Tuesday, October 16, 2018

I can totally handle four Tuesdays

I woke up with a general feeling of dread yesterday, drug myself out of bed and stood on the train the whole way in. Last week I worked long days, and this weekend I worked over eight hours on campaign stuff both days. I've ramped up my involvement in the campaign as was the plan since the start, but I hadn't figured on it taking up quite so much time. You see the candidate out there doing going going doing, trying to get to as many people as possible. Unseen in the background: the partner and kids if they have them holding on for dear life. When the campaign originates in your house, there is no escape from it. I've been getting less than five hours of sleep a night, not drinking enough water, not eating well. I spent half of the train ride feeling like this particular season in life would never end.

I logged onto my knottie facebook group (women who got married the same month/year as me and were on theknot.com monthly board at the time) as I have daily since 2010 to check in. My report was not typical for me. I expressed worry about surviving this year and said I felt very crawl in a hole-ish this morning.

They saw me (see people, if you can, where they actually are) and sent strength from afar. Bless these women and my other circle of trust people. And AEB said, "Four Tuesdays til Election Day. You can totally handle four Tuesdays."

That's the stuff. That's my language. Because you know what? I fucking can. I can totally fucking handle four Tuesdays.

And Rachel said, "You're closer to the end than the beginning."

I am closer to the end. I AM CLOSER TO THE FUCKING END.

I try to imagine what will happen when this is over, but I can't remember what it's like to live normally without people tracking what you're doing and saying and keeping tabs on you and questioning your motives and your life and always doing everything alone and running the entire life show while MFD is out pounding the pavement.

The attack mailers started coming out last week against MFD from the Pennsylvania Republican Party. If I got them in January, I would have cried and obsessed over 22,000 people receiving hateful shit about my husband that just finely enough walks the line between true and false to spread the GOP's particular brand of fuckery mailed to their homes two days in a row. Last week? I laughed and then stopped thinking about them. Neither were 100% false or true, and neither are worth rebutting.

Melissa said to me in a text, "It's one thing to see dirty, false info and be disgusted. It's something else altogether when it's directed at your friend." True true. I got a good laugh out of that because let me tell you it's something else over that when it's your husband, your household, your life.

I mentioned in an Instagram story that I don't know if I'm numb to it or if I've risen above it but now I wonder if I'm just too fucking exhausted to feel anything.

I have never been this tired, and I've been this tired for months. No nine month time period in my life has ever felt so continuously hard, and you will please recall that I am married to a man in recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction who suffers from depression and that he was in active addiction for about 11 of the 16 years we've been together. Did I have soul crushing times in those years? Yes. Were they for nine months in a row? No.

The stress is tremendous. When I report in on the campaign trail, I’m never looking for sympathy. I’m showing you my personal experience in a situation 96% of you will never find yourselves in. This is what it's like at the lower levels. I don't know how spouses and families survive campaigns up the food chain. Making a choice to do something does not mean you can never say it’s hard or parts of it really hurt. I was sort of taken aback by people saying what did you expect, this is politics in response to MFD posting about the mailers. Yes, they were expected. But please, have nearly 25,000 things mailed to your neighbors in an attempt to attack your character and let me know if your response would be the same. People are allowed to acknowledge things that suck even if they happen on a chosen path. We can’t stop being human because it’s easy to just be type on a screen. 

Anyway that tangent aside, I do feel a very similar disconnect between us that existed when MFD was abusing substances. It's the lack of time spent on the same plane of existence. Shit MFD Said didn't stop because he's running for office. It stopped because we don't talk about anything not related to this, work, or the business of surviving. If we are together for more than 10 minutes we are either both dying for silence or breathing through it. I am worried about the pace he has kept for the past nine months.

We've reached the point in this campaign where every single person on both sides is punching down, wanting more or better or to scream at you or direct their frustration at you. People also want to tell you what you have in common and what your willingness to stand for something means to them and both of those things are 100% positive but are received very emotionally because you're used to hate and rage. I have never been reluctant to open my own messages but those campaign accounts...lord. It's enough to drive me off of social media in general.

As I write this I glance at notifications coming up on a facebook post for the campaign page and the vitriol and rage directed at democrats in general and sometimes towards MFD in particular is...a lot of things. Disappointing. Upsetting. Alarming. Things no one would ever sit in front of your face and say calmly to you as a human being in a sober setting. We delete some of the more menacing posts and I keep a list of names in case something happens.

I never thought I'd appreciate spaces and places and people that allow anonymity so much. That has made coming to write in this space more difficult, which it has never been. When you feel so exposed on every angle, it's hard to share the things you want to even in your own controlled spaces.

That's this month's check in from the campaign trail. Still here. Totally fucking able to handle four more Tuesdays. Totally closer to the end than the beginning. Still fucking standing.

Always still standing.

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