A Hillary Clinton supporter admitted himself to the psychiatric ward on election night because he realized she was going to lose to Donald Trump.
Benjamin Ryan — considered a “Hillblazer” because he raised over $100,000 for the former Democratic nominee — detailed his suicidal nervous breakdown for the Huffington Post on Wednesday.
He said he was “catatonic, plagued by involuntary jerking motions, speech patterns disjointed, weeping uncontrollably.”
“I found out Donald Trump had won the Electoral College while midstream in providing a urine sample for the emergency psychiatric staff of a New York City public hospital,” Ryan writes. “The unlockable bathroom door in this unescapable wing was ajar, and I could hear the victorious Mike Pence’s sinister Sunday-school baritone taunting me with the truth from the hallway television.”
“Drained of tears, too tired to sleep, I stared at the fluorescent ceiling lights —which, indifferent to our suffering, remained on throughout the night — and endured the passing time by willing my thoughts to vanish into the dull glow. For a second, I imagined someone would burst in and proclaim, ‘It’s all right, Hillary won!’ and I would bound out of bed, awoken from this nightmare.”
“Terror drove me to this interrupted state,” Ryan continued for Huffington Post.
“I was afraid for the nation, for the stigmatized and oppressed. I was also afraid for my own life. Because the values and principles I hold dear felt fatally incompatible with the hate and bigotry that Trumpism has come to stand for. I did not want to live in a world that would elect such a man as president.”
Ryan described what he was wearing in the VIP section of what was supposed to be Clinton’s victory party in New York — “a red belt, white skinny jeans, and a blue Hillary-as-Rosie-the-Riveter T-shirt, my hair lavishly coiffed into a confident pompadour.”
“Results from battleground states trickled in and an incredulous anxiety took hold. I left the VIP party area for a spell and stood with the expectant crowd before the elaborate victory speech stage,” he said.
“Staring saucer-eyed at the CNN screen above the set, I began to worry that my conspicuous outfit made me a sitting duck for the army of television cameras.”
“Sure enough, just as I bolted back to the VIP area, I got a text from a worried friend who had spotted me on MSNBC. ‘Are you alright?’ he asked.
‘I want to die,’ I replied.
— David Fagan (@Queer_America) November 29, 2016
Ryan eventually left the hospital days later.
“Concerned friends and family who kept me company over the hallway payphone told me I wasn’t alone in my anguish, and that a wide network of others were mobilized to rise up and fight back,” he said. “The world needed my voice. I mattered.”
“Poetically, I was given my walking orders at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. I was now a veteran of institutional care — shell shocked, but on my feet.”