If Your Partner Can't Deal With Your Post-Election Depression, Dump Them
I'm currently experiencing a severe post-election depression. Donald Trump is the president-elect, and I can't stop crying.
I cry every time I see a photograph of a large group of white, bro-ish looking dudes jeering in excitement. It triggers me so intensely, I feel like I'm going to vomit.
I cry when I see a fellow queer person. Don't we just seem so much more visible and vulnerable now?
Who else is currently experiencing a severe post-election depression?
I cry when I see any person who I know is going to be directly affected by the terrifying results of this scary election. I cry when I hear stories about kids threatening other kids they're going to get "deported" at school.
I'm basically a hot, emotional mess.
The only way I can describe it is that it's like mourning a death. When you're grieving a loss that big, nothing can make you feel better. You don't want to feel better — it feels disrespectful to the memory of the person you've lost.
Sometimes you temporarily forget about your shattered heart for a lone, stolen moment, and you might even find yourself giggling at a dumb internet meme for a brief second. And then, BAM. It hits you. Your American dream is dead.
I've been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, so I know what depression feels like. I don't recklessly throw around the word "depression" for dramatic flair.
And let me tell you, this is a very real depression I'm experiencing right now. I know I'm not alone; Facebook reminds me every single day that you and I are in a collective depression together.
My girlfriend is really sad about the election, too. We spent election night together, our hearts dropping to our knees as we watched each state turn red.
I cried drunken tequila tears all over her at 2 am when everything was finalized and all of our deepest fears were affirmed. Her favorite white T-shirt is still covered in my black makeup. We won't ever wash it.
Honestly, if she wasn't sad about this election, I would've totally broken up with her.
Not only does this election directly affect us because we're gay and Pence wants to send us to conversion therapy, it also affects countless others — people we love, but also good, kind strangers we see every day on the streets of New York.
And I can't physically have sex with a person who isn't a kind, empathetic soul unable to see outside the realm of themselves (it's why I don't fuck Republicans).
I don't want to build a life with someone who is so self-involved, they close their eyes to the fears and anxieties of other people. This election has revealed I know too many people like that. My girlfriend can't be like that.
You can't build a life with someone who is so self-involved, they close their eyes to the fears of others.
However, my girlfriend is not depressed like I am. We deal with things differently. It's probably why we're such a good match.
She's more proactively enraged at the moment, while I'm a broken mess. A heap on the floor. A shell of my usual, connected self.
I don't know how to compartmentalize my pain, I don't know how to leave it out of my writing, and I don't want to even try. I'm OK with letting the sadness follow me everywhere I go like a shadow.
But let me tell you a little secret: The way she's handled my post-election depression has made me more into her. Just because she's not physically depressed doesn't mean she's incapable of understanding my depression.
She's not telling me to "pull it together." She lets me cry my eyes out without pressuring me to stifle it, even if it's hard for her to watch me cry.
She knows I'm a little fragile right now, and she's doing simple, sweet things for me. She's sending me songs at work. She's making me cups of tea, even though she hardly knows how to boil water. She even bought me Ani DiFranco tickets because she knows music is my great healer.
And it's really made me think: If your partner can't handle your post-election depression, now is the time to kindly walk the fuck away.
If your partner can't handle your post-election depression, now is the time to kindly walk the fuck away.
This election has left so many of us feeling heartbroken, afraid and helpless. And if you're finding it hard to get out of bed right now, it's understandable.
If you're spontaneously bursting into tears, there are millions of other people who get it and are doing the same. And if we all get it and we all feel it, it's imperative your partner does, too.
Unlike our family members, we have a choice in our partners. Why would you actively choose to be with someone who doesn't understand your sadness?
This election has given us a jarringly clear little window — an unfiltered peak into the soul of the people we love. How our partners choose to handle our post-election depression reveals their true colors.
How our partners choose to handle our post-election depression reveals their true colors.
So, listen up: If your SO is telling you to "get over it" or challenging the integrity of your depression, that's a giant, shiny red flag.
If they're trying to control your feelings about this (especially in a male/female dynamic, HOW DARE a guy undermine what this election means for women), what makes you think they won't try to control your feelings about everything else?
The next thing you know, they will be trying to control how you feel about your family, your friends and the music that speaks to you.
And most importantly, you want to be with someone who lets you feel and lets you be your raw self.
That is everything. If someone holds you during your darkest hour and doesn't try and convince you to "snap out of it," they truly love you. They love all of you, even the parts of you that are difficult and not fun.
We are such multifaceted creatures with dramatically dark sides, gorgeously light sides and so many shades in-between. You deserve someone who wants you regardless of how brightly you're burning. You don't want to be with someone who only picks out the parts of you that make them feel comfortable.
You don't want to be with someone who only picks out the parts of you that make them feel comfortable.
Post-election depression is uncomfortable. Depression is uncomfortable. Half of your life will be uncomfortable because life is equal parts happy and equal parts sad.
If your significant other can't handle sitting in the discomfort of your depression, they won't be able to handle 50 percent of your life together. Do you really want to build a life with someone who is only going to be there for you half of the time?
No, you don't. Because you're amazing and worthy of finding someone who is going to be there for you 100 percent of the time, no matter what.
You're worthy of a ride-or-die, baby.
And think about what "ride-or-die" means. It means, "I'm along for the ride of your bumpy fucking life, no matter what happens."
It means, "I'm clutching on to you during the highs and the lows." It means, "The only thing that would ever push me away is death."
And that's what we all deserve in a partner: Someone who wants to clutch on to us no matter what happens. Post-election depression, or pre-election elation. Don't let them pick and choose.
This election has revealed so much about not just our country, but also our personal relationships. And if you're with someone who is dismissing your pain... thank the universe and run.