Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

A peek inside our day, the fourth hour

(The first fifteen minutes can be seen here. The first hour is here, the second hour is here, the third hour is here.)

So this hour is the most boring of the day, and I could pretty much just list it out like this: interruption, interruption, interruption, oh! And one more: TORNADO DRILL.

Sometimes the interruption is polite and asks if I’d like some sweet tea. Shall we sit, gently fan our faces and figure out this problem? Here’s a sprig of mint to freshen your drink! And my! You do look lovely even though the sweat from your workout has curled the back of your hair into the shape of the manure I use to grow my daisies.

Many times the interruption is less forgiving and screams at me with the force of a fire alarm: EMERGENCY! FIX ME NOW! Yes, of course, parents in Third World countries are struggling to feed their children as I yell at you, but someone has to decide whether or not this ad campaign fits your brand. BRAND! BRAAAAAAAND!

It’s the dirtiest word in the blogosphere: brand. It’s worse even than SPONSORED BY.

No one wants to admit it, but there it is. I am no longer a person with feelings. I am not allowed to hurt or feel joy. Unless it happens in all caps. Then it fits the brand, and I am contractually obligated to exploit the shit out of that.

Can I share something with you? Since this hour of the day is pretty much a tangled string of curse words and DID YOU GET THIS DONE? And a whole bunch of pointless rambling at each other about minutia that has not one wit to do with the world going round.

I’d rather tell you that the last eight months or so have been pretty hard, and I’m struggling. I’ve pushed through with as much strength as I can, but that dark demon has returned and is trying to convince me that it’s not worth climbing over the next obstacle. Give up. Lie down and cry. Stare at the ceiling until every limb goes numb.

But since I don’t really have that option I push it all down and turn inside. Jon tries to pull it out of me so that he can help, but I don’t know how to share it.

So we see a therapist. Together, once a week. And then I see another therapist by myself. Because the pressure of running a business and being responsible for two employees and two children and two dogs and the mortgage and the food on the table and making sure THAT I’M NOT DOING IT WRONG, it has somehow stirred up my past. The past that I have not ever addressed or even known to address. The past that suffocates me as I struggle to change what it did to me.

I know my pain is relative. My life is good. I am blessed beyond measure. We are lucky. This isn’t about how poor little Heather has it so hard.

This is about the discovery that at my core is a ten-year-old girl who thought that she was responsible for keeping her entire family intact. If I was perfect, if I excelled at everything, if I didn’t show weakness my family would stay together.

But then that family fell apart anyway. All that work, and it fell apart anyway.

I failed.

Emotionally I have not progressed beyond that ten-year-old girl. I have physically carried that failure for twenty-five years. It has affected every relationship I have ever had, including the one I have with my own children. And tragically, it has robbed me of the happiness I should have been relishing these past eight months. Incredible and flourishing months.

Sometimes this hour of the day is spent sitting with my husband across the room from our therapist. She looks at me and tells me to stop lying to myself. Yes, your parents handled the divorce as best as they could, Heather, you’ve pointed that out how many times now? But still, it cut you up and spit you out.

Admit it. Say it out loud. Free that ten-year-old girl. Because it wasn’t her fault.

That’s what I’m trying to do this hour.

  • nakedjen

    This is so honest, so bare, so naked, I just wish I could come over, wrap you in a warm blanket, give you the sprig of mint for you tea, and then slap you with a major high five!

    Bravo, Heather, for saying it out loud. That took major balls. Balls you have had for far longer than you know. xo

  • ozonelayer

    You are so brave and honest. That is your brand, and the reason you have so many readers. Thanks for sharing this. It made me feel a little better to know that I’m not alone in my misery, no matter how happy I should be.

  • karenarens

    No matter how much we love our kids, it’s impossible to get it right everytime. When we don’t, it can impact them in ways we can’t imagine. Just acknowledging that 10-year old girl and the responsibilities she tried to take on even though she was only a child is a hard first step. You’ve taken it. Continue your journey, because you have to know there’s a better place at the end of it. You’ll get there, just keep that better place in mind when the journey gets rough.

