The Brick, Part 2


I hope you’re well. Seriously, I do.

I ran into a friend not too long ago, who lamented the fact that I wasn’t posting to my blog. I told her I wasn’t sure why — “…just too busy, I guess” was my response.

But she had another take. Her analysis: “It’s clear you’re very happy, which means you don’t need to blog. Good for you, bad for us,” she laughed.

I didn’t know at the time if that was the reason. I just knew that it meant a lot to be missed.

Well, clearly, it appears I need to blog.

(If you’re reading between the lines, that means: Happiness is over; the blindside is back.)

As a reminder, my first marriage ended with a brick. A literal brick. You’re welcome to read more about that here, if you’re so inclined.

But oddly enough, the universe decided to send me another message. This one not inscribed on a brick, but instead, a search warrant.

I’m not going to go into detail. Not yet — in time. But needless to say, I would have welcomed a brick at this point. A brick would have hurt less. Especially if the brick hit only me.

Because this one also squarely hit all of my children, innocent and trusting souls who welcomed him into their hearts whole-fucking-heartedly.

It turns out, the man I had married — well, he was not who I thought he was. Not at all.

And that might be the understatement of the century.

I have spent weeks meeting with detectives, therapists, the FBI and one kick-ass district attorney. There have been pictures taken, there have been reports filed, there have been hushed conversations and crazy-making revelations.

But with any luck, the man I married — reluctantly, somewhat fearfully, always cringing that another brick would be thrown my way — will now be in prison.

For life.

I am doing everything I can to move forward, focused solely on the health and well-being of my family. As such, I established a small GoFundMe account to symbolically show my children that our friends and family are behind us all the way.

The account was intended to fund a name change for my baby (last name only — she will now be a proud “Byerman”). Any excess, should that happen, would go to legal bills. Oh yeah, and my own annulment.

Because who else in the history of the world do you know who would crowdfund an annulment? Yup, I would.

So, long story short, I never imagined the result. I never envisioned such generosity of resources, kindness and spirit. I am overwhelmed.

Because the account has been shared more than 120 times in the last 6 hours, I have seen a HUGE spike in readership of this blog. Evidently, people who don’t know me are trying to learn more about me. And to them (you?), I say “howdy.”

If you want to know more about me, all you need to know is this: I’m a mommy. I’m a writer. I say “fuck” a lot. I’ve been through hell, but as such, I’ve found an amazing group of friends — both online and in real life — who commiserate, share, support and swear with me.

And if you’re here, I hope to welcome you to the group.

A dear friend sent me this update from Elizabeth Gilbert. I’ve written before about my lack of interest in Eat, Pray, Love (and yes, I believe I can leave my “I-am-woman-hear-me-roar” card at the door for that revelation).

But Gilbert posted something to her Facebook timeline just a few days after this new “brick” — Brick 2.0, as it shall henceforth be called — that resonated powerfully.

I’m sharing it now. Please read it with the context of Brick 1 and Brick 2.0 in mind.


Dear Ones —

I wanted to re-post these thoughts, which I originally posted here last year.

I’ve been thinking about my old friend Jim Maclaren for some reason a lot lately. He was one of the most remarkable men I ever knew, and I wanted to share these thoughts of him again.

I wrote a profile about Jim years ago for GQ magazine, documenting his extraordinary journey, and we remained friends after that story was published.

Here was his tale: Jim had been a handsome, young, athletic, Yale drama school-trained aspiring actor back in the 1980s, when he was hit by a bus one day and lost his leg. He courageously pulled his life back together after this trauma and went on to become the fastest amputee long-distance triathlete in the world, regularly finishing Iron Man races far ahead of his able-bodied competitors. He also became a motivational speaker, and, if anything, grew into a better and more successful man than he’d been before his accident.

And then, unbelievably, in 1993 he was hit by a car AGAIN while competing in a triathlon…and this time he became a paraplegic. (As he himself said in response to such a horrible run of double-bad luck: “Jesus fuck, for fuck’s sake, can you fucking believe it?!”) After this disaster, he fell into despair and became a drug addict, until the moment of his catharsis — the moment that he decided not only to live, but to search tirelessly (almost mythically) for greatest benefit that he could possibly draw from his broken destiny. He stubbornly committed to asking himself, Who was the best person he could become, after such suffering? What could this anguish specifically teach him about compassion, about the randomness of our lives, about grace, about surrender? He told me, “For the longest time, my goal was only to be able to walk across the room. But then I remembered what my real goals in life have always been — to know God, to know myself, to know wisdom, to know my fellow man. And was I going to get there by walking across the room? Or did I need to change my focus, and expand it?”

