the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Hair, day forty-six

Welcome, rubberneckers, to the egomaniacal, narcissistic, bipolar meltdown you have been promised would happen by the hate sites! (It’s too bad they aren’t on my payroll, because HOO, the pageviews) To tell you the truth, even I can’t wait to watch this train wreck happen because when my brain explodes all those Skittles in there are going to scatter everywhere. A RAINBOW!

(I know, another post that was supposed to be about my hair that has nothing to do with my hair. I can’t even keep my posts straight. Yet another sign that I’m losing my mind. Someone please step in and get me some help! I NEED BETTER HANDLERS.)

What should I do first? Shed my clothes and run nude through Temple Square? Maybe have an argument in public with an imaginary friend? While wearing a giant bird costume and waving a vibrator?

The level of my fame is so minuscule in comparison to actual celebrity, but that does not make it any less strange to read the words of strangers who are publicly delighting in my pain, strangers who are actively rooting for me to break down. I’ve known to avoid reading it, but then the amount of it became so abundant that it bubbled up and spilled over into my lap, and wow. There it was. I politely wiped it to the side, but then another wave hit. And in the middle of that next dump someone said that they were going to make an anonymous call to try and get my kids taken out of my custody.

I hate to disappoint some of you, but that meltdown isn’t going to happen. I’ve been seeing a therapist pretty regularly since Leta was born, and yesterday she told me that I didn’t need to come back, that the work she’s been trying to get me to do for eight years is done. In fact, I had a pretty big breakthrough about a month ago, so big that after I left she did a tap dance in her office. I asked her to recreate that moment so that I could take video of it and post it here, but she’s a lot like my mom and enjoys flipping me the bird.

At the core of the work that I have been doing is letting go of the fear of standing up for myself. That probably seems asinine because my writing can be abrasive and polarizing, and how can a woman with a mouth as dirty as mine have any trouble standing up for herself? Well, a lot of trouble, actually. Especially in person. And any time I’ve attempted to do so online I’m labeled a bully or a delicate flower or lectured on the reasons I should ignore it.

The fact is that I do ignore almost all of it. It’s a relentless stream that rolls through my email and across twitter and in and out of other websites. But this morning I was sitting at my desk minding my own business when I caught the edge of another wave, and I thought, what the hell am I afraid of?

And you know what? Not a goddamned thing. Fuck them. Fuck all of them. People will use the fact that I am saying this as proof that I’m having a meltdown, and those people can go fuck themselves, too. Because when my therapist reads this she is going to get up and do the moonwalk behind her desk.

(If you even try to leave a mean comment I will delete your ass.)

  • picklesalt

    2012/02/23 at 2:54 pm


  • SMD

    2012/02/23 at 2:56 pm

    Yeah! Good for you. The hate sites will have to come up with their own original content instead of trying to twist a tale out of yours.

  • houpley

    2012/02/23 at 2:56 pm

    yay, you!

  • scubajunk

    2012/02/23 at 2:57 pm

    *high five* atta girl!

  • friend2canines

    2012/02/23 at 2:57 pm

    I’m standing next to you b*tch slapping the bullies for ya.

  • Kckeeton

    2012/02/23 at 2:57 pm

    Hell to the YES!!!!

  • Rachill

    2012/02/23 at 2:58 pm

    Yes! Believe yourself to be a unique part of creation, an original work of art. You are the dusty piece hiding in the attic. You have a picture light shining on you at a posh gallery. Critics criticize you. Lovers love you. Every day, notice if you are living in gratitude for the beauty. There are no mistakes.

  • jesslikewhoah

    2012/02/23 at 2:58 pm

    I love you. And we’re on the same hair journey. Disasterous.

  • tnzed

    2012/02/23 at 2:59 pm

    Goooo Heather!!!

  • dkh721

    2012/02/23 at 2:59 pm

    You are such a badass and I LOVE YOU for it!!! Keep on keeping on, sister girl…this kind of empowerment and freedom can move literal mountains if you want it to… 🙂

  • big dog momma

    2012/02/23 at 2:59 pm

    Yay for moon walking! Good job!

  • dwcasmith

    2012/02/23 at 2:59 pm

    WOOP WOOP!!!

  • jenonearth

    2012/02/23 at 3:00 pm

    Haters can suck it~!

  • alana517

    2012/02/23 at 3:00 pm

    whaaa? No meltdown?! Now how am I going to beat you down in order to feel better about myself? A jerk as usual Armstrong. Thanks for nuthin’

  • exante

    2012/02/23 at 3:00 pm

    HOORAY. I am posting my first comment to say: HOORAY.