  • WindyLou

    Heather –

    I don’t know what difference, if any, it makes to you that I never knew that you were so affected by your parents divorce. I, and others, only saw the amazing girl who conquered everything in her path and achieved EVERYTHING with such ease and grace. I’m so sorry that I was too busy hiding my own pains to notice that you were doing the same thing.

    For what it is worth now, I hold you up to my 12 year old step-daughter as a poised, intelligent, successful and beautiful woman who is able to balance her work and her children, and still have lots of fun to boot. I show her that coming from a divorced family might hurt way down deep and might always be there inside but that it doesn’t have to ruin your life, that you can still have good, healthy relationships even if your parents didn’t get it right the first time. I also point out to her that you TALK and SHARE and that those things help work past the pains of bad things that happen. My goal for my stepkids is to come out of their parents’ divorce as whole as possible. Having a strong and courageous example to show them helps me teach them that their lives are going to always be a work in progress and that there are always good and happy things that will happen along the way. Thank you for being that person.

    With love,

    Windy

  • bee

    I just had my meds adjusted, love my therapist, do all the right things, and still get sucker punched by my inner 11 year old every so often. I am in the midst of medium grey after a spell of black.

    Lots of hugs, (martinis for me), mint tea for you, and hang in there!

  • girlfriday

    Heather, we are all behind you in the fourth hour.

  • trickygringo

    “I know my pain is relative. My life is good. I am blessed beyond measure. We are lucky.”

    This just makes it so much worse, doesn’t it? I have directly witnessed real third world problems and all I have now are privileged american problems. Disfigured and crippled for life because no one knew how to set your broken legs properly? Daughter died because the tape worm decided to bail and suffocate her? Well I have to pay a late fee on registering my car because the state of California is mean.

    You feel there is simply no excuse for feeling this way and you can’t stand the thought of complaining about it.

  • sizzlesays

    I read every day but rarely comment but had to today because I relate to this and appreciate reading it so much. I’m trying to admit some hard things to myself in therapy too. We’ll get there. I know it! Don’t give up on you.

  • krislee98

    I very much appreciate your candor. I can very much relate to the dichotomy of being the provider, the one-who-has-it-all-together and the person who doesn’t believe any of that.

    Again, thanks for sharing this and putting this out so more folks can get in touch with that little one with her hands on her hips and her lower lip quivering who lives deep inside of us.

  • Kievette

    My parents divorced when I was 14. I’m the oldest – my sister was 9, my brother was 7.

    I’ve been reading your blog faithfully for the past 5 years, and something in the way you write has always resonated with me.

    Reading this post, I think it’s because of that common brokeness. I also feel like the world will fall apart if I’m not doing my best to save it.

    My dear husband, he is so patient, but his parents are still together so he doesn’t quite understand why certain parts of me dysfunction the way they do.

    It’s helpful to read stuff like this and be reminded that other people went through a “smooth” divorce and got beat up, too. It helps me give permission to allow myself to still be hurt.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • meffams

    This is why I love your blog. You mix the hilarity of every day with the heartbreak of every day with thoughtful, beautiful writing. I love laughing with you, but I also always learn from you and I think I love that more. My goal is to be as honest as you are in your posts, because I think if more people, and especially women, were that honest as much as possible, we’d all feel a lot less miserable and lonely.

  • tinaxduzgen

    Oh. Oh how this hits home for me, so hard. This: “The past that I have not ever addressed or even known to address. The past that suffocates me as I struggle to change what it did to me.”

    Yesterday, I dealt with this, all day. All weekend, actually. And it is so frustrating to see, to know that something is affecting (effecting? Feh, I don’t know which one is right, oh well) you and have it be SO difficult to overcome. To “fix”.

    I have watched my past interfere with my present, my relationships boil down to unremarkable vignettes featuring “this one time” or “this person did this”, with gut reactions and feelings.

