Heartless, at last...
A long time ago, in a world far removed from where I am now, I submitted
a request to join Heartless Bitches. Imagine my surprise, no, my thrill,
when I found myself not only accepted into the ranks, but listed as an
exemplary member. Nearly a decade has gone by, if memory serves
(sometimes it chooses not to) and I often find myself returning to that
entry to remind myself of where I've been and how hard it was to get to where
I find myself reflecting upon those words, wondering if I really
understood what I was writing at the time, or if I was just in a case of
serious denial. Either way, I find myself in dire need of confession.
I was not a heartless bitch.
Not by a long shot.
I was a wretched and abused creature, striving for independence from one
of the most vile relationships I've ever had the misfortune to
undertake. I was confused, wanting so much to be who I was, but fearful
of expressing myself outside of written words. The man I was involved
with was attracted to my strength... and repelled by it. He spent nearly
six years trying to break me down. In the end, he almost did.
He shredded my life, my spirit. And at the last moment, it was not I who
left, but he who walked away. He had left before, the door slamming shut
as tears streaked down my face, and I chastising myself for being too
sensitive and not understanding his needs. And he would come back, and
I, like a child, would be grateful for his return. That last time
though, there were no tears. Only a blessed sense of relief and self
awareness that I had not felt in years. He tried to come back, but my
eyes had been opened. In part due to the words I found myself reading
over and over again on your site.
He was not the classic Nice Guy. He was much more upfront and brutal
with his opinion of women. It took a great deal of inner searching for
me to realize that my need for his approval was deeply rooted in my
childhood. As a person who believes that we have all had our burdens to
carry and we must shoulder on despite the weight, it never occurred to
me that I was reliving my childhood over and over. It was some strange
form of punishment that I imposed upon myself and still do not fully
Therapy, a few relationships, several years, and a thousand miles later,
I've finally, only just finally, begun to accept that I deserve better
than what I have allowed myself. I reclaimed my life, moved beyond the
financial and emotional poverty through sheer will alone, and in the
process am beginning to fall in love with my own spirit.
Oh, I've been called a heartless bitch a thousand times. The current man
in and out of my life likes to say that I am dominant and sometimes
overbearing. I say his issue is not that I am dominant and overbearing
(I am neither of these) but rather that I am not demure and will call
bullshit when I see it. I am not mean, I am not cruel. I will stand up
for myself, and will not eat a spoonful of shit and say thank you. Does
that make me a heartless bitch? Oh, probably. Does it make me proud?
I sent that letter in a million years ago, under my "craft" name. Seems
like such a long time ago, and my agnostic self scoffs at the memory of
me dancing under the light of the moon in an attempt to change my life.
Since then, I've moved from that miserable poverty stricken life, live
in the Metro DC area, and am a corporate whore hoping the housing market
tumble will work in my favor this summer. The reminder of the woman I
once was - stuck in abuse and poverty in a tiny run down house with
three kids, three cats, a dog, and an unemployed abusive partner - is a
painful one. But it is also an important one. Everything I've done since
leaving that place, I've done on my own. I've been assertive in my life,
planned it out, mapped out it, and put my brains to work. Who knew that
being a geek girl with no college education would pay off?
I still dance in storms, I still go by Sabre with my close friends, and
I still believe that whiney babies suck and victim mentality bites.
However, I've also learned that there -is- such a thing as the
patriarchy, and it is vile. I've learned that not everyone coming from
bad circumstance has the fortitude to push beyond. I've learned that you
can be beaten down enough to stay down and buy into your own unworth.
I've also learned that I'm a lot fucking stronger than I ever realized.
After I've rambled for a bit here, I'm sure you are wondering what my point
is, if any.
My points are these:
You inspired me to be myself. Thank you.
You brought me laughter when I needed to laugh. Thank you.
You showed me that it was okay to be angry when I needed to be angry. Thank you.
You helped me save myself. Thank you.
That this site has gone along all of these years, since the terrible
dark days of HTML 2.0, is a testament to the fact that we need it. It
helps to remind us, when we are questioning ourselves about that guy who
seems oh so nice if not a bit skeezy, that we don't have to be demure
and eat a spoonful of shit.
Thank you for continuing to take on the mass of Nice Guys who think they
are owed something, for doing verbal battle (or just verbal slicing and
dicing) of misogynistic assholes who think they are owed something, for
attempting to educate the princesses buying into the patriarchy, and for
still, after all of these years, giving me something to giggle at. When
you hit your 40s, you begin to find a lot of things to laugh at, and you
(collective) continue to provide the goods.
I'd like to rewrite my entry if possible. There isn't a steady man in my life, and even if there was my story
wouldn't be about him. It'd be about me. I did this, as a single mother,
fighting against a lot of odds (oh hai DC job market that insists on a
college degree... kicked your ass, didn't I?), with nothing but
willpower and the moral support of some really great women across the
And if not possible, well I guess I'll just live with it. Life doesn't come with a do-over.
If you've gotten this far, thanks for reading. Thank you again for the
site. It truly was a life saver, believe it.
Most heartlessly yours,