Friday, June 15, 2018

Love Is Strength. Never Weakness

Because I'm a middle-aged suburban mom, I have only the vaguest idea who Chris Hardwick is. And until today I had no idea who his ex-SO Chloe Dykstra was.

And then she began trending on Twitter.

Here she is. I won't be posting a picture of him.
And then Wil Wheaton - who I follow on Twitter and whom I respect and adore - posted an extremely vague tweet about having to process some bad news about his "best friend." So I finally had to investigoogle what was up.

And I discovered that Chloe Dykstra had quietly published this article on Medium.

I totally encourage you to read her post if you haven't. But in a nutshell: As a fledgling cosplayer/actor, she met a successful comedian/podcaster who went on to co-found Nerdist, a wildly successful online forum for, well, nerds (who have a LOT of cultural and financial clout, as it turns out [go nerds]). And they had a relationship for three years.

And while he seemed to all outward appearances to be a charming, funny guy...truth (according to Chloe) is, he was an emotionally and sexually abusive partner who destroyed her self-esteem before she had the courage to leave him.

After reading her honest, emotionally raw account, I have no reason to disbelieve any part of it. She is incredibly brave to seek closure to this toxic relationship so openly. If she wanted fame and fortune, she would have sold her story to a tabloid or TMZ. Instead she published it on a website without even a public link. But people found it, and spread it, and talked about it until its inherent credibility became undeniable.

Which is exactly how truth should work.

As regular readers know, I not so long ago ended a marriage of more than two decades.

In fact, yesterday - Flag Day in the USA - was the second anniversary
of my divorce being final. God Bless America 'n stuff.

Let me be perfectly clear: The vast majority of what Chloe chronicles in her relationship NEVER happened in mine.

But bits and pieces resonate with me. Deeply. And those bits and pieces make me believe her when she describes the systematic anguish of living with an abuser.

Maybe you can relate.

I'm friends with my ex-spouse. But I would never consider a physical or emotional relationship with him again. Because our relationship is a Venn diagram.

Our lives intersect in that little slice of forgiveness in the middle. Which is fine. Great, even.

I consider myself fortunate to be in a loving, respectful relationship now.

I don't dwell on what went wrong in my marriage. And I consider myself fortunate to be able to do that, too.

But I support Chloe Dykstra and all the women like her...because I understand what can, and does, happen in relationships.

And while I have utter faith in due process, I don't condone the systemic dismissal of women who bravely choose to be honest about their tribulations.

I hope all of you - male, female, gay, straight, somewhere in between - are happy where you are. I also hope that, if you're not, you can get back to the light. The light wants you. Believe that.



  1. Fuck. I thought he was a decent guy.

  2. I watched his AMC show, every week, although I didn't have any opinion about him one way or the other. His show was about other shows.

    People can be horrible to each other. I'm glad she got out of that because it sounds like he believed he owned her, which is unfortunately far too common in relationships. He probably believed he'd gotten away with it and it was behind him - assuming that he's not doing the same crap to his wife now.

    I do think about what would happen if everyone knew about the worst thing I ever did (I don't know what that would be, incidentally - I'd have to think about it). And then, once that got out, if they knew about the 2nd and 3rd worst thing I ever did. And if twitter and the internet and my family grabbed hold of it.

    I'm not famous and it will likely never happen. If it did, then yeah, I'd probably be ostracized.

    So this horrible guy makes me think about my own faults more than Chloe Dykstra makes me think about my own victimhood. I have that luxury. I just try to be better.

    That was rambling. Sorry.

  3. I can't imagine what Dykstra is going through. I believe her, and I am in awe of how much courage she has because I think it must have been very difficult to talk about what she suffered, and I don't want to draw attention from her, but I think, what is Wil Wheaton thinking now?
    Because I can imagine what I'd be asking myself if I were in his position. Did I know? Why did I not speak up?
    Wheaton has talked about his depression. He's joined the fight to make it okay to talk about mental illness. Will he also work to make it okay to call out abuse, even if only after it's over?


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