I've been on one of the receiving ends of some rather nasty commentary today.
A friend of mine is trying to leave her husband.
Unfortunately for her, the husband in question is a control freak who's torn her down bit by bit over the years until she lacks the spine to get the hell out. He says she's too fat, not fertile enough, stupid (rocket scientist, anyone? I ask you), not perfect enough, whatever.
He's an arrogant bastard. If ever I get the opportunity to meet him, I'll happily push his teeth out the back of his head.
Apparently, some mutual buddies of ours see my advice, and others' advice to Friend Who's Trying To Leave, as "shrill." As in, "you're self-appointed experts, so shut up and just sit there." Thank God I'm not the only one that the Perfect Crew has bitched at today.
I'll show you shrill.
Shrill is the feeling you get when you've turned yourself into an acrobat trying to make another person happy and he still fucks around on you.
Shrill is the noise you make when you finally discover that no, you're not a mean person or a bad person and yes, people actually do like you for yourself.
Shrill is the sound of your own voice when you hear the person on whom you've built your life suggesting that it might be nice to turn your twosome into a threesome.
I take that last one back. Shrill is the sound your car tires should be making as you leave that sorry ratbastard.
This is not an apology
I have a great idea for anybody who thinks I'm too "shrill": *You* come home sick from work to find your husband and your best friend of 16 years just out of the sack. *You* move out of your house in four days--or better, do what I did: Have your husband be so anxious to be rid of you that he moves you out.
You spend an immense amount of energy and time trying to make somebody else happy, just to watch it crumble in the face of something new and different.
I will lay you even money that you couldn't do it. I would happily lay you double-to-nothing that you couldn't come out of it as well as I have.
And you know what made it possible?
The memory of all the shrill voices of my friends. They screamed at me for years that The Erstwhile Husband was a jerk, not treating me right, taking advantage. They wondered out loud, shrill-ly, why I was putting up with the passive-aggressive bullshit he laid out. It was those echoes that made me tough enough to leave.
When somebody you love is being hurt by someone not fit to black their boots, you must be shrill.
At the end of the day
When it's all said and done, I'm not bitter about what happened. I am extremely bitter, though, about people who discount the passion that fondness for one person can make a group of people exhibit. I'm quite jaded about the folks who sit back when they know somebody's being hurt and abused and say, "Oh, well, it'll all happen as it's supposed to; just let it ride."
Sometimes you need an intervention.
And, had this not already been an extremely weird and unpleasant day, I'd be staging one right now. Me and my anodized pink practice bat.