How Are You Coping with a Year of the Trump Presidency?


One year in

by Najva Sol, Brand Director

painting of word bubbles saying are you okay? I don't think so. yeah, me neither.As of this week, it’s been exactly one year since forty-five was voted into office. I remember watching the results with dread. We had a trip planned to Harry Potter World for me and my very gay (now ex) partner, and instead of packing, we spent the night before our flight, tequila in hand, watching darkness fill our screen.

For many non-black folks, it was the first time we had irrefutable evidence of just how desperately people will cling to racism above anything else. There was sorrow, fear, anger, and in many of us, a new sense of humbleness. I was reminded of what my mother told me years ago: “Never get comfortable with the rights you have so long as society is unequal. They can be taken away in an instant.” And with Trump’s election, the world hasn’t ended, but it has started hurtling at ever-increasing speed away from the trajectory we’d come to feel entitled to.

Internally at APW (unlike most companies), we’ve been given mental space when tragedies (including the election) occur. We’re supported. We’re allowed to rant. We send each other photos of protests. We share articles and places to donate. We take self-care spa days. But we all never lose sight of what we are: a media company dedicated to weddings. As it turns out, weddings are political. Who you can and can’t marry has always been political. Property and class and family and hiring are all political. So we’ve doubled down on these aspects, because to be in the media is to have a responsibility.

But here at APW, our greatest responsibility has been to support joy and love. Darkness fills the news these days. The fabric of this country is set up so media ends up running stories where marginalized communities are shown in the worst light. It’s healing, and powerful, to have a place where we can revel in the joy and vibrancy of those same communities: Muslim, queer, indigenous, black, and as many other stories as we have the capacity to uplift on our platform.

So a year out, we want to know: What’s in your head and heart? How’ve you been holding up? How are you doing, one year after our national tragedy? What are you doing to keep yourself focused on doing the work, and how are you balancing that with self-care? What actions are you taking, and what actions can you suggest that the rest of us take right now?

It’s your community-support hour, so have at it!

Najva Sol

Najva Sol is a queer Iranian-American writer, photographer, branding consultant, artist, and ex-poet.  She’s the token staff Slytherin and—while formally based in Brooklyn—tends to travel as much as possible. Storytelling is her life, but making chicken broth is a close second.

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  • Jennifer H.

    The rise of Donald Trump has coincided with the fall of my relationship with my father. It seems that over the past year plus as my newsfeed was flooded with alternative facts and fake news, my father was simultaneously becoming more and more set in his belief that my marrying a black man (I am a white woman) is inherently wrong. This barrier between my father and me has seemed all the more insurmountable because he was (and still is) a Trump supporter. Having a conversation about interracial marriage with my father seems impossible to disconnect from the idea that he could vote for such a racist individual to hold our country’s highest office. And then, because I am a human with many faults, I have to pull back from making this about me. In the grand scheme of things, I, a masters-degree-holding white upper middle class straight cis woman, have a lot less to lose from a Trump presidency than so many others. The situation with my father would have happened even if Trump hadn’t won, but for me, it’s been hard to separate the two. As my wonderful fiancé and I approach the beginning of our marriage, just six months from yesterday, I find myself in a world that is full of uncertainty and questions. Devoid of respect for facts. Overcome with violence, transphobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, terrorism committed by angry white men with assault rifles…the list goes on. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since the election, but I feel that I have no choice but to **Resist** and **Persist** in my words and actions in every way I can and to take it one day at a time.

    • JLC

      I am so sorry that you and your fiancé are going through that. My parents had some concerns about my relationship with my fiancé that I think were partly based in discomfort with his race, and I can say that three years after the wedding things have gotten much better. But they were never explicitly racist about it, so it sounds like your father’s views are much more entrenched. Again, my sympathies and love!!

    • emilyg25

      I’m sorry that choosing your partner means losing your father.

  • Another Meg

    There’s too much to put into one comment. I’ll just kick this off by saying that I have been seeing a therapist every week for my post-partum depression and anxiety, and the state of the country has come into my sessions many times.

    ETA: My general terror about the world and paranoia are definitely worse because of the way terrible people have felt emboldened to spread their hate. And my fears that others will not survive PPD/PPA (because not all of us do) is heightened with healthcare in the balance.

