I woke up like this.

I would like to say that everything in my life is perfect and smells like clean laundry and cookies and the sun is shining and the birds are singing and I woke up like this but that would be a LIE because it’s cold and miserable outside and my life is untidy in all those untidy human ways that just happen in the depths of the winter and the birds are like EFFF YOU WE ALL RAN AWAY and the weather is like OH HEY 12 MORE INCHES OF SNOW TOMORROW, MOTHERFUCKERSS and ’tis the season when my depression and anxiety tend to show their lying bastard ugly faces (have I mentioned before that I struggle with this? Good morning! I do!) and I had forgotten, for just one moment, until I woke up and checked my email, that while most people are marvelous, some people are this: 



So let me tell you, I checked my email in bed this morning, and I woke up like this and then I woke up like THIS and, listen, I am fine, and I know this is just one very tiny moment in the grand picture of existence, and on the whole my life really is pretty great and some asshole behind a laptop isn’t going to change that, nor are they worth the time I’m spending to write this, but let me just tell you this ONE thing before we can all move on with our day: 

I don’t care for the word “cunt.” 

I have a vagina. And it’s awesome. And it’s mine. 

But that’s not really what we’re talking about here. 

You are telling me that I am worthless because I’m a woman, that I’m stupid because I’m a woman, that I’m dirty because I’m a woman. You are telling me that I am no more than a body part to be fucked and disregarded, because I am a woman. 

And I’m just not in the mood to be called a cunt today. 

And I’m upset with myself because if I’m going to write about how much the word ‘cunt’ sucks, I wanted it to be better than this piece. I wanted it to be a piece of writing that proves how definitively non-cunty I am, how smart and funny and personable I can be, how obviously more worthy of other adjectives I am. And this piece isn’t that, because I’m depressed and anxious and motherfucking COLD and just a human and come to think of it I shouldn’t have to prove to anyone that I’m not a cunt.  

(And for the record, I don’t know the gender of the person who called me a cunt. I don’t know if it was a man or a woman who used that word, and lest we all leap to judgements, I’d like to just come clean and say that I’m guilty of using that word about other women, several times, when I was younger, when I was angry. I feel really guilty about that now. I like to think I know better now.) 

So I’m going to get up and get dressed and go to work, and I’m going to go about my day, and I am going to buy a better set of winter gloves and I am going to do my laundry and I am going to be just fine, I truly am. 

But friends and readers, do me a favor. Maybe just don’t use ugly or wounding words today? Especially not that one. There are so many great words out there. We can do better. 



80 thoughts on “I woke up like this.

  1. I look forward to seeing your latest musings on life come to my inbox in the morning. I too read my email before getting out of bed, and I find your funny insightful and slightly irreverent writing a great way to start my day. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for the reminder to use kind words today. My word choice says volumes about me–I want them to say that I am thoughtful and articulate. Love the blog.

  3. Noble, funny, admirable Katherine! (How’s that for some better words?) Maybe this is all the bad you’re going to have today, and the rest of the day will be great. (At least, those are the thoughts I’ll be sending your way).

  4. I get this sort of hateful email when I write about disability rights. Many do not equate disability rights with civil rights. When I make this connection people get very upset. It is not easy to know a person took the time write such terrible things. Makes me ashamed to be a man to know women endure such abuse.

  5. Lovely and talented lady, you go a head and feel what you are feeling. No apologies. It’s cold and work is hard and people are cruel (sometimes). Tomorrow you will wake up differently. On a side note, I’ve always loved the C-word,cause its old and clippy and not clinical sounding like Vagina, but I know I’m a small minority of women and most folks aren’t using it as sexy Edwardian seduction or a brash working class compliment….hmm…Maybe I just revealed a tad too much about myself there.

  6. What a dick! See what I did there?! Just kidding! Happy Friday, girl! Love your stuff, and often share w my teenage daughter. We both appreciate your noncunty humor. 🙂

  7. I woke up today to your blog. I read it in bed in my phone. I just wanted to say that you are witty and funny, that is why I read your blog. That is why I subscribed.

    I hope the rest of your day has gone better. It is cold here, also. Fight the good fight, dear. I’ll root for you.

  8. I agree with you. If you are going to use adjectives, make it a smart/good one (that word is just… ugh). Just their sentence structure alone speaks volumes. No comma? No punctuation? Come on now.

    Stubbled upon your blog yesterday when someone shared your post about the inspirational crap. I absolutely loved it. I tend to get all OCD about all that stuff and I need to remember your philosophy: Do what the fuck you want. It has already made my life better.

    I also have crazy anxiety and depression. This nutcase is goin 24/7 with that. Trying to work on toning the anxiety down and not being so hard on myself, being my biggest critic. Let’s just say that is hard as hell.

    Love your blog. Hope your day continues to improve. Go out and take this day down!

  9. Ya know? I think *most* people would have the stuffing knocked out of them if those comments were directed to them. Regardless of how thick a skin. Sorry you had to wake to this. And thanks for sharing. I wish you a speedy rebound and some warm milk. Or whatever comforts you. And yes – play nice, folks, we are all connected.

