Many and many a reader has asked that. When the story first came out, in the New England Magazine about 1891, a Boston physician made protest in The Transcript. Such a story ought not to be written, he said; it was enough to drive anyone mad to read it.

Another physician, in Kansas I think, wrote to say that it was the best description of incipient insanity he had ever seen, and–begging my pardon–had I been there?

Now the story of the story is this:

For many years I suffered from a severe and continuous nervous breakdown tending to melancholia–and beyond. During about the third year of this trouble I went, in devout faith and some faint stir of hope, to a noted specialist in nervous diseases, the best known in the country. This wise man put me to bed and applied the rest cure, to which a still-good physique responded so promptly that he concluded there was nothing much the matter with me, and sent me home with solemn advice to “live as domestic a life as far as possible,” to “have but two hours’ intellectual life a day,” and “never to touch pen, brush, or pencil again” as long as I lived.

This was in 1887.

I went home and obeyed those directions for some three months, and came so near the borderline of utter mental ruin that I could see over.

Then, using the remnants of intelligence that remained, and helped by a wise friend, I cast the noted specialist’s advice to the winds and went to work again–work, the normal life of every human being; work, in which is joy and growth and service, without which one is a pauper and a parasite–ultimately recovering some measure of power.

Being naturally moved to rejoicing by this narrow escape, I wrote The Yellow Wallpaper, with its embellishments and additions, to carry out the ideal (I never had hallucinations or objections to my mural decorations) and sent a copy to the physician who so nearly drove me mad. He never acknowledged it.

The little book is valued by alienists and as a good specimen of one kind of literature. It has, to my knowledge, saved one woman from a similar fate–so terrifying her family that they let her out into normal activity and she recovered.

But the best result is this. Many years later I was told that the great specialist had admitted to friends of his that he had altered his treatment of neurasthenia since reading The Yellow Wallpaper.

It was not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy, and it worked.
—  “Why I Wrote ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’“ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

Monday 8:27am
I woke up with you on my mind.
You called me babe last night —
my heart is still pounding.

Tuesday 10:53pm
Today I realized we won’t work.
What we are is hurting her.
And I think she matters more to me than you do.

Wednesday 11:52pm
I broke things off with you today.
She barely said a word.
I’ve never regretted anything more than this.

Thursday 4:03pm
I shouldn’t have sent that message.
You shouldn’t have been so okay with receiving it.

Friday 9:57pm
I almost messaged you today.
I didn’t.

Saturday 8:49pm
I’m walking around town in search of alcohol.
They say that liquor numbs the pain of having a broken heart.
I want to put that to the test.

Sunday 2:32am
I heard you texted a girl you’ve never spoken to before.
I wonder if it’s because you’re trying to replace me.
I can’t help but wish you weren’t.
I thought I was irreplaceable.

—  a week with you on my mind, c.j.n.
Filmmaker/actress Julie Delpy on male filmmakers & hysteria

photo credit; Indiewire 

Who Cares About Actresses salutes Julie Delpy, an extraordinary actress, screenwriter and director who repeatedly has the nerve, way before it was trending this year, to critique the bro-culture of the film industry. Here she eviscerates David O. Russell:  

“It’s a man’s world, especially in Hollywood. There’s this fear that women are “emotional.” There’s this stigma about women being hysterical, that we’re more emotional, that we’re not as organized, that we can’t rule a set. I can imagine if a woman, on the internet, experienced what happened on “I Heart Huckabees” to David O. Russell, who was basically almost beating up people on set. It’s hilarious. He goes all around the set. Best moment in history. Isabelle Huppert’s just sitting there. I love Lily Tomlin, the way she answers, like, “fuck off.” He’s screaming, throwing things, and everyone’s just waiting around like it happens every day. If a woman did that, she’d never work again for the rest of her life. Ever. I guarantee you, because she would have been labeled as “mad,” “hysterical.” She would’ve been put in a madhouse actually, in a mental institution or on Valium for the rest of her life. What he did, I don’t give a shit. People do whatever they want on their set. But as a woman, if I would even scream at someone once, it’s over for me. A man can get away with so much more. A “great artist” can get away with so much more; a woman can only be hysterical.”

From “Julie Delpy on Directing and Why She’s Neurotic: “I Have All the Problems You Can Possibly Imagine” By Ryan Lattanzio for Indiewire. 

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