    • CMT

      Yeah, way too much for one comment. But the biggest thing for me, I think, is the constant level of background stress about the terrible things that keep happening. It’s there all the time and just adds to whatever other stresses or anxieties pop up about work, relationships, money, etc.

      • MC

        Yep – I started therapy this year because my general anxiety was pushed over the top by the other anxiety about everything in our country. Especially because it seems like there is bad news every day so it’s hard to feel like you can “check out” and not feel uninformed. I mean, god, remember when Obama’s biggest “scandal” was that he wore a fucking tan suit? Now it’s like, Oh, what horribly offensive thing has Trump said on Twitter today that is even more outrageous than the last horribly offensive thing he said?”

      • Emily

        Yes! I thought I was being ridiculous following the election (and ever more so since inauguration) but the background noise is SO loud in this past year and I stopped really being able to cope with anything. Really, really thankful for the ACA because otherwise I would not be able to afford mental health care, not to mention my prescriptions.

      • Jess

        That background stress is so real.

    • Similar feelings here. I lost my dad this year, which has made everything worse. Overall, it’s not been a good year for anxiety, on any level.

    • This last year I’ve definitely had to give in to mental wellness being my dump stat. Like, it used to really bother me just how little psychic energy I have left to “spend” because so much of it goes to managing my mental health. But at this point if I’m not, like, fully consumed by terror I’m totally happy to call it good enough… Even if I do have to “waste” large amounts of time/energy/money managing my brain, and am still pretty dang anxious most of the time.

  • Jan

    The last year has left me feeling whiplash, and I could type a novel here. But, I’ll just say: the anger and fear and sadness and loss of direction I felt on November 8th (and many, many days after) have completely changed my vision for my own professional future, in a positive way. I started a nonprofit and have been doing the kind of work that I want to do, that I think is most important, and the experience has been amazing, and hard, and terrifying, and life-giving, all at once.

    I hate that we elected Trump (and that a zillion other awesome candidates lost to some pretty vile opponents nationwide). I hate how it’s emboldened people to spew awful, vile things without an ounce of embarrassment. I hate how estranged I’ve become from my family throughout all of this. I feel more anxious, all the time, since the election. And some days that’s all I feel. But today I feel like we’re going to get through it, and I try and relish the days where that’s the case.

  • Rose_C

    I find it hard to reflect on this anniversary. I still feel brutalized, constantly, by the political climate we live in. Although I had a spurt of activism in the months following the inauguration, I have found myself retreating into my cynicism and depression. It really feels like things are getting worse rather than better. Getting engaged and beginning to plan a wedding with a partner who brings me peace and love and security is a surreal counterpoint that I often have trouble reconciling with the rest of my outlook on the world. A year in I feel like I should have come to an understanding, at least of my own perspective and place in the political landscape. But I have not. I don’t even know if I have begun that process.

    • Yael

      I study violence for a living, and I find that emotionally easier to deal with than US politics.

  • ruth

    I just wanted to say thank you to all the folks at APW for providing what I’ve found to be one of the safest spaces on the internet, which as been a big source of help, hope, and comfort to me just getting on day to day in the Trump era. When I go to this site, I find thoughtful, engaged, and kind people, which has become an increasingly rare quality to find online these days. As I continue to do what I can to stay informed, take political action, be involved in my community, and write more books (because that’s what I do) it’s really wonderful to have this community too. It makes me feel less alone in a lot of the feelings I’ve been having. So thank you <3

  • Yael

    Trump is the reason I am currently married. I had intended to marry A anyway, but we had thought we’d put off the engagement and wedding until after my doctorate studies. I spent most of last year in a state of dread, wondering every day if that would be the day A (living in the DC area and teaching in a Jewish school) would call me and say that something horrible had happened to him or the school or the community. We knew that he would have little to no future as an educator once DeVos was appointed. We knew his terrible healthcare would never get better, and when they started trying to destroy the ACA, it would get worse (because his school would of course not provide healthcare if they didn’t have to – thanks to their determination to fulfill all the worst Jewish stereotypes). We had been finally doing ok in the DC area on both our salaries; A was barely getting by on his by himself. Meanwhile, I was living in Germany on a 50% student stipend and actually saving a fair amount of money for the wedding. I had healthcare and quality transportation and I wasn’t afraid. Finally, in May, I told A that I couldn’t take the stress of my anxiety, and either we would have to get married so he could move to Germany, or we would have to break up. I just couldn’t take it anymore. We got legalled in August. We have no plans to return to the US for longer than a visit. I know that I am beyond lucky to have the means and opportunity to leave the country and take my partner with me. I cannot imagine still living in the US.

