For a long time I’ve been struggling to deal with the reality of Trump as leader of the free world. Having an angry misogynist with racism and bigotry running through his veins in charge of the United States has brought up fears and insecurities I thought I had long banished. I know I’m not the only one who’s been walking around with what feels like a layer of skin missing. My bones, my nerves, my very self has been exposed to the harshness of the world and sometimes it feels like that exposure has eroded my ability to cope. It’s taken a bit of the cushioning I was using to deal with the day-to-day stuff.
So when Kim Jong-un started appearing with frightening regularity on the top of my newsfeed my immediate reaction was to burst into tears. And then run and take cover at the bottom of my bed where nobody could get me, not even the light.
I tried not to read the news but given that I don’t live in a yurt in an isolated village it didn’t work. Even if I stayed off social media I had actual people talking to me about the state of the world. My fear is everywhere.
While I wish I had the power to talk Kim Jong-un, placate him and convince him of the power of communication and negotiation, even peace and freedom, I realise that’s fantastical thinking. Possibly more positive fantastical thinking than imagining how I will say goodbye to my dog and son when the bomb drops, but still…
Sitting within my bubble of privilege in the relatively safe suburbs of Sydney I hear my husband remind me that being scared is not going to change the outcome for anyone, it’s just going to make me feel worse. And while part of me wants to turn around and shout “But what about all the Koreans who have no choice? You can’t tell them not to be scared” I realise that I sound about three. I am not actually making the situation better even for the people I fear for. And I am making myself worse – and in that process the people around me are not faring so well.