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TSExile

(2,035 posts)
Mon Nov 13, 2023, 10:42 PM Nov 2023

Any other former Republican voters here? (My Story) [View all]

From the time I registered to vote at age 19 until my late 30s, I was a registered Republican. My parents and grandparents had always voted that way, and it always seemed to work for them. I listened to Glenn Beck (though I liked him much better when he talked about topics other than politics). Still, I never quite fit the right-wing conservative mold.

Fast forward to Sunday, October 11, 2015. I was sexually assaulted by a man who I had thought was my friend...someone I had known (or thought I knew) for nearly a decade. I adored this man...and had trusted him implicitly. He gaslit, manipulated and violated me for another 8 months. He was a very charismatic man and knew how to keep me in line so I would keep his dirty secrets...until I unwittingly did something to make him mad and he cruelly dumped me. He hated me after that...especially when I confided in others what he had done to me.

At the same time, that horrible man named T**** had thrown his political hat in the ring. I didn't think he had a hope in hell of winning the Republican primary, let alone the nomination. Still a registered R, I voted for Kasich in the primary. In October 2016, I saw the man who hurt me for the last time. The same weekend, a certain Access Hollywood tape dropped to the public.

Because of my own intensely private problem, I was not following the election of 2016 nearly as closely as I would have otherwise. I did hear about the Access Hollywood tape...and was devastated. Still, I had so internalized the message from the pit of hell that Christians only vote Republican. If you don't vote Republican, you're not a Christian. On Election Day, I literally cried in the voting booth. The messages in my heart and head were at war...and I caved. I regret that moment deeply...even though my vote wouldn't have made a difference in the long run, especially here in Ohio. Of course, I couldn't even comprehend all the horrible things that were to come and certainly wouldn't have voted R if I had had even an inkling of it.

Long story short, at the beginning of 2017 I began intensive therapy to deal with my assault. Over the next two years, I would travel from my home in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland into the city proper. I was assigned to a counselor who I had been told over the phone was a bit "unconventional".

We were quite a match - the shy, sheltered white girl from the suburbs and the outspoken Black great-grandmother from inner city Cleveland who also happened to be a Baptist minister. I didn't realize at the time that she was planting seeds in me. She was a Christian woman who didn't hide her disdain for T**** in the few times he came up in conversation. She was compassionate but tough...a big proponent of the "teach a man to fish" philosophy. I wish everyone could find a Dr. W....and she stayed my counselor until she retired in spring 2019.

During the time I was in counseling with Dr. W., #MeToo happened and so did the Kavanaugh confirmations. When I read an op-ed about how T**** went with Kavanaugh not in spite of his sexual assault allegations but BECAUSE of them - that did it. Then the completely inept, callous way T**** dealt with covid (essential worker, home health aide here) finished off any possibility of me voting Republican ever again.

In October 2020, I drove to the board of elections building and fully masked, cast my vote for Biden/Harris...and lightning did not strike me. There was no turning back. The shrinking violet became a full-fledged feminist. I have no tolerance for bullies, those who sexually abuse, and those who enable. I found my voice. One of the things I want to do in this next year is help register young people, most especially young women, to vote.

I would be interested in hearing stories from others who escaped the Grand Old Patriarchy!! Thanks for letting me share mine.

