Trump Trauma

[Content Note: Rape culture; misogyny.]

This is a very validating, if profoundly troubling piece by Mandy Velez at the Daily Beast: The Traumatizing Effect of the Trump Era on Women: 'It's Like a Form of Torture'.
According to mental health professionals, the last month has been a trying one for women's mental health.

"Almost all the women are showing up [to sessions] during this time as much more disorganized, much more symptomatic," Christine Horner, a counselor based in Brooklyn, told The Daily Beast. "If they suffer from depression, or if they suffer from anxiety, [they're] struggling more with debilitating symptoms...signs that [they're] tapped psychologically."

...These reactions fall in line with an emotional roller coaster of a cycle that Horner and other mental health professionals have seen play out over the last two years.

...Patricia M. Raskin, a psychologist at Columbia University, chronicled the impact of Trump's appointment on a woman who had been sexually abused as a child. "As a victim of abuse, [one of my clients] had had a visceral reaction to Trump's candidacy, aware that he reminded her of inappropriate men she knew," she said.

And that was not unusual in her practice. "There was no female client who did not discuss," Raskin told The Daily Beast. "[And] it was not just Trump's election. It was Hillary's defeat and the misogyny around her campaign."

According to Margaret Edwards, program director of counseling and wellness services at the Women's Center at the University of Virginia, these responses are indeed part of a re-traumatization process. The victim-shaming that came with Kavanaugh's appointment has likely had a serious psychological impact.

"Lack of understanding, when exacerbated by general lack of respect and empathy for others, reignites the worst aspects of trauma for anyone who has ever experienced it," Edwards told The Daily Beast via email. "The physical suffering of a sexual assault pales in comparison to the feelings of being socially alone and rendered worthless and defective."

...[Horner said:] "The notion that, I think, no matter what you do, no matter how hard you cry, how loud you scream, nothing works — it's like a form of torture."
That is exactly what life feels like for me every day.

And there is no alternative — because giving up on urgently resisting this despicable regime and doing whatever I can to help other people, especially my fellow survivors, navigate and process this living nightmare would be a torture all its own.

Persisting is torture. It is also the only thing keeping me from complete collapse.

And I know as well as anyone and better than most that publicly talking about how much this hurts provides endless wank fodder for drooling sadists, because malice is the agenda. They want to hurt us, and they delight when their cruelty hits the mark.

But I'm not going to be silent about the effects of being a female survivor of sexual assault under an aggressively abusive, patriarchal regime. Silence is what they want, and I won't fucking give it to them.

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