Needs to Be Said

Right now, there is a sea of people swelling with anger and reactance. To get through the day they put on blinders to dull their feelings or bury their sense of betrayal and sadness. My writer friends have been unnaturally quiet. They are slowly peeking out into the world to admit they’ve been overcome with emotion and disappointment.

It disturbs me to know that people who make it their business to add light to the world are suffering, unable to use their voices. 

So, I'm gonna say some stuff.

Women, especially those who have experienced prolonged abuse at the hands of male authority figures, will have a visceral reaction to a red-faced man standing behind a pulpit mocking and shouting one moment, deriding and contradicting himself the next. Even the seemingly positive or benign actions of such a man cannot be trusted.

For people who live through circumstances where they’re powerless and fearful, it can take a lifetime of recovery to reclaim your dignity and power. It’s hard to constantly stuff down your body’s fight or flight mechanism.

Even people who have not been abused have been conditioned to call out liars, cheaters, and mean-spirited people. We teach our kids to share and not judge a book by its cover. We expect our co-workers to act professionally and with due respect.  When these basic, but essential rules are violated, we educate, give consequences, and move forward expecting better behavior.

Then this guy was elected president.

Then some of my friends surprised me by going out to march in Washington.

Then some of my friends surprised me even more by publicizing that “they don’t need a march.”

I nearly keeled over, and then I looked up an old article I wrote back in the day for a women’s newspaper. It is similar to the numerous articles circulating right now listing the achievements of the women's rights movement. At the time, I felt inspired to remind people how recently things had been different for women. One reader responded to that article. A woman in her seventies wrote to say that she was grateful that young women understood how much progress had been made, and how quickly it could dissolve without legal protections.

I could reprint that article (and I still might), but it probably wouldn't reach the people who needed to read it. If they have never lived without a healthy support system, they won't get it. Instead, I'll focus on the people who are already know all these things.

This is for my heart-centered friends who cannot find it in themselves to carry on as before.

There’s a saying that rings true: “Hurt people hurt people,” but that’s not the whole story. Some people transmute that pain into strength and use their hard-won power for good.

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