    It is a struggle, every single day.

  • Kristabell

    I think it’s a life lesson we all go through as human beings, accepting our lack of control, the ambivalence of this world and how to be okay with ourself when we are finally alone to face that final darkness. I hope the best for you in your therapy. Depression is a beast that must never be underestimated and I’m glad you take the steps to keep it at bay. May you be filled with peace dear Heather!

  • MJBUtah

    I read that and had to come over and make sure you had comments turned on, because so many of have been there and are still there and sharing helps. So does a good cry once in a while. It would also help if it would stop snowing around here and actually be spring!

    Take it easy on yourself, because right now YOU are doing the best you can with the tools you have on hand. And it’s none of your business what everyone else thinks of you.

    The only brand you should worry about is Russell Brand, because really that guy is too funny. Seriously.

  • knolting

    As several people have already said, you’re not alone. I’m a child of divorce and I acted like it didn’t bother me for a very long time. I didn’t really realize it had affected me until I started trying to build relationships myself. It’s hard, but we, the internet, are here for you! (with extra commas no less)

  • PrettyGirlMyers

    My parents finally divorced when I was 15 after several years of “making it work for the kids”. Now, 20 years later, none of those kids that they were trying to make it work for has any idea how to be in a relationship. As much as I try to brush it off now as no big deal, those years when they were breaking up, getting back together, trash talking each other, making me take sides, and abusing each other all around have left a pretty significant mark that I don’t show to too many people.

    You’re not alone in this, even thought it sometimes may feel as though you are.

  • coffeemomma

    The thing that sticks out at me the most about this, is that somewhere, somehow, some jerkface seems convinced (and maybe has tried to convince you, too) that because you work hard and do well at that work, that you do not deserve to hurt or be heard about it.

    Bullshit.

    Thank you for sharing, for continuing to share, and please be well.

  • mybottlesup

    ugh. yes, yes, and yes… all of this is so spot on and i’m sorry for it and for your ache right now… which is what made me so grateful for your archives a few months ago when i was in my hole of STUFF, and emailed you to thank you for your archives.

    you’re not alone.

    also, ugh, BRAAAAAAAND!!!!!!!

  • francabollo

    There’s probably nothing I can add here that someone hasn’t written in the earlier comments. But I’m sure you never tire of receiving a simple, heart-felt “thank you”. These posts are important.

  • hmccreary

    This just brought tears to my eyes and I wish I could hug you. Just because other people have problems that seem way worse than yours doesn’t make yours any less real and painful.

    I’m sure you know that but I feel like maybe you need more people to tell you.

    My problems are completely different from yours and I’ve found myself lately trying to just ‘chill out’ because there are so many horrible things happening all around the world so it can’t be that bad right? I convince myself of this and then 5 minutes later I’m back to feeling exactly the same.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Steve O

    I was 12, the only child when my parents relationship began falling apart. This was the beginning of what no doubt was the scariest, most unstable, and most uncertain time of my life. Three years later I was on my own at 16 without a clue as to what fate and destiny had in store for me.

    I survived and my parents are gone now, but I can look back fondly on many of the good things that happened, and still tread into things occasionally I don’t want to remember.

    There were times when my only friend was perhaps a talking twig, but later on it all worked out and then of course the reality’s of my new adult responsibilities came into the picture and of course complicated things even more! LOL – – anyway I spend a lot of time now wondering about what am I supposed to do with all the neat stuff and toys I’ve accumulated over a lifetime!

    And I don’t have a clue. Arrrgh!

    Sometimes the best therapy is to just take a moment and count ones blessings. At least for myself.

  • Phoebe Fay

    “…that dark demon has returned and is trying to convince me that it’s not worth climbing over the next obstacle. Give up. Lie down and cry. Stare at the ceiling until every limb goes numb”

    This is my biggest fear, that it will come back, no matter what I do. I’m afraid I’ll be smack dab in the middle of my life being AWESOME, and that horrible darkness will sneak in and steal away my ability to feel the good.

