Insights On Inauguration Day

There’s plenty of things circulating at this point about Donald Trump’s Inauguration.  The man is downright infamous and he hasn’t even had his first day in office yet…and I’m not under any delusions that what I have to contribute is any more unique or important than what anyone else has already said.  But even so, given this important moment in our history I feel compelled to contribute my thoughts as part of the eventual historical record.

No, I didn’t vote for him.  Might as well get that out of the way right now.  Most of my friends and family didn’t vote for him either; but that having been said I still know plenty of people in my life who did vote for him, including one of my dearest and closest friends, so I’m well aware of the reasons most people voted for him.  I’ve been doing my damnedest to try and understand, in the hope that I can once again find common ground with my fellow man in a world that currently feels so sharply divided.

I won’t lie…it’s not easy.  Then again, it never is when you come up against someone whose views and beliefs are the exact opposite of yours.  Supposedly the hallmark of our society is that we’re able to coexist with others by remaining tolerant and accepting of all beliefs and viewpoints…but as the saying goes, if it was easy then everyone would do it.

My brother made an interesting observation, that for the first time our generation (his and mine) have experienced an election season where in essence things didn’t go our way; and in the fallout it almost feels like a national shedding of innocence for the millennial generation as a result.  (Disclaimer: I know not all millennials were against Trump, this is more general statements based on national polling and research.) For the first time we’ve had to recognize that there are a lot of people who don’t think and operate the same way we do, who don’t prioritize things in the same way we do…and in so doing, we are then confronted with the question of whether or not these differences are a good or a bad thing.  Wrong or right.  Correct or……

Oh it’s quite tempting to label those who I disagree with as “bad”; but that’s also a bit of a cop out…because it’s simply not true.  Most of the people I know who voted for Trump aren’t bad people; they just view the world through a different lens.  And just like when we ask our clients at Lasting Connections to name their deal breakers before we start looking for their next life partner, people in politics have their deal breakers too.  And those deal breakers aren’t the same for everyone; something that seems extremely important to you isn’t even on the radar for someone else.

It’s all about the lens through which you view life.

Looking through my lens, I could not ever support a man who is such a blatantly abusive narcissist; and that’s due to my history of abuse and what I’ve experienced and understand now to be true about people.  I imagined Randall being appointed to the presidency, and it struck terror in my heart; because that is not a man who ultimately gives one crap about anyone or anything but himself, and even in moments when he attempts to do things for the good of all it usually ends up twisted and ugly by the end because that’s just his nature.  And it didn’t matter how many people tried to console me or reassure me that Trump wasn’t like Randall…to me, through my lens, he was and is a twisted, abusive, cruel, evil person.  Many of the things he’s said over the years…many of his mannerisms and his track record with those around him…are identical to how Randall was.  And as a result I cannot feel comfortable as he takes that oath of office today.  I just can’t.


Now…does that mean I want the country I love to fail?  Does that mean I’d rather be correct and have things go down in flames than ultimately have him prove me wrong and do wonderful things for the country and its’ citizens?  Of course not. I’ll be the first person to admit I was wrong if he ultimately shows himself to be different than he so far has demonstrated himself to be.

Trouble is right now I don’t feel like I’m wrong, and haven’t yet seen evidence to tell me otherwise.

I’m not a “bleeding heart liberal”…I’m a straight down the middle moderate when it comes to politics.  I’ve voted for and supported just as many Republican-backed programs and candidates as I have Democrat.  So this isn’t a partisan issue for me; it really isn’t.  I have my causes and issues that are dear to my heart, and I have others that aren’t as important, and they don’t all fall to one side or the other.

I always, always try to find a middle ground with those around me.  Family members have teased that I’m a born diplomat, always stepping in the middle to help mediate disagreements and disputes (often successfully).  And I say that now to give a little perspective, and emphasize that I don’t take lightly the struggle I’m currently having to accept this new president as he takes the oath.  It’s a feeling unlike anything I’ve experienced before.

And when I explain my reasoning to others who voted for Trump, the funny thing is they all nod their heads sympathetically and insist they completely understand my perspective.  One relative who voted for him even said “If I had been through what you have, I would probably feel the exact same way”…which I found a bit puzzling, seeing as how in a sense my family did go through a lot of the abuse with me.  They witnessed what Randall did; they witnessed the changes in me, and then saw the incredibly long, traumatic healing process I’ve had to embark on in the aftermath.

“So you’re okay with a man that I see as the same as Randall being elected president?  You’re comfortable with that?”  I always ask this with sincerity and without hostility or accusation in my voice, and generally in response I get an uncomfortable squirm and a shifting of the eyes away from my own as they struggle to come up with a response.  Ultimately I usually get some variation on the theme of telling me they just don’t see him as being bad for the country, and anyway, he will still be better for America than that lying crook Hillary Clinton.

I won’t pretend I totally agree with or understand that particular sentiment; I am no big fan of Hillary Clinton, but I have failed to understand how she is worse than a man I perceive to be an abusive, lying, cruel, narcissistic SOB.  I clearly see it through a different lens; but again this post isn’t about pontificating my political beliefs or getting into a debate.  It’s just some random musings on this, Trump’s Inauguration Day.  So I’ll let that one go for now.