But what I will always remember about Jim most clearly is when he told me, “Never waste your suffering.” This was in response to a question I’d asked him about whether he thought that suffering makes us into better people. He said, “Not necessarily. Not automatically. Suffering just happens, constantly and randomly, and if you don’t make anything out of it, then it causes you nothing but harm — it happened to you for no reason. But suffering can also be the greatest possible invitation to transform — but only if you accept that invitation, and only if you go through a complete catharsis, and only if you actually change yourself because of what you’ve experienced. But that part is up to you. Only you can execute a catharsis in your own life. Suffering without catharsis is nothing but wasted pain. And you should never waste your pain, never waste your suffering. It’s powerful stuff, the most powerful stuff there is. Use it. Transform from it. Learn. Grow. Be better.”

I want to repeat that one line, because it has never stopped ringing in my head: SUFFERING WITHOUT CATHARSIS IS NOTHING BUT WASTED PAIN.

Don’t ever let your pain be wasted. Make something of it. Use it for transformation. Harness its power and evolve.

Jim MacLaren died in 2010 (his injuries and infections finally defeated him) but I have never forgotten his words, his determination. I have tried as hard as possible to learn by his extraordinary example — to never miss the chance for a catharsis, to never stop fighting for the light, never stop evolving.

So that’s what I woke up thinking about this morning, and I wanted to share it with all of you.

Blessings, and Rest in Peace Jim MacLaren.


So in summary:

“Jesus fuck, for fuck’s sake, can you fucking believe it?!”


Never waste your suffering.

Something good has to come from all of this.

Maybe the good begins now. Perhaps I needed to start blogging again.

Because evidently, I’m that girl: The girl the universe can’t help but fuck with.

Hmmm. Sounds familiar.

So, dear friends and readers: what’s up in your world?

Love to you all,


48 thoughts on “The Brick, Part 2

  1. Jackie Shelton says:

    You are the epitome of grace under pressure. And, as our dear friend Alison reminded us, pressure makes diamonds out of coal. You, my darling girl, are now the diamondiest diamond of them all. You seriously can’t make this shit up.

  2. SueMarue says:

    I’ve followed you for years, my dear, and let me just say you are a flippin rock star. I applaud your strength and attitude. Keep writing because I really love to read you.

  3. Jodi says:

    You rock. I am now your biggest fan and supporter. You are a fucking rock star in my book.

    And you really can’t make this shit up. I have my novel/autobiography written in my head and it’s title is “as the stomach turns”. I think yours could be “you couldn’t make this shit up”. 😁

  4. Mark Petruska says:

    It was obvious from your Facebook posts something was terribly wrong, and a creative Google search gave Tara and I the answers to questions we were too respectful to ask. We are both shocked, and terribly sorry about what you and your family are going through. I don’t think we could have envisioned a worse scenario if we’d tried. Needless to say, we wish nothing but the best for you and the kids.

    And I’m glad to see you back blogging, but wish it was under happier circumstances.

  5. Kristen says:

    Jesus fucking Christ, for fuck’s sale indeed – I am so sorry to hear that the universe so wanted you to blog that it messed things up so collosally.

    And it already wasn’t wasted because – baby 🙂

  6. Jerry Adams says:

    You are an amazing woman, you always have been! I’m so sorry for your recent brick. The one shining light of this all is your baby girl. Remain strong and keep your family close, they are what will get you through. Call me if I can help you with anything at all.

  7. Lily says:

    I screamed “what the fuck” while reading this by the way. I’m sure my neighbours are pleased… I missed your writing quite a bit but I also figured that you were too happy to post. I’m sorry to hear that something so bloody awful has happened to you, and I find it amazing that you can be so inspiring in spite of it. I hope you continue to stick your middle finger to all of the shit in your life because you’re too awesome to let it get you down for long.

  8. Heather says:

    I remember the “awful day” of your daughter getting feathers attached into her hair whilst away with her Father and girlfriend. You got through it! And although this is a mountain in comparison, you will get through this too. Life is unpredictable; be even keeled, hopeful and positive. Be predictable.

  9. Dana says:

    I first found you bak when you wrote about Carol Ann Riddell(?) awhile back and have been a loyal follower ever since. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had more bad luck :(. Let us know how you’re doing…and please blog more!

  10. Jill says:

    Well – damn! I don’t begin to have the words to convey how sorry I am that you’ve had to go through this. I hope you see him get his just desserts and are able to wipe him off your shoes.

  11. michelle ott says:

    A freind recently told me I should blog. I have an explicitly fucktarded story as well. And the asswipe won’t let me be…..and I just want to BE.

    Alas, my posts are of survival , rebirth (oh God it was great to discover my true me) and effort to thrive as well as survive are entertaining, but short and don’t reveal the real pain of losing everyfuckingthing.

