Abuser In Chief

Sunde White illustrates the presidential election

Towing into safe harbors

The thing about abusers is that when you’re their victim, it feels like they are so powerful, manipulative, unrelenting, conniving and cruel that you will never be able to escape them.  Over time the abuser isolates you from friends and family, shreds your self esteem and terrorizes you so badly that you become terrified to make a move away from them.  If you do, often times the abuser is very charming to the outside world or in a position of power in society so you may be scared that you will not be believed and therefore will not be able to find a safe refuge.

if you have escaped an abuser, you can have PTSD for years after.  You’ll wonder if he’s in the car that seems to be following you.  You guard your pets, make sure not to leave them alone outside, worried they could be poisoned or stolen by him just to hurt you.  It takes a long time to trust your reality because being with the abuser has warped your perspective.  Do your friends hate you?  Are your parents bad people like he said?  Is he the only one that will ever love you?  Will you be a failure without him?

It will take years of work to clear your mind of his gas lighting and seeds that he had planted in your brain that took root and grew into the idea that you are nothing and that you can’t escape him and you will be under his thumb forever.

Trump is America’s abuser.  And like all abusers he has isolated us, made us feel crazy and terrified and made us full of worry for our safety.  He has planted the seeds in our PTSD brains that he will win the upcoming  election no matter what, that there will be no other outcome.  And we believe him and are held hostage by his declaration that this will happen because 2016 was so fucking shocking that all of us are still reeling from it.

Like all abusers he has used the power that he has to manipulate his environment  to make us think that he is all powerful and there will be no escaping him.  It doesn’t help that because he is the president he holds and is manipulating all the levers of power to keep control of the situation.  He has tried  to destroy the USPS so that ballots won’t arrive in time.  He has put three Justices of questionable integrity on the Supreme Court just in time to decide on last minute voter suppression cases and election decisions that could hand the election over to him.

But many of these scenarios are election fever dreams that Trump, a manipulative abuser, has planted into our collective psyche through the media.  The media then repeats these worst case scenarios that Trump created as if they are truth and that they will almost definitely happen and that the only way to avoid it is for Biden to win in literally a ten point landslide victory in every state or else Trump will find a way to just take over and commandeer the result and become our dictator for life.

I totally understand getting sucked into these cataclysmic election night worst case scenarios because we’re still so traumatized by 2016.  Listen, I’ve lost probably hundreds of hours of sleep about the Trump nightmare in the past four years so I completely understand going over and over different scenarios so we can harden ourselves against the result and be emotionally prepared for the Trump victory.

In fact, what we are all doing is a classic thing the brain does when it has PTSD.  Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome occurs when something so shocking and horrible happens to you that you can’t even wrap your head around it so your brain replays the event over and over again in an attempt to understand it and resolve it.  Some examples would be like if you were in a car crash or experienced a bomb going off in your neighborhood or watched on tv as a cruel monster got elected when everyone said he wouldn’t.  Then he goes on to attempt to destroy our democracy and cripple our nation through his purposeful murder of hundreds of thousands of us.  Your PTSD brain will work on these events like a senior citizen sucking on a butterscotch candy until the memory has been explained it to the brain and resolved itself.

Trump reminds me of those creepy kidnappers that hold an entire town or city hostage with the fear they have created.  The fear is very real of course, nothing could be more horrible, but that is the point.  The kidnapper is like all abusers, pulling the levers of power that they have access to, terrorizing a group of people with the fear of him doing something to the child or stealing another one off the streets.  The kidnapper grows in the collective mind of the community to be a horrible giant monster that they will never escape if he is not discovered.

But then one day, there’s a break in the case, or the child finds a way to escape and the police make an arrest.  When the local news shows the footage of the kidnapper you see that he is not an insurmountable monster but he’s just a weak shitty asshole with bad dental work and matted hair that’s been living up in the woods somewhere under a couple of tarps abusing and holding hostage a helpless child.  Yes, while he is doing his abuse he is a terrifying monster but when he is apprehended and the gig is up, all that fake power dissolves and he is reduced to what he really is, a weak, broken, powerless victimizer.

I truly believe that Trump will be the same.  When the American people have their say and overwhelmingly vote him out, he too will dissolve into the shitty broken, powerless victimizer that he is with bad hair and fake dental work.  He will not be able to steal the election in the face of a decisive Biden victory, as some pundits have warned us, because all his power, his metaphorical nuts will have been cut off.

His associates and accomplices will immediately begin to pack up and flee.  They will try to clear their name, give interviews about how they were there in order to guide Trump to make good decisions.  No military officer will take unlawful orders from him because they know he will be gone on January 20th and they will most certainly be held to account when he is gone.  No one left in his administration will be willing to break the law for him anymore since there will not be four more years of his protection.

He will tantrum and scream and threaten but without hundreds of his enablers to enact his psychotic, cornered desires to retain his power, he will be left wandering around an empty White House in a bathrobe coated in Big Mac grease, rage tweeting and watching Fox News.  Melania will already have filed the divorce papers, she will not do any tv interviews to rehab his image.  Putin will be no help either.  His only interest in Trump was the power he held.  He will immediately pivot to working with the new Biden administration, knowing he had a good run with Trump but the party’s over.

You know who is responsible for getting Trump physically out of the White House on January 20th?  The Secret Service.  What a sweet justice would that be after he infected them with an infectious disease, personally profited off of them being overcharged at his hotels and golf courses and abused them for four years.  If he thinks they will circle their wagons around him and be part of a coup against the USA, you are very wrong.  They hate him by now.

So be strong America and vote, vote, vote.  We are bigger than him and we can free ourselves from his abuse.