  • Megan Woodrich

    I have stopped reading blogs that continue to post tutorials for pom pom sweaters and refuse to address the issues that are plaguing our country. Cheers to APW for acknowledging that this work needs to be done. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum!

  • Cellistec

    I’ve been so inspired by all the activism, advocacy, volunteering, fundraising, and other concrete things being done by people who care on behalf of those most vulnerable under the Trump administration. Action will accomplish what words cannot. And yet I see so many of my relatives (including my mom) just venting on social media all day, sharing memes and complaining, without actually doing anything about it. If one more person tries to tell me what Rachel Maddow said, instead of telling me what concrete action they took recently, my head is going to spin around and fall off.

    • Man, this totally gets to me too… Like, I really do understand that people need to process things & that I really don’t have any kind of complete pictures of what concrete actions people are taking. But I also know for a fact that some people in my life are spending a lotttttttt of time on the circus of this whole thing while not really doing much else, and GRGHG.

      • Cellistec

        Exactly. I feel like shaking people and saying “Don’t you know that’s what they WANT you to pay attention to? It’s a big game of misdirection!” And yet. Sigh.

  • SL

    I have a lot of mixed feelings. Being from California, I think the election and the aftermath was kind of a big wake up call for me and a lot of others as to the mindset of many other areas in the country. It’s like I KNEW there were groups of people who thought this way, but I definitely didn’t realize that there was a really large portion of the population who still held these views. So on one hand, I think it’s beneficial to know what you’re really dealing with. On the other hand, I’m about to have a daughter next month. I am dealing with a lot of fear and sadness about the world she will grow up in. I’m struggling to come to terms with political views of family members. I’m struggling to try to appear unbiased as a teacher of teens.

  • Mallory2

    Everything still hurts. The world is painful in a raw way that I haven’t experienced before in such a prolonged way. This year also marks a year of being on an SSRI and being in couples therapy. I remember starting the SSRI thinking, “Once the election is over and HRC is President, the world will feel better again and I won’t be on this much longer.” Ha! What innocence. I find myself extra sensitive and rage-y with my husband at any sign of emotional labor/entitlement/male privilege. I’m struggling not to hate all white men (husband included) and not take out that rage unjustly at my husband (or flinging angry emotions without being able to articulate WHY). I am grappling with a 15 pound weight gain, brought on primarily by trying to cope through moments of peace with friends over food/drinks. I’m working on the body acceptance piece while also seeing the real way this year has affected my health. I still feel whip-lashed. Is this the new normal? Will I keep reacting to the news this way for the foreseeable future? How can I keep fighting and resisting when all of this makes me so damn tired? As a social worker at a public hospital, my daily work is a chaotic environment filled with homeless clients experiencing the impact of systemic oppression and entrenched racism/sexism/transphobia, etc. etc. etc.etc. without the adaptive coping skills to do much more than exist let alone thrive. Having my world outside of work feel safe allows me to exist in this space in a healthy way and be present with my clients. Now that the whole world feels unsafe, our team is struggling. We are so aware of how privileged we are and that we get to leave work at the end of the day, but there’s little room for recovery. We’re relieved to have each other, but damn.

    • NolaJael

      Yes to the physical effect. At least once a week I get into a hand-wringing cycle thinking about how bad stress is for the body and yet, in a way that wasn’t for me before (privilege?), is absolutely constant now.

      ETA: I have had bodily reactions to stress this year that I have not felt since taking the bar exam over eight years ago.

  • K. is skittish about disqus

    It’s scary as fuck to have a biracial daughter right now. In addition to all my more external activism (admittedly less now that I have an infant but I keep up with donations at least), I feel a deep sense of duty as her mother to be an advocate for her, protect her, and most importantly, provide the space for her to express her truth, re: the parts of her life I’ll never understand as a white woman (and also work on myself in accepting that she’ll likely have a distinctly different path than me, and my job is to support her in any way she needs). She may only be four months old, but Trump makes it all the more terrifying and makes me think even more actively about how to parent in an engaged, thoughtful, and inclusive way.

