Why Trauma Survivors May Feel Particularly Impacted by the Election
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Why Trauma Survivors May Feel Particularly Impacted by the Election

Trauma, Magnified

21
Why Trauma Survivors May Feel Particularly Impacted by the Election
Masimba Tinashe Madondo

I had therapy the day after the election.

The waiting room, usually empty, was full. There were only four chairs. Seven women, many of color, slumped against walls, staring at the ground. No one spoke. My therapist opened the waiting room door, her own body propped up against the doorway. She looked exhausted, cradling a mug of tea, wearing a shawl bigger than she was, giving the impression she had wrapped herself up in a blanket. She looked how I felt.

Nonetheless, she expressed to me that she was still very much capable of being there for me, even if she herself was struggling.

“You must be particularly hurt by this,” she said to me.

I told her that I was -- as a queer transgender person who occasionally menstruates, I was absolutely scared. But she shook her head.

“Well, yes. But I was talking about your own assault,” she said. “It must be really scary to watch all this happen, after what you went through.”

At that moment, she put words to the feelings I hadn’t been capable of placing.

I felt so off-kilter throughout the election. Like I was in a bad sitcom. Like it was a musical and I was that one character who kept asking why everyone was singing and never gets an answer, getting yanked from verse to verse despite protests. It was the same feeling I’d had during the fallout from my assault, almost two years ago.

The whole time I was trying to report my assault, trying to get justice, I felt like I had stepped into a bad sitcom. They blamed me; I was called hysterical; “I’m not sure you know what assault really is”; his boss yelled at me for so long, she needed her inhaler; they fired me from my job; and the final kick in the teeth, when he graduated, they hired him.

I kept waiting for the laugh track, for the guys with cameras to leap out from the ceiling tiles and tell me I was getting punked. They never came.

Sound familiar?

This is how so many people felt during the election process. Like it was a horrible joke that never ended. The election was (and is) exceptionally difficult for so many people, but trauma survivors may be affected in the specific way that we are not surprised -- this has happened to us before.

For many trauma survivors, this was not an unfamiliar feeling. This was our assault, magnified. This was us on a national level.

Even if we are out of harm’s way, survivors may experience an intense feeling of paranoia surrounding the abusive person or the system that failed them. I cannot walk around campus without feeling like my university is out to get me. Because it is run by people who further traumatized me, I cannot feel safe on its grounds because I know I have no support there.

For me, and for countless other survivors, campus is now the entire United States. Stepping outside and realizing that you are living in a hostile environment, one that is run by people who at best will ignore you and your struggles, and at worst will actively target you until you die.

To my fellow survivors of any kind of abuse, assault, or trauma: these are valid feelings. This election can be a trigger for many of us who see our experiences reflected in it. You are not overreacting. Even if you haven’t felt this way for a long time, it doesn’t mean you aren’t still recovering.

To anyone who has a survivor in their life: Please take a moment, if you can, to reach out to them. Especially if they are a survivor of color, in the LGBTQI+ community, women, or otherwise associated with the marginalized groups Trump’s campaign targets. The election of this abusive man is resonating too hard with many of us. We are all too familiar with abusive people being rewarded for their behavior, with abusive people gaining power over us.

To everyone who is affected by this election, everyone who is devastated, everyone who is terrified: Take care of yourselves. Take care of each other. Practice self-care, practice activism, practice rebellion, practice solidarity. We’re going to need it.
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lum3n

Women are known to lug around heavy purses with unnecessary items inside. How many of these useful items do you keep in your own bag? We need to be prepared with a list of things to have with us whenever we leave the house again.

Keep Reading... Show less
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/dec/13/harry-styles-fine-line-review-columbia

I personally love using song lyrics as my Instagram captions, especially from songs that I love or that mean a lot to me, and I happen to love Harry Styles and all of his songs! So I made a list of lyrics from each of his songs that you could use in your next Instagram caption.

Keep Reading... Show less

Everyone's been here. And, truthfully, it sucks. But in order to move on and get past something you need to allow yourself to feel it for what it is--all of the heartbreak and pain--and then you can start to take steps move on.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

11 Christmas Movies You'll Remember If You Were A 2000s Kid

Because I'm still reminiscing about simpler times.

10063

The Christmas season is coming to an end, but it's not too late to get some last-minute movies in! Unfortunately, this year didn't look like a typical Christmas. While we can't have any big Christmas parties or family gatherings, we can still celebrate at home! Christmas is the best time for nostalgia, and we could all use some warm and fuzzy feelings as we wrap up a tough year and enter a new one that hasn't been proven any calmer, either.

As a kid who grew up in the 2000s, I can think of some of my favorite staple Christmas movies. If you're looking for recommendations or just a walk down memory lane, check out the list below.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

9 Reasons 'The Wilds' Should Be Your Next Binge Watch

The Wilds is the Best New Show on Amazon Prime

6916
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/amazon-s-wilds-much-more-just-gender-swapped-lord-flies-ncna1250078

As we enter the new year, you might be looking for a great show to kick-off 2021. Look no further, I have the perfect recommendation. "The Wilds" was released on Amazon Prime last month and has been gaining traction steadily since then. This series of 10 one-hour episodes tells the stories of eight girls who find themselves on a deserted island after their plane crashed while they are on their way to a resort. Unlike other survival shows, there's a bit more to the story than what first meets the eye. This show is unique in characters, storytelling methods, and plot.

If you aren't convinced yet, allow me to provide you with a list of further persuasion.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 Therapeutic Ways To Be Adventurous During The Pandemic

Add some music to reduce the COVID-anxiety a bit and perceive your surroundings as the elaborate setting of a land far, far away from home

850

Even if we are not traveling abroad at the moment, we can still travel locally while maintaining social distancing and preventative guidelines. Sometimes, the little things in life seem the most fascinating and joyous to us compared to the flamboyant luxuries that we perhaps have a wishful desire for.

So, as a potential remedy for our travel necessity, I have listed 5 alternative ways in which you can relish your traveling desires during this pandemic.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

10 Things TikTok Made Me Buy, And Now My Life Is So Much Better

Where would I be without my Revlon hair dryer or CeraVe skin products?! Thanks, TikTok.

4776
CeraVe/Instagram

TikTok is a great way to see what products are trending. People are sharing tips and tricks about items that they use to make their life happier, healthier, or just easier.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments