WOMEN

All The Ways Your Heart Can Break

On grieving and healing when hate wins.

We are broken.

My heart breaks for the vast emptiness in the pit of my stomach I didn’t know existed before last night.

My heart breaks for the grief I feel and the grief I see bubbling up all around me.

My heart breaks for the women who woke up this morning knowing they live in a country that doesn’t think their bodies are their own.

My heart breaks for the women of color who have been so utterly let down by their white sisters. 

My heart breaks for the two Muslim-American women I met last night who left Manhattan early because they feared for their physical safety more last night than they had in the wake of 9/11. 

My heart breaks for the parents who had to wake up this morning and explain to their children that hate ― xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia ― had won.

My heart breaks for the children I don’t have, and now can’t imagine ever wanting to bring into this world.

My heart breaks for the girls who thought they would grow up under the first female president.

My heart breaks for the women who were born before the 19th Amendment was ratified and thought they would be able to see a woman president in their lifetimes. 

My heart breaks for Hillary Clinton and every woman like her, women who have fought for decades for dreams they thought were possible, only to have them gutted by an unqualified hateful man. 

My heart breaks for that “highest, hardest glass ceiling” we have yet to shatter.

My heart breaks for the anniversary of Kristallnacht, and the lessons we failed to learn. 

My heart breaks for the moment of peace I tried to have with my female coworkers this morning, only to be interrupted by a burst of hatred from a white man.

My heart breaks for every person who woke up feeling a little less safe in the country they thought was theirs. 

My heart breaks for the people who knew all too well that this is the America we have always lived in, the people whose warnings we did not heed. 

My heart breaks for the America I created in my head that never really existed.

 

We are healing.

I heal a little when the man who drives me home in his taxi parks it to help me with the credit card machine as I begin to sob when it refuses to read my card.

I heal a little when he tells me, “I’m scared too,” as he helps me, a sobbing young woman, out of his taxi.

I heal a little when my work meets my humanity, and I find myself tearing up when two young women I interview tear up.

I heal a little when I see the good men in my life affirming the humanity of people who do not look like them. 

I heal a little when I wake up to nine text messages that say “I love you.” 

I heal a little when I get a text that simply says, “Women matter.” 

I heal a little when I step onto the train platform and watch a busker, a middle-aged black man, sing “America” to soothe commuters.

I heal a little when I walk into my office and am immediately met with tight bear hugs, tears, more hugs, more tears, more love. 

I heal a little when I think about the America we could build if we all loved a little harder and gave a fuck a little more. 

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.

CONVERSATIONS