And now this…

Written on Thursday, November 10, 2016.

When we feel afraid and powerless — this is when we feel despair.

I have been blindsided by my own grief. Yesterday, I felt a fear that was not hypothetical. It was a fear that was real, a fear I had forgotten, but one I have known before.

I am the child of Egyptian immigrants. As part of their parenting method of instilling deep paranoia in their children, I grew up hearing about the horrors of the Egyptian government.

I have lived in countries where citizens are terrified of their government. Years after leaving, I’ve watched one exist in constant political unrest, and the other torn apart by civil war.

Fifteen years ago, in this country, I watched as my father’s clients were put in jail. These were the fathers of children I knew. Men who were arrested on allegations of terrorism and held indefinitely. I watched this all, waiting for the same thing to happen to my own family.

And this all happened before we had a country where a small-minded orange man rose to power using hate.

Hate weakens our country. When they elected this Cheetos-Faced sack of shit to the presidency, they weakened our country. They have made it so very easy for terrorists to use his words to fuel wars and justify attacking innocent civilians.

But this fear by itself is not why I feel despair.

My grief is not because of the election we lost, but because we have so much to lose.

Women are losing their rights, and I fear this will happen at an increasing rate. I fear that all of the progress we have made in human rights may be lost. I fear for those who will persecuted because of what they choose to believe in, what they look like and who they choose to love.

My grief is not because of what I might lose, but what we all might lose.

This is why it hurts so much. An individual’s pain can pass, but the pain of many feels infinite.

My heart breaks for the souls who worked so hard for a campaign, because they wanted to make our country and our world a better place for everyone.

Which is a sharp contrast to those who voted for that carrot colored motherfucker — who wanted not to make circumstances better for themselves, but to make life worse for others.

My heart breaks to see Hillary endure what every woman experiences every day, magnified. We saw her bear what would make any other person fly into a rage, and handle this loss in a way that still gave us hope.

Though right now, I mourn. I mourn the loss of human decency. I mourn the loss of compassion and empathy.

I mourn the fact that my one way of coping, humor, no longer works — I feel broken.

When I tried to laugh tonight, I cried, because I don’t know how to laugh anymore.

I realized — this pain comes from love. This pain, which feels like my insides are ripped apart and my body is on fire, is because of love.

Love creates the worry that the future will bring pain to my family, friends and fellow human beings. Love is the common bond; It ties us all together and moves us forward.

This Tuesday demonstrated that hate is also a powerful emotion. Though, it chains people together and keeps them in the darkness of the past.

We have to love more than they hate. This is how we will heal. This is how we will win.

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