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I spent the morning in solidarity with One Billion Rising and Love Trumps Hate. The day started cold, uncomfortable, awkward. People brought signs, wore ribbons and pins, and crossed their arms against the chill of November and the coming four years. They sought some kind of connection, peace or a sense of direction, a new way of being in a changed world.

Through all the speeches, impassioned pleas, and heartfelt promises, I felt torn. On one hand, Trump will never be my president. Instead, he is my Predator in Chief. Like it was for so many survivors of sexual violence, his election was a sucker punch, a blow of profound effect. He, and those who elected him, made my agony a joke, reduced me to an object, and denied my humanity and hope.

On the other hand, I want to understand. I want to know the hearts and minds of those who voted for him. I want to build bridges and end the divide. I want fear to stop ruling this country. I want there to be no “other” that rises like a bogeyman and sends us scurrying to our insulated social media bubbles so that we may, for a time, feel safe.

I have no idea how to move forward because I am conflicted at core. Love Trumps hate is at odds with my deep rage and desire for war. This is new. It’s real. It’s not going away.

I love my country and my community, but maybe it’s time for me and all women to finally love ourselves more.  It is my prayer that we rise strong and finally achieve the equality and respect we deserve.