Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"I just want to be a woman...." I said quietly......

This statement I uttered to myself a few years ago after making love with my man when he went to the bathroom....I just want to be a woman...... It has forever stuck with me as to what did I really mean by it. As I get older and my life allows me to become more and more of that woman, the knowledge deepens inside. It takes root and is beginning to grow a beautiful tree based more on truth than any I have ever lived in my life.

I never as a young person had any desire whatsoever to be in the public eye as many have. In fact, too much attention on me was paralyzing. I had modest aspirations...a hair dresser, a stewardess as they were called then, or the token "marine biologist" that all kids think they what to be at one time or another.

I remember being in a play as a very young girl, maybe 7 or 8 yrs old. It, to date, remains the only play I have ever been in.  Charlotte's Web. No, I did not go up for the lead as my best friend did. I had no desire to actually BE in the play although I adored the book. I think I was assigned a mandatory role and that frightened me beyond belief.

I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was a cat who purred one little line. Only a few words which I cannot remember now. My favorite part was putting the costume together and having my face painted with whiskers. I loved to dress up, what girl doesn't. This is still a fall back costume when I am lazy on Halloween. Clip on two ears, paint a nose and whiskers, throw on a leopard jacket and voila....a cat costume. Either that or curlers with pajamas to which my Myles yells...that's what you always wear!!!!

I remember the awkwardness of my tail being stapled to the behind of my leotard. The auditorium, the seats, all the people. That familiar feeling to this day of "performing" where my heart is beating out of my chest. As it gets closer and closer to the moment when all I had to do was utter a short line starting with a ppuurrrring sound.

Well, I got through it, crouched on all fours as a cat with my back intentionally to the audience and half hidden under a table. The same table that show cased my dear friend in all her Charlotte glory. Ppppuuurrrr..... Thank God, I got the line out....

But I was told that I spoke so quietly that nobody even heard my line. Sad but true. Yet, not surprising to the deepest part of me. Show business was not in my blood, it was my destiny for a time but not something I chose. I am often fond of saying, it chose me.

What did it mean to utter and feel the lightness of just wanting to be a woman after a beautiful connection with my man. I still digest this and shall continue to. But now ....I feel it showed how for so many years of my life I have been a man in a woman's body. This is a problem I feel most women have living in this society.

A stay at home mother is almost a dirty statement. Like the scene in one of my fav films Terms of Endearment. Debra Winger is visiting her friend in L.A. (aka city of LOST ANGELS) and when she tells a group of woman she does not work and stays with her children they look at her as if she is sick. It is brilliant. The entire film is.

Women are not allowed to be just women anymore. In terms that are now seen as old fashioned. And it is to those who have the desire to be just a woman, I speak. The expectations are so high, so cruel, so not as it was intended to be. What about where the woman creates a nest and stays and cares for her babies while her hunter husband collects the food. Caveman, yes. But essential truths, that too.

I also understand that this is not appealing to many women. Some want the career and all. That is fine too. The many faces of truth. But here I only share mine. And my experience of having had a full time career and now being basically a stay at home mother. What a rude awakening it has all been.

How much judgement I too used to have for those who stayed at home. Not realizing how much work there is to do. How much more selfless an act it is. How perfectly beautiful to see each and every "first" of your baby. To know them so intimately. My baby has not left my or his fathers side for the entire 3.8yrs of his life. Even in the hospital, he was never without one or both of us at his side. I take great pride in that. It has been MY pleasure and the gift that my man has given me and our baby. It is admirable and immeasurable in its magnitude as far as I am concerned.

I used to bask in the phrase "single mother". I filled that role as best as I could. While juggling a consuming and self-indulgent career. At the expense of my sweet first born Myles Maximillian having a real mother. He had a mother-father-career person in me. I regret that for him and often tell him. And am thankful that for the past 4 years I have been a permanent fixture in his ascend into adulthood. At times, to his dismay....hehehe....but not really.

All that really drew me into acting beyond the vain ideas of a 19yr old was what my dear teacher, mentor and friend Roy London said:

Like you know that awful childhood you had, this is a place to look at it, share and heal. And that I need to have a more important reason to be there than to "get the jobs. That this work was to ahve the courage exploring things about yourself WHILE you are being filmed, not once you think you have it figured out. To seek, stumble, fall, be lost and found in the next moment...right there on film. And that if
i did not lie.....the camera would not either........

