mind dumping

In general, “dumping” is a word I try to avoid. Those of you who take issue with “moist” know what I mean. There’s just something completely unpalatable about the word. I won’t even refer to Lucas’s truck by its proper name, preferring to call it a Tonka. Even if it is made by Fisher Price. Yet, I’m the first to admit that I’ve been an offender in the past: at sleepaway camp I once broke up with a boy across the dining hall by way of metered clapping and song.

Quiet please…
Dedicated to Steven Matty from Stephanie Klein
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Trash is dumped,
And so are you.

Trés nice of me. Too bad (and thank God) Karma’s an even bigger bitch than I am. But today I awoke with a smear of thoughts, items I’m still trying to nab up, and figured it was time for a brain throw down. Sometimes it’s just plain essential to unload all the thoughts that keep bubbling to the top—to skim, if you will. Here’s the fat at the top of my mind:

A thank you. I need to say it. It can be very isolating and embarrassing to face the dysfunction in your marriage, or life, even. I realize it’s a growing process, but it shouldn’t feel shaming. I haven’t answered my phone in over a week. Haven’t even listened to the ten voice messages, still waiting for me. So add sorry to this note of thanks, too. I get that not everything needs to be shared on a blog, but when it’s something I’m in the thick of, something I feel alone in, it’s when I need to write about it most. For support most of the time, and in this case, I needed to air and share it so I’d confront it. Once you blog about it, you can’t just sit on the sofa and watch The Good Wife, as if nothing even happened. You can’t pretend it away. The only way out really is through. And that’s where we still are, working through.

Another sorry. I can’t respond to every email, but I do read them all. Some of them I keep open (yet minimized) for months, intending to respond. Others, to which I believe I’ve responded, only nope. Wrong, lady. Totally ignored ’em. Worst offense: reading the emails on my phone. Because as much as I try to remember switching to “mark as unread” so it will in fact appear on my computer, I don’t always do it. And then I’ve gone and read this heartfelt email, really intending to respond, but I don’t. And I’m sorry. Especially to the unwed, no recent prospects, reader who confided that her parents wanted to buy her a birthday gift of paying for her to freeze her eggs. I think of you often and hope you’re in a better place (and quite frankly, I would have taken them up on that deal).

And another sorry. I don’t update as often as I’d like because sometimes it feels like I have nothing to say. Or there’s too much on my writing to-do list. At other times, like today, I have too much to say and don’t want to—forgive this unsavory expression—blow my whole load in one shot. Hate myself for that, but damn, it’s true. So to that point, I’m going to hoard all my other scattered thoughts, hoping to share them, one by one, like a normal person, each day on this here loverly nest of blog.

In the meanwhile, I’ve got a Sex & The City flick by way of chick for which to dress this evening. Now, excuse me while I figure out how to turn an Hermes scarf into a turban… or blindfold from what I’m hearing.



  1. I’m at the same place as you, wondering whether to share some heartfelt ickiness on my blog, feeling like I have to but also knowing that once it’s out there people are going to know the crap I’ve been trying to suppress. It’s what makes a good blog, of course, the willingness to share the crappier, sometimes unflattering parts of you. It’s what draws people to read you. But is it the right thing to do?

    These issues I feel drawn to write about (I’m an author as well, and writing is my meditation, so in order to process anything I have to write about it…) these things, would I shout them on a street corner? Which, in effect is what all of us are doing.

    I don’t know. I’ve already talked about pubic hair on my blog, and designed a sex toy for diabetics. The dumping of negative emotions seems to be at the same time both a 180 degree spin and the next inevitable thing. But I know I won’t be able to respond to the comments and emails. Writing about it once is hard enough…

  2. Thanks for the update, even though you are not required or obligated to respond to every email, for sensitive ole me, who has been waiting for a response, it makes me feel better.

    Geez, life is just complicated and then some. I’m astounded at the cojones you have to put it all out there. It helps to share, I think.

    Have fun at SATC 2. Alamo Drafthouse, right?

  3. I love your writing. I really do. I admire the way you can turn a “I have nothing to say” into five beautiful paragraphs.

    I hope you are doing ok.

  4. *hugs*

    You brighten my day. Be encouraged. No apologies are necessary, though I’m sure appreciated when acknowledged in a paragraph with advice as well :)

    Marriage IS hard. And so worth is when you’re married to the One for you. I believe you are. For whatever that’s worth. Thank you for the window into your soul and for the occasional and completely necessary “Tonkaing” of your thoughts.