I’ve been debating with myself whether or not I even wanted to watch the Inauguration ‘festivities’ on television; a part of me feeling like I don’t want to be seen as supporting him at this point, but at the same time another part of me not wanting to do precisely what I criticize others for doing, which is stick my head in the sand and refuse to see what’s happening around me.  I have no desire to be an ostrich.  And the Inauguration of a president is always a historical event, no matter who it is putting their hand on the Bible.

Ultimately I’m to a point where I’m not consciously avoiding the ceremony on television, but I’m not going out of my way to watch it either; it’s on in the background even as I’m writing this, so I’m vaguely aware of his procession toward the White House, and the protests throughout the city that are growing increasingly violent.  But I’m not glued to the television; but I’m not concerned.  The other reality is I’m sure our obsessive 24/7 news media channels will ensure I see the whole thing over and over again for months to come in clips and highlights, so it’s not like I’m missing much.

Frankly, that’s pretty much how I feel at this point about his presidency overall; I’m not out there calling for someone to find an assassin and knock the man off, and I’m not secretly hoping he screws up so badly that the entire country goes down in flames with him because dammit I don’t feel like catching on fire……but that having been said, at the same time I am not comfortable right now.  In fact I’m quite nervous, and even a tad anxious as I look toward the next four years of my life.  So where does that leave me?

meghann andreassen, girl with roseAnything good that he may end up doing for the country, I’ll applaud him for.  All successes and failures I’ll give him credit for.  I won’t hate him just for breathing at this point; if he starts to treat others with respect and act in the best interests of the country then I’ll bite my tongue about the rest.

But I’m resolved to stand up for anything I believe in.  So those deal breakers I was talking about earlier…I’ll advocate for those if he ever starts to encroach on them.  If anything he or his administration brings up smacks of racism or other forms of prejudice, I’ll speak out.  If he does things that restrict women’s rights, I’ll speak out.  If he leaves a majority of the country unable to get health insurance and turns the healthcare industry into an even more rapidly floundering system than it already is, I’ll speak out.  If he makes getting a decent education less accessible for all Americans, not just those born in the wealthier communities, I’ll speak out.  If he takes drastic steps to do harm to the environment through policy decisions, since I’m young enough that I’d experience the consequences of climate change (as would my children and grandchildren), I’ll speak out.

(And as of this moment, I have to admit he’s not off to a great start: barely sworn in an hour ago and his staff have already removed the pages on the Official White House Website dedicated to talking about issues related to Climate Change, Civil Rights, and LGBTQ Problems.  A little disconcerting…so I’m speaking out.)

But all that having been said, if he proves me wrong and ultimately doesn’t go after any of those issues…if in fact he passes legislation and policies that wind up doing good things for all…I promise here and now that I will be one of the first people to stand up and say I was wrong.  That I misjudged him.  I will happily dig into my piece of humble pie.  And I sincerely hope ultimately that’s precisely what I’ll have to do.

For now……I just have to wait, along with all the other Americans holding their collective breaths at the moment.  Today he is sworn in.  Tomorrow?  I’m watching to see what he’ll do……

 

 



meghann andreassen
Meghann Andreassen is a businesswoman, author, and personal success coach who contributes to this and other blogs on a regular basis. For singles, visit Lasting Connections.  To work with Meghann personally, contact her through her website for a free consultation.

**Names and other personal identifying information of some individuals referenced throughout this blog have been changed to protect their identities

 

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meghann andreassen, election 2016

When Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Well…it’s election day.  I wrote this a little while ago, but it seems fitting to post this today; and then maybe tomorrow (if I’m in the mood and not completely burnt out on election “stuff”) I’ll write something about actual election results.  Maybe.  Ha!

Anyway…

By now I’m assuming everyone has seen one of Trump’s many falls-from-grace that occurred this endless campaign season, courtesy of a leaked video tape that set a snowball rolling down the universal mountain of scandal and ruin. And if by some miracle you haven’t heard about it yet at this late date, then that means you must live in a magical place where negativity cannot reach you…and I want to move there with you. So can you send me your address please?

Anyway…

I’ve not said much publicly about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton; mostly because while at work I need to remain solidly neutral out of respect for our clients. But when asked I’ll admit I’m no supporter of his, and when pushed further, I’ll also acknowledge my plans are to vote for Hillary Clinton come election time (though even that I’m doing a bit grudgingly).

He’s said plenty of things that offended me throughout this campaign. Done things that made my skin crawl, not just as a woman, but as a thinking, breathing human being who has a regard for my felelection 2016, donald trump, meghann andreassenlow human beings. But it was that leaked video that finally tipped me over the edge. Probably because it reminded me so viscerally of my ex, like sandpaper getting scraped over a raw wound. And trust me, you do not want to remind me of Randall.