    I found out that I was pregnant two days after the election, so this is a strange “anniversary” for me.

    Oh, and I’m also unfriending on social media and in real life anyone who even breathes any hint of sympathy for the alt-right or white national socialism. I’m not a black and white thinker on many topics, but this is one of them. You’re either with us or against us, and I have no tolerance for the whole “but they’re just damaged and economically anxious!!” excuse for the kind of pure hatred they live in.

  • Anne

    It’s been something, hasn’t it? It’s pretty surreal to think back to a year ago. My then-fiance now-husband started going to therapy in early 2017 because he was having so much difficulty doing anything besides following and worrying about the news and especially what it means for climate change. It totally upended his career goals, reinforced mine, and revealed new layers to our relationship. We’ve spent a lot of the year figuring out how and to what extent we can be more involved in social activism without our academic work suffering too much (which whether we like it or not has definitely happened for both of us).

    There have been moments of feeling like we (as a couple, and also as a society) are going to get through this, but probably more moments of holy crap, how are we going to make it through 3+ (?) more years of this. Just a couple days ago, for example, it came out there are clauses in the proposed tax reform bill that would be a giant hit to us and other academic trainees financially. The constant feeling that there’s something terrible zooming nearer is just hard. And meanwhile figuring out our next career steps and personal goals is becoming increasingly pressing and stressful.

    Being married is such a comfort though. I’m very thankful that we had a beautiful couple months this fall filled with family, friends, and happy weddings. Going to be relying on those memories for a long time.

  • Shawna

    This year has been a furnace and I hope I’ve come out a bit stronger. I’ve been running my business for only a few months longer than the year of 45. My husband was laid off in November – only a few months after we got married last year – so we started November even before the election feeling a bit shellshocked and freaked out and it’s only now that *fingers crossed* he might have an offer coming in the next few days to end at least that part of the nightmare. We’ve had A LOT of talks about money and it’s been extremely difficult and it’s not nearly figured out, but we’re definitely closer and more aware of each others’ hot buttons on the subject. We’re in an interracial marriage and race and gender have been huge topics for conversation over the past year. It’s been comforting to know how much he’s on my side and then seemingly minutes later utterly isolating and terrifying that he holds views that aren’t aligned with mine. I find it hard to articulate to him just why it’s so terrifying when we don’t agree – not because I need everyone to agree with me all the time, but because anything that sounds like the things that have terrorized us (women, POC) in this country over the past year coming from his mouth is traumatizing. We still don’t necessarily know what to do with that, but we’ve gotten better at talking it out without my dissolving into a puddle.

    I’ve hated this year and also looking back see how far I’ve come and how far we’ve come as a partnership. It’s a long hard road. Not having the funds to contribute to the resistance has been so hard, but I’ve tried to do my part with phone calls, showing up to a few marches, and having tough conversations in my personal life. It often doesn’t feel like enough. I’m still up and down with depression too so just taking care of myself has often felt like enough of a political act. I won’t let this crush me. But I can’t wait to do more.

    APW has been a real source of warmth and fire in this crazy crazy time. Thanks to everyone for the civility, passion, and intense intersectional feminism to keep us strong. Keep asking the hard questions and keeping us in community.

    • YummieYummie

      OMG thank you so much for putting into words the feelings I’ve been feeling the past few months. I’m also in an interracial relationship (I’m black, he’s white), and I have been lowkey freaking out about us not agreeing on some things. He keeps telling me that we agree on everything and I’m worried about nothing, but whenever I bring up any sort of political topic, it turns into a huge debate for some reason. It’s almost as if he’s playing devil’s advocate just to antagonize me. I know that he’s been under a ton of stress from working and going to school full-time while I’m constantly 1000 miles away at minimum because of my job, so all of my prodding is just making it worse. I just don’t want to tell him that I keep asking hard questions and bringing up tough topics because I don’t want to wake up on the day after our wedding and realize that I married a total stranger (yeah I know that’s a bit dramatic, we’ve been together for almost five years) that I have nothing in common with.

