• Beth Rousseau

When the election has re-triggered your postpartum trauma

Updated: May 25

I haven't posted here in a long time, but I thought of all of you today. I realized that much of the panic, fear, and sense of doom I have felt regarding the election results is actually a re-triggering of my birth trauma.

Something wonderful was supposed to happen.

Something that I was looking forward to as a small validation of my own womanhood.

And I was not worried -- I assumed it would go as planned.

And then... it didn't.

It all went horribly wrong, all of the sudden, and I woke up in world that I didn't recognize and had no plan for how to live in it.

Just like when my homebirth became a transfer, and then an emergency cesarean, I am devastated.

Yes, I am partially disappointed that I didn't get what I wanted. Like a child who gets the wrong birthday present, my ego is miffed. This is not what *I* wanted.

But just as it was with my birth, it's far more than that. I am deeply disoriented, and afraid that this is just the beginning of a cascade of horror. I'm afraid to open my mouth and speak, lest I burst into tears. I'm afraid to walk through the world. I don't know how have hope that my life and my children's lives will ever be okay.

Part of me is even afraid of literal Armageddon.

Hold yourselves so gently today, my sisters. Hold your grieving hearts with respect for yourselves. Hold each other. Try to even hold the people who voted for someone you didn't. All of us have fears. That is our commonality. I am attempting to transform my grief into compassion, and my anger into a increased resolve to act for what I value.

We are each more than the world we live in. We are all more than our allegiances. Each of us is writing the story of our own heroic journey, everyday. Sometimes that story has horrible surprises. But isn't over until we stop writing it.

With love,


"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.

Today, I am wise, so I am changing myself." ~ Rumi

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