Best way to roast the broomstick. Must try. Five Stars.

Top fifteen tracks of 2012

Due to the emotional upheaval of the last year, all the corners I’ve crawled into to hide and cry into my folded arm, all the broken glass under my feet, the hornets swarming my head… I’ve been living inside a nightmare that paralyzes my arms and legs, holds me down and sticks its knee into my throat so that I can’t scream for help.

Someone told me the other day that I have betrayed everyone here by not talking about It, The Upheaval, by not giving details about a decision that involves the privacy and integrity of the father of my children. I’m sorry that person feels that way. I’d like her to know that this has been the most agonizing thing I have ever lived through, that I have no idea if or when I will ever put the pieces of myself back together.

Music has been my haven, and I’m lucky that so much good music was released this year when I needed the comfort of it most. These fifteen songs sidled up next to me, placed a hand on my back to guide me forward. I wish I could thank these artists for the solace they brought to my unraveling life.

15. Delta Spirit, “Yamaha”

14. Au, “Get Alive”

13. Kindness, “Swingin Party”

12. Futures, “We Had It All”

11. Chairlift, “I Belong in Your Arms”

10. Fiona Apple, “Every Single Night”

9. Hot Chip, “Let Me Be Him”

8. Of Monsters and Men, “Love Love Love”

7. The XX, “Angels”

6. Perfume Genius, “Normal Song”

5. Local Natives, “Breakers”

4. Grizzly Bear, “Half Gate”

3. Tanlines, “Nonesuch”

2. Beach House, “Myth”

1. Twin Shadow, “The One”

  • MelissaJ

    tell that person to SUCK IT!!! you share so much…i guess they think we are “entitled” to it all, but guess what…we are not.

    you made it through year 1…you will find you again…i promise. it will be different, it will be shaped by your experiences, but it will be Heather.

    Love your babies, love yourself.

  • Big Dog Momma

    So sorry you’ve had to deal with insensitivity during this time. Glad you’ve been able to find some solace in the music. Love and hugs.

  • Elana’s Pantry

    You are perfect. You did not betray yourself and that’s all that matters. Nice music by the way. Thanks for sharing.

  • Julie

    Wah, my free entertainment is not satisfying me….boo hoo hoo there are no other pages on this internet. It boggles my mind that anyone would try to tell a blogger what to blog about on their blog. Get yer own blog and shut yer yapper.

  • AJS721

    You owe nobody nothing. I’ve been thinking of both you and Jon this holiday season. Heal, strengthen and recuperate and know we’re all standing with you during this time.

  • It’s your life, your business.

    I wish you and yours peace in 2013.

  • Sorry you’re having such a rough time.

  • I talk my chances and incur the wrath of your loyal readers of which I am one. Yes, I would like to know more about what happened in your relationship with the man you loved beyond the beyond on your blog for years and then one day poof gone. Same thing with Katie. And I’m sure if Tyrant disappears I will wonder about him. You are an engaging open writer. You have written about your depression, your first born in details and pregnancies. Of-course (I’m going to shout this) IT IS YOUR RIGHT to share only the parts of your life that you choose too but it does surprise me that you engage your readers and then seemed wounded when they want to know more about your life. Mostly however, I respect the fact that you and your spouse are not profiting off your relationship That’s nice.

  • issascrazyworld

    I once had to tell someone…just because you want to know details doesn’t mean you need to know details. THE END!

    Separation and divorce are hard enough without other people wanting details just so they can assure themselves it will never happen to them. As if that is somehow possible. This is your space and you should say whatever or what little you want too.

    I hope 2013 is a much better year for you.

  • CurlyQ

    It’s true. We want to know more because we are curious, care about you guys (in an odd, online sort of way), are noisy little buggers, etc. However, we are not entitled to the information that you wish to protect, that causes you indescribable heartache, that is none of our damn business, no matter how much you’ve shared in the past.
    For whatever it’s worth, there are many, many, many of us out here who are thinking of you, wishing you peace and sunnier times in 2013 and, most of all, to know that we are so thankful for what your DO share and will not abandon you or lose respect for what you don’t share.
    Hugs from Toronto

  • Kate

    Of course we’d love to know more about how a relationship that so many envied “suddenly” went up in flames. But it’s none of our business unless you want it to be. The most important thing is to keep doing what you’re doing, which is to protect the privacy and integrity of Jon, the girls, and yourself. Hope 2013 is a better year for each of you.

