SOON THE MONSTER WILL BE BUT A TROUBLING MEMORY
“As a child I would never have imagined that all the monsters would be human.”
-Toni Rogers, The Lamb that lay down with The Wolf
“You spent so much of your life energy just trying to hold it together.”
Today I feel a deep sense of gratitude and relief (as do many others) that an unfathomably dangerous monster of a human being has been neutered, and whose power to continue to inflict suffering will be severely curtailed in a relatively short time.
Donald Trump’s own niece presented a very convincing case that, as President, he is the most dangerous man in the world.
We all suffered under Trump’s reign to varying degrees. Some much more than others, I must acknowledge. But this particular piece is focused primarily on the psychological pain that he inflicted, particularly upon those who have mental health issues.
Having been in treatment and recovery since 1992, and having been raised by people with personality disorders, I quickly recognized Trump’s severe Narcissist tendencies, and how they manifested in very cruel ways, during the 2016 campaign.
Given that recognition, the night that he was elected was emotionally devastating for me. I was convinced that things were going to get very bad, but my worst nightmares were no match for the immiseration into which he thrust us.
Virtually every day Trump said, Tweeted or did something (or implemented a policy) that was cruel, painful, or detrimental to someone, some people, some group, some groups, or to the planet.
The constant barrage of deceit, vitriol, hatred, stochastic terrorism, divisiveness, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, gaslighting, fear-mongering, bullying, vengeance, wrath, and attacks on the vulnerable in our society fatigued my soul and filled me with an omnipresent angst that created a significant roadblock to attaining the inner peace and serenity on which my spiritual recovery and mental health depend.
At times, when Trump’s actions became amplified or extreme, feeling ill at ease was the least of my concerns. My emotions would elevate to rage, anxiety, or profound sadness.
From the moment the monster took office, all of us in America were taken hostage by that severe Narcissist with an Anti-social Personality Disorder. It confounded and frustrated me that more people didn’t recognize or acknowledge the profound nature of Trump’s pathology and how absolutely unfit he was to lead a group of human beings, let alone a nation.
Donald Trump lacks the ability to empathize. He does not have the means to self reflect. He is incapable of bonding with another person. And no pill or therapy would ever enable him to attain these essential human skills.
To him, people are objects -to be used or abused any way he sees fit. And he is an empty, bottomless pit at his core. As a Narcissist, he attempts to fill that pit with adulation, money, and power. Yet no amount of any of those could ever begin to fill his inner void, leaving him with an insatiable appetite for more. With no empathy for others to stand in his way, Trump is a predatory creature, seeking to sate his endless desires by any means necessary, with no regard for the pain inflicted upon others.
For those of us who have a severe mental illness, who already give our all to staying stable and sane, the added stress of spending four years as a psychological hostage to this abomination of a man was nearly unbearable. Particularly for those of us who were living the experience all over again.
Yet today is a new day. One filled with relief, hope and joy. For soon the monster will be but a troubling memory. And a decent, and grounded, empathetic human being will take its place. And that is one of the greatest gifts we have ever received.
Feeling relieved and grateful for us all.
The American Psychological Association’s 2016 “Stress in America” survey, conducted online among some 3,400 American adults and published in February of 2017, found that 63 percent of respondents regard the future of the country as “a significant source of stress”; some 56 percent “say that they are stressed by the current political climate.” The 2018 edition of the survey showed that the number of Americans who view the future of the country as a significant stressor had jumped to 69 percent; those who saw the political climate as a source of stress had jumped to 62 percent.
And this stress has metastasized in an observable phenomenon: Clinical psychologist Jennifer Panning characterized the phenomenon as “Trump Anxiety Disorder,” a specific type of anxiety in which symptoms “were specific to the election of Trump and the resultant unpredictable sociopolitical climate.” Others on the right side of the ideological spectrum have classified this anxiety as “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” a label that the president himself embraced.