I’m incredibly disappointed in the created divide between people who are supposedly there for you but have shown their true motivation isn’t that of your well-being. I’m also disappointed that no one seems to want to understand each other. As much as I feel all of these emotions right now, there are a lot of people who need to be heard, from both sides.
I’ve been feeling uneasy.
Sexual assault is already all around me. I know WAY too many people who have been sexually assaulted. I’ve seen so much male dominance over a female’s body, that I feel very uneasy walking anywhere alone. I feel uneasy if I walk too close to a group of guys if they will do or say something to me that derogatory, sexist, or downright creepy. I’ve been feeling uneasy about witnessing any injustice because I’d not only be defending someone else, i’d have to find the strength to defend myself too. I feel uneasy arguing about this in any public setting with fear that someone will follow me and hurt me. I’ve been feeling uneasy for all of my friends who are targeted by any of Trump’s rhetoric and how they are doing on their campuses, in their schools, and in their states. I feel uneasy about the stirring revolution that’s bound to take place and where each person will lay their life.
I’ve been feeling angry.
I have never been so angry in my life. I am not one to anger easily, and I’ve always been a peaceful person, but if anyone were to ever call me out of my name, try to grab me inappropriately, hurt me in any possible way, there will not be any time for me to be peaceful. Physical violence isn’t what I’m even speaking of, my words will be mightier than any sword I decide to draw, but I will protect myself at any cost. I will protect those around me as well. I am not going to let anything bad happen to anyone just because people think they can do whatever they feel like now. If I see any injustice, just know I am ready to fight the good fight and bring back balance and order to this chaos we call a country.
And after all of these negative emotions subside I begin to feel loved and see love in my life.
The people in my life who have shown me what true solidarity is have been my rocks. I am ever grateful for them and what they hold strongly in. Not all of them agree with me, but they all understand and can empathize with me. That’s all that I ask. I don’t ask you to completely agree with me, but what I do ask is that you understand where I’m coming from, and to not invalidate my feelings. What I’m feeling is important. The part of the country that didn’t vote for Trump feelings’ are important, what part of the country that did vote for Trump feelings’ are important. But if you can’t understand where I and a lot of other people are coming from, and why we feel all of these things, you were never with us to begin with.
I’ve been feeling this way for the past week and I don’t know how long it will take before they either change, get better, or get worse, but for now, I’ll be watching how others treat me and each other. Actions speak louder than words, but words are gateways to your actions.