I wrote this piece a few years ago and decided to only now publish it….
Indifference can be a great escape especially with this year’s election outcome. As the polls closed, I watched my dreams and hope dismantle one state at a time. On the screen, I saw all of the red and allowed myself very little comfort in seeing the small amounts of blue states…New York, California. I thought there was more love in the world is all I could think. My heart was crushing to smithereens. I wanted to scream, but there was a disconnect. PMDD would not let me react emotionally. I was held hostage; throat thick in absolute horror of what may be on the horizon. I go to sleep no worries in the world; this is the irony of the bitter sweetness of being afflicted with PMDD.
I awake the next morning and linger in a state of unawareness. I tell myself to be still as the world as I understand it is about to change. History was made and not knowing the outcome; simply sitting in that unawareness was a gift to myself. It’s was quite the year in politics and I am exhausted by all of it. Happy to be at the end, but upon reflection, I realize that whatever the outcome was despite all of my fears, I would be ok. I will not die today. The possibility of being happy rather than mortified was of course what I wanted, however considering the information I had going to bed the night before…I was bracing myself. This time was more about me, my family, my career, being a woman, my PMDD and everything I believe in as well as my circle of influence. This moment was about understanding how I will move forward in the world with all the information I had gathered this past year about myself, my friends and family.
I push myself out of bed, ready to learn what the people have decided. There’s a pull in me. An angry pull as if I already know and, in that moment, I become disengaged. PMDD took over my body and there was a sense of dread. It was as if my mind went in to protective mode, this will not brake me. I see my daughters face. She looks perplexed. She is listening to the acceptance speech and the instant our eyes lock she realizes that I didn’t know, and I realize that I just found out. Sympathetic of our positions, her knowing and my learning she waits for me to catch up. She looks for my response. My face contorts in disappointment, I yell something…I don’t know what and I turn to walk away. How can I look at her? Console her? I have to hold it together but really…I am emotionless.
I walk the hall to the other side of the apartment and I begin to check in with myself, I want to cry, or do I? I want to break dishes, or do I? I wanted to scream as I am crushed, or do I? Am I crushed? What the fuck am I feeling? I am numb and feel like I am nothing…insignificant. My voice is gone. My emotions held hostage. I am left to wonder…what am I? I have all of these ideas of what I should feel. I think, I grateful that I am a US Citizen and won’t be deported. I am worried on so many levels…am I really worried? How I should behave? Not one feeling truly came from this body…
Brush teeth make breakfast go to work and keep quiet. That’s the plan.
In between I have little fits here and there when the PMDD lifts momentarily…allowing me some semblance of self will and accountability. I deactivate my Facebook account. Protecting myself from the rhetoric only to go back on a few days later and begin block, unfriend and unfollow people. I change my social media settings and embarked on creating a zero-tolerance online community. I just can’t deal with all the talk. None of this seems real yet. I feel like this is the Twilight Zone!
Upon the PMDD finally lifting I realize that I have committed to many protest walks. I feel a huge sense of emotional overload and I begin to sob for the country. I sit in a room with a few women I trust and just let is all come out…The feelings finally able to be felt choke me, suffocate me and I can’t speak I can just cry, and cry and cry is what I did for days after…. What has this world come to? Feelings of disappointment and utter disrespect lead me to try to understand how this year people have been set free to hate openly and as heartbreaking as that may be, in some way it’s set me free too. It’s made me love more deeply. It’s made me want to fall on the sword for the good people. It’s made me want to open my arms and hold on to those that I love more closely. It’s made me jump out of my car to stop kids from fighting and yell at them about how from now on we have to be better. We need to be better than this! Do better! It’s made me more alive in my body.
It’s as if PMDD put me on hold for a moment. Although I didn’t fight it, the reality of what was happening was sinking in. There is a certain sense of satisfaction in preparing oneself for the news that ultimately will change the direction of the free world as we know it no matter what the outcome. Acceptance. It’s like knowing PMDD will come and as to not create wreckage. I do all I can to be firm in my body yet fluid in my mind…it’s a hard task, but today I can honestly say PMDD serves its purpose in my life. I have an awareness of self that I can’t say I had before becoming #decidedlySane.
This awareness allows me to feel more deeply than in the darkest moments of PMDD. The indifference is riveting and so there is the paradox…I am sensitive. I am loving, and I am passionate. I must honor that about myself and now we are years into the presidency and I am just as annoyed as day 1, but the world is different today and I am not by any means connecting PMDD to Politics, but it definitely has helped me get through some tough moments around it. I may be at times indifferent, however I am always accountable.