He said so many things but that will be an entire blog or chapter in my book. The man changed my life and still occupies much space in my heart...and photos on the walls of my home though he passed almost 17 yrs ago.

These words and more all struck chords deep & powerful in my soul. He made it appealing in an incredibly challenging way. Not just about being painted and trying to be sexy, as most young ingenues are pushed to do. But to go deep and illuminate your own humanness and your own unique struggle and that would then touch others truths in themselves. God willing. So grateful that such a powerful mission could be placed into my hands. Just some goofy girl from Michigan.

There is also the fact that most of us actors have a deep need to be loved. Well really...who doesn't... But that combined with an arrested development. We usually come from great dysfunction and abuse of one or many forms. Not to feel sorry for us.....it most likely is in 90 o/o of people's life experience. It is only to illustrate how that can add fuel to the "get famous" fire. A fire that no amount of fame can put out.

But for me.... in the process.... I lost a lot of myself. Or maybe, its not that I lost myself, it's that it did not allow me discover myself in an organic way as all of these "stories" were put onto me to tell. My choice.....no pity party....I am grateful and thankful for my opportunities and memories but this is a look back at it all with different eyes.

I can share that even now I have moments of losing it after having been a "working woman" for SO many years, feel lost, listen to the dogma..... But those moments are far outweighed by deep joy in the seeming mundane. Yesterday seeing my baby boy truly learning to swim for the first time. Hearing his words increase daily. Having given so much time, effort and fight to get his autistic needs met through the state.

Therapy with Christian James 5 days a week, reading book after book to get his needs met. Fighting sometimes with the Daddy as I am left to give the quick version and he feels like I am correcting him. And I am but only because I have the luxury of being in all the sessions and reading the books that his hunter, provider man allows us, his family, the family I always dreamed of.

So in those moments when I feel like I should be providing more financially, I remind myself that there are more ways than monetarily to give to a family. And I do so in abundance. Getting back more than anything my career gave me. Real love, a permanence, the joy of knowing I had a direct hand in their life's and the people they are becoming. Things that I cannot even put words to.....best put....my cup runneth over.

And just being a woman...well, it seems I am one now. One that does not try to me a man too. As my man fills that role to completion. I never dreamt of acting, I dreamt of a stable family and children to love and raise. A man to love, be my best friend and grow old with. This attention is all I have ever really wanted and needed.

So although it does continue to grow and evolve and has its inherent ups and downs.... I am now....just...a...woman.......


  1. Though not knowing you personally, I believe that you fulfill the role of "woman" perfectly. That, and perhaps a bit more.
    "Work, family, friendliness, courteousness = wonderful woman".
    Woman, thy name is Sherilyn!

  2. I want to personally thank you for taking the time to share the evolution of your thoughts and truths. All day I have been struggling with the consideration of wanting to contribute to helping more financially. It goes directly against my internal beliefs, but I see my husband working at a full time job, collecting side jobs when he can, helping out friends and family and still trying to moderate it all to be a father to four children and husband to a frazzled woman. "If I could only do more, he could do less ... If I could be more ... I am so capable, I should do more ... Yet I know I'm enough ... Nobody else can mommy my babies .... This is what I was intended to do ... Being a woman is enough ... This is a season. A beautiful season. "

    I wish you grace and beauty as you embrace this stage of your life.

    Thank you again. So glad I meandered my way to find your blog.

    I have started a blog also and find it therapeutic for some of my ruminating ideas. ellis6tribe@blogspot.com

    Take care ~


  3. Hi, Sherilyn. Your words are very beautiful, so are your beliefs and story, however, i wish things were easy like that for me.In a world where money is unfortunately important, reality knocks on my door every day. I am 32 years old, from brazil, married a good Irish man and live in Ireland for nearly 4 years. I had to start my life from zero and since my husband does not earn enough, there is no jobs where I live and the clock is ticking; I dont think i can be a mom since we dont even own the house we live in.I worked hard, suffered a lot and even being qualified where I come from, starting is hard. I decided to go back to college this year. I have been saving money so that I can try to afford the fees, but i'd say it wont be possible so im praying ill have some help from the government here. I dont want to be rich. I just want to have a good job to help my husband and have our house, our children.I want to be a full time mommy and want my husband to be there for us when we become more stable, but because not always things are fair, i still have a long way to pursue my dreams, my peace and start a family. I applied to study psychology in some universities here, unfortunately theres not enough places for mature students and I suppose it will be another year until I start my family. It is certainly hard to be a woman, especially when you have to start again and there is a clock ticking.. I found your words inspiring I know I am strong because I left my country and family behind for love. I still have the same dream of just being a woman, having a stable and happy family but sometimes I just wish things were a bit easier. God bless your beautiful family.