  • Wallydraigle

    2012/02/23 at 3:01 pm

    Seriously, who ROOTS for a marriage to fall apart, or to have children taken away from parents, or for someone to have a nervous breakdown? That’s pretty sick. Even if there were someone I hated, I wouldn’t wish any of that on them. Who are these people?

  • TaraZamara

    2012/02/23 at 3:01 pm

    yea! your hair looks lovely!

  • ThePeanut

    2012/02/23 at 3:01 pm

    Virtual high five, lady!


    2012/02/23 at 3:02 pm

    BEST. POST. EVER !!!

    Now to implement this thinking in my OWN life! It IS hard for former GOOD LITTLE GIRLS!

  • suebob

    2012/02/23 at 3:04 pm

    You should make Dooce bookmarks so all the haters can use them in their journals that they write in about how life isn’t fair and everyone is so mean to them especially that one girl.

  • vanvactorm

    2012/02/23 at 3:04 pm

    Feels good, doesn’t it? There are really no words to describe what it feels like to really believe the words “I’m worth it, and deserve exactly what I need and what makes me happy in life”. Congrats!

    P.S. I would secretly (oops, cats out of the bag now) like to slap you because when I had hair as short as yours a few years back and grew it out, I looked like a horrid bieber-ish wannabe baby dike (I can say that because I am a lesbian) Oooh boy…looks like my homosexual agenda is popping up again, there I go mentioning my gayness in public. Except my age doesn’t allow me to be a baby anything. Damn.

    High five on a stellar grow-out period thus far!

  • Truthful Mommy

    2012/02/23 at 3:06 pm

    FUCK ALL OF THEM! I’ve been seeing these hateful assholes rip you apart about stuff that is none of their business. People are jealous douche canoes.Keep doing what you do. There are more of us who think you are awesome than the assholes who hate. Those Mother Effers just seem to like to talk a lot more and a lot louder.
    You are allowed to be human and it just happens that since you write about it, stupid people think that it is actually their business and they are entitled to have an opinion.
    Stay strong! You are amazing. You really should link up your post to my Throat Punch Thursday. (LOL, I know you would never do a link up but it would be perfect.) I do it every Thursday because there is so much asshatery running rampant in the world and people just need to be Throat Punched.

    Chest Bump!
    XO Debi

  • Elspeth

    2012/02/23 at 3:06 pm

    at the risk of sounding terribly 90s… you go girl!

  • squill

    2012/02/23 at 3:06 pm

    Big, wet, open mouthed tongue kiss for you! I couldn’t be prouder of your use of fuck in this post. Attagirl. Fuck em.

  • melizerd

    2012/02/23 at 3:07 pm

    You were born to be brave!!!

    I am a lot like you I think. I’m really great at standing up for myself online or in my head or my house but out in the real world I get lost in the “you should be polite” mentality.

    F them, F them all! Stand up for yourself.

  • maticki

    2012/02/23 at 3:07 pm

    yaaaaaaaaaaay! f..k them all!

  • DebbieQ

    2012/02/23 at 3:08 pm

    Big fist bump and high five to you!

  • Mme Wong

    2012/02/23 at 3:11 pm

    Heather. You. Rock.

  • sunnyhunt

    2012/02/23 at 3:12 pm

    Good for you! *ass slap*.

    I totally need the name of your therapist now that she has an opening.

  • ladyisatraveler

    2012/02/23 at 3:13 pm

    You are amazing and so brave! I hope that I can be more badass like you someday 🙂

  • amydpp

    2012/02/23 at 3:14 pm

    I have been there, keep on, keepin’ on.

    Although, my ass is kind of big, and if you really could delete SOME of it, I would be most grateful.

  • sizzlesays

    2012/02/23 at 3:14 pm

    I’ve never understood why you get such backlash. I can only attribute it to small minded, jealous people. I read you because you’re funny and honest and I like that those traits in people. Anyone who would wish you more ill during such a painful time is a complete asshole. Good for you for telling them to go fuck themselves!

  • josephine

    2012/02/23 at 3:15 pm

    WHOHOO!! Hells to the yes this was a great post. Good for you! Love the hair too. 🙂

  • JaneyQDoe

    2012/02/23 at 3:15 pm

    Wow, people are dicks. I mean, I already knew that. But still, wow. If, unlike me, you didn’t give up punching people in the head for lent…

    Anyhoo, if you can’t tell fuckwit strangers off, who can you tell off?

  • BornInaZoo

    2012/02/23 at 3:15 pm

    “my fame is so minuscule in comparison to actual celebrity”

    What’s the name of your head shrink?

  • JudithNYC

    2012/02/23 at 3:15 pm

    “Fuck them. Fuck all of them. People will use the fact that I am saying this as proof that I’m having a meltdown, and those people can go fuck themselves, too.”

