It’s not writer’s block.

No, it’s definitely not writer’s block, because I’ve been able to write.

It’s blogger’s block. And it’s been happening since the inauguration of our 45th President.

For some of you out there, the inauguration was a normal, every-four-years kind of event. For some of you, perhaps it was even a non-event. You just don’t pay attention to current events.

But for some of us, it was a transformational, watershed, devastating, gut-kicking, soul-crushing …

[INSERT VARIOUS DRAMATIC WORDS OF YOUR CHOICE]

… kind of day.

After the trauma of the election, I frankly wasn’t sure what to expect upon inauguration.

(Did you just roll your eyes? Did you roll your eyes because I said “trauma” with respect to the election? This next section is just for you.)

On election night, as the early returns came in and I recognized that our country was on the cusp of electing someone who had openly mocked a disabled person in front of thousands of people plus the media, I began experiencing “neurogenic tremor.” Neurogenic tremor is explained well in this piece, but the idea isn’t complicated. Tremoring is a gift that our bodies give us when we face something big and frightening. Neurogenic tremor can be seen in other mammals, too. Start watching this video at about 1:05 to see a polar bear deal with the stress of being chased and researched by humans.

Tremoring itself isn’t bad. It’s when we suppress the tremor that we get into trouble. Our body holds onto that tension and stress because the natural coping mechanism has been short-circuited. (To read more on this, explore the work of Dr. David Berceli who has done remarkable work across the globe helping people cope with trauma.)

My tremoring didn’t stop that night until I went to bed, and it reignited in the days after the election anytime I heard Mr. Trump’s voice on the radio. I had to pull over a few times and went entirely without news for a few days as a result.

So I was really curious how my body would react to Trump actually becoming President, with all those nuclear codes and civil rights at his disposal.

More than a month and change later, I can make the official report: not well.

I suffered from what I called #TrumpFlu for three solid weeks. Sure, it’s “that time of year” when viruses abound. But stress doesn’t do a lick of good when the body is bombarded with germs and such and every single day since the Inauguration has felt like a powder keg to me.

But, back to the whole “blogger’s block” thing. Being sick, stressed and busy with other sorts of things (like watching the White House news briefings daily, researching legislation and Constitutional rights, calling my Senators, etc.) is, at the end of the day, NOT why I couldn’t open up this space and write.

I haven’t been writing because, in full disclosure, I couldn’t care less about health, wellness and nutrition right now.

OK, so that’s not entirely true. I will always care. In many ways, issues of self-care are more important now than ever.

BUT, the presidency of “45” has changed me in so many ways.

Well, maybe it would be more apt to say it’s “heightened” me.

And I just cannot stomach the notion of sitting down and writing about fat soluble vitamins right now. (I’m not trying to pick on A, D, E and K. They’re important. It’s just an example.)

Because, see, people are fighting for their very right to exist. Families I know and love are frightened that their ability to even remain a family will come under fire. People of non-majority faiths or who are without a religious tradition are petrified of backlash against them and their communities.

Let me share a little secret with you. When I was a junior in high school, and President George H.W. Bush gave his State of the Union address, I pulled out a legal pad and outlined the whole damn speech. Why? Because I am a dork? Yes. And, also, because for as long as I can remember I have cared deeply about our gorgeous, complicated, resilient system of government. It’s why I went to law school. It’s why I did graduate work in Political Science. It’s why I worked in eight states on healthcare advocacy.

It’s also why watching someone who has little or no regard for the Constitution, who puts forth simple “answers” to mind-blowingly complex questions, and who exerts precious little self-control causes me physical and emotional stress unlike anything I have ever experienced.

Last week I finished the first draft of my recent fiction “work in progress” and I knew that it was do-or-die time for this blog. I cannot bring myself to write about the things I used to write about. I either have to give up this blog completely, or write about the things that really matter to me right now.

Alas, here I am. And here I will stay. Because I choose to keep writing. But you may choose not to read anymore. And I get that. You wanted recipes, you end up getting served something else entirely.

I hope that you will stay, though. My readership is largely women, mostly moms and grandmothers. And if this election taught me anything, it’s that having women’s voices at the table changes the discourse in both expected and unexpected ways.

I want you here for that discourse, but know that it is my goal to ask uncomfortable questions. (Mainly of myself, but you may ask them of yourself, too.)

I believe pretty strongly that white middle to upper class women like me need to take a critical look in the mirror . What we find may not be what we hoped to find. But I, for one, think we owe it to ourselves, our kids, and our communities to start the process.

 

12 Responses to “Why I Need To Talk About Things That Matter”

  1. on 08 Mar 2017 at 1:42 pmJanice

    Kristine,
    I never read your blog for your political views political opinions, or political suggestions.

