Hanging on to the horror – Building the hope

Blog- therapy for Post Traumatic Trump Disorder

One of the places I get solace and guidance as I react to Trump’s presidency are Op Eds. They offer some perspective, analysis and counsel about how to hang out with this new, most unwelcome reality.

A recent piece suggested not wasting energy on the OMGs, the shock, the horror, the disbelief and anger, the trying to understand or catastrophizing. But instead to respond and react to the actual policy changes and governance decisions implementing the rhetoric and intentions of the tweets and executive orders.

So I tried to hold on to my hat as the roller coaster ride continued. But with this tweet from Trump last weekend Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism! and the comments of one of his press folk, I plunged into metaphors and images of horror and disbelief.

It feels like being in a horror movie happening in a hall of mirrors. Horrific images and possibilities are happening and being reflected and amplified infinitum. As Trump changes norms about civic discourse, respect for diversity, the possibility and the necessity of truth, adherence and compliance to the official and normative process of democracy, these deviations reverberate through out all levels of American society and systems. From a Trump EO to people of color being profiled at airports, just one of many examples.

Back to the original conundrum; what to do with horror? Do we just put a hat on it and persevere. With due respect to the original Op Ed writer, today I will claim space for horror. Without touching into the horror at least periodically, the risk is that we will become like the frog in boiling water. We will just absorb each new tweet, EO, unfounded paranoid accusation, removal of human rights as the new normal . . . like plugging your nose around a bad smell, hoping it will go way.

What to do instead? I initially thought of calling this piece hanging onto horror, hanging onto hope. But I realized that we don’t hang onto hope. We build it. We build it by the things we do and by the stories we tell that support those aspects of Western democracy and North American culture of which we are most proud; systems of justice, policies of inclusion and equity, governance checks and balances, civil society, respect for human rights and a growing awareness of environmental accountability.

With all this in mind, NewScoop is happy to share this information curated by Saima Jamal to assist us in building hope this week in Calgary. Saima will be present at all of these events (amazing, I know!)

Immigrants of Distinction Awards
Friday March 10, 4:30pm
Westin Hotel

Women of Wonder
Sunday, March 12, 2017, 1-4 pm
Genesis Centre

“Women Move for Change: Forum on the Situation of Migrant/Immigrant Women in Alberta”
March 18, 2017 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm
ABM College Event Hall, 3880 29 Street NE

YYC Colours Film Screening and Panel Discussion on Racism and Religious Discrimination in Calgary
Monday, March 20th 2017, 6;00pm-8:00pm
That Empty Space, University of Calgary

Community conversation on Syrian families in Calgary
Tuesday March 28, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Location TBA

Go, build hope and reinforce for your self and our community all that we hold dear about a common life that is good for all. . . young and old, rich and poor, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, newcomers and old timers, . . . all faiths, all countries of origin, shades of skin color and kinds of ability. Go and build hope . . .step out of the hall of mirrors and into a civic plaza where all are seen and welcomed!

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