  5. Linsey, I’m really trying to figure out why you would think Stephanie is married to the One for her. That almost sounds like an insult. Phil degrades her, emotionally abuses her, and humiliates her in front of her children. I hope that kind of treatment isn’t right for anyone. I have stopped reading this blog as often as I used to. It is upsetting to read that someone I came to admire is treated so poorly and continues to put up with it. It’s sad knowing that the beans will grow up thinking that this is acceptable behavior and will likely repeat it in their own relationships. It is certainly Stephanie’s own business whether she wants to live this way and model this behavior for her children, but it is very difficult to read about it and know that it is not a movie of the week or a novel. It is a real family living this dysfunctional life and believing that they are not worth better. My own mother lived this life, and as much as I love her I grew to dispise her unwillingness to stand up for herself or remove all of us from the situation. Nobody wins by staying in an abusive relationship–emotional or physical. A loving father living outside the home is far better than an abusive husband living inside the home.

    1. Sky, your comment intrigues me.

      On the one hand, I wonder if you’ve ever been in a relationship, with a man, on the other hand, I wonder whether you’ve ever been in a relationship with a man.

      1. Helen,
        Since you’re so intrigued I’d be happy to settle this one for you. I have been married to the most wonderful man in the world for 30 years. We cherish each other. We respect and value each other. I can guarantee you that he would never treat me the way Phil treats SK. I know how lucky I am, and it makes me sad that some women are not as lucky. But I hope those who are in relationships that are degrading and abusive can find it within themselves to realize that they (and their children) deserve better.
        Now, may I ask the same of you? Have you ever been in a relationship with a man (or woman)? Do you know that verbally abusive relationships are not par for the course?

        1. Sky,

          I think you’re a bit judgemental. There’s a bit of
          dysfunction in every marriage, I believe. My father never
          disrespected my mother verbally or physically while I was
          growing up, yet, fastforward thirty years and the two of
          them aren’t really in sync with each other right now. In
          some ways, my mom is lucky and in some ways, she is not.

          Just because SK shares the inner most workings of her marriage
          with us doesn’t mean PHIL is not the man for her. It just
          means she has the balls to write about what most of us
          face alone and share with no one.

          I know my marriage is far FAR from perfect. But does my husband
          make me grow? YES. Do we disrespect each other, sometimes? YES
          Do I wish I were single sometimes? YES. At the end of the day,
          though, I’ve seen him at his worst and I still adore him.
          Sometimes its me who gets the brunt of his stress and worries,is it fair?
          But I still adore him.

  6. Thank you for sharing, inspiring, and giving us a window into your life. I admire your ability to put it all out there.

    I will always appreciate the time you took to answer my first email a couple of years ago and how kind you were to me when we met at one of your signings for “Moose”.

    Have a great time at the movie!

    I do hope you share your thoughts with us about SATC 2 !! :)

  7. Thank you for sharing. We are all pulling for you and Phil. I hope you two find peace. Lots of love to you and your family.

    Also, the freezing the eggs thing? I think I would take them up on that too.

  8. Sky,

    There are always three sides to every story and what is not written equally as important as what is. Judging SK so strongly as you seem to be doing is not fair. You have every right to but still not fair or necessarily based on facts. People write when they are in the moment. Rarely do people writeforthe sake of writing a blog. The squeaky wheel has gotten your grease.

  9. I’m a computer geek. Mind dumping is like core dumping, which is what the computer does when Something Bad happens. We can run through the dump and see what different things were doing, and it helps us to solve the problem.

    I’m amazed that you can put so much of yourself into this blog. I can’t do it, and I’m in awe of you in that regard.

  10. Ts,
    Are you suggesting that SK was lying when she wrote that Phil said, “Stephanie, when I tell you to do something, you do it!” and “Then to Lucas you said, “I’m here for you, buddy. But your mother, she doesn’t care about you.”? If so, I think perhaps you are the one judging SK so strongly. I don’t think there is a second, third, or fourth side that can make statements like these any less emotionally abusive than they obviously are.

    1. Ditto to everything that Sky has said. My husband and I have been married for five years. In that time, we’ve moved countries, faced a life-threatening disease, finished graduate school, and had children. Yet I can count on one hand the number of times that we’ve actually argued. We’ve never raised our voices to each other, never belittled each other, and never used our children as pawns. I’ve posted several times recently about the outright dysfunction apparent in Stephanie and Phil’s relationship… but SK apparently decides to delete these. What, she can air her dirty laundry but she can’t take constructive feedback?

  11. I know that I don’t know everything that goes on behind your closed doors, but I do think it’s great that Phil is at least willing to go to therapy.. I think that says a lot about him. However, I do believe that people are who they are.. in my experience, people do not change.