  • Talking about love is like dancing about architecture. The only people who ever understand why a relationship ends, are the two people in it. And half the time they’re not sure what went wrong. Being asked ‘why did you break up?’ is such a frustrating question. ‘If I knew exactly what went wrong, we might have been able to fix it!’ You can come up with all kinds of explanations, but usually ‘it broke’ or ‘it didn’t work’ covers it. We broke up because we couldn’t be together any more. It was too hard, it was bad for us, it sucked. You can love someone with all your heart and it just doesn’t work.
    Sometimes I wonder if the idea of two people spending the rest of their lives together isn’t simply prepostorus. We are human beings, complex and crazy and different and wild. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out the way we planned. I’m sure if you could package it in a nice, tidy little philosophical post and give us some closure, you would. It ain’t gonna happen, and those of us who ‘get it’ can understand why. Here is my break-up story – would you like it as an interpretive dance, an abstract painting, or a haiku? Here is a haiku about breaking up:

    Shit shit shit shit shit
    No no no no no no no
    Shit shit shit shit shit

    You’re supposed to be fucked-up right now and writing about it is futile. Right now you’re in the water, getting bobbed around by the waves, trying to keep your head dry. One day you’ll be back on dry land, looking out over a calm blue sea. Then you might like to write about it.
    Until then, anyone with half a brain can listen to those songs you just posted and that’s about as clear as it’s gonna get. Talking about love is like dancing about architecture.

  • Cris

    Of course we’d like to know more. We feel like we’re your friends, we want to be able to *be* there every step of the way, and open new doors, new windows on every dark thought, every word felt as hurtful. When you go into your dark back rooms, we want to be able to be there, and point a light at exactly where it’ll chase away the darkness that threatens the most. We wish we were there on every fight, cracking jokes and lightening the mood for both of you. When you shut us out (both your right, and a symptom of your depression), you made us feel… that maybe you both grew apart also because you wouldn’t let us help you stay together… You helped so many people with your words, your thoughts on depression, yes, but so many more things, at times you gave each of us *that* moment where we felt “I’m not alone in all this, this isn’t just in my head”. We wanted, and do, and I guess always will for as long as we come here, to make you feel that too. We want to be that hand in your back.

    And you know all those pieces of yourself? You won’t be able to put them *back* together. You’ll be a new you. Brand new puzzle, pieces fused together that were on opposite sides. And you know what else? You’ll be even more beautiful.

  • HeatherArmstrong

    Thank you. I’m going to memorize that haiku and recite it anytime someone asks me, “What happened?!”

  • Suebobb

    You should share the details when you feel ready. You know, in 30 or 40 years or so.

  • Tina Beveridge

    You haven’t betrayed anyone by not sharing the gory details. Your site, your decisions. It’s that simple. And the fact that regardless of what happened, you aren’t spewing poison about him like many people do when they split up….coming from divorced parents as many of our generation did, I’m sure you know all too well the effect on the children when that happens. And as a parent, I respect that you are showing selflessness where the girls are concerned. Here’s hoping 2013 is better for all of you.

  • HeatherArmstrong

    The years leading up to my own parents’ divorce were pretty horrendous, but they handled the actual divorce expertly. Always supportive of each other. Neither of them ever spoke one ill word about the other. I saw them making decisions together. For us. I learned a lot from them.

  • Monica

    I agree. While I’d love to know more of the details, my reasons are, let’s be honest, little more than entertainment. And from your viewpoint, this whole year has been not remotely entertaining, of all insulting ways to name it! It’s real, its personal, it’s YOURS and it’s none of my business.

