What It Means to be Sickened by the News

What It Means to be Sickened by the News
Michaelf DeAdder was fired for creating this cartoon.

The word “anger” is not enough. Not when every day I feel assaulted by the events surrounding me. Concentration camps at the border, full of filthy, hungry, cold children. Children sick with flu and with untreated fractures and who are being sexually assaulted en masse in “detention.’

And the word “horrified” is not enough when the man in the White House defends himself against yet another perfectly believable rape accusation by saying his victim was too ugly to assault. The word “nauseated” isn’t enough to describe the plummeting feeling in my stomach as I remember looking at my face in the mirror and believing myself too ugly to rape, so who would believe me? Who would care?

The word “exhausted” is not enough. When every day is another fight to defend my humanity in the face of the growing push for laws to redistrict my vote out of existence, or deny my bodily autonomy, or poison the water that runs into my house. I am weary to my marrow. When left to my own devices, I can sleep until almost noon, and wake still with the aches of hours of worry weighing me down.

And through all of this, life continues, in it’s incessant way of not quite drowning you. Children must be fed, and fed again, and fed again. Activities must be scheduled and chauffeured. Laundry must be washed. Somehow, bills must be paid.

And I am breaking.

The stress exacerbates my dysautonomia. The anxiety worsens my acid reflux. The constant outrage and fury are fuel to my PTSD. I am in pain. And the pain makes the anger and horror and exhaustion worse.

When people ask how I am and I tell them what Donald Trump is doing, they sometimes look at me as though I didn’t understand the question. They know the news as well as me, they know what is happening. But I carry this inside me, I am as much affected by these policies as I am by the need to buy groceries that keep me healthy.

When the answer to, “How are you, Lea?” is a recitation of the last twelve hours of news, what I am saying is that my nerve pain is so bad it feels like there are awls digging into my femur, that the skin has been stripped from my wrist and the flesh is exposed and stinging, burning, that I feel weak from hunger because each time I eat my heartburn causes me to retch, and so I snack non-stop on the carb-y junk I can digest easily. I mean I did not fall asleep until two o’clock in the morning because I saw that picture of the dead man and his baby again, laying face down in the shallows, and each time I think about it my breath comes short and I cry until my throat is swollen and my head buzzes as though full of furious bees.

I am dizzy all the time.

Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and the continued existence of Brett Kavanaugh are making me sick, every day.

That is how I am.

I am always breathing through the oncoming panic attack. I always in need of somebody to hold me, to hug me, to scratch my back and tell me I look prettier than I feel, because I feel so broken by all of this.

“How are you, Lea?”

A survey found that about 20% of Americans think they should be able to deny service to Jews in their places of business, and I wonder whether the way my hair fluffs up in the cloying humidity of our rapid-onset summer makes me look more Jewish. If I will be denied service when I go for an oil change, or to take the kids to an ice cream parlor.

So I just say, “Oh…
“You know…
“The news.”

Read more about what’s going on in America here: Twice a Week, The NRA Reaps Our Children

Read my most recent post here: Parenting with Bojack and Bertie

If you’re social, follow me on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram!

Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is spam-free, and you can opt out at any time.


Leave a comment