For the female Clinton supporters who expected to wake up on Wednesday to the first woman president, who posted happy photos on social media of their daughters following them into the voting booth or of themselves in pantsuits, Clinton's loss was always going to be a bitter pill.
But losing to Donald Trump — a man who during his campaign said Mexican immigrants were rapists, called women who criticized him sexist and derogatory names, bragged about grabbing women by their private parts and who multiple women accused of unwanted sexual contact — has caused these women something closer to psychic pain.
"Trump's election feels like my assailant was made my boss," said a 34-year-old woman in Tallahassee, Florida, who requested anonymity because she has not told her family about being raped by an adult stranger at the age of 13.
When she learned of Clinton's loss, the woman told NBC News, "I threw up and cried before falling asleep. When I woke up I got in the shower and turned it super hot. And I sat down and cried. I did what I did almost 20 years ago when I was sexually assaulted."
Trump has pledged that he will be a president "for all Americans", but Jennifer Lawless, a professor and director of the Women and Politics Institute at American University said many women still feel depressed.
"There is a cloud cast over the country right now because somebody who was explicitly sexist and was heard saying things about women was elected president of the United States," Lawless said. "I don’t believe most people in this country agree with what he said, but they were willing to overlook it. It’s this tacit agreement of 'yeah they were terrible things that were said, but that’s not something to disqualify someone from being president of the United States'."
Trump apologized for 2005 comments in which he said his star status empowered him to go up to attractive women and "Grab 'em by the p---y."
But still, women's studies experts say, the rhetoric is worrisome.
Lawless also flags concerns that a Trump administration may work to dial back women's reproductive rights or might not push aggressively for gender pay equity or better and more affordable child care.
For some women, knowing that some of their closest family members support the president-elect is another grim reality.
A’lan Luce, a 29-year-old Clinton supporter in Tacoma, Washington, said her father voted for Trump, as did 53 percent of men, according to NBC News exit polling.
"It feels kind of like I’ve been abandoned by my own father," she said. "I’ve experienced several unwanted touches. Even as a child. It’s hard to know that my dad now, in a manner of speaking, accepts a man who condones this behavior. It’s gut wrenching. We’re already a culture that victim blames as is. You have taken that culture and you have validated it and made it okay."
Trump's win feels personal, too, for Sandy Smith, a 50-year-old newspaper carrier in Longview, Texas. Her mother voted for Trump, and Smith has a theory about why she and many other white women did. According to NBC News exit polling, 53 percent of white women overall voted for Trump.
"We’re comfortable with men. We think of men as being the head of the house," she said. "Women are not recognized as being strong enough. Here comes Hillary and she’s a strong woman and it makes a lot of men mad, and it makes a lot of women uncomfortable, and they want to keep peace in their homes."
At the same time, Smith said, she fears for her fiance, who is black, and for her gay son and ex-husband.
For the first time, Smith said, she is thinking about acquiring a firearm.
It remains to be seen how much of this despair will be translated into political engagement. Trump opponents have already taken to the streets, and a Million Woman March is being planned for inauguration day.
More women may be galvanized by this election's results to run for office, said Michele Swers, an American government professor at Georgetown University. She cited the increase in the number of women who ran for office after Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment during the contentious confirmation hearing of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court bench.
"Often a lot more political activism comes out of anger," Swers said.
"The first day was definitely the shock," said Luce. "Today it’s like, okay, this is what we have to work with. We’re going to have to make the best of it. There are actions that we can take. Protests generally start small but good can come out of them."