Poor Little Benjamin Ryan had to go to the Psych Ward for three days to save himself from suicide after November 8.
I found out Donald Trump had won the Electoral College while midstream in providing a urine sample for the emergency psychiatric staff of a New York City public hospital. The unlockable bathroom door in this unescapable wing was ajar, and I could hear the victorious Mike Penceâ€™s sinister Sunday-school baritone taunting me with the truth from the hallway television.
For the preceding witching hours of election night, I had lain in a fetal position amidst a cast of anonymous men nursing their own crises, my hands clasped tightly over my ears. It wasnâ€™t that I minded the howls of the guy nearby who was shackled to his cot and monitored by an unimpressed brood of policemen. Instead, I wanted to spare myself any word of the far greater insanity unfolding beyond the hospital walls.
Drained of tears, too tired to sleep, I stared at the fluorescent ceiling lights â€”which, indifferent to our suffering, remained on throughout the night â€” and endured the passing time by willing my thoughts to vanish into the dull glow. For a second, I imagined someone would burst in and proclaim, â€œItâ€™s all right, Hillary won!â€ and I would bound out of bed, awoken from this nightmare.
This was all just a dream, right?
A while before, during the final hour of November 8, I had committed myself to institutional psychiatric care. A generation or two ago they would have said I was suffering a nervous breakdown: catatonic, plagued by involuntary jerking motions (my head furiously shaking â€œNo! â€), speech patterns disjointed, weeping uncontrollably.
During the final hour of November 8, I had committed myself to institutional psychiatric care.
Terror drove me to this interrupted state. I was afraid for the nation, for the stigmatized and oppressed. I was also afraid for my own life. Because the values and principles I hold dear felt fatally incompatible with the hate and bigotry that Trumpism had come to stand for. I did not want to live in a world that would elect such a man as president.
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