  10. I have been called a cunt (I’m a guy), a pussy, a dick/prick/knob, and an asshole, among other things. I have even been called a useless lump of pus and a failed abortion. It’s just so much ignorance and fear. I agree that the word “cunt” has particular power and violence within it, and we’d be better off without it.
    We have forgotten that words are the first magic and power, and we wield them carelessly, eventually bankrupting them. And then words like cunt get tossed out casually, like spit on a sidewalk. Talk is cheap, sadly.

  11. On the opposite side of the spectrum, I had a lovely friend ask for self-affirming words in her FB feed today. It was quite cathartic to think of the good aspects of your personality – what *you* really think your best quality is. You are not what other people think of you – especially strangers and double-especially nasty trolls. You are only what you think of you and what you strive to be.
    She also upped her game by stating the positives that she thinks of all her friends.
    So in the spirit of spreading positives today (to counter-balance the nasty people in the world), I also love following your blog, and I find your writing to be witty, funny, and my kind of sarcastic.
    Also, if you ever get that break to publish a book, let me know, because I’d buy it 🙂

  12. Nasty, nasty trolls, we hates them Precious…

    But seriously, anyone who calls you a name like that can’t be taken seriously. You’re taking a big leap of faith by being vulnerable IN PUBLIC and laying it all out (and so beautifully) in your blog. Know that this person doesn’t have the guts to do what you’re doing. You have a lot more to offer, and its all positive and good. I’m so sorry that this person said that to you because I know from experience how much it hurts. But you have our support and love, so keep going, girl!

  13. I’m glad that I’ve seen more and more of a serious conversation around verbal harassment against female writers on the internet lately–the kind of vulgar and insulting stuff you got, and also the explicit sexually violent threats that abound when women put their opinions out for the world to see. We’ve been taught for so long “don’t feed the trolls” and to trivialize the content because chances are it comes from a pathetic guy living in his parent’s basement being angry at the world. But sometimes problems like this need to be spoken about. I’m all about free speech (although lord knows it’s hard when people use “free speech” to protect their right to be an asshole), but it’s time to have a hard conversation about this kind of thing. Drunk driving was barely considered shameful until people wouldn’t shut up about it. Neither was domestic violence. Let’s not shut up about this kind of thing, until the trolls have to come out into the light of day. Go girl.

    And kindness is a WHOLE other story. Yes. YES. Let’s be kind!! Let’s practice actual, thoughtful criticism instead of “I disagree with what you say/believe, therefore you are a bad person”.

    (also: subscribing right now. Can’t wait to read more of your thoughts.)

  14. Thank you for saying and summing up my feelings about that word so very well. And to the writer of said comment, well they have a choice. They can continue to read or they can hit delete.
    You just keep on keepin’ on. I, for one, disagree completely with that comment. And hey, if you write something I don’t like I do have the power to delete that blog and eagerly await the next one.
    Have a fabulous day!

  15. I understand your anger and pain, but I stopped being upset by the word cunt when I accepted it as another word for my vagina and thus gave myself permission to use it too. I am in no position to give an opinion on the use of the word nigger. But I understand how it became empowering to reclaim it as one’s own. I have a cunt and I am proud and if you want to call me by a bodily part, feel free. What is hurtful to me (on your behalf) is the tone and stupidity of the post.

    • I feel that same way about the word cunt. I’m disappointed when a person feels the need to use it in a derogatory fashion. Or uses the word stupid. We all know Katherine is not stupid.

  16. Feeling right there with you on comments, even though mine were made in person. When women speak with clarity and decision they are often met with offensive words. Whether cunt or pushy, bitch or controlling, there are words that are meant to stop women in their tracks. Don’t stop. I enjoy reading your thoughts and they often make me laugh or make me think or both. “The sun is going to set. During the brief days that you have strength, be quick and spare no effort of your wings.” -RUMI

  17. How brave of user “Haha” to come forth with such a well thought out and thoughtfully written statement! Maybe you can hand over your blogging credentials to “Haha”?

    You are the best. “Haha” is the worst. And frankly, “Haha” is really fucking stupid.

    I love you.

  18. Definitely know how you feel; we all end up in that place every now and then…I think I was there yesterday. Though can’t say I’ve ever been called a ‘cunt’; come to think of it I’ve never used the word either!

  19. You are most certainly not a C nor anything that it implies. You’re one of my favorite bloggers and a generally awesome individual from all evidence I’ve seen.

    I wish we used that word more like the British. It’s just a teasing word that they call one another, like calling your best friend a dumbass when he does something awesome yet funny and kind of dumb. Words should bring joy, not hurt and angst.

    What gets me is that the person actually bothered to fill out the form to comment as “Haha.” I’m not sure trolling is worth all that effort.