    You are an inspirtion. Keep it up!

  12. Diane says:

    Mikalee, I don’t know you, but I too have followed your story since you posted post-NY Times article. I have thought of you often -mostly about your strength in getting through your hellish divorce (better keep quiet on my thoughts about Marilyn and her silly blog). I am sad for you that you’ve been hit with another enormous brick. Wishing you peace.

  13. SameSides says:

    I’ve got your back in any way that I can. Love, love, LOVE the section you quoted, because, hell… I totally get it. While you’re going through the shit and gaggy smells of life, it is healthy to look forward for something good to come from it. It will… because you are willing to see it. I love you more than bacon, and that’s really saying something, as you very well know. I’m thinking St. James… or the Coolest Porch in Reno… as soon as you are available.

    Did I tell you I love you?

    Oh, right. I did.

    Live Life, Love Life, Impact Others,

  14. The Guat says:

    Holy Crap! I’ve waited for months to see one of your posts and I’m sad that it had to be the one that put you through the ringer. Jesus fuck, for fuck’s sake, I can’t fucking believe it. Dude. Definitely sending you positive vibes don’t know if you need them, but they’re on their way.
    And I remember Jim’s story, I saw him when he won an Espy Award years ago. Very inspirational guy and you are definitely an inspirational woman. You are Badass and I’m glad you are able to write your way through this.

  15. darkmoon689 says:

    Well.. FUCK!.

    I enjoy your writing but seriously I don’t think life needs to give you any more material. You guys will get through this, the same way you have gone through all the crap before, lots of swearing, family hugs and writing.

    My prayers go to you and your family. Hopefully all of that fucking mess can be resolve as quickly and painless as possible.

  16. Carol M says:

    Hello again!

    I’m so sorry for the mess you’re in. Even more sorry for your children. Here I’ll share my true opinion: your son and daughters will grow up knowing for sure they have a safe home which will survive any storm (I take for sure you know I’m metaphoricaly referring to your heart).

    In my side of the woods there is sadness too. Someone stolen or murdered my sweet little pet last week. Still cannot feel used to get home by the end of the day to an empty catless home.

    So, pain! Pain! Pain and deceit everywhere you look.

    Love & Support

    Carol M

  17. salmart2 says:

    No I don’t fucking believe it! Will we be getting another post ‘Didn’t you see the signs? I’m guessing there weren’t any.. again…

    Brick version 2? Isn’t it Mikalee 3.0 version. Version 2 ended with the utterance of the words ‘search warrant’. Did your jaw drop lower when you saw ‘The brick’ or ‘the cop with the search warrant’? I’m guessing it’s a dead heat. Skin crawling, stomach flipping, mouth drying, blood draining, chest compressing, head exploding stuff. TWICE!! For fuck’s sake.

    I had to Google search the mystery as well & piece it together. I was FLOORED when it was there in black & white. Absolutely gob-smacked! I was literally staring at the screen unable to move for what seemed like hours. We do feel like we all know you, because, well, we DO all know you! You’ve shared not only your story, but your highs & lows & your hilarious take on everything. I feel I know you better than friends I’ve known for years. And that’s what makes this news so devastating.

    It’s no laughing matter right now as the raw wounds weep away. But once there is healing, and there wlll be, there will be much laughter & love in the amazing Byerman clan. We look forward to sharing your thoughts if you search for clarity by writing them down. We’re here for you. And I’m guessing you’ll find some fellow sufferers who have (or will) experience what you are going through now that you can help through in the same way you helped so many of us fellow dumpees through what felt like indescribable pain (but now looks like a walk in the park) . I thank you for helping me find clarity & move on. Your posts were as if you were writing my story, with my feelings & my fears and insecurities. Your witty & clever spin on it allowed me to put it all in perspective. I sobbed (in fact wailed), through your posts, processed it all & put it all to bed.

    Wishing you a good day tomorrow, and the one after & the one after that. Little steps to get through. The world is full of beauty & adventure and your gorgeous family will ensure you have lots and lots of good days ahead. Love & positive thoughts from down-under.

  18. groovyrick says:

    Fuck me to tears! I almost don’t know what to say, except that you gotta be one of the strongest people I cyber-know. I returned to blogging a couple of weeks ago after a long hiatus, but I was just pissed at the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. It was NOTHING like this. Besides making a donation, I may send money out to my friend Nancy to take you out for a huge drink. Please know that you’re in my thoughts…what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and all that mularky. I almost used “crap” there but couldn’t resist that opportunity to use the word “mularky”. Sending groovy vibes!

