This isn’t a blog about resisting Trump. Pundits far more courageous and activist than I have been blogging abundantly about that topic—and I hope they continue to do so. Like many people, I have been experiencing unrelenting anxiety anticipating Trump’s impending inauguration. And let’s not kid ourselves: Despite wishful thinking (and a glimmer of hope) about recounts, electoral college rebels, and inevitable impeachments, we must all steel ourselves for the fact that Trump will—in all likelihood—be sworn in as our 45th president come January, and will serve as such for some or all of the next four (or more) years.

We have had bad presidents before—presidents whose positions, politics, and policies we vehemently disagreed with. Trump, however, has broken the mold. I have come to realize that Trump—with his erratic temperament, narcissism, misogyny, xenophobia and racism, to name a few of his qualities—possesses many hallmark characteristics of an abusive father. Minus the billions, my own dad (may he rest in peace) was just like him,right down to the bad comb-over. So I know what I am talking about. This would explain why I—and so many otherwise rational Americans—have a case of PTSD as a result of Trump’s unorthodox campaign and roller-coaster transition. Come January 2017, to the shock and horror of progressive Americans, a rude, offensive, obnoxious, malevolent autocrat will take the reins of our nation. We, his passel of neglected adult children, feel justifiably insecure and terrified.

Think about it: Our President is the nation’s father, for a time. The words “patriot,” “patriotic” and “patriotism” all have the root “pater,” meaning “father.” Indeed, for four to eight years, our president heads our national household. He makes executive decisions for our collective greater good (we hope). He calms the nation when things go awry or when we feel scared or threatened. And he goes out into the world to promote our best global interests. A good president, like a good father, will instill in his American “family” a sense of security, trust, and optimism. Obama did it, and did it well. Even George W. Bush did it, in his own goofy, idiotic way. And while we may not trust everything our president does or believe everything he says, we trust and rely on him to be on top of his game, to take care of our collective business, and to pretty much leave us alone so we can live our lives and he can go about his. That is the pact we make—at a minimum—with our highest elected official, our presidential father.

No sexism is intended here. Had Hillary Clinton won the election (which, technically, she did), I think she would have made a more than decent head of household. Trump, however, leaves us wanting on all of the above counts. Instead of rendering sound, sensible decisions, Trump is inconsistent and wishy-washy. Instead of calming his bickering “family” in this time of great strife, Trump has his “favorites” whom he rouses and pits against the “black sheep,” whom he threatens and terrorizes. And out in the world, he’s like the drunken dad who has to be yanked from his favorite watering hole each night at closing time (think of Trump’s irrational Tweets at 3:00 a.m. and his self-dealing powwows with world leaders).

Sure, we’re all old enough to understand that Dad has “issues” and insecurities that make him behave this way. We’ll do what we can to protect ourselves; we’ll roll our eyes and ignore him a lot. We’ll fight back when necessary and ultimately leave his toxic household behind as soon as we can. Still, we’re not so mature as a nation that the experience won’t leave us permanently scarred. Like an abusive father, Trump’s behavior has already fostered deep resentment and will undoubtedly cause us long-term psychic harm. Like my actual abusive father, Trump is a man who never matured beyond the age of three. And like a three-year-old, his tantrums, rants, and demands are manipulative, aggressive, and exhausting. Like a toddler, he needs to be controlled, distracted, and constantly reassured and redirected so that our family might continue to survive.

Who knows how power plays and petty alliances work in Washington, D.C., but let us hope there are a few good “aunties” and “uncles” over there willing to step up and be our surrogate parents while our new daddy has his never-ending hissy fit. But notwithstanding those “foster parents” in Congress, we’re also going to need an outside support group—let’s call it “Al-Amer” (and no, Donald, we’re not a terrorist organization). Let’s check in daily to support and sustain one another. Abusive leaders make everyone in their orbit feel crazy and shaken. But let us never forget that we are the future of this family, not him. There are millions of like-minded and right-thinking Americans who must now enter recovery. Let’s take it one day at a time—together and in solidarity.

I’ll start: Hello. My name is Sheryl (actually, it’s Myra), and I’m an American. I’m the child of a broken government. My country just elected an abusive presidential father, and I’m dreading the next four years. How about you?