I spent a good portion of yesterday after the election results lying on my couch in almost a catatonic state. I’m grieving not just for myself and my shattered dreams of a president who would have fought for equality for all, but for all my friends and people I know and love. Those whose lives, liberties and pursuit of happiness are now in danger not just from the next president, but from the millions of people who took heed of his dog whistles of discrimination and hate.

As I laid there in silence with only the sound of the ticking clock, I recalled a thought that that come to mind yesterday in the morning while people were still voting. It was a quiet thought and a disconcerting one, one that I immediately brushed off.

That thought was,

“The only way these people will see that what they want is not going to help them and is in fact going to hurt them will be for them to get what they want. This needs to happen. They can no longer be allowed to think this. They must experience it for themselves.”

It was such a disconcerting thought that I immediately pushed back. “I’m glad that’s not going to happen because Hillary will be president.”

Unfortunately, we are now in that reality. And while it feels good for a moment to lash out and to try to figure out how to get out of this mess we’re in, the reality is, this is our reality.

These people truly believe that others have taken away the jobs and if the others would leave that their jobs would come back. They believe that everyone should live by their rules not understanding that they don’t always live by their rules. They believe that a father figure will always give them what they want, not realizing that Trump in the songs he played at his rally told them “you don’t always get what you want.” We are living in the world of people who choose to believe the loudest person in the room.

And it is a reality that when those people don’t get what they believe they were promised, that they will lash out and their lash out will be towards the people they’ve been told to hate. And I guarantee you that won’t be Trump. They will lash out at those among us who are women, people of color, people from different nationalities, and people who love differently than them. All of us, if we fall into one of those categories or have people in our lives who fall into those categories are going to be in danger. I don’t think this is hyperbole, the swastikas painted on the storefronts in Philadelphia last night tell us it will happen.

I’ve spent a lot of yesterday thinking, processing and trying to figure out what I could do to protect not only myself but the people I care about who eventually will be marginalized citizens if Trump has his way

I came up with a long list of items that we need to accomplish to make sure that we come out of this dark age of America, if not intact, then with the ability to move forward to where we truly need to go, to where we would have gone had the vote gone the other way. It’s a long list and I also need to figure out how we got to this place so that we can go and figure out a way to never return.

Over the coming days I’ll be posting about how I think we got here and what we need to do both for the short term to protect both ourselves and others who will be the targets of hatred and violence that our country has never before seen as well as more long term things we need to start working on now, to get us out the other side to the country so many of us want.  A country of inclusion, that truly believes we are stronger together.

I wish all of us the strength to get through these years. We are going to be tested more than we ever knew, and we have to prove our resilience. It’s not going to be easy, but freedom never is.