Feeling Validated After Last Night’s Debate

Right now I’m sitting in my car outside my therapist’s office. No surprise, we talked about last night’s debates. During the session I was struggling to articulate my feelings about Donald Trump. He’s a bigot, a hate-monger, a dangerous narcissist, a genuine garbage person...

So why did part of me feel a sense of relief as he spoke last night? Is “relief” the word I’m even looking for?

“Rach, you felt validated.” My therapist is a smart woman.

Trump is a festering blister who embodies everything that is wrong with this country. He stands for everything oppressive and violent that minorities experience everyday. My whole life people have been dismissive of my trauma, the harassment I endure, the prejudice I encounter, my intelligence, my potential, my right to be safe, my right to have equitable space, the fact I’m a person with worth. I’m a woman who wears size 16 jeans, I’m bisexual, I’m a rape survivor, I’m a survivor of childhood sexual assault, I live with an eating disorder that I manage each day, I’m mentally ill, and prior to this election so many people downplayed my experiences, refusing to believe my account of my own life. They routinely challenged my narrative -

It can’t be that bad. You’re exaggerating. Women are emotional. They over react. You’re just crazy. You’re just a fat angry feminist. You shouldn’t have acted like that. You’ll get over it, just stop talking about it.”

Like all minorities I’ve been systemically disempowered, my pain and my strength diluted by a racist heteronormative patriarchal culture that thrives by keeping the voiceless silent. Trump’s toxic rants, his frightening behavior, his aggression, his poisonous ideologies, his terrifying unpredictability, the fact he does and says whatever he wants with zero consequence, and most importantly the fact that so many people agree with him and applaud him — reveals the true malicious underbelly of America. The fear, the pain, the inequity, the discrimination, the abuse that minorities in America live with every day, these experiences are real and they shouldn’t be ignored, they shouldn’t be explained away -

“It can’t be that bad. I’ve never witnessed that. Maybe the problem is you.”

This has to stop. Our terror is real. Our terror is everything Trump represents and the people he speaks for. I’m validated because one highly visible, very loud man - a man running for president of our country — encompasses all of the violence I’ve experienced, violence I was told didn’t exist. He is spewing his hate-filled rhetoric in the spotlight — he is a tangible representation of bigotry in a national conversation.

What we experience is REAL and it is not right. You can’t ignore Trump, you can’t ignore me, and that’s why we need to vote for Hillary Clinton. We need to make America good, great, and safe for everyone.