Trump Is America’s Abusive Husband And He Won’t Let Us Leave

Trump Is America’s Abusive Husband And He Won’t Let Us Leave

Abusers Strive to Create Chaos and Confusion

We’re in danger. Just as a survivor takes her life into her own hands as soon as she walks out that door, the American people are assuming the same risk. Except there’s no safety plan. There’s no shelter big enough to hide us. A protection order would be useless. And I’m pretty sure we can’t Krav Maga our way out of this like Jennifer Lopez in Enough.

As we inch closer to the November 3rd election, the relentless efforts of President Trump to sustain his position of power run so jarringly parallel to an abuser’s attempts to retain power and control in a relationship that it’s horrifying.

From downplaying climate change as the entire western coast of the country burned, to claiming there is no racial tension in America — quite a contradiction to all the persons of color terrified of calling the police in an emergency — to labeling peaceful protestors “terrorists” (research shows that 93% of this year’s protests have been nonviolent), to claiming more than 34 separate times since the pandemic began that COVID-19 will just “fade away” (even though no epidemiologist would second this), Trump’s version of reality feels far different than the one many of us are living in.

Abusers Need to Be the Victim and Savior

And then came Friday, Oct. 2. The day Trump tweeted he and Melania tested positive for COVID-19. Later in the day, he would be airlifted to Walter Reed. The virus he assured us all would simply disappear was now, maybe, threatening his life. Or maybe he was fine. It depended who was speaking on his behalf. What mattered most is we needed to wish him well, pray for him even, keep him in our thoughts, even after his carelessness cost the lives of more than 200,000 before him. It was his turn now, and that’s all that mattered.

Survivors everywhere shuddered. It isn’t the first time they’ve been expected to extend sympathies toward someone who has intentionally tried to harm them.

It reminded me of a recent interview with memoirist and survivor Monique Faison Ross, whose abuser tried to kill her by beating her over the head repeatedly with a metal shovel before dragging her nearly lifeless body into the woods and leaving her for dead. She miraculously stayed conscious and then crawled her way to the road for help hours after he left her.

Abusers Always Escalate

To anyone with eyes, it’s clear we are in more danger and that there is more unrest in our nation than ever before. Like any home where violence has become the norm, we are beginning to become desensitized to it. The protests, the shootings, the mask-less superspreaders, the threats if we don’t stop fighting back — they have become the background noise to our makeshift homeschools we have been forced into because of an uncontrolled pandemic. For more than one reason, many parents are fearful that if we let our children out of the house, they will die.

Abusers Share an Inflated Sense of Self

Smith says Trump’s relentless need for power speaks to a background often shared by abusers. A background that involves emotionally absent parents, perhaps, as well as a strict indoctrination of traditional masculinity. His father, Fred Trump, has often been chronicled as stern and strict and, as such, Trump is notorious for lacking empathy or compassion.

An abuser who loses control becomes unhinged, erratic, desperate. They’re the abusers who begin to plot the end of their story. Who keep a shovel and duct tape in their trunk, for someday.

Simply put, Trump, like many abusers, uses his power to validate himself. Take the more than 2,000 tweets he’s put out in praise of himself since he was elected, for example. “So great looking and smart, a true Stable Genius!” he tweeted in July 2019. In October, he tweeted about his “great and unmatched wisdom” in regards to “obliterating” the economy of Turkey if they step out of line.

Abusers Won’t Ever Stop

The examples of Trump’s likeness to America’s abusive husband while in office are countless, but it’s what’s happened in the past month that should be put at the top of the Red Flag list. On Sept. 19 during a campaign rally speech, Trump threatened to sign an executive order barring Biden from taking office if he wins. When asked by Fox News in July if he would accept the election results, Trump said, “I have to see. Look, you — I have to see. No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.”

Trump’s jibber-jabber word salad boils down to one point: he has no plans on going anywhere.

Why Some Victims Stay

What boggles many of us who have our bags packed and ready to go, who are at the proverbial door waving frantically to our friends and family steps away, shouting, hurry up, come with us, is seeing those we love stand stock-still, resolute in their decision to stay. Their reasoning is often not so much about safety, but rather, security. Time and time again, we’ve heard Trump supporters say they can’t vote for Biden because he’ll raise taxes. He’ll cost us jobs. He’ll eradicate small businesses.

About the author
Award-winning freelance journalist. Read more articles from Amanda on Thought Catalog.

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