Content warning: Emotional abuse.
I have not watched the presidential debates. I did not watch the GOP debates before that. I do not watch any of Trump’s speeches. I have heard the criticisms about my choice, that I am choosing to be ignore the reality of current national politics or that I’m being stubborn and ignorant. The thing is, while I don’t watch or listen to Trump, I read the transcripts. It isn’t even just that I despise Trump and don’t want to listen to his hateful rhetoric. I get plenty worked up reading the transcripts. I don’t watch him speak because I can’t.
I have never liked Trump. I always thought he was sleazy and completely ridiculous with that “you’re fired” nonsense. I never understood why anyone liked Trump. As long as I’ve known who he was, all I ever heard was that he was a shitty businessman and wannabe celeb whose businesses kept going bankrupt. I didn’t watch his reality show or pay him much attention until his candidacy, because his persona just rubbed me the wrong way. But when he declared his intention to run for president, I had to sit up and pay attention.
I dislike a lot of politicians and am outspoken on my views, but I’ve never felt this before. I couldn’t put my finger on it, I just knew that his speeches made feel immensely uncomfortable. I was not simply annoyed — I felt threatened and unsafe. Then a friend on Facebook shared a story on Everyday Feminism entitled “10 Emotional Abuse Tactics That Trump Blatantly Used in the First Debate.” That’s when it clicked: I can’t watch Trump because he is a manipulator, and his manner of speaking is that of an emotional abuser. That’s why I was finding myself fighting panic and flashbacks when I first tried watching him debate. I was flashing back to my own experience as a victim of abuse. The following is just a tiny sampling of that emotional abuse.
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