CW emotional abuse
I should feel relieved. The fascist demagogue has flown the national coop and though we have a shit ton of work to do, here is a breath right?
Let's not be overly optimistic here- nobody wanted Biden- we settled for him, a moderate at best but someone who, at least for the moment, has ears open to listen.
I woke up at 11:30 am to the sounds of the inauguration with no sign of the orange tyrant anywhere. But it doesn't feel like it's over. It doesn't feel like he is truly gone.
And he's not. He was only a figure head for the rot the U.S. that existed for centuries, rot that learned to hide itself better from nonconfrontational white people who could easily close their eyes in a NIMBY fashion.
Even watching Joe Biden was sworn in as president, I could not be relieved. Right now it feels like all those moments between my tyrannical father storming out and coming back. It feels like that- picking up the pieces of whatever he knocked over, comforting our crying mother, waiting. always waiting for his return. It could be minutes or hours. It was never predictable when or what mood he'd be in.
A quiet we could not fully enjoy. There was always his presence lurking after he slammed the door. The uncertainty of his impending arrival loomed over us. We were hypervigilant, one eye on the door, body locked in to survival mode. Sometimes he would return with Dunkin Donuts for my mom, giving it to her wordlessly before disappearing to their shared bedroom alone..
Often, he paired his gifts with punishment, with the silent treatment. When he returned, he never apologized or explained. My mother fell over herself to cater to him: anything to make him talk. She would make excuses for him to us as if all that he did was justified and he was a tortured soul who loved us but "didn't know how to show it." After some unspecified amount of time he would talk again, act like nothing had transpired.
He was the one whose anger shook the whole house, who was volatile and who though he never laid a hand on any of us physically, shook up our emotional wellbeing for the rest of our lives. But he was always the one who got to leave the wreckage he made.
I've mused written comparisons between my father the Trump supporter and Trump himself a lot these past years. The same vitriol dispensed from different mouths. The gaslighting, the unwarranted anger, the 'phobia/ism's of all people not in his demographic is uncanny. For that reason I've found it difficult to pay attention to the news. I want to keep informed on what's going on in the world but I am also only 3 year years removed from still living under the aforementioned erratic household. The former President was someone I could choose not to interact with. I cannot do that to my father. Not while both my younger brothers still live in his house with my mother as present as she can be given the circumstances.
Right now as many celebrate I can barely sit down long without pacing, my mind racing alert, my body preparing for an aftermath of unknown proportions. How long will the peace last this time, however fraudulently manufactured? While the clouds have parted to show there is hope, there are parts of me anxiously waiting for a return.