    In the end, I hope that whatever decision you make, you choose one that makes you happy. Life is too short not to be!

  12. Sorry, had to comment on your comment, Helen. Why would you wonder if Sky had ever been in a relationship with a man? Do you think all men act as Phil did and therefore it is common and accepted that men can verbally degrade women? It certainly sounds that way from your comment.

    Sky was commenting on her personal experience as a child, something heartfelt and difficult, I too experienced when one parent degraded the other, though in my case it was my mother degrading my father. Neither case is acceptable. If you have experienced this kind of treatment and have chalked it up to how men act I truely hope you will one day realize that is not the way a real man acts.

    Also, just to point out, it is not acceptable behavior from anyone towards anyone, so straight relationship, gay relationship..whatever, respect is what matters.

    1. Wendy,

      Sometimes bad people do good things .

      Sometimes good people do bad things.

      Relationship 101.

  13. Sky, your paint by numbers marriage sounds like something that would make me to turn to a woman.

    You read like a first class ice cube.

    Check your computer I’m sure it’s full of Mr. Respect and Value’s internet porn.


    1. Helen,
      You obviously have some deep-seated ‘issues’. Don’t know what they are and don’t care. I just hope your life improves.

  14. I’m with you Sky. I’m shocked by Phil’s treatment of Stephanie and worry for her emotional wellbeing as well as that of her kids. Does Phil not understand that damage he is doing to the kids when he treats their mother that way? That emotional and verbal abuse is unacceptable in any relationship. Marriage can be hard, but it should never be abusive.

  15. I respect Stephanie for putting this out there and allowing these conversations, a good portion of which are civil and really thought-provoking. I personally don’t see what Sky wrote or other comments like that as judgmental–her response was very much a reflection of her own experience and a straightforward reflection on what she read. I also thought that SK’s posts on this instance reflect that she, too, thought this fight was highly inappropriate because of the kinds of things her husband said–verbal or emotional abuse decribing this kind of fight is fair. reflecting honestly and giving one’s opinion on this blog in the way that Sky and others did doesn’t seem any more judging or inappropriate that the reader advice we give when Stephanie opens up her advice column–we reflect as best we can on limited info, and understand that for the person to offer up their story they understand that what they get is just stranger feedback from limited info. Helen’s comment, however, came very much across as judgmental, and snide. The problem with this sort of comment is that it is unhelpful. if you think that that kind of fighting is normal and that some people are being overly sensitive (or whatever), just say that. to imply that anyone who has been with a man has been ordered to do things or attacked verbally is false, and come across as itching for a fight, which is not respectful to sk, let alone other readers. i have never had that kind of behavior happen in a relationship, nor have i done that myself to my partners (including my husband), likely as the result of seeing both of my parents rip into each other in front of me, and then complain to each me about each other. this does not make me better than anyone who has, simply that among the zillion life lessons i need to learn, i had a jump start on this one. civil arguments allow one to convey their point better and farther.

  16. Helen: And your point is…? Because my wonderful, caring, awesome husband certainly has porn in his Internet history. As do I. If we had a jointly owned computer, it’d be all up in that thing, too. (Talk about an ice cube, geez. How much more stereotypically frigid can one be, warning of the dangers of Internet porn on her spouse’s computer?)

    I don’t really understand why you assume every man on Earth must have some horrible hidden flaw, unless you’ve never known one who doesn’t or who isn’t actively trying to fix it.

    I will concede that bad people do good things and vice versa, though.

  17. Stephanie, I just hope you see the line between working on it and accepting it. It’s of course possible to work through anger issues, resentment, crappy ways of communicating, etc… all those things a couple goes through. But if Phil refuses to take ownership for his abusive behavior, or can’t even eek out an apology, then I’m not sure if “working on it” is anything but a rationalization and excuse for tolerating such unacceptable treatment.

    You seem to be doing all the right, understandable things in your reaction… refusing to communicate until you’re ready, then trying to analyze what went wrong, where, but it reads like you are trying to find a way, desperately, to fix it all yourself, when he’s the one who is responsible. You can use reflection, analysis, or even time out, to correct such fundamentally abusive behavior. He has to WANT to make a change and then do it… not just vaguely “work through it.”

    I’m wishing you a lot of strength and courage to see things for what they are, and not make excuses for him. All couples, or most, bicker, argue, miscommunicate, and say nasty, nasty things sometimes. But this reads like something completely different and it shouldn’t be allowed for one second.

  18. Typo… obviously I meant you CAN’T use those approaches to correct his behavior for him!

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