The Blue Wave Postcard Movement saved my sanity.
The men in my life have gone to amazing lengths to control me. I’ve dealt with attempted rape, gaslighting, demands for unquestioning compliance with their unreasonable expectations, rampant spending on the best of everything for them, and nothing but teases of attention for me. They taught me, again and again, that there was no defense, until I believed that I could not protect myself. In 2013 my therapist taught me that when I fell into helpless fury and depression, that I not only could stand up for myself, but that I needed to stand up for myself.
I was devastated when Trump won the election in 2016. His presidency filled me with all the old dread, helplessness, and fury. I knew that once again, I had to stand up and be heard. Only I didn’t know how. I joined Indivisible and attended a meeting where I didn’t know anyone. I was so afraid that I was shaking, had a cold sweat, a knot in my heart, and I didn’t know how to talk to strangers. I was terrified that I would be abused again. But it helped to know that they were as upset as I was about the election. While I don’t know if that group met again, Indivisible added me to their weekly mailing list, which included action items like calling our representatives and making our voices heard.
Once again, I was terrified of talking to strangers...until the 2018 attempted abortion ban. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) supported the ban, and I had to do something. Indivisible gave me a script, but I had read somewhere that the script isn’t as effective as using your own words, so I rewrote the script. Then, shaking with fear and my heart tied in knots once again, I called. I learned a bunch of things:
1) I couldn’t leave a message because the lines were flooded. What a relief that so many people had flooded his phone lines. So I kept calling.
2) I could often leave a message after hours, and not talk to a person. What a relief - I said my piece without having to interact with a staffer. And I kept calling.
3) Eventually I got a staffer. Shaking and stuttering, I read my script. He was polite and promised to pass the word along. I felt like I had done something meaningful.
4) When enough people call, it pays off. The abortion ban was defeated. And then, I put my representative and senators on speed dial, and kept calling about important issues.
I needed to do more. But I’ve had chronic migraines and chronic fatigue all my life, and it’s super hard to make new friends when you have to cancel get togethers frequently, and usually at the last minute. I joined an Indivisible group on Facebook, and it was there that I saw Ning’s invitation to her postcard group. I signed up. Again I was terrified to meet new people, but by then I had a new mantra: “It’s an experiment. If it goes well, it will be great, and if it doesn’t, I’ll still have written postcards to protect our democracy.” The people were friendly, and I gradually overcame my terror. I kept going because our postcards helped stop the 2019 Colorado recall elections, one after another. Also I gradually became comfortable getting to know people. Faith Gowan was especially kind and welcoming.
In March 2020, I grew very ill with COVID-19, so I had to quarantine. Being sick and quarantined for so many weeks was extremely difficult and lonely. Thankfully, the Blue Wave Postcard Movement meetings moved to Zoom, and it was great to still be involved. A lot of other people thought so too, because our group kept growing.
In June, something miraculous happened. Ning decided we could take the group national, and she ordered 100,000 postcards. I couldn’t imagine how we were going to sell that many cards, but I was happy to help assemble and ship postcard kits. It took three weeks to sell that first batch, but only three days to sell the next batch of 200,000 cards. Faith started having groups of three volunteers on her lawn all day, every day, to work with distribution, and I loved being able to help out. I loved making new friends. Ultimately, I volunteered my house as a distribution center. And it not only felt wonderful to know that I could do something, but it was terrifically inspiring to meet so many people who also felt like the postcard movement had given them the power they needed to stand up for democracy.
This has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I’ve made an impact, gained friends, and have overcome many personal demons by collaborating with this exceptional group. Please join us at bluewavepostcards.org to push for a brighter future.
-Adrianne, Director of Operations & Louisville Coordinator [bio]