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Chalker, C. (2021). The U.S.A. Presidential Election of 2020: Yesterday Was Hard on All of Us. Psychoanal. Dial., 31(1):128-129.
(2021). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 31(1):128-129
The U.S.A. Presidential Election of 2020: Yesterday Was Hard on All of Us
Cynthia Chalker, M.S.S.
For my patients, the days after the election of 2020 were a blur. In sessions together we were often dissociated, fitful and afraid. My mind took me back to the fear and foreboding after
the election 2016. Me, at 5 am, standing in the middle of the kitchen, crying in disbelief as I listened to the radio. I turned to my partner, “They hate us that much! What about me, Black woman, queer, co-parent, spouse, tax payer, all of it! What about my existence is so aberrant, that millions of people would vote for a person that showed such little regard for humanity, is openly racist, misogynistic, xenophobic and homophobic? Why are those traits not a deal breaker in casting ballots in his favor? How could this happen?”
So it was a sigh of relief when the race was called for Biden/Harris. My prayers to the universe, combined with sprinkles of magical thinking, allowed me to see a light at the end of the tunnel. By Sunday, though, as I turned away from the news, a familiar numbness set in. The happiness and relief dissipated. My shoulders hunched back up toward my ears. The e-mails, work, volunteer organizations, the white guy in the supermarket flagrantly violating the encouraging wear your mask signs. All of these things were still present and frustrating. Even with the Biden/Harris win, my friends and colleagues still had to show up the next work day and continue the unpaid labor of navigating white supremacy, as well as working to dismantle it.
My fantasies of what a Biden/Harris win would mean were disintegrating before they touched the ground.
[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]