Monday, August 29, 2005

The Story of Estella

"Break their hearts, my pride and hope, break their hearts and have no mercy!"
--Miss Havisham to Estella

I started this blog out of great pain and spite with a capital SPIT. Spit as in venom and nails. I found myself at the end of a long, hard relationship at the end of 2004/beginning of 2005. It was gory. Bloody. Toxic. All figurative, by the way. I disappeared and some simpering victim appeared by Christmas of '04 and hung around for a couple of months. She wandered around the house, took antidepressants by the truckload, and crawled back toward what was so SO bad for her. She lacked vibrance, opinions, and a backbone of even the flimsiest sort. So many things she had before. She didn't think she was good enough to ever have a decent relationship. She didn't think she could hack it in graduate school.

I took my previous blog, The Wasteland, down because it was frowned upon and stayed away from blogging from around November '04 until February of 2005. December '04 brought with it an occurence that finally dragged me out of my dark hole. I won't elaborate on what that event was, but it was enough. That's all that's important now.

I came back to blogging furious and fractured with the vow to exclude only those things I deem too personal to share or to protect those I feel are worthy of protection. The first name that occurred to me was Estella's Revenge. Estella is a character from Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, that I've always found terribly interesting. Here's a description of her:

Estella is Miss Havisham's adopted daughter and her project in cultivated cruelty. Raised by the old woman to be cruel and hard to men, Estella, a great beauty, entrances Pip. She is mean to Pip for most of his life, although at the novel's end they meet again, and she seems to be a softened, changed woman.

At first Estella seems like the most evil, man-hating bitch imaginable, but she's raised to be. She's venomous out of circumstance. I found myself venomous because of my situation. I wanted to make men suffer. I knew the blog would accomplish that....for at least one man.

The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to add something to Estella's Revenge. It wasn't only about revenge. It was about a place to vent. A place to be creative again, An exercise in writing every single day. It was about figuring out what the hell I wanted again. It was about talking to myself, and if someone else read it...fine. I came up with Tripping Toward Lucidity (in all its wordy goodness) because that's exactly what I was doing. It's what we're all doing. Just trying to figure out what the hell makes sense.


One thing I really like about Estella is that she softened over time. She grew out of her situation and didn't hate anymore. Didn't torture. It's a small world when you're so angry and vindictive that it saturates your waking hours and your dreams. Estella's original revenge was on the men she destroyed, but the real revenge is that she grew up and became whole.

I'm writing about this now, so long after the fact, because it's one of the biggest stories I've never told. It's still shady at best, but it's a huge part of who I am now.

And, men, you can uncover your penises now. I'm not mad anymore if you didn't already catch that.

24 comments:

  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing what you did. I think I've seen you open up some in the 5-6 months I've "known" you. You sound like you're ready for this whole grad school thing now! And other things!

    BTW--My penis is always covered. Just a natural reflex from over the years.

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  2. I'm ready for anything!!!

    Oh, and I have a new name for a penis in a tight space now...besides banana hammock:

    Meatloaf in a basket. I'll explain that tomorrow.

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  3. Andi-

    You were mad at me? Shit. I didn't even know. I thought you were just angry at people in general.

    -Tim

    P.S. I mean, maybe I didn't see it because I pose no threat. Does anyone grasp how many comic books I read per week?

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  4. Admit it Andi, you thought I was an asshole at first, but I've charmed you with my horribly clumsy dirty old man flirtations and sparkling "wit".

    Well, maybe not.

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  5. Wow, you are ready for anything.
    Someday I hope to be at that point. I'll look to you for encouragement.
    Go get yours.

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  6. LOL, Tim. How many comic books DO you read every week???

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  7. Of course you have, Todd. Your sparkling wit could charm the banana hammock off a monk. And's that's sayin' somethin'!

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  8. Thanks, Katarina! I'll sing Lean on Me! Don't think I won't!

    In all seriousness, you'll get where you wanna be. Just a matter of time (as much as that sucks and it makes my ass cringe to say it).

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  9. Great reasoning behind all your blog-related info there. I can't remember why I started mine.

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  10. **WHEW**! Glad to be able to remove that sports cup! It's hot enough in Florida without it.

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  11. im dying for a begnet right now.
    dying.

    and yes, its odd how poison seems to detoxify over time.

    very very strange.

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  12. Andi,

    really a great bringing it all together post. I was surprised at how you felt about yourself during the period after you left NC.

    I know you weren't writing about a lot of personal stuff elsewhere that I know you from but you never came across as less than what you were before the break came. There was always a you there with opinions, verve and even spunk :).

    Yikes, I never had a single doubt about your ability to succeed in grad school. You and Dena are naturals and both belong there.

    So, well, ok I've spoken and delivered my singular opinion :)

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  13. Thanks, Fence!

    Art,
    Glad to help prevent the itching. Ventilation is the key.

    Johnny,
    Don't talk about the begnets. Let's have a moment of silence for the begnets.

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  14. Suzz,
    Well I'm glad I didn't come across as pathetic, even though I was!! My mom was really the only one who knew how hard it was on a daily basis and all the crap that led up to it.

    It's strange, I never guessed I'd doubt myself when it came to school, but I did. Amazing how a big hit to the self esteem can drag you down to the bottom.

    Thanks for your comments. They're much appreciated and put a big smile on my face.

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  15. No matter the reason, I'm glad you started this blog. And see, there is always a silver lining to the darkest of clouds.

    Lord, I sound corny.

    But anyway, you know I lurve ya babe and lurve ya blog too. And keep working on that writing, I want to see a novel out of you before it's all over.

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  16. Hey there &-ee, I really liked that post. I haven't been reading for very long but Great Expectations is one of my favorite books and to see someone use Estella to describe themselves/their blog is complete awesomness! I'm glad I found your blog!

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  17. Heather,
    After I finish my degree I'll write a novel. Cross my heart!

    I lurve you and your blog, too! My reading twin!

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  18. Pinkness,
    Thanks a bunch! I'm glad you're here reading and that I got hold of your blog, too! I need to re-read Great Expectations...it's been at least 10 years.

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  19. Thanks for sharing. BTW my penis is always uncovered when I'm reading your blog :) tee hee.

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  20. Beautiful. I'm so glad you shared, I've always wondered about Estella's Revenge. Great literary connection. I'm enjoying your journey to be "whole" and not just a "hole" for some asshole. Huh. I just said hole three times.

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  21. Ha! I haven't seen that many holes since Britney Spears' last televised concert!

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  22. that was great i like hearing the origins and how blogs have grown.
    thanks for sharing :)

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