I shot out of bed before dawn, with an odd mix of Christmas-giddiness and an emotional flu. By the day’s end, I’d either be celebrating the election of the first woman president of the United States, a glass ceiling crumbling like one of my great aunt Ellen’s delicate cookies, or I’d be mourning the gain of someone…else.
No, that can’t happen. I thought, pleadingly. But it might…
Needless to say, it did.
All considering, the results aren’t all that shocking. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t hurt like hell.
SIDE NOTE: I’m assuming no Trump/Pence fans will be interested in this post, unless to argue. All due respect, this isn’t meant for you. If you feel the need to debate here, please refrain.
Like many folks, I felt helpless for days. I questioned everything from humanity and my work to the meaning of life. (HSP/HSEs, unite!) Thankfully, my mom, who’d flown in for a visit, brought distraction, a loving shoulder and homemade curry o’ plenty. She’s seen me through multiple heartbreaks, but none like this.
I recalled that I’d scheduled an interview with Catriona McHardy for the following week. The longtime sex educator who held multiple roles with Planned Parenthood for decades and I planned to explore intimacy after trauma, inspired by a fabulous new book she coedited. Seeing as the president elect has both admitted to and been accused of sexual assault, the timing seemed impeccable.
Then I received a powerful email from a listener and rape survivor who’s feeling triggered by the election. Could Dr. Megan and I help?
Meanwhile, I clung to voices of solidarity—friends, strangers and leaders taking a stand for equality, grieving together and respecting one another’s ache. Soon, lights began to flicker. And while it wasn’t enough to ignite my whole darn tree, “Christmas” (the glee I’d lost) was no longer flat on the floor.
All of this resulted in one of my most unique and, IMO, important episodes. It was also nerve-wrecking, as I decided to address privilege and racism, which I’m new to speaking about, and certainly hadn’t done for a sizable audience. *gulp*
I’m so grateful to Catriona, Dr. Megan and allies who volunteered to weigh in for helping to restore my soul. I feel like me again, and suspect your beautiful words will do the same for many.
Listen to the episode on iTunes or below! Here’s the overview:
Trump won, so now what? August responds to the presidential election and explores intimacy after sexual assault with Catriona McHardy—coeditor of “Making Out Like a Virgin” (1st 30 minutes). Dr. Megan weighs in for a rape survivor experiencing PTSD, who doesn’t feel ready to share her struggles with her new boyfriend. (31:00) The episode wraps up with messages from allies of marginalized groups—plus a brave message from a woman about her fears—and August’s thoughts on important steps worth taking.
What did you think of the show? What steps are you taking for equality? How are you managing post-election blues? As always, I welcome respectful thoughts.