This nonsense about Trump only accepting the election results if he wins reminds me.
I have been estranged from my parents for years. Last year, my father asked if I was willing to give reconciliation one more try.
I had one condition: that we have a counsellor present to mediate. Didn’t have to be my therapist, but it had to be a qualified person. I did it for my own protection, but I also thought that would be fair and kind to both of us. He agreed, and said it was fine to meet with my therapist.
I suggested, in the course of our negotiations, that it would be a painful and uncomfortable process for both of us, but if he was willing to stick through it, I was. He balked at having to go through any more pain and discomfort, but still, he agreed to my terms.
I brought my therapist into the e-mail conversation to plan, and, after reciting his litany of complaints against me, he stopped communicating with me, and then at some point stopped communicating with both of us. I left the matter alone; I assumed he had gotten frustrated with my therapist (who asked him to stop e-mailing her ex parte) and changed his mind.
And then, one day, out of the blue, he e-mailed me from Seattle asking to meet at a coffee shop in a couple days.
I told him “Absolutely not,” and sent him home.
I see the very same behavior in Trump: the unilateral expectation of reward without having to go through the discomfort of actually doing the work. Agreeing to conditions, and then deciding the conditions you agreed to are unfair and trying to circumvent them.
I’m glad there’s a little bit of Hillary in me. I wish there were more.
This election has been hard for a lot of people because it recalls old trauma. But I’ve found it has also been healing.
I’m an only child. I had no witnesses inside the family. It was my word against that of two unreliable adults. Now, watching one more very unreliable adult, I have millions of witnesses to corroborate my perceptions of what is happening, and the documentation to back up our perceptions. And that part feels awesome.
I’d also struggled to explain what it was that was so awful about my family that I wouldn’t even talk to them. I often felt like (or was made to feel like) kind of an asshole. Now, Trump has given me shorthand.
I’d taken on characterizations of myself as cold, calculating, unlikable, and unempathetic. Taking counselling courses with some very wise people did a lot to undo that, but now, watching Hillary, I fully recognize those accusations for what they are: a demand to be someone’s doormat.
And, finally, I’ve watched Hillary model how to stand up against Trumpish behavior. I’d found a little bit of my own inner Hillary, but now I have someone to study and emulate. I hope someday she writes a manual.
On Twitter, I had referred to her as our collective Patronus. You can think what you want about her policies, but for me, it’s enough that she’s helped us drive off our Dementors.
With thanks to my friend Leigh Honeywell for modelling bravery herself and for nudging me to share this.
Photo of Hillary used under Creative Commons license from Alan Dean’s Flickr.