So on Monday I got an email stating that I had an appointment with my Gyn today and of course since I made the appointment a year ago I had no recollection of making it or when it might possibly be if I had remembered so I just sat here looking at my laptop thinking, "Well, if that's not just the cherry on top of the goddam cowgirl."
I mean- how many medical appointments have I had in the last month? WAY TOO FUCKING MANY is the answer to that question and especially if you add in the lithotripsy procedure which is like ten appointments all crammed together except that you're asleep for part of it.
So this week I've just been dreading it as you know I do, but also reassuring myself because my woman parts have been so, so good to me throughout my life. They have been strong and capable and have done all of the amazing things that woman parts are supposed to do.
But of course I'm crazy so as soon as I'd remember that, I'd think, "Yeah. So of course now is when they're going to be weird somehow because obviously it is the season of the witch when it comes to the body falling apart."
I will cut right to the chase and say that my gynecologist has amazing bedside manner skills and that man can do a breast and pelvic exam before you know it and the conversation that has been going on during them is so interesting that you sort of wish the whole thing had taken a little longer.
Well. Not really but almost!
And according to him, all is well in the pelvic and breast area and thank you, sweet Jesus and mostly thank you- my terrific lady parts.
So that's over with for another year.
All right. Serious shit. I wonder how many of you read the blog written by Heather Armstrong? She went by the name "Dooce." It was many years ago when she started writing and when I found her, I went all the way back to the beginning of her blog because her writing absolutely enchanted me and her spirit and her intelligence blew me away. And she was one of those writers who could talk about anything in the world and make it interesting. And funny. And tragic.
She'd been raised Mormon and left the church as so many highly intelligent Mormons do but I am sure that her upbringing in it informed her entire life.
I read her blog throughout her marriage, the birth of her children, her experiences with deep depression, her eating disorders, her desperate attempts to try and heal from the pain that she internalized for so many years. She was just a powerful writer. I didn't agree with everything she said and for awhile there, the monetizing on the blog got so ridiculous that I finally just quit reading and I'm pretty sure she stopped doing as many posts. The last post I'd read was from a year and a half ago or so about her alcoholism and how well she'd hid this horrible addiction for so, so long and how now she was determined to be sober and that this would be what would make her feel whole and well. She swore that she would NEVER relapse. Ever.
And then yesterday I found out that she had died by suicide. Her boyfriend found her body and thank god it wasn't one of her daughters. She died on May 9th. So- two days ago.
I don't pretend to have any idea why she did what she did. I did not know the woman. But the news hit me in the gut pretty hard and although I'm not exactly sure why, I think it may be because even though she was so good at telling the truth with a delicious coating of dark humor, it didn't take a genius to know that this was a woman who was suffering.
So I guess I just want to give her a little nod, a little grace, a little hope for peace at last. Heather pretty much invented the blog as we know it today or at least as we knew it ten years ago. A powerful tool for sharing and communicating and truth-telling and admitting that motherhood is fucking hard and doing it really well may be the hardest thing in the world.
They called her a "mommy blogger". Perhaps the first mommy blogger to gain such attention and that term enrages me because Heather Armstrong wrote about all of the deepest things, not just her kids. She wrote from the bone and used her own blood as the ink.
So to say.
I hear that in the past year or so she's written some rather cruel things about trans people and I can't tolerate that bullshit but who knows where her head was at? Some place that told her that life was no longer worth living and that it was time to end it so that tells you something.
She was as complicated as any of us, I guess, and while many adored her, quite a few people turned on her like a wildfire in a change of wind direction, spewing vitriol on her that I thought would be reserved for confessed cannibals who ate their young.
It had to be a lot. I guess eventually, too much.
May her daughters know how much she loved them. By the miracle of the internet, they will have hundreds of thousands of words to read written by their mother, speaking of her love for them, her struggles to be a good mother, her desire for them to grow up to be who they are. And happy.
In a completely ridiculous, clunky, and entirely inappropriate segue I give you this.
Mr. Moon will be home later tonight. I will be mighty glad to see him. So will Maurice. That poor cat. She is so unhappy. Not only has her human deserted her but I am feeding her and Jack (and Sheba and Patchy Cat) new cat food which I bought at Costco and none of them are happy about that. I mean- when feral cats don't want what you feed them...