      Also, super duper not looking forward to thanksgiving right now. His parents are the sweetest people on earth, but they and the rest of his family are all die-hard Trump supporters. I’m praying that politics don’t come up over dinner (and I certainly won’t be bringing them up myself), but if they do I won’t be pulling punches this year.

      • Nope.

        Yummie Yummie, I had a very clear conversation with my husband a few years ago when I told him that I was happy that he asks hard questions and works through tough topics, but that I needed him to stop using his first-person pronouns to play devil’s advocate. It made me uncomfortable and hurt to hear these arguments in his voice with “I” and “me.” We can still have discussions where we strategize about how to respond to other people’s arguments, but we construct those arguments together. He wasn’t consciously “playing devil’s advocate” to be a jerk, but to me, it always felt like an attack and a destabilizing/traumatic barrier to my clear thinking. I think it’s totally within your rights to say something like “When you play devil’s advocate and use your own voice to argue for positions that you don’t hold, I feel upset and like I can’t trust you. I know that I CAN trust you — it’s just the format of the argument that frames it like you could switch positions at any time. When we talk about issues like this, can you help me by giving us space to think through what other people might think together, rather than making me feel like I have to win an argument against you, whom I love and trust?”

      • guest

        I am in an interracial relationship too, but I’m white and my husband is an immigrant. He has tendency to see our problems here as relatively small compared to those of his country of origin–including race relations– and while he is right, that doesn’t mean that our problems in the US are not worth working hard to change. We have talked about this many times and those conversations have ramped up in the past year.

  • Matilda

    Ugggh. Everything is so much worse, I am not coping, and I hate my family, who have spilled their racism wide open. I’ve been spending a lot of time seriously considering how to leave the country.

  • Jess

    I’ve been thinking about this all day. I’m still feeling horrified on a daily basis by my co-workers, by members of my family, and by this administration. It’s a constant background noise (as was said below) of wondering what shit we’re going to deal with today. My heart is constantly heavy.

    I’m trying to read history, trying to keep up on new studies, trying to make sure I’ve got all my facts ready for the times I can enter conversations.

    I’m a lot more confrontational about things people say now, where before I would have maybe just looked at someone with a “Really?” face or been awkwardly silent at them. I’m much quicker to say “That’s not funny.” or “I don’t agree with that.” Which has definitely created tension, but I also think has brought me closer to other, better people.

    The good thing is that R and I openly talk about politics now. He has been doing the same research I have and we often say “Did you see [awful thing]? I’m worried about…/I can’t support them anymore/Let’s not buy their pizza” or when things have been bad we’ll point out a headline that is funny-because-it’s-true.

    Along with that, my brother and I have had really good talks about the state of the world and what it would take to change.

    It’s good to know there are people very close to me on my side.

    I’m still trying to figure out what resistance I can do. I donate to organizations I believe in. I am trying to figure out how to call my reps, because talking to strangers is terrifying to me, but I’m still working up the courage to do it. I’ve sent some emails, though. I’m not a marcher, but I wish I was.

    I don’t know… I’m not really coping and I find it hard to find hope that anything I can do makes a difference.

    • rg223

      “It’s good to know there are people very close to me on my side.”

      I’m trying to focus on the limited positive things that have come out of the past year, and this was one positive thing for me. Some family members have said really supportive things about my activism, which was in some cases a pretty big surprise. My uncle is retired from the military and had never said anything that’s revealed a party affiliation to me, and he told me this weekend he was totally behind me and supportive of me from afar. So that was a nice thing that happened.

    • Nope.

      For me, the way to figure out how to call my reps was just to… do it. I am also terrified of talking to strangers, and I’m terrified of talking on the phone in general (I have a hearing problem that makes it difficult for me to process what’s happening if I can’t see someone’s lips). The longer I waited to start calling my reps, the harder it was. Organizations like Indivisible provide you with the phone number and a script. I have almost never had anyone on the other end of the call ask any follow-up questions or try to engage in any way after I say my spiel. Also about 6 times out of 10, I go straight to voicemail. I was scared of talking to strangers before, but I am more scared of healthcare repeal and unfair tax increases. Having the knowledge that I overcame this fear and it wasn’t nearly as tough as I had built it up to be is key for a lot of other things I’ve changed about my life in the past year. Don’t wait to work up the courage. It only gets easier once you’ve done it, not once you’re magically brave.