  19. Rhiannon says:

    I don’t know what I could possibly say, other than my thoughts are with you and my heart reaches out for you. Good luck x

  20. Bunny Eats Design says:

    Wow. Powerful stuff. I have so much to be grateful for and I never think of my own blog as a place just to rant. In fact, I probably post more when I am happy. The thing with suffering is that it is fleeting. Your friend Jim’s situation is heartbreaking but it sounds like he got through it and transcendence through suffering is not only inspiring, it is gives us all hope when we hit a wall.

    Thinking of you and your family. Sounds like you are a great matriarch 🙂

  21. Manzano Jack says:

    I used to be Super Jack, I’ve manifested a catharsis as Manzano Jack. Recently experienced the best week of my life, this past week I experienced the best day of my life.

    Creating my own reality.

    • superjack2468 says:

      Isn’t this is a grand pity party – what I have to say is not what you want to hear.

      There is a definitely a lot of shock value in a highly intelligent and educated woman saying, writing, and thinking “fuck” a lot. That’s what the Universe is hearing, reading, and believing about you, and that’s what the Universe is giving you. Its the Law of Attraction at work – what you focus on tends to increase – what you give is what you get .

      Is that how you really who you want to be? Is that how you really deal with your kids? Is that how you coo to your baby?


  22. talesfromthemotherland says:

    How very strange… or not… that I found myself thinking about you, and worrying about you in a very focused way, about 2 weeks ago. I visited this blog and saw no new activity. I considered deleting the subscription, because I thought… well, she must be fine. So fine that she doesn’t even write about it anymore. But I sure miss Mikalee.

    And maybe you don’t read all of these comments anymore (I don’t see responses), but just know that you’re in my thoughts, and I’m so very sorry about all of this. I really wanted it to be a happy ending for you. Hugs. dawn

  23. monicastangledweb says:

    I’m in utmost shock. And just when I was starting to believe in happily ever after’s! But I’m so glad to see your wicked sense of humor shines through. Laughter really is the best medicine. Here’s to a quick annulment & name change!

  24. Michele says:

    I am so very sorry. WTF!! I have been following your blog for a while and was wondering why all of the sudden your last post about Christmas without the kids was removed. I thought you were probably just getting rid of your blog because that chapter of your life was over.

    I can’t help wonder how your ex and his wife have reacted to all of this. I hope they have supported you as well as your kids but my guess is that they have used this as way to cause you more pain and custody issues. I hope I am wrong and they have taken this high road.

    In your corner

  25. trailertrashdeluxe says:

    Fucking-A, you’ll get through this. I’m guessing you’re not beating yourself up too bad about being duped by this man, but if you ever are: sounds like the guy has been a first-class “duper” before you met him. Whatever he did to run afoul of the law, it is his “career” after all, and he was good at it for a while. But, thankfully, cops are even better, most of the time. You’ll make it with flying colors. You may have a thing or two to tell your grandchildren someday, eh? I don’t know why the commenter is calling this a “pity-party”; sounds more to me like you’re celebrating your newfound independence. That’s an actual party, not a pity-party. Rock on.

  26. brickhousechick says:

    Hello! The chocolate lover, Guat sent me here! I am so glad I came. You are unbelievable! WOW, you have been through some real shit! I want you to know that I pronounce you one of my brickhousechick friends! Never mind that damaging brick that changed your life, from now on think of that powerful brickhousechick you now are! No more bricks can ever hurt you because you ARE the brick! 🙂 🙂

  27. Kyaru says:

    Lots of hugs, Mikalee! Don’t you ever wish the universe had a visible pair of nuts (or ovaries)? Maybe then, a baseball bat could do wonders in bringing some attention to your plight. Something along the lines of ‘Oi, spread it around a bit, will you? You’re shitting on me here.’

  28. MJ says:

    Like another commenter, I find it odd that I started thinking of you after a LONG time this August and was wondering how you were faring. I went to this page in the summer, found nothing and came back today. Like another, I read what happened via internet sleuthing. If a stranger in another land can be shocked by these revelations, I can’t even imagine what you and your lovely family must be going through. I’m so sorry for all the devastation this man has caused you and your family (and others). I don’t even know how you are coping. However, you certainly still have a strong, clear voice AND humour–gifts that will help you carry on. The universe certainly is messing with you hard. You are such a strong woman despite the continued fuckery sent your way. Sending peace, strength, and healing from Canada.

  29. Scott says:

    Yikes. I haven’t been around here in a long time since you hadn’t been posting, but I just found a link to your blog in an old post from two years ago. The last I knew you had just gotten engaged and now I read this. Wow. I’m so sorry.

If you do not leave a comment, you will further shatter my already broken spirit. If you can live with that guilt, so be it... ;)

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

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s