The only emotion I can equate with what I am feeling is grief. At first, it was shock and disbelief. Then pure, raw, grief.
This felt personal because it was. I’ve voted in elections where my party has lost before. I’ve nursed the disappointment and frustration that comes with that. But this was different.
It feels like an attack on my legitimacy as a person who matters. It’s not because a woman lost, but because a man that treats women with such disrespect and disdain won. That he can say and do anything, hurt anyone, and it might cause a ripple. But the ripple dissipates and rolls out and vanishes. The water looks like it has never been touched.
My face is swollen. My bones ache. My stomach is uneasy at best. And my heart just plain hurts.
Yesterday, I had a clear picture in my mind of how this morning would go. I would walk into my 18-month-old daughter’s room and she would greet me with her excited “Hi!” that she exclaims every morning when her door opens.
I would lift her out of her crib and hug her tight, but only for a couple seconds because she demands I change her diaper as soon as she’s up. As soon as I finished, I would pick her up and hug her again. Again, only for a few seconds because as soon as she is changed she wants to run to her brother’s room.
And the rest of the day would go like this. Me hugging her every chance I got and thinking of how the first president she would have any memory of would be a woman.
As she grew older, I would tell her this story. We would talk about it every election while I brought her and her brother to the polls with me. We would talk about it when she votes in her first election.
This is where most of my grief lies right now. In the loss of these moments. And it hurts.