The pain will subside if we stand together

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I’ve often been asked by people who know me professionally if I have an “off” button. If I’m ever not cheerful, happy, and positive. Yesterday, some of them saw the darkness that lies within me. Yesterday felt like one of the worst days.

The only way I can adequately put my feelings into words is by comparing it to other experiences. Few times in my life I have felt this numb exhaustion.

The first was in high school, when my first boyfriend broke up with me. I didn’t understand the feeling, and my mom compared it to the death of someone you love. Heartbreak is often the death of a relationship, and your body mourns that death. I barely slept. I couldn’t eat. And I found solace in a summer nanny job that kept my mind occupied and my body busy. Children have healing powers. But even then, I took to writing in order to work through my feelings.

A year later, September 11, 2001 happened. Three weeks into my freshman year at Bradley University and the world felt like it was crumbling. we collectively sat glued to our TVs, terrified, unsure, sad, and angry. We went to candlelight vigils and mass en mass. We prayed. And we cried.

The next time I felt that empty sadness was the first time (of three) my college boyfriend broke up with me. It was an old friend enveloping me in a dark cloud, and I truly wondered if I’d ever smile again. I lived inside my journal. Writing  the same thoughts and feelings over and over in every way I could.

And then, a real and painful death shattered me. My grandfather died. My grandfather, who had lived in our home for ten years. And the raw pain I felt was guttural. I trampled across campus, tears streaming down my face, coating my boyfriend’s pajama pants in mud to find him in the engineering lab because I didn’t now what else to do. I just knew I couldn’t be alone. For months, I’d start thinking of him and just cry. I would think, I’m okay. And then I’d hear a song on the radio or someone would say something that reminded me of him. And I’d burst into tears. My body and mind exhausted from crying, from thinking, from worry. I felt the pain physically.

It has happened several more times since then, but every time I experienced that exhausting, empty sadness, I came out of it, alive. Stronger. With kindness, courage, and resolve.

This week, it truly feels like someone died. Maybe it was democracy, but only time will tell. I have to have hope. And faith. And belief that this is not the end of the world, but the start of a revolution. I have to do what I can, and I hope you will, too, to continue to fight for women, racial minorities, non-Christian religious or non-religious people, the LGBT community, refugees, and any people looking for the American dream.

Bay City, Wisconsin
Bay City, Wisconsin


Yesterday, we mourned. Today, we rise.

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5 Responses

  1. I am so proud of you. Cristina said… We are all proud of you. We feel the same way. Your voice means something. As all voices should.

  2. I do love you dearly, Chrissy. You feel things so passionately, and thank goodness you do. You’re one of the very ‘Muricans I have huge faith in, huge hopes in, that truly, ALL IS NOT LOST! This presidency can change so so much, but it CANNOT change the good character of the people I know and adore <3

  3. Believe it or not, this helped…a bit. I know that I’d rather see Trump succeed than see him succeeded by homophobe extraordinaire Pence. I’m slowly coming out of the grief….very slowly. the more I read, the more I find myself dragged into that mud soaked field across which you tramped when your Grandfather died. I wish the Trumpsters would quit dancing in the end zone while bitching at us to get over it and come along with them. An open hand at the 50-yardline would absolutely be more suited to that cause. Thanks, at least, for the effort to help us eschew the catatonia into which so many of us are prone to fall.

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