    If you find you can’t stay focused on your health and exercise tips perhaps it is best to stay away from writing for a while.

  2. on 08 Mar 2017 at 2:47 pmKristine Rudolph

    What an interesting way to frame your feedback. Because you don’t want to read what I write about politics, I should stop writing?

    This idea actually mirrors one that is so pervasive in the US culture right now, this belief that if I disapprove of what someone else is doing, that person should stop doing it.

    Like, “I don’t want to see that woman breastfeed. She shouldn’t do that here.”

    My typical reply to those people is, “You can always turn your head.”

    And that is what I will say to you, Janice. If you don’t like what you’re seeing here, just turn away.

  3. on 08 Mar 2017 at 3:12 pmVictoria

    Today is International Women’s Day and I find your blog appropriate in timing for this unique and special day. It will be difficult to measure what is going on with our bodies as we deal with the stress of our current environment and the long term effects. Turn our heads or watch, either way we are reacting to the situation with some type of stress. I reach back to your previous blogs about body mechanics, exercise, recipes and until then I will continue to eat my glazed chicken with broccoli & cashews for the next 4 years. Yum! signed-middle class women reader

  4. on 08 Mar 2017 at 3:20 pmKristine Rudolph

    I’ve talked to a lot of people in “healing” industries and every single one has reported that their clients are more stressed, more anxious and I also heard many reports of heightened chronic pain. You are so right – we honestly have no idea what this is all doing to us!

    I won’t abandon issues of health and wellness, entirely, I swear. And I will never stop sharing recipes! I just may not be writing them any time soon.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. on 08 Mar 2017 at 5:03 pmSally

    I actually think this is one of the healthiest blogs that has been written. It might not directly give “health advice” but, we should all learn how healthy it is to “cleanse the brain” Keeping thoughts,feelings,and fears aside us can be more damaging then anything. Our brain and thoughts can cause mental and physical symptoms. So I have to strongly disagree with Kristine because this is part of healthy living and to Janice….I do believe we all need to open up a little more to feel better . Wish I had learned this lesson a long time ago.

  6. on 08 Mar 2017 at 10:56 pmKatherine Spengler

    Thank you for blogging about your experience post election. I’m fascinated by your references to neurogenic tremor and #TrumpFlu and hope that you continue to blog about the physical and psychological effects this presidency is having on people. Given that all of my extra moments are engaged in research for my doctorate, I’m grateful that you blogged today and for the periodic FB posts you devote to the topic as well. I consider you a trusted source!

  7. on 09 Mar 2017 at 8:08 amKristine Rudolph

    When I went back and read the post again late last night, I realized how much of a “wellness” mindset that I have. I don’t know that I will ever be able to not write about the health and wellness aspects!

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  8. on 09 Mar 2017 at 7:28 amSamantha Renfro

    Thank you for articulating exactly what has been happening to me. I am heart sick over what Trump and his cronies are doing to this country. They are pulling apart our civil rights , lying at every turn and putting so many in our population in harms way. I have literally been sick with a bad cold for two weeks now and that never happens to me. We have an unbalanced narcissistic and ignorant man running this country. It is terrifying. Keep writing! You are a woman of courage and determination. We need your thoughts!

  9. on 09 Mar 2017 at 10:01 amSally

    Also love the dialog that this non “health” blog that is a health blog has opened up. No matter what your politics are we need a safe place to honestly open up about how the changes in this world make us feel . Not a political post but, what it does to us inside. Fear is not healthy and change can be hard. Your mom must be extremely proud of raising a daughter that is not afraid to speak up !!! Since I know her very well I can assure you she is.

  10. on 09 Mar 2017 at 7:07 pmSusan

    Thank God for a sane voice. Having taught American History including government I too have been more than stressed with the election of the 45th president. I wonder constantly if his supporters, many of our representatives, senators even know or remember anything about the way this country was created and how it is structured. I am horrified daily at what I see and hear. I refuse to watch the news. I can’t stand to even look at the pictures of him. I have a Jewish friend with whom I talk 2 or 3 times a week, sometimes daily. We have been trying to keep up each other’s spirits. I am trying to not give up on Hope. Please keep writing.

  11. on 10 Mar 2017 at 5:17 pmDeborah

    Hey Kristine,
    I agree with you wholeheartedly that it is not ‘business as usual’, in fact I think the most dangerous thing that can happen now is complacency, not only in the US but Canada too, where a certain faction has become emboldened by what is happening. I believe it is very dangerous to put this in a box and carry on as usual. I support your writing and look forward to hearing your perspective.

  12. on 10 Mar 2017 at 7:12 pmKristine Rudolph

    That means a lot to me. Thanks, Deborah.

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