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Personal Cost of a Rapist President

Trigger Warning/Length warning – Rape, Trump, Kavanaugh

Waking up the day after the election 2016 was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. The heartbreak and disbelief were huge and real, but what was even worse was articulated by my best friend from a message late into the night of the election, “This is how much they hate us.” The us she was referring to was women.

My husband kissed me before he left for work that day and said, “I’m so sorry, baby.”

“Hey, you didn’t vote for him.”

“I know. It’s just this has to be so much worse for you.”

And it was.

Our nation had just shown it would elect a rapist over a woman, even if the woman had more votes. Even if she could speak in complete sentences while her opponent was barely cogent. To say it was soul-destroying is not hyperbole.

Not unlike many other women, a man raped me. It caused trauma that I worked through and yet still deal with. I worked as a sexual assault counselor and advocate for a while, too. To have a rapist as the president was horrifying – and then again to have that rapist put another on the Supreme Court made me physically ill.

There were a few times during Brett Kavanaugh’s rushed through weak-ass vetting process that I really thought about suicide. Or becoming an ex-pat. But men being rapists is a global problem and as much as we’d like to think differently, I doubt they were the first two rapists in those lauded offices.

Still, every single defense of Kavanaugh felt like waking up that morning in November to the realization that yes, they do indeed hate us. They hate us so much they are putting known rapists in positions of power and laughing about it.

When Dr. Blasey Ford gave her testimony there was no doubt in my mind or hers or any woman who had heard that kind of laughter before. They hate us so much I’m pretty sure Dr. Ford is still getting death threats.

When they confirmed Kavanaugh we heard it again. Lindsey Graham’s hate filled face mirrored that of the rest of those old, white, rapist-assisting men. They showed that it doesn’t matter how brave you are, how truthful you, they will still win. They will still laugh. And your life gets ruined again.

I’ve never been able to watch Trump speak. It makes me want to vomit. Not in an “Ew, he makes me sick” I mean literally it makes me physically ill. I stopped watching Colbert and Seth Myers, too. Colbert used his fake and frankly BAD Trump voice more often than his own and Myers played clip after clip of our rapist in chief.

It was soul destroying.

People who knew me voted for this rapist. People who knew my history and voted for Trump anyway said I needed to calm down. Chill out. He wasn’t that bad. Who cares that you were raped and he was accused? Why should anyone care about that? The accuser is probably lying, anyway.

Who cares that the accuser was 13 or that Trump bragged about walking in on girls that age in dressing rooms?

A whole four years of being gaslit. By more than just one person, by a loud vocal part of the nation as a whole, by the news, and by every single Republican in Congress and the White House. It felt like being silenced every single day and watching the same happen to others.

I didn’t really calculate the entire toll this had taken on my mental health until Biden’s swearing in ceremony. It might take me years to realize the complete mental toll.

The inauguration was like water after a drought.

Oh, the women!!

They were there in beautiful clothes with beautiful words with beautiful support for each other with beautiful confidence and attitude. It was like a balm to a soul that had been tortured for far too many years in a row. And every outfit had layers of meaning. It was awesome and while I’m not into fashion, women can say more with an outfit than any of the male politicians in attendance.

I wasn’t alone crying during the inauguration and the main feeling of relief was so intensely acute it was damn near painful.

Andrea Hall, Fire Captain, and her inclusion (oh, hooray for inclusion) of sign language.

Lady Gaga with her defiant performance and wonderful outfit. She sang the national anthem with the “we are patriots and we are still here” that the song inspires and she did it perfectly in the exact spot the insurrectionists failed to take our flag. She gave it the fuck you energy it required and did it with class.

Katy Perry with her white clothes and blue and red buttons.

J.Lo claiming this land is hers just as it is mine in a way that brooks no argument.

Amanda Gorman with her beautiful words and wonderful yellow sunshine presence – with a ring of a caged bird reminiscent of Maya Angelou that was gifted from Oprah conveying so many layers of pain and triumph. What a gift of hope she was to our nation.

And Kamala Harris. At last, Vice-President Kamala Harris. Finally, in my lifetime, MADAME Vice-President. Finally, finally, finally, finally…

Thank Goddess for these wonderful women who have shown a strength I myself do not possess but completely wish to emulate.

It is hard to explain how freeing it is to not have to look at the face of a rapist destroying my country everyday. I had no idea how much of a mental toll it was taking in the first place. Everyone I knew has been depressed the past four years.

I just never knew how heavy the trauma of having him in office had become until he left. And keep in mind I’m white and I’m straight, so I had it relatively easy in comparison. He erased everyone LGBTQIA+ on day one and waged war on every person of color for 4 years, destroying lives irreparably.

And you can bet I sat watching to make sure he got the fuck out of the White House.

Out of OUR House.

Good riddance.

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