I have Daddy issues, still at 51. I'm not proud of it, but I admit it. Nothing like a weird election between a man and a woman volleying for power to bring it all out.
Not to reduce public policy and the future of our nation (and world) to an emotional fit, but I’m watching a lot of emotional fits take place so I thought I’d delve inside to get to the bottom of my own. A layer of emotion is swirling in an undercurrent far deeper than right and left politics.
“He won.” I yelped to Tim. “I can’t believe he won.” I sobbed.
I confess. I cried. The crying didn’t last long, but it was followed by an urge to vomit that lasted about three days and still visits me when I see what I’m calling the “pukatives” in the media. You know, the images and words that spew hate.
Anyway, every time I said, “He won,” I got emotional and felt sick.
I had to go deeper.
My dad was an amazing man, replete with a social justice barometer unsurpassed in this world. As a little girl, I watched him give to his community and I watched his community shower him back with awards and accolades. He worked tirelessly for the underdog. He was generous to a fault (so generous in his business that he hardly had money to feed his family). He was so generous with his time that he had nothing left for us except a snoring body on the couch. That sounds terrible. God rest his beautiful soul. But my dad was what a lot of dads were back in my day – an absentee dad.
It served me in some way. Rather than wait for him to handle the wheel of the car and direct my Life, I learned to drive my own proverbial car at a very young age. I worked as soon as I could to make my own money to create my own freedom. I was raised with brothers who had opportunities I never had. I watched one play baseball and get all kinds of attention so my best friend, Lizzie, and I decided we wanted to play baseball, too. When we tried out for Southington Little League, I remember the coaches all laughed at us. One coach, I remember, put the catcher’s helmet on me laughing, “Here, wear this one!” It was 4X larger than my head and kept slipping, blocking my view so every ball pitched at me hit me in the helmet, square between my eyes. Everyone just laughed more.
Strong triggering words.
Since 11/9, my heart has hurt.
It’s an ache, actually.
If I’m quiet and honest, it hurts because I don’t trust Trump to lead our beautiful country just like I couldn’t trust my dad to lead my life. And I worry for my girls living in a country led by a “pussy-grabbing” president. He’s not qualified to give my girls what I want from a leader.
Just like my own dad wasn’t qualified to give me what I needed.
I mean, what could be worse? A powerful woman had lost to a man who disposes his wives like Bic shavers, and seems incapable of seeing women beyond their physicality.
On top of that, Hillary had symbolized a win for the women marginalized and belittled in this world. I knew the ache inside of me was my problem and no one else’s. “It’s like women have never been given their true power or true value,” I said to Tim.
He turned to me, face contorted with confusion. “Why does someone have to give you power? Don’t you just have it?”
I was quiet, not even aware I had said “given”.
Looking outside of ourselves for resolution to the human condition, which is at its core a seeking of pleasure to avoid pain (a pain defined differently by each one of us), is the definition of losing our own power.
Our true power is internal, and has nothing to do with any other human being, really.
(Yes, we have to run civilizations and that's for a different blog. This one is just about why we're emotionally triggered.)
Anyway, this dad stuff is so deep that last night I even had a dream about George Bush Sr. Say what?? I’ve never been one to sit on the right side of the political room, but I remember in real life bumping into him (literally walked right into him at the World Summit for Children in 1990 trying to find my co-worker at the United Nations) and thinking how statuesque he was. He smiled at me. His secret service men glared at me, but let me walk on.
My dream was nothing special. We were eating at the same restaurant and I had him call Tim on the phone as a joke. I woke up realizing that my psyche is really wrangling with this idea of Trump as titular head. Now I’m dreaming about George Bush? I’m pretty sure I didn’t even vote for him. But my unconscious appreciated his diplomacy as president, his initiative of “Collective Security”, his seemingly powerful love for Barbara. Stately. Regal. Calm. A therapist would say… A Good Daddy. LOL.
So now I sit with my emotional issues in the wake of the 2016 Presidential Election. Who knew a Trump Triumph would send me reeling? What do these players actually represent to each of us?
Is this really about election results or is it about some deeper reckoning about their archetypal place in our minds. Trump, to me, is the archetype of a perpetrator or abuser or maniacal self-absorbed man.
My pain is not your pain. My fear is not your fear. Each of us has to have the human decency to witness the realities and pain of others – not only our own. We all underestimated the emotional pull that this president-elect triggered on BOTH sides, taking us to places way beyond partisan politics.
For those happy with Trump? I get it. Trump is not your Bad Daddy. He might even be your Sugar Daddy. LOL. He represents different things to different people, and everyone seems to be giving him too much power.
What if we all took our hurt and anger – or our need to gloat – a little deeper inside?
It’s not about who won. It’s about who and what we perceive to have won.
For the people terrified that Trump will set us back 100 years, it’s just a fear right now. In reality, even though the vitriol of some Trump supporters in this undercurrent has been galvanized and is ripping through our communities like a rabid dragon, no rights have been lost. On the contrary, we're collectively growing more vigilant against injustices targeted at specific groups.
For the people who have placed all of their hopes in Trump to give us peace and financial security? In reality, nothing has happened.
For the people who rejoice with division and hate? Your wounds must run deep, and the majority of people in this country will not let your brokenness hurt others. I promise you that.
Trump is no one's devil, savior, good or bad daddy. He's just a guy who won an election.
Let’s keep our crazy in check. Gnash teeth, fight, hiss, carry on, protest, gloat, call people names, have your stupid parades. Figure it out. I will, no doubt, continue to rant.
Then let’s move beyond the emotionalism and rise to our higher selves.
We got this, America.