I sat in silence for almost two years while Randall would refer to women as “b*tches” and “ho*s” and “thots” and pretty much every other derogatory name you can think of. Speaking about women in exactly the same way as Mr. Trump…and doing so in front of me, which always left me feeling downright nauseous. I at first rebelled, telling him I didn’t like him referring to women that way and certainly he was to never refer to me that way. But over time he’d slip those derogatory terms into more and more conversations, wearing me down, and before I knew it I was hearing him refer to me as “this b*tch here” on an almost daily basis.

(No, it never stopped bothering me. Every time he used those words, something in me died a little. And it was abundantly clear he didn’t care, because he kept doing it.)

Juxtaposed against that were the other words he spoke regularly; Randall talked a good game about having a high regard/respect for women. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard another man in my entire life talk so loudly and proudly about how much he respects women…until Trump.  He would spout off about how he could never hurt a woman, how seeing a young woman in tears always moved him to want to help her, and how he just couldn’t understand why anyone would ever resort to treating women so badly.

Well…here’s a little spoiler for you: in reality, Randall’s actions did not back up his words.  Not even close.  And I’m fairly certain you’d discover the same result with Trump.

The minute Randall had a drink or two, or got a little bit ruffled or upset, women were “b*tches” and “h*es” and “dumb thots” and plenty of other derogatory terms (including the always horrific, disgusting ‘c’ word that I will not dignify in this post). And don’t even get me started on how many times he’d brazenly talk about how badly he wanted to “f*ck” all the various young women who he had parading through our home on a daily basis. How according to him they were dumb and useless for much, but it didn’t matter so long as their a*ses were fat and their p*ssies were tight.  (I apologize for the crude language; these were his words, not mine, and at this point I’m just painting a picture.)

My stomach would turn over listening to the depraved way he and his young friends were speaking about these women. Even more so when I’d catch fragments of degrading statements he’d make about me as well.  It was incredibly dehumanizing, and chilled me to the marrow of my bones.

And worst of all…I eventually learned about all the horrifically depraved things he was actually doing behind my back.

So it wasn’t just words. There were plenty of actions, and to this day it turns my stomach thinking about what I’ve learned:donald trump, meghann andreassen, election 2016

Coerced threesomes with vulnerable young women. Sex with one woman in a park, because I was at home and he was trying to keep it a secret (she was drunk and I’ve since been told by a witness she was not fully on board with what was happening but he was quite persistent). Bringing young women home and (from what I’ve been told) having sex with them in my bed while I wasn’t home. There was even an orgy of sorts, where he and two or three other men had sex with a young woman all at once.  Yes, again in my home (I was working on my business ventures a lot, if people are wondering where I was during all of this). He and his friends took advantage of her need for a place to stay (and I know that same young woman now has negative feelings about the whole experience, because she’s said so).

Then of course there was all the shameless flirting he did with women, both in front of me and when I wasn’t around. With women in person, and also to endless women online via Facebook, Snapchat, and elsewhere. And then of course there’s the fact that he also was apparently running around bragging to several people that he was just waiting for me to strike it rich with my business, and then his plan was to take half of everything, leave me, and return to his ex (multiple sources confirmed that depressing fact after I finally broke up with him).

Does this sound to you like a man who has nothing but the highest respect for women?

Oh, and those comments he’d make about how he wouldn’t dream of ever hitting or harming a woman? That was false too. I witnessed him hit a young woman upside the head – twice – with an open palm…and to this day I still can’t figure out why he was prompted to do such a thing.

I say all that simply because I vowed I would never again stay silent if I witnessed depraved behavior on the part of anyone, man or woman. And at this point, that includes the actions of a potential POTUS.

Donald Trump can say all he wants that he has the highest regard for women…but I assure you, he does not. I guarantee you the way he was talking in that recording is how he talks 99% of the time, and he only cleans it up a little when he knows cameras are rolling.

meghann andreassenI know who and what he is, because I lived with someone just like him for well over 18 months.  A narcissist.  A psychopath.

No doubt his supporters probably won’t care what I have to say. And that’s okay; it took me a long time to finally come to grips with the true nature of the relationship I found myself in too. No one wants to believe such depraved people can truly exist in this world; most of us are always looking for the good in those around us.  And that’s a good thing.  Nothing to be ashamed of, and so there’s no judgment from me on that front. I’m not trying to change minds. But months of working through all the trauma with a therapist, and teasing apart the last few years of my life, has left me unable to sit silently by at this point either.

Maybe all I can do is post this in my tiny little speck of the internet, where most people won’t even see it…but that’s okay. I’ll do it anyway, with all my heart.

Your behavior is deplorable, Mr. Trump. And I won’t accept any of your excuses any longer. It’s all the same kind of rationale Randall would use when I’d confront him; and you know what? It’s complete and utter nonsense. I know plenty of men in my life who don’t speak about women in such a degrading, dehumanizing way.  You could do better…you just choose not to.

So I call bullshit on that. And I always will.

 

 

**Disclaimer: Names and other identifying information about certain individuals have been changed to protect the identities of individuals whose permission I have not gained to write publicly about their lives; but aside from those names and specific personal identifiers, all the events described herein are factually correct and occurred as I’ve described.