Hi fellow survivors. The recent posts I am seeing on this site sadden me because we are all strong survivors and we should try to always remember this. I know like me, many of you are still having a hard time processing that a man who is so clearly a rapist was elected as our 45th president. After completely going crazy and telling sweet old ladies in my family who voted for Trump that they have disgusting morals I mustered the strength to accept that ignorance and biases over powered logical decision making. A lot of otherwise intelligent Americans simply did not have the exposer to begin to understand the subtle way biases like sexism and racism creep up and make decisions for us. The truth is under different life circumstances I may have been just as blinded as they were when they voted.
It took some time and A TON of emotional strength, but I finally had a conversation with my future mother in law (after bitching her out and then making up yesterday). I heard the voice of a woman I’ve loved from day one of knowing her and it softened me up to search for understanding on both ends. She didn’t understand the social impact his election would have and how it effected me personally- even though she was a strong woman by my side throughout my rape recovery process. She explained how disturbed she was by Hillary accepting her husband after his affair and I took this opportunity to discuss how this is a manifestation of sexism. Especially given that she was more willing to point the finger at a female spouse (victim) rather than an actual rapist. When she pointed to illegal immigration, I had the opportunity to explain how racism may have played a role in her views on this issue. One way that I think I made her open up to these insights, was to normalize biases an d say we all have some sexism, racism, all the isms in us. The trick is not to deny them, but to keep a keen eye on them so that we don’t let them rule our decision making. Pointing out this major similarity is a great way to start these conversations.
I really hope this helps you all navigate your close relationships at this difficult time. Please keep your head up and remember that we have to come together and EDUCATE our fellow Americans so we can have a brighter future for our children. I love you all and I hope you join me in the mission to spread love and healing through respectful conversations. We have a lot of work to do!
— D, age 28