    Thank you for putting boundaries between your public and private life. It’s mature and a great message of how to be a respectful, respect-worthy, and responsible writer to all the media out there (blogs and journalism alike). And teaches the non-writers of us how to properly treat the writers/public figures whom we act like we have the right to consume whole.

    I wish peace and healing in the new year, to you and for all members of your family. You all deserve it. Thanks again, for being who you are.

  • Jelena

    Years ago, back in 1999, when I still lived in Serbia, my very, very good friend came over to my apartment one night all bloodied. He was beaten up pretty bad and needed a place to wash and calm down before he goes home to his parents apartment. I just sat there in complete shock and I did not asked him what has happened (though suspecting that somebody set him up and he got beaten because he was gay…). He asked me do I want to know what happened and I said yes, of course, but only if he feels comfortable talking about it. He was not, he said, but promised he will tell me one day. 13 years later, I still don’t know what happened, nor have I ever asked again. But I am still curious and I guess I will be until he feels ready to tell me.

    That’s how I feel about this situation, this very difficult decision Jon and you had to make. It is like you suffered through metaphorical beating that life occasionally bestow upon us, and honestly I am very curious about what happened (anybody here who says they aren’t are full of ****).

    However, as with my friend back in Serbia, the only decent thing to do is to wait and maybe one day you will be comfortable enough (and healed enough) to tell us what went wrong. Until then, we will enjoy your writing, your wit, watch your wonderful kids grow (so much like my own two little girls!) and help you pick up the peaces anyway we can. As you would do for a real friend…

    I wish you and your family safe, healthy, and happy holiday season. May you be blessed with many beautiful memories.

    Best regards,

  • MarilynInTheUK

    I simply can’t believe that anyone would want to pick the bones of your heartache. Having been through a similar trauma some years ago, I could never have disclosed my most private agonies with anyone I didn’t know. And certainly not on my blog. You have betrayed no-one. It’s your blog. It’s your life. As someone who reads your blog, I’d like you to know that I’m one person you have not betrayed. All best wishes to you and yours. And a very Happy New Year.

  • Ragstoriches

    Oh come on. The trouble is, you want it both ways. You want to be able to carry on dramatically for a year about how horrible your life is ( “I’ve been living inside a nightmare that paralyzes my arms and legs,
    holds me down and sticks its knee into my throat so that I can’t scream
    for help.” “… this has been the most agonizing thing I have ever lived through” “my unraveling life”), but then be totally coy about what happened. Heather, if you want your personal life to be personal, keep it so. Don’t psot and re-post about the tragedy of it all and expect that no one will want to know WHAT tragedy. People get divorced all the time (and so may of them don’t have your money or family to see them through). Chances are your story isn’t particularly special or unusual. It’s only your melodramatic writing that keeps the story so tantalizing. It’s been a year. Move on, and your readers will, too.

  • It certainly is your business and no one else’s. I think a lot of us were stunned and we’d love to have more information to understand what happened to what seemed to be such a loving couple.

    That said, if I were in your shoes, I would hope I would act with the same level of integrity that you and Jon have shown. Take care, and I hope that the New Year brings you a sense of peace.

  • AndSoShePaints

    I kind of just want to give you a hug.

  • jaime

    <3 love and support. And huge props to you for respecting that line. I'm four years past my own sep/d and I am impressed that you even write at all.

  • Boy are you right. The other thing is that the parties to a relationship are changing and sometimes we change in incompatible ways. I am not optimistic that much can be done when that happens.

  • Kristen H

    Heather, I never comment but I just want to apologize on behalf of those who think they have the right to demand details that are none of their business. You share a great deal here (thank you for your honesty about everything you choose to write about) and your daughters are extremely lucky to have parents who understand respectful boundaries. I went through a painful divorce when my daughter was 4 (she is 12 now…it gets SO MUCH better) and to this day (and forevermore) she will not hear negative things about her father from me. Keep it up!

  • Ari

    Hey, so, people do “get divorced all the time”, it’s true. And for many of those people, IT’S THE MOST AGONIZING DAMN THING THEY’VE EVER LIVED THROUGH. It doesn’t matter if your pain is special or unusual when it’s *your pain*. Cliches never feel that way when you live through them; when we fall in love, we are inventing it for the first time, and when we break apart, our breaking is also a new thing, a private thing, small enough to cradle to your chest and big enough to crack the world wide open.

