This is a guest post by a sexual abuse survivor who lives in the Triangle area of North Carolina.
It's been a month now, but the feelings are still there. So many feelings...
The second presidential debate was a few weeks ago and like most Americans, I managed to stomach the 90 minute debate. Just 48 hours before, a 2005 video of Donald Trump making very inappropriate comments was released. As a woman, the comments were disgusting and his "apology" was even worse. But the breaking point for me was the post-debate video footage of Donald Trump in the crowd. The GIF of his daughter, Tiffany, backing away as he approached to give her a kiss hit me hard. Like a hundred tons of bricks. It was a unknown trigger.
How did we get to this point? In the beginning the idea was laughable. Just 18 months ago, there was a whole list of both qualified and unqualified candidates running for President. But you Mr. Trump? Really? I had more than a feeling that the worst side of politics would rear it's ugly head at some point.
See what you don't seem to understand Mr. Trump is that whether or not you said those words 11 years ago or 11 minutes ago, many women deal with words and comments like this every single day. And as we have heard from (real) men, that is NOT locker room talk. For many women like me, it brings up bad memories and feelings. It added to our daily struggle. It hurts us to the core that a major party candidate for the President of the United States would say or think anything of this nature. For many women it is about past and current physical, emotional and mental abuse. It makes us vulnerable all over again. We have thoughts of the abuse, incest and mistreatment of our bodies, minds and hearts.
Do you have any idea how much we have been through? Do you know how hard it is to be the women we want to be when we may have to face our abusers on a regular basis? Do you know how hard it is for some of us to look in the mirror at the inward and outward scars? Do you know how long it took to get over the self loathing and body shaming? Do you know how hard we try to be great wives and moms despite everything we have been through? Some of us are still living through the pain. But we are strong. We are loved and we love. We work AND take care of our families. We are survivors. But you sir, you really have no idea.
I'm just going to be honest. I can no longer listen to the political ads or watch the news when they show your latest derogatory comments. The sound of your voice makes me cringe. The thought of you becoming the most powerful person in this world makes me want to run away. I cannot let myself think about an America led by you Mr. Trump. To do that would be giving up. Giving on myself and my family. Giving up on my dreams. Giving up on my future. Giving up on my hope for a better world.
I knew from the very beginning that this was more than a feeling and I will not sit back and allow you to pretend that you are what America needs or wants for that matter. Nice try though.