Today, I grieve.
I first thought it sadness. But no, it is grief.
Heavy. Achey. Murky. Grief.
I am exhausted.
I am so exhausted trying to understand you.
I am so tired trying to explain myself — my thoughts, my beliefs, my hopes, and my heart. I am tired of having my efforts mischaracterized and turned upside down to attack me.
I am tired of saying, “That’s not what I said!” and you dismiss me with a wink to your friends, “Hysterical!”
I grieve over feeling vilified. I grieve over being continually misrepresented.
I grieve over your use of power over me.
I grieve every time I look to you thinking, “Surely this time…” you will block the blow. Yet, you look away, or down. Your discomfort shows. It confirms the wrongness. But the impact still hurts. Every time.
I see you join in chorus against me. You join in the mockery. I grieve at the costs of membership.
I grieve because I am not barbaric, or vile, or sub-human. I am not a rat.
I grieve because I love this country and you say I don’t.
I grieve because I get tired trying to respect both sides when I rarely see anyone on your side trying to respect mine.
I grieve because in my heart of hearts I believe we can make each other better. We are meant to listen and engage — with integrity, and interest, and honor. I believe we are meant to see each other’s humanity and the sharing of our different perspectives should make us better…at least, so much better than this.
I grieve because negotiation and compromise are meant to keep us from leaving anyone behind. They are not bad words.
I grieve because my side is learning to play the game according to the rules you set — we are learning that the only way to make impact is to reject, or vilify - to look away, or down.
I grieve because we are learning to be jaded. We are learning to punch back. Sometimes even I want to punch back.
I grieve for that too.
Why do we have to punch each other?
I grieve because I am losing the hope for us that drives me.
I grieve because I want fairness — but all I see you interested in is domination.
I grieve because you have been trained to hate me. And you have not even tried to know me.
I am so much more than what you have been told. I am so much better, and wiser, and smarter, and kinder — more fair, thoughtful, honest, and aware than you make me out to be.
I am working hard to let this just be grief — and not turn it to anger.
I am working hard to let this just be grief — and not use it to justify dehumanizing you as I feel you have done to me.
I am working to just let the tears fall today — and let it be, just that.
It is the only way I can show up for tomorrow without losing the very best of me.
But, today, I grieve.