Fragile Ground

Fragile Ground

I usually love autumn. I enjoy the coolness in the air, the disappearance of humidity, and the colours all around. I adore that first frost-filled early morning run when the air is crisp and you can see your breath. I love walking in the woods, smelling the fallen leaves and feeling the chill on my nose.

But this year I am feeling beaten down and defeated. I just want to pull the covers over my head and hide in bed for at least a week. This is really not like me, but I just can’t help it. The craziness that is happening in the world has gotten to me in a way it never has before.

I am a fighter. Injustice and immorality make me crazy, and when I see them I pick up my boxing gloves and go to battle in whatever way I can. I write, I speak up, I rail, I convince. This time I don’t have the energy to do any of that. I am tired, heartbroken, and exhausted.

When someone as credible as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is not believed, where does that leave the rest of us? I mean, she is upper class, white, well educated, well spoken, intelligent, and unbelievably brave and still her words made no impact on the situation. What does that say to a victim who is poor, a visible minority, not educated, whose first language is not English, and who previously worked in the sex trade? It says that if you speak up it is you who will suffer. It is you who will be afraid for your life. It is you whose life will be ruined.

When people choose to elect bigoted, misogynistic, anything but heterosexual-hating men, where does that leave the democratic process?  They wield victimhood and the notwithstanding clause as weapons in the house, while we sit helpless to change it. But wait a minute, we voted for them. I just don’t get it.

When a man catcalls a woman, she stands up to him, and he punches her in the face in broad daylight in front of a sidewalk café full of people, none of whom stop him from walking off, how safe do you feel in your community? Where is our righteous anger? Where is our collective courage? Where is our willingness to take action?

I am so very tired of old, misogynistic, white men making all the decisions, but then to see women hop on the bandwagon and support them is just the final nail in the coffin for me. My heart is broken into a thousand pieces for every person who identifies as female who has been assaulted, taken advantage of, coerced, or made fearful. I just want to curl up into a little ball and cry for days. In fact, I think I just might. And if I do, I think that’s okay. My soul needs to let this pain out somehow before I can move forward. I feel like I have to mourn the loss of something, even if it is only my own naiveté.

I am not writing this to get anybody down. I am writing this partly because I just needed to, but also so that if anybody else is feeling the way I do you will know you are not alone. Don’t worry about me. I’ll find my way through this. I always do. I’m just not convinced I’ll come out the other side the same person and that’s more than a little bit frightening.