      • Jess

        Thanks for that pep talk! I definitely started with e-mails because I have a tendency to misspeak/trip over words. But, you’re right, the more I do something, the more comfortable I become with it.

    • Charise

      I use the Stance app! My introverted self is terrified of speaking to strangers on the phone and I’d end up stuttering and stumbling even if I rehearsed what I wanted to say. With the app, you basically record a voicemail that gets sent to the reps you select, and it always includes your pre-recorded info as an introduction.

      • Jess

        Whaaaaaat?! This is a thing?!

  • SuperAnon

    Let’s see…the world feels smaller. Like there are fewer options and those options are available to fewer people. I understand now why older people used to tell me they didn’t read the newspaper. I am suspicious of those around me, wondering if they are one of the apparent masses that think women and POC are not fully human. But most of all, ever since the Great Recession (and the new proposed tax plan) I feel like I’m bailing out the boat with a tea cup while the Powers That Be are cutting holes in the hull with heavy machinery.

    I’m bound by the terms of my employment not to partake in almost any form political activism. I’m also the sole breadwinner of my household, so changing employment isn’t an option. So I feel both impotent and left out of the work that is being done. How do I feel? Not good at all.

    • Yo, just want to reflect that in situations where your hands are tied (sole breadwinner, etc.) surviving/persisting is a meaningful thing in and of itself. Fist bump.

    • LindseyM

      Yeah, weighing in on this too — sole breadwinner as well, struggling with the feeling of whether I’m doing enough. I’m in a profession where I’m challenging some stereotypes as being a highly paid woman in a field that is generally male and conservative, so I’m working with my therapist to see that as “enough,” in addition to general civic duty things. My husband is getting his masters’ so this isn’t a time to change jobs, and its wonderful to be able to be saving for retirement aggressively for the first time. But I am having a hard time with feelings that I should be doing more. As a survivor of sexual assault I have this guilt feeling that I should be doing more to help women in similar or abusive situations, especially during this presidency, and with my professional background. But I feel re-traumatized if I get to close to situations like that—its really frustrating. I’m hoping to get to a point where I have processed my feelings enough that I can work on those types of things, but I want to be doing it NOW.

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  • Samantha

    The world hasn’t completely been destroyed yet, so that’s better than I expected a year in. But it has been wearing me down. I have anxiety and was already in therapy, taking medication, doing the works to try and keep it in check when the election results rolled in, and now I have an extra layer of anxiety on top of that with whatever fresh hell comes up each day (healthcare legislation, mass shootings, turmoil with North Korea, etc.) My friends and I pay more attention to the news now, and we do what we can to try and make things better, but it’s still hard.

    My fiancé and I got engaged in August, and I’ve honestly had thoughts of, “we might not even be here (exist) in a year, so why bother planning a wedding or getting married at all” and “my wedding is so insignificant when [insert crisis here] is going on.” However, I confided this to a friend the other day and she said there was a wedding in Harry Potter during wartime – one needs to find happiness in the dark times – so I guess that’s encouraging.

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  • Ella

    I’m feeling a similar way about our Australian political “leaders” right now. It just gets worse. We’re currently awaiting the results of a postal vote on same-sex marriage, because our politicians didn’t have the courage to do what every poll already tells them Australia wants. Our country has totally abandoned refugees and left them without basic necessities for survival, and then has the gall to deny NZ’s offer to take them. Our PM has refused an Indigenous advisory body, refuses a treaty. And this is someone who was supposed to be on the left side of his party.

    • sophia.s

      They’ll “consider it” after trump has taken most of them, as if that will ever happen.
      Admittedly, taking 150/year won’t solve the current crisis, but I still feel the offer should be made directly to PNG, using the offer to push them to protect the ones settling there more. That would anger the Aussies, so I see why we’re not doing that, but still, I feel it would be the right thing to do
      Oh well, I’m still 90% happy with our government. Moves towards free uni, extending paid parental leave etc.
      Fingers crossed for you either the “liberals” pass gay marriage soon after the results, or collapse over infighting and the citizenship scandal and give you a decent govt who will pass such things.

