A Word.

There is nothing else like an unhappy woman.

A man who is unhappy turns to escape. He drinks heavily. He watches porn. He spends a lot of time in crowds.

A woman who is unhappy gets out of bed at the start of her day and tears into it like a Sherman tank. She spends alternately little or significant time on her appearance, depending on which people are likely to see her during the working hours. When she comes in contact with others, the first thing she notices are the flaws – in everything around her. And, then, she attacks.

These attacks may be verbal, even confrontational, but not necessarily. Sometimes, they come in the form of the casual reference, done quietly as an aside; at others, full on, in your face accusation. Either way, equally deadly.

This is her pattern. Perhaps this pattern is the result of the role power has played in her life. The function of woman couched since time began in social expectation, even the emerging females of this fledgling generation can bear the imprint of those who came before. She finds herself in a convention – be it a job, or a marriage, or a locale – recognizes that she is neither satisfied nor content, yet sees no clear path toward change. Leaving would upset too many other people – children, employees, friends and their families – to whom she would then be beholden. And, perhaps the woman might just be programmed to keep the village running smoothly. Or, maybe she is paralyzed by fear – fear of the unknown, of forces stronger than she might be. Forces like those which might present in the form of superior competence. Though she has been granted power of position, she finds nothing in herself from which to draw strength. So, she spends all her energy trying to endure.

And, as for meeting personal need, well, a woman is far likely to defer self-care in favor of self-promotion. So, passing moral judgment is a form of succour to the unhappy woman, such an act temporarily shifting the spotlight away from self-examination and, ultimately, self-nourishment. She is caught in the convention which she either chose, or which was chosen for her. And, she sees no recourse but to live it out to its final breath.

Beware the exerting force of an unhappy woman. She will see to it that those around and under her walk in trepidation, with extreme caution. Spend a brief encounter with such a woman, and her overall effect is likely to be minimal. Spend any significant length of time, however, and feel the burn. The response is actually physiological; the thymus gland, located in the sternum, begins to shrink. The chest feels tight. The heart rate changes. The muscles of the face contract.

Most importantly, be not misled or fooled by ebullient laughter, enthusiasm, charisma; the unhappy woman has polished these traits to perfection. For her, these are merely tools, intended to disarm the uninitiated.

An unhappy woman can wield a major weapon. She can run a whole operation. She can get the job done. And, when it is done, anything living remaining in the room is likely stripped to the bone, entirely and comprehensively exhausted, and at a loss to know why.

Nine times out of ten, the last to know is the woman, herself. She does not recognize who she is or what she has become. She only sees the image she is hell-bent on projecting to the world. If you find yourself in her trajectory, stop; consider your options. Then, move.

In fact, keep moving. You might move toward her, with your arms outstretched. You might gather her to yourself. If you have anything in your heart that is driven to comfort, to compassion, to healing, proceed in her direction. But, prepare to be pricked.

If you need to turn away, do so with courage; in the end, the best course of action is always the one which hurts the fewest among us. Because, unlike any angry man who has ever raged across the terrain of civilization, an unhappy woman has the capacity to destroy the human spirit in a single instant. And, she can do so with just one word.





© Ruth Ann Scanzillo

2/27/15  all rights. Thanks.


7 thoughts on “A Word.

  1. WEll it may be more real, if less dramatic to say “some unhappy women” rather then “the unhappy woman” as it tends to imply there are no individuals who may have a different way of coping than what you discribed .
    After all are we not creatures with free will?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. I believe we are creatures that possess free will, at least to the extent that we are not [unknowingly] controlled. But, to your first point: to my view (as a woman), a woman is either a.) happy, or b.) unhappy. As such, the woman is assumed to be unhappy who behaves as I described. There may be other behaviors, which characterize an unhappy woman, that I have not ascribed to her; yet, if she behaves as I have described, I assume her to be unhappy. Are y.o.u. implying that I have attempted to seize command over the definition of the “unhappy” woman? As for having different ways of coping, yes; as I said, there might be other behaviors, but no less unhappiness! Finally, as for the dramatic component, what is life but a drama in search of a storyteller? 😉


  2. p.s. my above Reply (to “Someone’s” post) has endured more than one edit since I originally posted it, a habit of mine, so if you would kindly review it, I would be “happy” to continue this provocative discussion. (oh; and, [edit of the edit] I have been tutored in the Art of the Anonymous Comment.) Really, I welcome all dialogue…so: your volley!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.