    And nobody’s saying you can’t *want* to know more–curiosity is human nature, after all–just be a little classy about it, you know? Sometimes you just can’t know, or you just can’t know right now, and nobody, nobody, nobody is making you read what you don’t want to.

    What I’m trying to say here is, shut up maybe. No, definitely. Shut up definitely.

  • Carrie

    Thank you Heathter for sharing your music. I have been thinking about your separation a lot lately because my husband walked out on me three weeks ago. I remember when you announced that you and Jon were separating that I was really upset by it and very clearly thought “wow, if those two can’t make it, what the hell do I think my chances are”. Well one year later and here I am. Here I am. Of course my story is long and torturous and wild and dramatic. It doesn’t help that I’m in Morocco where he is from and have two toddler twins and not one single family member and very very few friends. I am scared and alone and from time to time I think about your struggle this past year and how you seem to be doing better and now my thinking has turned into, “well if she can do it, then I can do it too, it will get better for me too”. So thanks for that.

    Also yes, of course I wonder about the details of your split but really at the end of the day, when it’s over and it’s over and it’s all about moving forward. Maybe it would be healthier to focus on the how you are putting yourself back together. So…if you feel like sharing that (and I think this post is actually a bit of that) I’ll be here, reading and rooting for you.

    Much love from Casablanca.

  • Amanda

    I’ve been a longtime reader, but never chimed in. Divorce sucks. Even in situations where it has been long overdue (such as mine). Even when you have moved on, the chips falling into place, it still sucks. I couldn’t imagine going through one where people feel entitled to answers.

    And yes on the music. If you’re a masochist like I am, Delta Spirit “House Built For Two” is made for “having a good cry.”

  • Nikki

    or the actual quote (generally attributed to Elvis Costello, often to Zappa and occasionally to Gore Vidal) “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture”.

  • Melissa

    I know you have had a horrible year and I am truly sorry. May 2013 and the years that follow be the best years of your life!

    But I must say we have similar tastes in music but I am way to lazy to look around to find cool new stuff to listen too… Thank you for doing all the leg work.

  • becaru

    Nope, I don’t need to know another thing. I’ve been through a divorce; ’nuff said.
    It does get better, though, so hang in there.

  • Deiter

    Huh, and I thought I would get shit on for not having heard a one of these songs.

  • Katie

    Say what you will, write what helps you feel whole, focus on your daughters, appreciate joy where you find it. Nothing else matters.

  • I love the haiku. You don’t know me, but be true to your own damn self and don’t let the turkeys get you down. Peace out.

  • americanrecluse

    This was a beautiful reply, Jelena, and your words speak for me as well. I’m grateful your friend knew where to go when he needed a rescue.

  • I think I got it from a Sean Connery movie…

  • Callye

    The artist Kindness you just mentioned is wonderful. Never heard of him til now. As for the other stuff, I’ll echo the crowd.

  • Erica Hollinshead Stead

    Of course I want to know what happened, and I loved the absolute honesty and raw-ness of the That Girl Emily – style break up.. but the big picture is that whatever you say about it can’t be undone. You can say something absolutely true about someone’s parent, and the thing you said can still be absolutely hurtful to the child… and it might still be hurtful to them 20 years from now, or whenever your kid may decide to read it if you put it out there.

    On a less solemn note, I read this just after my husband finished his annual Top 10 Albums list – and he also included Beach House, Chairlift, and Fiona Apple. I didn’t come here with the intention of plugging him, but here’s the link, just in case it helps spread the gospel of good music to anyone. It just seemed crazy to me that the two music posts I read in the same day had similar tastes. (Although Local Natives keeps opening for bands we like.. and neither one of us can get on board with them.)

    Anyway, I wish you a better and calmer year in ’13, and although I had absolutely no expectation of discovering music on this particular blog, I’ll be sure not to skip any of your music posts in the future. 🙂

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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