Shock: Shock was the initial reaction to November 8. Many of us felt a sense of loss. While we knew it was a remote possibility, the reality of a Donald Trump presidency brought many of us to our knees. Shock comes from a feeling of disbelief, you may have felt numb, disoriented. It’s a defense mechanism, it may have lasted a short while or for days, weeks or longer. (sometimes you will re-experience this emotion).
Denial: Surely there is no way in hell this happened. No way in hell that Hillary Clinton, the most qualified candidate in history could win the popular vote by such a huge margin and still not win the election. Surely, they will recount the votes and prove otherwise? Surely someone will come forward and say, “This can’t stand.” Surely, there is no possible way that moron will take the oath of office, right? Most of us are still partially in this stage and will remain there for the rest of our lives. Generally, after a 3am tweet storm.
Anger: Let’s face it, we’re pissed off and this is not just a stage. There is a toddler in the White House. A vain, narcissistic, white supremacist, Nazi sympathizing KKK apologist is sitting in the chair that belongs to Hillary Clinton and we are MAD. While anger usually comes after denial, it will come again at many times in the resistance process. You need to hold onto this anger and do not let anyone (usually middle-aged to older white males) tell you that you’re “too angry” or that you “need to get over it.” Do not be ashamed of your anger. Honor it. Love it. Validate it. Use it constructively as fuel to dream bigger, lover yourself harder, and accomplish your goals.” Your anger may be directed at many targets, conservative voters, Trump, GOP elected officials, Bernie Sanders and his bros, your high-school friend who didn’t vote, there are endless targets for your rage. You may find that these emotions flare up with no warning, or that you are easily provoked. Count to ten, does this person deserve to feel your wrath? Not really? Move on – don’t alienate a potential ally. If yes? Let them have it. We must remain angry and remember what was stolen from us or this will happen again.
Bargaining: We went through this in December with attempting to influence the electoral college into not voting for the devil. Heck, many of us were like “you don’t have to vote for Hillary, just not him – he will kill us all!” We continue to do this whether it’s appeals to Mueller or whatever deity we believe in. “Please, if you get his ass out of the White House, I promise to NEVER unfriend a Bernie supporter again.” Do not make bargains with God that you cannot keep.
Depression: Yeah. So, we’re going to feel this from time to time too. When the rush of anger fades, we can be left with this. I was. I crawled into a hole on November 9, 2016 and I did not emerge for months. I had no voice. I cycled through all the stages on sometimes an hourly basis. I saw others marching and was like “why the hell should I bother?” I was shattered. There are days I still am. I can think of nothing in my life that I wanted more than Hillary Clinton to be President. We were going to change the world together, all of us with her leading the way. That was all gone. I’d failed her somehow, we all had.
Resistance: Resistance comes when we decide to NOT accept the current situation. Some people were there from day one. Some of us took longer. Some people marched, some tweeted, some blogged, some made phone calls and wrote letters. There is no closure during resistance – there cannot be. When you reach this point, you’ve passed through some or all of the previous phases (but will return to most of them every time the bastard tweets), and you are ready to take action. This is where I am. Because I realized that I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me. #Resist.
Wendy Luxenburg writes for Palmer Report