    Knowing that people like you and the commenters here face it and keep on going helps me so much.

  • dooce

    @Mir and others who are wondering…

    My parents really did the best they could with us during the divorce. They remained friendly. They never argued about visitation or money concerning our needs. We came first, and even at that young age I recognized this.

    I think the damage was done before the divorce. I actually wished they had fought in front of us and not behind a locked door. Because then I could only wonder what was going on and what I could do to fix it. So many nights they locked themselves in the bedroom and screamed at each other. It made me feel helpless.

    And then I would see my mother in the morning, her face clearly tired and red from crying, and I would ask, “What’s wrong, Mom?”

    And the answer was always, “Nothing.”

    She was lying to me, perhaps thinking she was protecting me, but all that did was make me want to make her happy. How can I make it so that my mom doesn’t cry?

    She was absent emotionally from our lives for about a year before the divorce, and I realize I mourn the loss of that connection. Because I was doing so much to try to help her.

    And then my father let his sorrow spill all over me in a bit of an unhealthy way. Again, I was the one taking care of him, trying to make him happy.

    If they weren’t happy, the family would fall apart. Therefore, I HAVE TO MAKE THEM HAPPY.

    After the divorce I wish they had sat down with me to talk about my feelings more, but every discussion was always preempted with, “Your mother and I are doing the best we can for you guys. You know that, right?”

    So I never got to say, no, this sucks. I’m hurting and it’s not okay.

    For the longest time I did some amazing gymnastics to get around the fact that the divorce has had such lasting repercussions on my relationships. I began reacting a certain way to Jon in the last year, and in the process of getting to the bottom of it, I realize that the source of it was when I was forced to take care of my father.

    The dynamic between me and Leta can be traced to the yearning I had for that connection with my mother.

    I don’t want to blame them, because they really were just doing what they knew to do considering the pain they were in. I just want to recognize the source of my behavior and strive to be better. Strive to react in healthier ways and move forward.

    I hope this helps.

  • TxSuzyQ

    So. Can. Relate.

    Twentyfour years ago, my parents divorced and the day my Mother told me is a day I’ll never forget. I just knew it was somehow all my fault. Today, I know that isn’t even the slightest bit true, but OH THE BAGGAGE I HAVE BEEN LUGGING AROUND for TWENTYFOUR LONG YEARS.

    It did, however, get a bit lighter when I let my Mother know how I felt about it all. It wasn’t pretty, but I needed to say it. Oh how I wish I had said it a little nicer, but I needed to say it and I did. My poor Mother was hit head on with with a huge load of projectile verbal vomit! It helped me quite a bit, but a therapist go guide me through it might have been a little easier on my Mother.

    Maybe John isn’t the person you need to say it to? Could be one or both of your parents… Or perhaps a “stand-in” parent? That way you can get it out without the stress of having to actually say it to them.

  • imPLANTed

    Thanks Heather. I immediately connected with “Mir.” What you just said helped tremendously. More than you will ever know.

    This was just the kick in the butt I needed to make that phone call to my therapist to learn how to cope with my divorce for myself. That line about your mother becoming emotionally distant smacked me right upside the head (lovingly, of course). I’ve started down that path with my son and need to stop that.

    Much love and thanks!

    Barb

  • FinsterSpinster

    I’ve had similar struggles, but please know there is no need to apologize here. The people who compare your issues to others around the world can go suck a bag of dicks. Your struggles are valid and we (your faithful readers) care very much about how you are doing. One of the reasons I keep coming back to your blog is because of your honesty. Writing can be therapeutic, I hope that you can find a different kind of therapy here. In the meantime, I should probably find a way to afford therapy for myself, lord knows my parents’ divorce royally fucked me up too.

  • tallnoe

    I will not cry at my desk.
    I will not cry at my desk.

    I must get myself to a therapist. I must.
    I know it’s not a “bad” thing to be in therapy, but it’s something I’ve ignored for 25 years, can’t I just ignore it more?

