I Don't Know How to Be Around You

I know I’m supposed to look for the good.
I know I’m supposed to be the bigger person.
I know that when they go low, we go high —

But I can’t.
Not yet.
Maybe not ever.
But certainly not yet.

I don’t know how to be around you.
I don’t know how to hear you tell me, “I love you,” or feel you embrace me, or eat food that you have generously prepared for me and not want to vomit or rage or weep.

When you do those things — good things — all I can think about is how you voted for crimes against women to become more acceptable — crimes against me.

And of course that doesn’t even touch on how you voted for race-based hate crimes, religion-based hate crimes, and sexual orientation-based hate crimes. You did those things, too. I don’t feel them as deeply because I am not the target of those crimes, but I feel empathy with those who are. I feel it, and I don’t understand how you cannot. How you choose to not.

When I look into your eyes, all I can believe is that you must hate me.

In the two weeks since the election, there have been 701 hate crimes since the election {source}. And these are just the ones reported.

Have you been listening to first-hand reports of these crimes and threats? I have, and they’re terrifying. Immigrants being told that they’re about to be deported, blacks threatened, women told they’re going to get raped now that “America’s great again.”

I don’t feel safe.
I don’t feel safe.
I don’t feel safe.

And you wanted this.
You knew he’s a rapist, a racist, a misogynist, an ableist, all the -ist’s, and still you thought a vote for him was somehow okay.

When I see you, all I can see is how you thought it was acceptable for me to live in a world where men have increased license to rape me because their leader does.

You must hate me, and your daughters, and your wife, and your granddaughters, and your mother, and your female neighbors and co-workers and friends.

You have betrayed me and millions of your fellow citizens, and we cannot not feel that cut deep, through our heart tissue straight to the soul. Don't you see the souls of millions of your countrymen and women bleeding all around you? Can't you smell the acrid iron-laced aroma of their soul's blood pooling on the ground at your feet?

And you continue say that you voted this way because you’re a single-issue voter, that you had to, that it’s just politics, that it’s okay.

It is not okay.
It is not okay.
It is not okay.

You don’t get to vote for all of this, and then expect me to be okay with it. If you expect to get a pass when you vote with the KKK, then you damn well better give me time to figure out how to breathe in the same space as you.

Because I don’t know how to be around you when you voted in favor of my increased chances of being raped, assaulted, or otherwise violated because I am a woman, and a woman with an opinion.

No matter how this turns out, I can’t see how we’ll survive this, you and I. I can’t understand how to un-see your choice, how to un-know it. Today, I cannot. Maybe tomorrow, or a thousand tomorrows from now, I will. But not today.

How dare you vote for this.
How dare you ask me to be okay with this.
How dare you be hurt that I’m upset about this.
How dare you say that you love me.

How dare you.