  20. Well, clearly that *oh-so-eloquent* commenter (seriously, that word doesn’t even MEAN anything and has nothing to do with describing writing ability) isn’t a person with happy, healthy habits…

    But seriously, I’m sorry. Even though it’s easy to say “that comment doesn’t mean anything,” it’s not so hard to actually emotionally brush off. I know if I woke up to that, I’d be in a rage all day. But I’m still going to say that I hope you do get to go through your day with this comment reducing to nothing so significant as the annoyance of a fly that’s buzzed past your ear. Because you deserve way, way better than that commenter gave you. And you deserve to be happy, in general. You just do.

    Also I hate winter. I’m sorry that it’s winter where you are. There’s a reason I live in Southern California. Even when it’s only like 50 degrees and cloudy here, my emotions still respond with “nope, it’s terrible and grey outside, not dealing with the world today; so if you all could please just leave me with infinite tea and coffee and a good book and maybe a season of Doctor Who or two and go away until the world decides to be a properly happy weather system again, that’d be great.”

    And then I usually get my butt to class anyway and grumble inside all day and then spend the evening glaring at my homework ’cause my depression levels have decided to surpass my antidepressant’s effectiveness. So yeah. I’m sorry that it sounds like you’ve been having a shitty day so far. I hope that someone gives you a really good hug today ❤

  21. It’s so weird how in the midst of all the positive, truly appreciated wonderfulness that is you and your writing (interchangeable, I know), just one person’s
    ignorance can be like a slap in the face and a kick in the gut that stays with us. Really not right or fair.
    Also in the minority as to a positive use of the word cunt, come from UK where swearing is like breathing. Also love the fact that the word stems from the Middle Ages The was even a Cunt Alley in London at one time, obviously referring to shenanigans performed there at night.
    Piss Alley is still in existence now thinly disguised as Pass Alley.
    Sorry for banging on, the rest of your day is going to be brilliant.

  22. Don’t like the word, but read a book once where the (Victorian British) characters used cunny – which rhymes with bunny – and made me feel all fuzzy. I think I might have to read the book that sloppy buddhist posted.

    I echo all of the comments telling you what a great writer you are. It’s why I ALWAYS read your blog and look forward to your posts.

    On the depression front, I’m right there with you this morning. But your post and these comments lifted me out. So thank you all!

  23. You. are. AMAZING. I don’t usually comment. However, wanted you to know that you are so funny and great. Your words make me laugh and forget about any crappy things that may have happened either at work or in my real life that day. You’re the best and don’t change. Negativity is just miserable people trying to smear it on others like dog shit. Stay classy San Diego! uh… Philadelphia!

  24. I have to admit, that i have not run into negative remarks, yet, as a blogger. That doesn’t mean my readership are nicer, just probably means I am read by less readers and no assholes.

    I used that word and the word “clit” amongst my dearest friends and gay male friends for a while in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Guess what? Cunt is just a word that is not ever used in a good way. Even amongst joking friends, like what we were trying to own it, it comes off as harsh.

    I wish there was a way that we could zap the people who are just plain old mean and stupid. Zap them and let them know that they can’t have control over our reactions. That they are being assholes and jerks. Just think! If they do this all day long to other people, just think how nice it is that you don’t have any more contact with them. And if they don’t do this all day long, then you gave them the outlet to be a jerk/asswaffle/penis-head, letting them get it out in one fell swoop, so that they can be a nice person all day long for others.

    Yeah, I don’t care much for those thoughts either. Let me just end that there will always be asshole in the world, and you and I can just laugh them off, later.

  25. I stumbled upon your blog yesterday and you are the first person that I’ve actually followed. Now I know why.
    Thanks for giving me a reason to laugh, seethe and ponder. With just one word.

  26. I’d like to put my size 14EEE up that ignoramus’s arse….Just saying. Sounds like a bitter, loveless dude with a small weenie. Screw him. You ROCK! baw

  27. I would like to say that I love your blog! I struggle with anxiety and depression too, so I know that feel. I just find it hilarious that the person who told you to “get a life and stop blogging” has a wordpress account themselves. Also, they’re the ones that need a life if they spend so much time reading and commenting on posts that they think are so worthless.

  28. Don’t ever stop blogging, and don’t ever let the closed minded weeds choke your creative spirit. There will always be 45 year old living in their mothers basement troll dwellers ready to unleash their utterly worthless opinions on the world they hid from. Know you are bigger/better than they will ever be, and walk on. Steve (not afraid to sign my name to a post) ( just saying)

  29. I love your blogs. I found you through my friend and blogger unwinona. Every week I look forward to what you have to write and in what way you will inevitably lift my mood. I too suffer from depression usually November and December are my bad months. Don’t let someone derogatory use of my favorite body part get you down. It’s too bad the person who wrote that didn’t take a chance to discuss what was so horrible about the piece that got them upset before voicing such a stong dissenting opinion. Have a great day. You deserve it just for getting out of bed.

  30. I hate when female (or male, for that matter) body parts are used to hurt or defame someone. I’m sorry you were hurt by this. Our bodies are beautiful, and so are you.

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