All Fall Down
Admitting you had a problem was the first step - everyone knew that - but admitting you had a problem also left you open to the possibility that maybe you couldn't fix it
conversation with Dave, telling him what had happened.
Dont upset your mother, my father would say.
face and figure from my dads mother, Grandma Sadie, who was tall,
F.E.A.R. Stood for face everything and recover
For women who do too muchwhich includes, dear publishers, pretty much all the women who have enough disposable income to buy your booksthis is the ultimate fantasy: not a man who will make you come, but a man who will make agency unnecessary, a man who will choose your adventure for you.
How could I live a life where the person whod built and experienced and created it alongside me, the person whod seen me in a hundred different moods, at my highest, at my lowest, in the middle of a C-section with my uterus laid out on my belly, was gone?
I believed in newspapers mission, the importance of their role as a watchdog, holding the powerful accountable, comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through.
I had read all the books, from The Highly Sensitive Child to Raising Your Spirited Child. Wed learned about how to avoid overstimulation, how to help Ellie through transitions, how to talk to her teachers about making accommodations for her. Wed done our best to reframe our thinking, to recognize that Ellie was suffering and not just making trouble, but it was hard. Instead of remembering that Ellie was wired differently than other kids, that she cried and threw tantrums because she was uncomfortable or anxious or stressed, I sometimes found myself thinking of her as just bratty, or going out of her way to be difficult. The woman beside
I had started on the marriage and motherhood beat by accident with a post on my personal, read only by friends, blog called Fifty Shades of Men. I had written it after buying Fifty Shades of Grey to spice up what Dave and I half-jokingly called our grown up time, and had written a meditation on how the sex wasnt the sexiest part of the book. Dear publishers, I will tell you why every woman with a ring on her finger and a car seat in her SUV is devouring this book like the candy she wont let herself eat. I had written. Its not the fantasy of an impossibly handsome guy who can give you an orgasm just by stroking your nipples. It is instead the fantasy of a guy who can give you everything. Hapless, clueless, barely able to remain upright without assistance, Ana Steele is that unlikeliest of creatures, a college student who doesnt have an email address, a computer, or a clue. Turns out she doesnt need any of those things. Here is the dominant Christian Grey and hell give her that computer plus an iPad, a beamer, a job, and an identity, sexual and otherwise. No more worrying about what to wear. Christian buys her clothes. No more stress about how to be in the bedroom. Christian makes those decisions. For women who do too muchwhich includes, dear publishers, pretty much all the women who have enough disposable income to buy your booksthis is the ultimate fantasy: not a man who will make you come, but a man who will make agency unnecessary, a man who will choose your adventure for you.
instead of cash. It took me the better part of another week to register
I thought, not for the first time, that maybe it would have been better if hed just died, a thunderclap heart attack, an artery bursting in his brain, a peaceful exit in the middle of the night, in his own bed, after his favorite meal, with my mom beside him. Wed have mourned, then moved on. This was a slow-motion catastrophe, death by a thousand cuts.
mom with a part-time (inching
Once, she'd cried, telling me that she thought she should have noticed, should have seen that I was in trouble, should have done something. I told her it was my problem and my job to solve it. "Just be my friend," I said. "That's what I need most.
really? How many times had I heard my husband
seventeen, tells her
Something thats bigger than you, and something thats kind and forgiving, Id heard one of the meeting leaders say. Thats all your Higher Power has to be.
Still waters run deep, Id thought. Later, I learned that silence did not necessarily guarantee depth.
The new pills made my body feel loose and springy, warmed from the inside, but I didnt think there was a chemical yet invented that could have quelled my insecurity, or convinced me, in that moment, that my husband loved me still. A
The problem was, hed never told me what he wanted, which meant I never got to think about whether it was what I wanted, too.
There was a parallel universe that ran alongside the normal world, and if you went through the wrong door, or turned left instead of right, ran up the street instead of down it, you could accidentally push the curtain aside and end up in that other place, where everything was different and everything was wrong. That
when I married him, but, in the ten years since, it seemed like hed decided that anything that went wrong in his life or anyone elses was the liberals fault. Ellie considered
With motherhood and marriage there was no finish line, no hour or day or year when you got to say you were through. Life just went on and on, endless and formless, with no performance evaluation, no raises or feedback or two weeks vacation.
wrathful old guy with a long white beard who was big on testing
Youve got to make time. Its important. You know how they tell you on planes, in case of an emergency, the adults should put their oxygen masks on first? Youre not going to be any good to anyone if youre not taking care of yourself.