Hello, it’s me: your friendly neighborhood left-leaning democrat. I am the one who doesn’t think the Hillary memes are funny anymore, and who LOSES MY MIND SOMETIMES ON TWITTER over current events. Here are my thoughts:
Today at work I was literally pleaded with by a new coworker to stop talking about politics. I actually pretty often find myself unable to shut my mouth regarding my grievances with the government, even when I’m completely aware that everyone around me is becoming uncomfortable because they support what I’m condemning or vice versa. To some, I’m sure I appear to be a sore loser who can’t stop until everyone agrees with me. I think I really just want to be truly heard.
As much as it pains me to say, I’m currently wishing that I was among the Americans celebrating the current administrations actions and words. Some people I know are blissfully going along with their day to day lives feeling safe and represented in the interests of our country. However, on the left over here all I want is to go one day without reading a headline about America that absolutely gives me anxiety— real heart racing, helpless, anxiety.
All of that being said, if you’re someone reading this and finding yourself ready to comment something rude about my beliefs, please know that I’m talking to you
The average Trump Supporters I speak to on a daily basis make fun of people like me— the ones who are genuinely panicking about our futures. Personally, I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression, which in my case leads to negative thoughts, obsession, and the occasional (or in my case frequent) existential dread. The headlines currently running about our government—you know the scary ones that reveal inconsistency and rushed decisions? Those aren’t just “I told you so” reminders for me— they’re warning signs. Signs that tell me I was right to worry during election season and things are only going to get worse. I lie awake at night and fear that my rights as a woman will be reduced, or that my LGBT and black friends lives will be valued less than their white neighbors, or that the poor and disenfranchised won’t have access to quality medical care, or that immigrants will be shunned from the USA because of the country listed on their birth certificate (I could go on but you get the point). Last month, I called my mom three times at work worrying that I would lose my health insurance. I can’t stop waking my boyfriend up at 6am to panic to him about the latest briefing or statement from a foreign power. While I do find myself at times able make jokes about the president, it’s not all some cute joke to me anymore and I’m not just throwing a fit. I’m terrified and my psyche is being affected by the Office of the President.
The worst part of all of this is that whenever I express these anxieties online and in person to those around me, I’m typically met with mockery. Generally, the people who are comfortable with this administration and think my anxious thoughts are ridiculous do nothing to comfort me. They can only seem to find names to call me, like “snowflake” and “liberal crybaby” (but we can discuss that moral failure later). I’m not saying my opinions and political beliefs can be swayed (or that my opinions are the only right ones)— because my mind is already made up about this current chapter of American politics. However, I am suggesting that if pride was put aside and occasionally my neighbors were able to understand my anxieties (or at least try to understand) our political conversation would be much more productive, and frankly, people like me who are struggling to accept what’s happening around us would be a lot more mentally healthy.
So if you are someone who feels tempted to type something sarcastic after reading paragraph one and two of this blurb, please consider the following: some of us aren’t just annoyed that we didn’t get our way, and for some of us this isn’t just a contest. Our way of life and our dreams lost in this election, and because of that, we’re now struggling to find our place in this new America you love so much. Thanks for reading.