    Thank you for sharing, and I know that my parents’ divorce ended up for the better, but gdamnit, it was hard. And then what came next was also hard.

    And I don’t know how to have a good and healthy relationship. So, I give you props and again, thank you for sharing your story.

  • cinderellawasdelusional

    When you shove that goo-covered ball of unconditional love out of your hoo-hah you’re automatically branded with the world-on-your-shoulders, I’m-responsible-for-everything, I-can’t-feel-shitty-about-my-life-because-there’s people-living-under-plywood-and-newspaper-in-152-degree-heat-with-kids-whose-best-friend-is-a-nostril-fly-named-Earl mentality. Thing is: if they’re your feelings, your heart, they’re valid. As mothers we think we have to bear the burden of everything life throws at us with quiet and earnest resolve and be-damned if we dare to ADMIT that perhaps things have actually been damaging to us. We need to give ourselves permission to feel what we feel and do something about it.

    First step, Heather? Admit to yourself that the damage that was done to you by what life threw at you is valid and that you have permission to feel it – and using disclaimers when you admit it out loud is killing that part of you that’s actually believes it’s a problem. Own it first, and know in your heart that it’s OK and you’re on the next step toward healing and the ability to feel true joy again.

    You made a pretty significant step by just voicing it outloud to a zillion people and for that you get major snaps. Very brave.

    I’m going to punch anyone in the weiner who tries to give you shit for it…

  • tlkaply

    One of the hardest things for me to really get ahold of was the idea that everyone could do the best they could with what they had and I could still get screwed. Something in me just resisted the idea, I think because it led to the belief that very little is in my control, an idea that physically hurt me.

    Now, for me, it is a gift, because I learned that I could Weeble my through life, that no matter how hard I am knocked down, and it can be plenty hard, I can also get back up. And that worrying about the being knocked down part was, well, pointless.

    Good luck, dude.

  • MollyCT

    Since we’re sharing, I failed at keeping my father happy and calm, and if I had been more lovable/happier/less needy/better-in-some-unspecified-way, he never would have had his rages. And I would have been hugged, kissed, and told I was loved a lot more often.

    Sigh. No matter how long I *know* all of this is disordered thinking, the pattern of negative self-criticism that fills my head about every aspect of my life that it set in motion is as dogged as ever. Turns out, beating yourself up all the time can bring a lot of success! And depression! These days I’m trying, *trying* to find positive ways of motivating myself, not just relying on the fear of failing to “fix” everything.

    Parents, do me a favor and give your kids a hug and tell them how great they are for no reason! And then admit to them outright when you’re feeling sad or angry instead of modeling ways to hide emotions! Thanks.

  • Crazy Card Lady

    My little kid is 2. I can’t afford therapy. It does effect my relationship with my kids and with men. I don’t really care about the men part, but it does about my kids Though dispite everything, they are doing remarkably well. I just try to be real around them and they pretty much know their Mom has some issues.

    As parents everything we do from the moment our kids are conceived effects them. If only a lot of parents realized that, maybe they would have not had kids in the first place, or maybe they will get help if they need it.

    Thank you for sharing Heather. Take good care of your self.

  • cory212

    Remember the time you pooped in the tub and Jon cleaned it up? You are loved. Remember when you gave birth to Marlo without drugs? You are strong.
    Remember when you used to write monthly letters to Leta that made me cry with their raw love and wit? You are talented.
    Remember when you hugged Gwyneth Paltrow? You are a star fucker. (A cool one.)
    Remember all these things and more. You are a loved, strong, talented, cool star fucker and, oh yes, you are human, so you’re allowed to give yourself a break.
    Namaste, baby.

  • Mir

    Thanks for responding, Heather. Very much appreciated. (And I’m glad you’re getting the support you need, now, and that you’re willing to give us a peek into that process.)

  • 1katiem

    I’m 26 years old and my parents are going thru a divorce. My 29 year old brother and I have been expecting it since we were in high school, and now that it’s actually happening, we’re both stunned by it.

