I have been feeling a whole lot of ways lately. I have been unable to concretely pin my feelings down. I don’t feel just one thing, I feel everything and I find myself wanting to grab onto something, to feel grounded. It feels like I have lost a large sense of who I am and what my contributions to this world are … I also feel so alone. I write this all down in hopes of finding community because feeling this alone is suffocating and feeling this hopeless is not healthy.
I feel angry. I am angry that Donald Trump is the president-elect of the country that has made itself the only viable option for a lot of refugees to flee, ironically due to U.S. interventions in our countries. I am angry that I am not allowed to be angry in public spaces, especially in those spaces created by what I have chosen to call “unity-allies” or “love-only allies.” There have been a surge of events around my community asking for those of us who feel afraid and angry by this election to stop feeling angry because then we “become them.” I am angry that they are still managing to police marginalized peoples reactions to something shitty. I am angry that I cannot be angry, because it makes some people uncomfortable. I am so angry I keep crying because I do not know who I can count on anymore.
I feel anxious. My entire personality revolves around justice-seeking and justice-making, and this does not feel just nor fair, and I feel like people keep wanting activists to “keep fighting that good fight” but I am exhausted.
I feel drained and I am ready to sleep and to write about flowers and to laugh without crying. I am so anxious that my own skin has turned against me, and I have an itch all over my body. I am so anxious that my brain has begun to send signals to my body that I am in distress. I cannot feel like this right now, I do not have the time to mourn and that makes me more anxious.
I feel sad. I know that real consequences will be had soon because of the results of this election. Trump loves the police, he loves pipelines, he loves blaming immigrants for the loss of jobs, he hates women especially women with opinions, he hates protestors; he especially hates people of color who he wishes he could punish like a lot of civil rights protestors were punished in the 60s and 70s.
I feel like I do not know what to do, but waiting until the entire room is on fire feels unproductive. I feel sad because I keep being told that things might be different, and something inside of the very core of who I am keeps telling me that is untrue. I feel sad because allies put on pins, while my close friends put more locks on their front doors. I feel sad because everything around feels fragile and unstable, and I have no answers, no strength right now.
I feel cornered. When you put someone in a corner they will bite back, but that is precisely what Donald Trump has done to a lot of people in this country. I feel like living in a red state means that I have not felt safe in a long time but it also means that I am now particularly vulnerable. I feel like I need an exit strategy, we need some type of underground railroad for our Muslim friends and undocumented friends. This time feels scary and action is all I can think about, but I am frozen. I feel like I cannot move fast enough and I cannot regain my strengths quickly enough.
I feel numb. I feel like everything around me has been pointing to these results in this election, and I saw it coming. White backlash, they call it, which is the result of this election were fueled by the racial tensions that arise when people of color demand that they are treated like human beings.
I feel nothing because I have seen the way people treat me when I enter spaces in Nashville, and I have become accustomed to a certain level of hostility. So this new Trump hostility feels like more of the same when you live in a city that continually ensures that you are made to feel like you do not belong in their spaces. I feel prepared for the racism because I have already been living within the racism.
I feel like all I’ve got are my thoughts and my laptop, so “I am writing, writing, writing, for my life.” — Pearl Cleage
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