And other things Americans should never have to say

Retrieved from Twitter.
  • The Republican party is blatantly racist. They don’t bother hiding it anymore.
  • White supremacists hunt and kill citizens by the handfuls. It’s commonplace in our country.
  • Police murder people of color like it’s a sport, while the narrative is that I should fear unarmed black men? What. The. Actual. Fuck.
  • Asian hate crimes are trending. Red states are pushing anti-transgender legislation and refusing federal requests to help house migrant children…

My therapist sent me on a journey to find an answer

Photo by Kevin Bluer on Unsplash

For the past seven years, my daughter has struggled with substance abuse. She’s addicted to heroin and meth. After six months of inpatient rehabilitation treatment, she recently returned home.

She continues to struggle. Her mental health is declining. During the last five weeks, we’ve watched her transform into a shell of herself, regardless of taking part in an intensive outpatient treatment program and weekly one-on-one counseling sessions.

The pain she suffers is so immense, I can feel it. Two nights ago, I called her out on it. I can see the pattern, and it’s time for her to get help.


And being female doesn’t automatically make women victims

Photo by Adam Cybulski on Unsplash

If you haven’t heard, 38-year-old U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, is under investigation for the possible underage sex trafficking of a 17-year-old girl who he took across state lines, and a slew of other sexual conduct related charges.

Gaetz inappropriately refers to the 17-year-old as a woman. If he continues to use the word “woman,” people will indirectly forget that by law and morally, she was a child when the alleged offense occurred.

The most notable thing about this event?

It made claims of sexual harassment against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) disappear from media headlines


The pandemic has strained every type of relationship. Here’s how to handle that someone

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

I have a family member (we’ll call him Bob) who is an outrageous conspiracy theorist and bully. We’ve been in one another’s lives for nearly three decades. During this time, he’s been irrationally stockpiling and prepping for the end of the world.

His stories never end, and I’ve heard them all. The September 11 attacks were an inside government job. Former president, Barack Obama, isn’t black or mixed race. He’s Muslim and planted in The White House to take over the world.

He genuinely believes that Nicholas Kristof is a spy for North Korea and refuses to rule out the…

Mental Health

Easier said than done

Photo by Bekky Bekks on Unsplash

I’m a woman of action, and incapable of doing nothing while others are suffering. I’ve repeatedly proven this to myself throughout adulthood by joining the Army, earning a degree in Advanced Behavioral Science and investing almost two decades of fieldwork in violence prevention.

Battered by defeat, I forced myself to accept that the world doesn’t want to be saved and threw in the towel.

I grew tired of fighting, but I’m riddled with anxiety sitting here on the sidelines. It’s a moral instinct I can’t shake, regardless of promising myself that I’d learn to let it go. …

The story of how we lost an ordinary farmer, elected state senator, to the Grand QAnon Party

The family farm, founded in 1846, Dayton Township, Iowa County, Iowa. Photo credited to the author

Across the pond, through the study window, I see an American Flag at half staff rustling in the wind. It’s been at half staff since November 7, 2020, the day the U. S. declared President Biden victorious in the election. I try not to look at it, but it’s all I can see. I watched as the family — three generations — lower it together.

Upstairs, the view from my bedroom window stretches out into the distance where a screaming red Chinese Flag hangs from a…

Pandemic Life

If you faced the world today, you’re doing okay

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

A friend recently said to me, “I admire your ability to stick with self care during the worst time in modern history.”

I chuckled. “Don’t be too impressed. It’s not that I’m motivated, it’s that my other option is a possible femoral neck break.”

It’s true that I’m doing my best to take care of myself, but I wouldn’t refer to it as a success story. I’m…

Pandemic Life

Once vaccines stabilize the crisis, the gritty work begins

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

As COVID-19 vaccination numbers increase across the country, I’ve noticed two trending themes. While getting the shot, some people breakdown and cry with relief.

“I didn’t realize how isolated and devastated I was feeling but now, I’m just so grateful we can get back to normal,” an Iowa Statehouse candidate announced during a legislative Zoom meeting.

Uh, define normal?

Meanwhile, anti- mask, anti- vaccine protesters were rallying in the Statehouse Rotunda with their elementary school-age children who held signs that read, “COVID FREE ENTERPRISE,” and “Unmask Me.”

If I were a kid and my parents were brainwashing me with a…

I’m not scared or a sheep. Chances are, it’s not what you think

iStock by Getty Images

When I say, “stay home,” I certainly don’t want to leave anyone under the impression that I’ve been hiding in my basement for 365 days, or that I haven’t left the house at all or I’m living in fear.

That’s not the case. Although I’m currently serving my ninth quarantine since the pandemic arrived in Iowa in early March 2020, I haven’t had COVID-19, nor have I been at risk by coming into contact with someone exposed.

When I say, “quarantined,” I mean physically isolating. I’m avoiding all of you and I’ve taken a lot of crap for it.


Erika Anne Sauter

Behavioral science ed/ reporter in Eastern Iowa. Informed and opinionated. My hobbies include petting cats, research & farming.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store