    THIS!!!! And remember, for every hater there is at least a dozen of us rooting for you.

  • belinda

    2012/02/23 at 3:16 pm

    Hell yeah! Screw them, the miserable gits. My mum has always said to me, ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’ but sometimes you have to, and this was one of those times. Well done x

    P.S. The weather is warming up in London, come visit!

  • The Dalai Mama

    2012/02/23 at 3:16 pm

    I have been reading your blog for a very long time (about 7 years now) and all I have to say is YES!!! Way to go!!!

    I bet it feels awfully freeing to finally tell them all where to go.

    What a break through. I don’t understand why society has a hard time accepting a strong woman’s opinion or any woman’s opinion for that matter (as men decide on my reproductive choices). But I am glad that you have taken the stand. It just goes to show your strength.

  • RoseTattoo

    2012/02/23 at 3:16 pm

    I love you.

  • Natalie

    2012/02/23 at 3:17 pm

    I seriously want to chest bump you right now. FUCK THEM ALL. I hope they step on a lego. Each and every one of them.

  • StefanieLCR

    2012/02/23 at 3:17 pm

    Fuckity Fuck, Fuck, Fuck YEAH!!!!!! You tell those cunty bitch faces to lick your big ass furry balls, son!

    – Said, former preacher’s kid (so you know I mean it! ::wink::)

  • gavintiegirl

    2012/02/23 at 3:18 pm

    And this is why I LOVE YOU! The world is filled with mean, evil, jealous haters. Please know, as I am sure you already do, that for every hater, there are 10 lovers! That sounds dirty and nasty, but you know what I mean. YOU FUCKING ROCK! There’s a foul mouth for ya!

  • ladygray

    2012/02/23 at 3:18 pm

    YES! YES! YES!

    i’m proud of you. well done!

  • heatherannehogan

    2012/02/23 at 3:20 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for seven years, but this is the first time I’ve ever commented. I just want to high five you and stand beside you in solidarity. You have literally changed my life with your candor and strength and sense of humor. Fuck the haters. Nothing they write is motivated out of love or compassion or empathy or anything more than petty mean-spiritedness. Your legacy is the opposite of theirs. For starters, because you have a legacy. Their voices are the ephemera of troll moans everywhere. So fuck ’em.

  • luv and kiwi

    2012/02/23 at 3:20 pm

    Well technically there is a hair shot in your post so you’re not completely off the subject at “head”.

    Good for you! No feeding the negativity beasts! They’re plump enough!

  • jessilee

    2012/02/23 at 3:22 pm

    I had to do the whole “I forgot my password” thing to comment. I’ve been watching this..waiting trying to figure out how to help. It seemed that standing on the internet shaking my fist yelling “don’t talk about her that way! She’s a person!” would be highly ineffective. When you said “fuck you” on twitter, I wanted to high five you and share a pint of icecream.

    This, this here is perfect. Good for you. You are not a rug. You are a strong powerful woman making hard decisions. Fuck them.

    Now we need to discuss kleenex, ice cream, and terrible 80’s movies. That’s how all my friends and I deal with these kinds of situations. I may live 1000 miles away, but I’m sure Cami would be happy to fill in for this complete stranger!

  • Regency Romantic

    2012/02/23 at 3:22 pm

    Doing a little moonwalking for you myownself!
    MY therapist MADE me practice saying “Fuck that noise” and “Bite my shiny metal ass” for thinking/saying at the appropriate time. Yay for you!

  • Kam904s

    2012/02/23 at 3:24 pm

    See, I was wondering if you were waiting on putting a kibosh on the hate so you could open another “Monetize The Hate” page and give the proceeds to the Mom charity. It’d be a gracious way to tell ’em to go fuck themselves.

  • OrangeLily

    2012/02/23 at 3:24 pm

    Awesome, good for you.

    I can’t believe that there are “strangers who are publicly delighting in my pain, strangers who are actively rooting for me to break down”. No matter who’s at fault/not at fault/what’s happening/blah-blah-blah, to delight in anyone’s personal suffering is down-right mean-spirited – and not condoned by any religion.

    Totally get this paragraph:
    “At the core of the work that I have been doing is letting go of the fear of standing up for myself. That probably seems asinine because my writing can be abrasive and polarizing, and how can a woman with a mouth as dirty as mine have any trouble standing up for herself? Well, a lot of trouble, actually. Especially in person.”

    I’m happy for your epiphany. And you’re picture looks great, dare I say promising and hopeful, too.

  • Linda_M

    2012/02/23 at 3:24 pm

    Cheering quietly for you, and for every woman who’s found herself in a similar situation, although most of us do it without the notoriety. (I totally had to go look up how to spell “notoriety”. See? You’re good for my vocabulary, too!)

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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