    I’ve been dating a wonderful man for three years, and now that everything I’ve ever known about marriage is crumbling before me, I’m questioning my relationship with him. As much as I deny that the divorce has any part in my need to turn my happy, normal life upside down, it absolutely does. I never thought that as an adult, I’d be affected by this, but I am.

    At times, all I can think about is how I would have handled a divorce if it had happened when I was in high school. At least at 26, I can assess what I’m feeling and place some sort of logic behind it. At 10, I can’t imagine how confusing and emotionally terrorizing something like that must have been. You’re not alone.

  • help4newmoms

    You know, it gets pretty frustrating when you feel a certain way and you have to counter it with, “I know I shouldn’t feel this was, I’m so lucky, blah, blah, blah!” Sister, you feel the way that you feel and you’re entitled. End of story. Feel it and try to deal with it, that’s all you can ask of yourself.

  • Gen with a G

    This hour sounds like the hardest one so far. I’m glad you shared it with all of us. It’d probably be easy to be like, then I do a bunch of emailing, funny funny, etc. etc.

    I hope all the hard work that happens in hour four eventually yields peaceful happy results.

  • Greta Koenigin

    Beautifully told. And, you unveiled an interesting, unspoken reality, which is that we feel such an obligation to hide our suffering or at least earn our suffering. And you’ve still managed to make this post entertaining.

    Guess what? You accidentally branded again.

    I hope you can feel the internet giving you a hug.

  • Dragonfly

    I am the luckiest woman in the world. My life is awesome and perfect. And yet I wallow in this deep, dark morass. Knowing I am not the only person in the world feeling this way is a little lifting of the weight on my chest. Thank you.
    (((HUGS)))

  • medkid

    You’re still a 10 year old girl trying to hold your family together too?! This particular hour of the day is lived at 6:30 PM on Tuesdays for me for similar reasons. I hear ya. Hang in there.

  • Lauren3

    Loves youuuuuuu.

    You have a therapist for the REAL help, but here is some Lauren3 therapy.

    Here is a baby penguin flapping his wings and giggling:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wTWWjYTe1I

    Here is a funny cartoon about old people and cocaine:
    http://psychedelichorseshit.tumblr.com/post/4802191714

    Here are ALL of the celebrity Jeopardy segments on SNL compiled onto one handy dandy webpage:
    http://psychedelichorseshit.tumblr.com/post/4802191714

    And here are a blind dog and goose who are friends:
    http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/861546-cute-alert-goose-looks-after-blind-dog

  • stucknowhere

    I never comment, but this reached the depths of my soul. More than anything I admire your bravery and honesty; most people can’t or won’t share their demons. Mine is here with me now; nasty little booger doesn’t want to leave me. It is a demon, and once it gets in its hell to get rid of. I feel your pain, I understand your struggle, but I still envy your “blessedness”. The fact that you can see that is hopeful and encouraging. Right now, I can’t find any blessings in my life. I know I have them, I gave birth to two of them, but the darkness is dragging me down, and in turn, dragging them down, and that thought alone is enough to make me want to walk away with my demon. The struggle is overwhelming.

    I just overshared, and I’m sorry for that. This is a tough road. Keep counting those blessings and you will find the light, I believe that for you.

  • tullisjen

    Here is a hug and much love for that 10 year-old girl! She is a beautiful gift from God. Love her, that’s all we can do, is just love her so she can heal.

    I’ll light a candle for you. Good vibes and prayers coming your way.

    Jen

  • Jen143

    My parents got divorced when I was 3. If that’s the age I’m stuck at, this explains a whoooooole lot.

  • cpchrisman

    God bless you Heather….I agree with kentuckienne….I thought you could be talking about me! And how useless it is to keep telling yourself your blessed, your blessed you’re blessed, when it just feels like you’re telling yourself to suck it up!!

    Thank you for putting it out there, Why is it so hard for us to accept that we had hurt feelings, despite the best everyone did?

