Tuesday, October 2nd. The day The President of the United States of America did the unimaginable and mocked a survivor of sexual trauma. Mark this.
From now on there will be a “before Tuesday October 2nd” and an “after Tuesday October 2nd”.
When Trump was elected, I decided I would try very hard not to respond to his verbal abuse and disrespect with the same.
That would be fighting the patriarchy with the patriarchy, and that is not how we turn this thing around and take everyone higher as we do.
So I have focused, relentlessly, on refraining from publicly criticizing the man or the administration (of course I’ve occasionally slipped—some days the horror is simply too much), with oppressive hate, name-calling, or slander.
I made a rule that I wouldn’t say his name on my Instagram, or post funny memes mocking him.
Not to avoid trolls and mean comments—I already have those!—but refraining from letting my little corner of the world be pulled to such a low and inhuman vibration (and isn’t saying his name repeatedly giving him what he wants)?
Every time I want to retaliate with finger-pointing, meanness, and scare tactics, I remind myself to refocus the conversation on good people doing human things, how to empower us to keep rising, and how to keep us creative, courageous and sharp in our leadership so we are READY for the new future—the non-patriarchal, non-white supremacist, non-binary, LOVE-fueled brave new world we are building out of this hot f*****g mess.
I believe in this future and I continue to believe in it and I do not believe we are doomed.
Tuesday, October 2nd…
I am descended from Quakers.
Quakers are, by principle, non-violent.
Yet some Quakers (including my ancestors) have made exceptions to use violence when the human rights issue at stake is extraordinary.
My ancestors fought in the civil war because their opposition to slavery was greater than their value of non-violence.
Tuesday, October 2nd.
My opposition to your disregard for humanity, Mr. Trump, is greater than my need to keep things positive.
Let’s be clear—you have not broken me nor any of my sisters and brothers—we will not be broken by a coward like you.
Let’s also be clear—I still refuse to terrorize, mock, and oppress you in return—the operating principles in our brave new world are rooted in compassion, not hate.
But take this as an official memo that on Tuesday October 2nd, you have crossed me and my sister and brother survivors.
There is nothing stronger than brave humans who have been abused by corrupted power.
And something else happened on Tuesday, October 2nd, Mr. Trump. You revealed to us the depth of your own trauma.
Only someone with their own gaping wounds, unprocessed anger, and grief of epic proportions would have been capable of what you did.
You are a predator 1000 times over—DUH—but I think there is something underneath–
I think you, too, are a survivor.
Let me tell you what survivors are doing right now since you seem to have a blind spot (which makes sense—you can’t see in us what you can’t see in yourself—human pain).
We survivors and allies of survivors are taking the rupture of what happened to us and turning it into brave things.
We are turning it into VOTES and ART and authentic SERVICE to our country.
We are transforming our victimhood into sheroism in real time.
You could do this, too.
The brave thing is not hard.
The brave thing is 8 words long.
The brave thing is non-partisan.
The brave thing does not mean you have to say you believe someone if you don’t believe them.
I see you.
I hear you.
8 of the most powerful words in our language.
Words that can change the course of another human being’s life.
I am sorry that no one taught them to you.
8 words that, had they been said by any of your people, would have meant that survivors everywhere would not have spent the last 2 weeks obliterated, broken, and barely able to walk in this world.
(One of the biggest tragedies of the last 2 weeks is the TIME that survivors have had to spend navigating the re-traumatization and simultaneously having to be representatives of the cause—time that COULD have been spent making art, leading teams, and inventing things that will save us.)
To every single sister and brother and survivor who felt the depth of the mockery in their bones—I believe you.
I see you.
I hear you.
I’m sorry you have not heard these words from the people that matter most.
I’m sorry that you have lost time on what you were born to do.
And I am sorry for you, Mr. Trump, that YOUR not hearing those words, at whatever time you most needed to hear them, has cut you off from your own beating heart and human soul.
You have lost your way, and—understatement of the century—you need help.
As for us, we will carry upwards.
We will reclaim the time we have lost.
We are coming for your robotic administration, and we will not stop until humanity is restored.
We know how to do the brave thing.
Original artwork by Jessie Mahon