It’s Monday morning. On my way to work, in an autopilot haze crucial to start the week off without a post weekend freak out, and there it was.
A bumper sticker on someone’s truck. Trump for America, Fuck Your Feelings. I had to read it again because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It wasn’t exactly the Trump for America part that bothered me all that much, even though I am anything but for Trump. What I could not shake was the Fuck Your Feelings part and it’s association with being a sentiment pushed for America. I just don’t get it. I don’t understand the hate. What purpose does it serve to wave off feelings that are the very basis of what it means to be a living, breathing human being. Is it not our feelings and our abilities to work through them what sets us apart from being primitive and barbaric beasts?
This man and many like him, may be a very small percentage of people, but they are still American and represent me and other Americans too. To be frank, it’s embarrassing. I wish there were more I could do about it, so instead I am here trying to work out my feelings about it through writing.
If I had to pinpoint an exact reason why the sticker bothered me so much I would have to say it is because I struggle with emotion management myself. I have struggled with how much I allow myself to feel and how much is a normal amount to feel and over the past 5 years, I have gone to lots of therapy, made many lifestyle changes that have helped me keep my head above water when my soul dips into the doldrums and that bumper sticker is such a strong symbol of someone who has done zero work on emotional management. It was triggering. It was a red, hot button to my emotions. A button that once glanced upon, transformed my manic Monday of a haze into anger and frustration. I had allowed this man’s hate to enter my heart.
I am far from perfect when it comes to my own journey of mental health care, but I know deep in my heart that I have done important work and will continue to do the work, because personal responsibility is important for a community’s health and what that sign really says deep down to its core is, “Hi! I have serious mental health issues and I want you to be down there in the doldrums with me. Fuck your feelings.” Because in putting that out into the world, there is no difference to saying to himself, fuck my feelings too.