  • Issa

    I just really wanted to say hugs. Truly, I get this more than I could begin to tell you. Except that mine is seven. Seven year old me.

    Anyway. Hugs to you. I hope it starts to get easier soon.

  • janenyy26

    You are such an amazing woman. I have been reading this blog for 7 years, this month. Every single post has been so awesome. I look forward to reading your words, hearing your stories, seeing what new way you’ve managed to pose Chuck– seriously, you STILL have new ways?! Oh, the creativity!

    Thank you for being willing to share the truth, whether it’s funny moments or stories about sitting in therapy. More than once, I have forced myself to go back to sitting across from a therapist, knowing that I’m not the only one and that in some way, it’ll help. Thank you for sharing all of this.

    And seriously, I think you’re awesome.

  • Catewms

    Heather – everyone does the best that they can in the moment. That’s you, it’s your mom and dad, it’s the asshole in line at the drugstore – it’s everyone. The past 8 months “should” have been better? You did the best that you could. Ease up on yourself. I know, easy for me to say, but then again I have my own shit I’m messing up left right and sideways. It is what it is, as the kids say these days. We don’t live out lives in anyone else’s reality but our own.

  • writtendad

    This may be the best post I’ve ever read on dooce. I haven’t read all the comments, but after reading your post and perusing through a handful of them, I noticed two things: 1. you’re not AT ALL alone and 2. many people not only join you in experience but in age (more or less). After noticing the age similarity, I began to feel that, despite being able to relate to much of it, I was still alone but, the more that I run it through my head, the more I realize I’m not.

    I went through the same thing at 20. Yes, I was 20. I was living at home and going to college when my parents separated and it tore everything our family ever was into more pieces that I could count, but I tried to count. I needed to count. I had to reassemble, to find the piece that went askew, to fix it. To make sure my younger brother would be alright. To make sure my dad would be okay only months out of hip surgery. I’d spent the previous six years or more hearing about money problems, about mortgages, about marriage, and there was nothing I had done to make it better. So it died. And part of me went with it.

    I still don’t know that I’m really ready to explore all of that, but I know it’s there. I can feel it when my girlfriend and I talk about marriage and when I look at our son. I just don’t think I’m ready to do anything but feel it because I don’t know how to talk about or how to talk myself off that ledge.

    But this post helped. I applaud your courage (as I always have) and I want to thank you for opening yourself to all of us. At the very least, this helps me have hope that I can eventually find myself at a point where I can confront the 20 year old me.

  • Shea

    I am grateful for you, for your honesty, for your strength and your vulnerability. You are a powerhouse and you are shattered and no matter where in the world you are from you are still wonderfully and completely human which, I think, means you hurt and you carry guilt. I am definitely not one to tell you how to cope. In fact, I think you’ve helped me by coming here and writing and sharing your life.

    All I know to say is thank you.

    Much love to you, Heather.

  • jzamoyta

    Heather, take it easy on yourself. You are an amazing woman and I wish I could do even one-tenth of what you do (I congratulate myself when I can match an outfit and put on eye makeup on the same day!). You will get through this, too. There are so many of us out there who talk to that dark monster every day, the one that tells us we are crap, that we are ruining our husband’s and children’s lives, that everything we do is WRONG. Thank you for putting words to that, and letting us know that even someone with your beauty, your style, your courage, your tenacity, your intelligence, still struggles too. And yet, I know how hard it is to see beyond that feeling. Keep fighting. It’s the crazy that makes us interesting and unique! I know I’m one of thousands, maybe millions, of your readers, so this might not mean much to you, but reading your blog, no matter what kind of day you are having, has helped me through some of my dark days, and makes me feel good about the decision to find a psychiatrist, medication, and help four years ago when I was trying to decide whether or not to exist anymore. Your family is so lucky to have you, and you are creating the family you didn’t get to have, regardless of how you feel on any particular day. Sending you love and hugs, from a fellow monster-fighter.