You know. When I hear about a suicide, there is this pain that starts in my chest. Sometimes Geoffrey is so close; his baby body that I held in my lap, his little kid self trying to be bigger than the rest of us, the loss of his last baby tooth, his dirt biking and then...his drinking and slow slide into his bipolar life and depression and anger. Suicide is sometimes all there is to stop the suffering. Were it not so.ReplyDelete
Exactly, Beth. No one chooses to have a terminal mental illness any more than anyone chooses to have a terminal physical illness. Bless Geoffrey. Bless you. No one could have loved him better.Delete
RIP Heather......and thank you for bringing her to mind and heart today. Emma.....is a lovely *bride to be* for August! LOL! Oh....to be young and in love and enamored......is a joy to see. And glad all your lady parts are in fine form! Whew! Another appt. checked off your list!ReplyDelete
It's funny. I see a sweet ease in August's face that reminds me of his father when he looks at Jessie. Of course I'm not saying that Emma will be August's wife but I do love how he is seeing this other person with his heart. A trusting heart.Delete
How terribly sad. The upside of the internet and blogging is getting to people (like you xx) - the downside is the cruelty - John Gray referred to it as road rage and he is so right.ReplyDelete
Emma is very cute.
I feel like the cruelty that was part of Heather's experience with blogging is probably part of the reason she stopped for a very long time. And it wasn't really until she became quite wealthy that so much ire was directed her way. Which is how it usually goes.Delete
Emma is a little doll, isn't she?
I hadn't heard of Heather Armstrong until her death, but what a tragedy. Very sad.ReplyDelete
I'm glad your lady parts are in good working order! All those children (including August's future wife! lol!) are just adorable.
It's almost unfathomable to me that there are any bloggers who never read Dooce but she mostly wrote many years ago now so it's not unfathomable at all.Delete
Those are some pretty cute kiddos. And kittens.
I never found or read Heather Armstrong, but I have read too many blogs that ended in death, either naturally or by suicide. Not to mention my own younger brother's suicide to escape bipolar, back in the day when it only had a name and was treated only by massive doses of lithium. And electro-shock. God, the horrid electro-shock treatments! Today you have reminded us all to be thankful for what we have, good lady parts up to good heads and down to good feet.ReplyDelete
Yes. It is strange how many of the original bloggers have come to sad endings. I'm not sure why that is. Were some of those people suffering and felt safer writing about it for an audience of strangers? I do not know.Delete
And yes m'am- I am so grateful for all of the good body parts I have left and I am so, so very sorry for your brother. I had a friend who got electroshock therapy. I don't know whether it helped him or not but he is still alive. It sure did not work for everyone. What a bizarre idea that was.
I so know what you mean about being worried about those medical procedures.. I’m always convinced I’m dying of something until those procedure tell me otherwise!🙄i’m sorry to read about Heather, but re. her opinion of transgender people I have to disagree - my youngest was born a girl, but for a year has been known to us as a boy. Not surprising in retrospect.. and what can we as parents do but accept it? We love him just as much as we always did! ❤️ReplyDelete
I have a transgender child too. And of course we love our kids after transition. They are still the same people we've always loved, only feeling far more comfortable in the skin they're in.Delete
I'm sorry you have the dang medical phobia too. It makes it hard to take good care of ourselves, doesn't it?
Lovely picture of kids and kitten. That's a time to treasure.ReplyDelete
I agree. Such sweetness.Delete
i was wondering about that costco cat food but the cans were smaller then the one our cats usually split in thirds. i knew of that blogger lady and remember reading her stuff 1-2x. i feel horrible for her children. xxalainaxxReplyDelete
Our poor cats only get dry food. I've told them they have to suck it up because I bought 25 pounds of that stuff. And I'm sure it's higher quality than what they were eating.Delete
I feel horrible for Heather's children too. And not just because she's gone now but because it can't have been easy to grow up with a mother who was suffering so much.
I was shocked and saddened to read about Heather's suicide. I read her for a long time, until the monetization was too much, and you're right, she was a wonderful writer. I loved her dogs too, one was called Chuck, and he was so sweet. I can understand killing oneself, just an end to the pain, but her poor daughters. I've seen what suicide does to the people left behind and it's horrendous.
Depression is a dangerous disease and there are many days when you just get tired of faking normal. I hope she's found some peace and I hope her daughters can forgive her.
She WAS a wonderful writer. Just powerful and funny and balls-to-the-wall. Yes. She had that dog Chuck whom she used to dress up which I have to admit disturbed me somewhat.Delete
The pain of the people left behind after a death by suicide never get over it, do they? And as I said to Mrs. Missalineous above, it is not easy in the least to live with someone that ill. I think she had made several suicide attempts in the past.