  • Jenny

    I’m optimistic by nature, but it feels like this year has been a constant battle of me losing hope that there will be a better future (for me or future generations). I’ve struggled with balancing activism and also needing to take care of life (graduating, job searching, job applying, moving for new job, raising a kid, eating/showering/working out). I constantly vacillate between feeling like I’m not doing enough, and feeling burned out.
    Things that seem to be working for me:
    Starting a newsletter that has weekly calls to action, and a round up of political news stories including positive ones. Here is the sign up in case you are interested- not a monetized link or newsletter (https://tinyletter.com/Rise_Up).
    Trying to make 10 calls a week to elected officials
    Learned about running for office, made plans to volunteer on a 2018 campaign, and run when we get into our non-temporary home.
    Volunteered for the local party
    Voted (today I was voter #6)
    Listen to the news everyday
    Picked two topics to get extra familiar with and advocate for

    • Anon

      You totally capture my feelings with “I constantly vacillate between feeling like I’m not doing enough, and feeling burned out.” I am trying not to read too much of the sad news I can’t do anything about, and writing my representative much more frequently (maybe weekly?).

      I was voter #666 today – all we had to vote on was a local school funding referendum, but I think showing up matters.

      I signed up for your email! If others are trying and the link doesn’t work, just remove the last parentheses from the URL.

  • Sarah

    Let me start with the disclaimer that I am an able-bodied, mostly-straight, Christian-enough, white, middle-class, English-speaking U.S. citizen woman, so I personally have been and probably always will be just fine. It’s kind of shitty for me to complain when I’m super privileged and I should probably be spending this time working for change. I know anything I am going through is nothing compared to what many people are experiencing.

    With that…

    I am an immigration attorney. So work suuuuuucks right now. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always been hard. The cards have always been stacked against our clients. The system has always been broken. My clients have always been scapegoated and targeted and maligned. And yet every day it gets harder. Every day I feel the noose tightening.

    Ending DACA was just the tip of the iceburg (haha, ICE-burg). Opposing counsel is opposing EVERYTHING. I mean everything. Routine stuff that any courteous attorney would allow, they are opposing without consideration. We are getting requests for evidence or denials on cases that previously would have been approved. Backlogs are increasing. ICE attorneys and agents, many USCIS officers, some judges, border patrol officials, etc are now empowered to be hateful assholes. There is no discretion. There is rarely compassion or critical thought. Clients are rightfully scared. Attorneys are confused and frustrated.

    The attorney general (Sessions) publicly called us “dirty immigration lawyers” for our work with asylum seekers. Women and children asylum seekers are being jailed for seeking asylum. We “dirty” immigration attorneys are trying to make sure they get due process. We don’t want them jailed and swiftly deported to face persecution, violence,and death. AG Sessions says we’re perpetuating fraud. I want to invite him to a “family detention” (ie BABY JAIL) center to meet my self-mutilating 3-year-old client and look me in the face and tell me her suffering isn’t real.

    Our clients – our hard-working, honest, tax-paying, law-abiding clients – are being treated like criminals and terrorists, and as if their lives don’t matter. The scapegoating is intense, and not based in reality. And idiots on social media and the right-wing news believe and perpetuate lies and I have to look at that shit every time I look at a screen.

    And Trump and Congress are continuing to make it worse. It’s disgusting.

    And I’m still pissed off at not just the people who voted for him, but the people who could have voted but didn’t or voted for a third party. People act all pissed off when he ended DACA or did the Muslim ban or [insert horrible thing here], but THOSE ARE ALL THINGS HE EXPLICITLY PROMISED HE WOULD DO.

    I’m tired. I have a toddler and a law firm and the weight of hundreds of clients on my shoulders. I am so, so grateful for my wonderful life but goodness gracious this is exhausting and it’s only getting started.

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  • Kat

    I’m super late to this conversation but wanted to share. We intentionally planned to spend the anniversary of the election at Dachau when I realized our trip would overlap this week. It was humbling and sobering and….in a lot of ways truly upsetting to see parallels between early language of the Nazi Party and language I see on Facebook today. The way Germany reflects on their dark history is very different than in the US. It’s extremely straight-forward, and there are signs all over the camp explicitly stating “The purpose of this memorial site is to remember what happened so it can never happen again.”