Photo by Parker Johnson on Unsplash

As I awoke in the middle of the night to see what had happened across the country with the election, I found my heart heavy and my soul aching. Some of you might read this and say cry on liberal while others say, I feel how you feel.

I am sad about the expectation that I had for America’s character. A chance for us to right the many wrongs that have been inflicted during the last four years, some of those wrongs even longer than that. Being a new father, I know the values, morals, and character I want my son to possess, and it is far removed from the America that I saw in last night’s election results. In the lead up to the election, I thought we had come to a point as a country where we could finally denounce things that, to me, are no-brainers. My hope was that our vote would show a clear and unwavering denouncement of racial inequality and other behaviors that we have come to expect in authoritarian countries. That’s not what the voting results showed.

Three years in Donald Trump is what Donald Trump is. His flamboyance and flair for drama are not surprising. But to me, what is hard to swallow is that millions of tens of millions of Americans voted in a variety of ways and what they said for a majority is that everything that Trump stands for is okay and acceptable. So for me, the morning after that’s what is hard to swallow. I don’t know what the outcome of the election will be I don’t think any of us will know for possibly up to a week. The counting will continue in the blue wall states. I now have to look inward and examine what this means and how we move forward not as a Democratic Party, but as Americans. What does it say about our morals and where we are as a country, and then how do we move forward in the next four years?

As a person in a same-sex marriage who has been married for four years with a son, undoubtedly, the next four years will impact our lives in very profound ways; also, as a person living with a chronic health condition that is going to be affected. My heart is aching, and I’m dazed and confused. The closest thing that I can relate to is when you’re in the schoolyard, and you’re getting bullied, and you see someone on the horizon who could help you. That person offers hope. Instead, they choose to walk away or look down at the ground rather than step in and help you. That is what tens of millions of Americans have done for LGBT, minorities, black and brown people, women and those with disabilities. That is not rhetoric, that is a proven track record over the last four years.

After the first election, I would hear things like Trump getting elected was a fluke or that isn’t the real America. However, it’s clear to see now that’s exactly who and what America is. I don’t think anyone can now deny that fact. We can lie and talk about American pie and American values and ethics but that is delusional thinking. Still, at the end of the day, America voted in record numbers to put a racist, misogynist, bigot, xenophobic, ablest anti-LGBT person and everything that they stand for back into the White House.

I am a psychotherapist who writes about mental health, addiction, recovery and the impact of substance use from personal experience. Views are my own.

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