I’ve been doing a lot of writing recently. And it’s all been angrily profound and painfully insightful.
One of my favorite things that Doctor Phil says is that if it’s real to you, it’s real. I learned in a Twelve Step setting awhile back that you don’t get to determine someone else’s truth for them. Their reality; their perception; their story is theirs and theirs alone, and yours is yours. In one of my absolute favorite movies ‘Because of Winn-Dixie’ Gloria Dump says, “You just gotta let the child feel the way she feel.” That instantly made her one of my favorite characters because that wasn’t something that I was familiar with. When we were growing up, parents told us they were going to give us something to cry about and that we better suck it up — and there’s times that sentiment is appropriate. But for those of us raised around depression-era grandparents and aunts and uncles, there’s a mentality that kids don’t express emotion if it’s anything but happiness. Particularly in the church. While my uncle Chunky was certainly not like that, I still remember being told at my Aunt Polly’s funeral, “Don’t you cry when you go in there, now. He needs you to be strong. So don’t you cry. ” My grandmother said it and I believed it. Like many in her “Mama’s Broken Heart” generation, she set down the pattern for a family where emotion wasn’t exactly on display. And that’s true to those raised in that time period. That’s what they were taught.
So I was almost 30 before I could cry without alcohol.
If you’ve ever studied Criminal Justice, you know that two people can witness the same event and come away with a completely different take and recollection. It’s the same thing with life. Two people can live through a similar experience and and internalize it in very different ways. What happens to one is not what happens to another. And no one gets to tell someone else that their perception — their internalization of something that happened to them — is wrong or invalid. Yours is yours and theirs is theirs.
I belive that’s another reason why I hate Donald Trump so much. Not only is Donald Trump a gaslighter and an emotional abuser of women and anybody who disagrees with him, but his recounting of factual events is as flawed as they come. He blatantly lies when corrected, and then attempts to mentally manipulate anybody who points out corrections. That’s abuse! He’s gaslighting our country and though so many have written articles about this, there is still a section of America glad to be his victim. Correct the Donald on something we all know is inaccurate — you’re crazy, you’re stupid, you’re fat, you’re ugly, you’re wrong. When we all know our reality. Plus YouTube makes our reality undisputed truth with a simple click.
I think it’s sweet that every boy I went to school with driving by sees a toddler pumping gas and then says, “Oh, that’s not a toddler! That’s Candi!” And then honks and waves.
But if you’re voting for Donald Trump, country boys, there’s no need to wave at me because we’re not friends anymore. It’s just that simple. Donald Trump is abusive to America. He calls us ridiculous, insults our military and labels them weak and ineffective; verbally assaults our elected leaders; calls our people stupid; says our citizens of color don’t have jobs or education; and that our country is a shithole. And when he gets called on it — Bam! Mental manipulation begins. When we collectively know something very realistically happened, he goes on the attack to tell you that everybody knows how crazy you are. That’s why one of Donald Trump’s favorite phrases is “you can ask anybody.” Because he’s always attempting to convince everybody that HE is the only one that holds the truth and the answers; that he is always right, and when he’s not, he loudly begins to tell you that everybody else agrees with him even — even when they don’t — to get you to question your own sanity, perception, and reality.
So if you support a man that mimics people with physical disabilities, you don’t get to wave at me anymore. If you support a man that claims that he is allowed to grab women by the genitalia and he gets away with it because when you’re a star, you don’t even have to ask, you can just do it — then you don’t get the wave at me. Because you’re part of the rape culture that very presently still exists in American society.
One in four women are sexually assaulted on college campuses. 1 in 4. Like most women who have ever lived on or around campus, I know more about that than I ever care to talk about. Women have to go out in groups. They have to watch out for the young freshman that has never drank a drop in her life and the guy that is intentionally trying to give her so much that she doesn’t know what she’s doing so that he, and maybe others, can have his way with her. Hooking up with someone consensually and not remembering it is one thing. This is something else. And there are women that wake up from a blackout wondering how they got so drunk when their full bottle of wine is right there in their fridge. Women who begin having nightmares, flashbacks that explain the bruises and the sore bones that she can’t remember — and it’s men like Donald Trump that teach them to question their sanity when everything in them knows something not right happened the night before. We teach women to look out for each other instead of teaching men — as a society — to do the same. Women have to always have the one that is sober and has lookout duty. To not set our drinks down. To this day, I won’t even walk off and leave a Coke to use the bathroom at Dairy Queen for fear that someone will put something in it. Because experience has taught me that that’s reality. And it’s always the girl that grew up around a bunch of guys that look out for her, that learn the lesson the hardest way.
Donald Trump represents the worst qualities in men. He represents a culture that women like me have spent a lifetime suffering from or fighting back against. So I appreciate the beep beep and wave, but if you have a Trump sticker on your car, there’s nothing to say — because we’re done here. Donald Trump’s insults are personal to me in so many ways.
Any attempt to dismiss his penchant for bragging about sexual assault (he bragged about it on another tape, by the way, where he boasted about going behind the stage at the “Miss Whatever” Pageant where the women are naked and that he gets away with it because of who he is) as locker room banter is disgusting. There are Tim Tebows in locker rooms. There are Matt Hollidays and Russell Wilsons.There are husband and fathers in locker rooms. And men who talk about how to defend against Tom Brady and what their kids are up to this week. There are men in locker rooms who talk about whose going to kick whose butt on the grill. Are there crude comments in a locker room? Of course. Do they say the p-word in locker rooms? Of course. But it’s usually about how they are trying to find some of it, not how they can grab a woman in hers without permission and nobody does anything.
That’s sexual assault. And it’s particularly offensive with today’s popular undercurrent of belief that athletes are the only men who assault women when there are fraternity brothers doing it every damn day. Rape is about power. Rape is about dominance. Rape is about violating a woman and making her feel defenseless. And rape is about control. Are there athletes that assault women? Of course. No doubt. But for the most part, an athlete gets his dominance, his high, his power, his kicks on the field. The profile of a man who assaults women doesn’t go with the personality of most modern day athletes — they are a portrait of self-control and restraint. They have to be to succeed at that level. So the idea that all athletes talk about assaulting women should be offensive and ludicrous to anybody who dabbled in criminology. So adding fuel to that already blazing fire that athletes are the main perpetrators of sexual assault is disgusting on many levels.
And it’s one more example of when Donald Trump gets called on his bad behavior, he begins to mind manipulate everybody who won’t stand for it.
You don’t get to take my truth, my reality, my experience from me, Donald Trump. Neither do your supporters. I’ve had attempts by men a lot more skilled than you and they haven’t succeeded yet. And thankfully so has America. We know what to do with an abuser.
You’ll find that out November 8.