64 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Welcome to DU. Happy to have you on our side. virgdem Nov 2023 #1
K&R for being brave. Hugin Nov 2023 #2
Long long ago in the 80's I belonged Tree Lady Nov 2023 #3
Thank goodness... TSExile Nov 2023 #6
Sad for you. You got to see a popular US President who was a proud Democrat, get the Republican OAITW r.2.0 Nov 2023 #54
Keep up the courage. blm Nov 2023 #4
I am a former "Republican" kwolf68 Nov 2023 #5
Good for you IndyPepper Nov 2023 #7
Welcome to DU! WhiteTara Nov 2023 #20
Loved your story! summer_in_TX Nov 2023 #8
End Points DiceK Nov 2023 #9
Welcome bagimin Nov 2023 #21
One more thing... TSExile Nov 2023 #10
I would love to have met her. nt 1WorldHope Nov 2023 #23
Awwww!! TSExile Nov 2023 #24
Thank you for your post... DemocraticPatriot Nov 2023 #11
Kudos to you and welcome to DU. alwaysinasnit Nov 2023 #12
Youthful Republican only recovering_democrat Nov 2023 #32
fromer r here . voted for carter. then joined the peace and freedom party before it got polluted with that rabble. AllaN01Bear Nov 2023 #13
I thought I was an R LittleGirl Nov 2023 #14
Wlow.. I'm in Tears.. your story is so Bittersweet and Cha Nov 2023 #15
Thank you!! TSExile Nov 2023 #17
REC.. Thank you.. Glad you did! Cha Nov 2023 #28
Awww, thanks. TSExile Nov 2023 #40
you can talk to E. Jean Carroll on her Substack willamette Nov 2023 #57
Cool!! TSExile Nov 2023 #58
I was always a registered Democrat, but my very first vote was for a Republican. I'd do it again, too. DFW Nov 2023 #16
Where are ANY kind of copper thieves when you need them? TSExile Nov 2023 #18
Are people FINALLY realizing that trump is a disgusting pig? mwb970 Nov 2023 #19
Not Yet recovering_democrat Nov 2023 #33
I saw something that said in 5-10 years no-one will admit to voting Trump. kerry-is-my-prez Nov 2023 #38
They are just too ignorant to realize that voting for that moron won't protect them SouthernDem4ever Nov 2023 #39
I've never been a Republican, but had to post to thank you for sharing your story. redqueen Nov 2023 #22
former R BlueTexasMan Nov 2023 #25
When I was a church going member I was not given a hint that I needed to vote Republican. LiberalFighter Nov 2023 #26
Back in the mid 70s, I voted for a Republican candidate running against a good-ole-boy redneck that Chainfire Nov 2023 #27
First elections I voted for Bob Dole Polybius Nov 2023 #29
In Texas surfered Nov 2023 #30
I always got the same message, that if you were Christian, that went hand in hand with voting Republican. lees1975 Nov 2023 #31
GOP tries to seduce young men with promises of hot blondes and lots of money IronLionZion Nov 2023 #34
Luckily the hot blonde I married has always been a Dem SouthernDem4ever Nov 2023 #41
Congrats. I hope to meet one like a Jill Biden type IronLionZion Nov 2023 #43
voted Reagan in 1984 at 19 years old... never voted R again. WarGamer Nov 2023 #35
I used to go back and forth UNTIL Clarence Thomas kerry-is-my-prez Nov 2023 #36
Courage and truth paulkienitz Nov 2023 #37
I'm a former republican once removed. Hamlette Nov 2023 #42
Long ago when I was young and stupid dwayneb Nov 2023 #44
Thanks for sharing your story.. Permanut Nov 2023 #45
When I was 16 my parents who were republcans kellytore Nov 2023 #46
Me Me!!!! NowISeetheLight Nov 2023 #47
In light of my experience... TSExile Nov 2023 #48
Like several others here, I was a republican in Texas in the 80's. momta Nov 2023 #49
I'm sorry for the abuse that you endured from someone that you adored and trusted. Niagara Nov 2023 #50
Welcome to the Resistance Clash City Rocker Nov 2023 #51
I voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980, it wasn't long before he lost doc03 Nov 2023 #52
If you can learn, I think you can get to a better place. OAITW r.2.0 Nov 2023 #53
My father was a WWII Veteran, so no, I've never voted R. Could not bring myself to do so. onecaliberal Nov 2023 #55
Welcome, TSExile, Diamond_Dog Nov 2023 #56
Welcome to the "good guys" and thanks for sharing your story FakeNoose Nov 2023 #59
Thank you so much!! TSExile Nov 2023 #60
Hey, TSExile, glad you're here! Good to have you with us! calimary Nov 2023 #61
Thank you so much... TSExile Nov 2023 #64
I was a Repub voter back in the 1980s Best_man23 Nov 2023 #62
I am proud to say that I have never voted for one of them. ExWhoDoesntCare Nov 2023 #63
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