37paddington: I was hoping you’d write about Heather. Dooce. I read her for a long time, she introduced me to the idea of blogging as self expression, as exploration, as therapy, as love. She wrote like life itself was just always pouring through her fingers. I was so sad to hear she didn’t make it in the end. I didn’t read the later stuff, didn’t realize she started blogging again but she was seminal. I wonder if she knew that. Thank you for remembering her. Thank you for being you. You too are seminal, but in a much different and far more personal way. I’ll never forget finding you and knowing I was in hands I could trust. A heart I could trust. I’m glad you’re here. And yes, August has the sweetest expression in that picture.ReplyDelete
"She wrote like life itself was just always pouring through her fingers."Delete
Exactly. And her fingers were on fire.
I think she probably did realize how much influence she'd had in the world of social media. She was obviously incredibly intelligent.
And your words about my blog have made me feel so very, very thankful that you did find me. That our hearts have found each other. You know exactly what I'm saying. I love you.
They are equally cute, Emma and the kitten. I'm sorry to read about Heather and though I don't agree with religions, perhaps she might have fared better if she hadn't left the church? On the other hand, who ever really knows about such things?ReplyDelete
No. I don't think she would have fared better if she hadn't left the church and it's a moot point- once a member of that church knows the truth, they can't un-know it and to continue on with it would be soul destroying. I've heard so many stories on the podcast I listen to about former Mormons who have lost their faith and left the church and for most of them, it's one of the hardest things they ever did and yet, they had to. And Heather was very, very close to her mother who remains to this day a devout believer.Delete
I'm glad the appointment went well. I read in the NYT about "Dooce" and although I never read her blog, I kind of wish I had. I was a little late to the blogging bandwagon.ReplyDelete
I recently bought Olga a couple of cans of new food and wondered if she'd like it. The great thing about dogs is, they don't care. Down the gullet it went without hesitation.
You would have definitely respected her writing, Steve. She was infinitely interesting.Delete
I am sure that there are some fussy dogs when it comes to food but bulldogs are not at all in my experience.
I haven't had my lady parts looked at in years.ReplyDelete
I not only had not read Dooce, I wasn't even aware of her. it's sad that a woman who you enjoyed for so many years, who had so many struggles of her own, would be so vicious towards other people struggling with who and what they are and the lack of understanding they face which too often turns into fear and hate. I cannot fathom suicide. I don't judge those who try it whether they succeed or not but I can't imagine being in that place. social media is a two edged sword. it can be supportive and cruel. if you aren't rock solid in yourself, who you are, the cruelty can be devastating.
I really only go through this annual experience because that's the doctor that prescribes my bio-identical hormones and it's sort of part of the deal.Delete
I can't really comment on what Heather had said about trans people because I never read those posts. But like I said- she may not have been in her "right" mind. I know she was fiercely supportive of gay rights.
You are so lucky you've never been able to fathom suicide. For some people, those thoughts are a constant companion. Even if they never even attempt it, it's still always there.
And she had made attempts before.
I hadn't heard of that blogger but your tribute to her was very touching!ReplyDelete
She was pretty darn amazing.Delete
I loved the "mommy bloggers" . Especially Jen on the edge and DaMomma. Good writers.ReplyDelete
You know- I don't think I ever read either of those two.Delete
Looks like one of those boys is enchanted by the kitten and the other, by the sweet girl.ReplyDelete
Cats are often faddier than other animals, but when even feral cats don't want to eat Costco it makes me wonder what it's made of.ReplyDelete
I feel pretty certain this this a higher quality cat food than what my cats usually get. They have weird tastes. For instance- they'd rather have a piece of lunch meat than a piece of roasted organic chicken. I always say they grew up in a trailer park. Not that there's anything wrong with that! They actually probably grew up at the dump.Delete
RIP Heather, the torment that would bring someone to end their Life is often so misunderstood and almost never fully addressed. I'm glad you ended this serious Post with such a Positive Photo of those Kiddos, adorable. Glad your checkups went so well, I hate having lots of appointments, I've had too many lately too... and the Surgery... now I hope to not have to go again for a while to any Docs.ReplyDelete
I loved reading Dooce back in the day, too, until -- like you -- the monetization thing got so boring. I was floored when I heard about her suicide -- and not a little angry. A train wreck. Once I heard Patti Smith describe suicide in the most gentle way -- I've never forgotten her generosity about it, and when I start to feel judgemental, I remember that and how much I don't understand.ReplyDelete