  4. People are like cats, we have many lifes to live.
    Some are unknow to us.
    Be the cat that you want to be :-)

    I have a question :
    In a couple if a man stays at home and a woman goes at work, are you against this?


  5. Keep your light shining... it brings sunshine to all who see it... your positive vibes bring help to those who need it... we are trying to send as much positivity as we can your way as well... Blessed be.

  6. You have always just been a woman. Your idea of what that is has changed. You were the mother you were supposed to be with your first child and the mother you are supposed to be for your baby. We are always who we were meant to be at any given time.....and you have always just been a woman.

  7. I agree with you about gender roles now if a woman wants to stay at home or doesn't want a career she is looked at like she crazy. When I tell people I am pro-choice I mean it. I believe in women having the opportunity to make the choices that is right for them. Not the choices I feel is right for them.

  8. I love this post. I haven't visited your blog in awhile and decided too when I went to go leave you a nice little tweet, something I like to do once in awhile. But I saw you deleted & then just read why. Some people have nothing better to do in their lives than harass people over the internet. It makes me sad. I've had a few friends harassed to extreme extents and it hurts to see people broken up about that. But anyway. Hello Sherilyn. I hope you're doing well. I'll always love talking to you (even if its not as accessible now since you're done with Twitter.)

    stay strong, and keep being the beautiful human being that you are.

    Love, Hunter (@HRileyJ/Michigan Sista hehe)

  9. Hi Sherilyn,

    I love your blog, I ran across it purely on accident. You truly are an amazing soul, your writing is so heartfelt and honest.

    I was wondering, would you please write about Two Moon Junction?

    My wife and I just recently saw this movie for the first time since it was released (we were both in college at the time) and I know you've commented in the past that you didn't like the film or the experience of making it, but we still think its an amazing performance and a magical film. Its like one of those old pulp romance books come to life.

    Any comments or stories you can share about Two Moon Junction would be so much appreciated by two of your oldest fans.

    Many blessings to you, and we look forward to reading your memoirs when they are published.

    With light and love,

    Pete and Victoria

  10. You're one of the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life.
    - Vlad from Italy

  11. Dear Ms. Fenn,
    I am a radio talk show host. I have been reading your blog. This may seem like an odd request, but I'd like to interview you and ask you some questions. You can email me taitradio AT gmail DOT com
    or use the contact form on http://www.thepaulleslie.com

  12. Hi, Sherilyn. I'm glad to see that you're still putting yourself out there and not being consumed by the hate that has been displayed on this blog in the past. I also assume (or hope, at least) that the book is still in the works and you could keep us updated on it.

    It's good that you can have moments where you feel like you've discovered yourself and finally have room to evolve as the person you've always wanted to be. Try to hang onto it. It's difficult for the late bloomers -- the people who stay trapped in their inner-child deep into adulthood, reaching out for warmth and security in all the wrong places and never finding their true potential as individuals. Some grow out of it and become enriched by their journey to self-discovery and others go through life never even knowing themselves...

    These are the people who will be inspired by what you put down on paper, and so I wish you the best of luck. Stay strong. :)

  13. I want to thank you for your blog. I have never had one but am thinking about it. It is a great way to express one's thoughts, kind of like an online journal. Does your man, Dylan still write a blog? Also you mentioned that your son Christian is Autistic. It brings special challenges, but you are a wonderful mother and have a whole world to show him and the perspective of having been there. I plan to read all your entries on here. Please keep positive and believe in yourself. Your are lucky to have been given a chance to again be a mom. Your man is fortunate to have you in life too. Debra in Florida

  14. Amazing what the internet does... I have been watching Twin Peaks during the last month, after having completely missed the show 20 years ago. I developed a sort of very, very late teen crush on Audrey Horne :-) so I was curious about which other roles the actress had been in. Amazing that I found so much more than what I had been looking for and such a rich persona.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings, giving real 3-D to the human being behind the roles. And, well, thanks for Audrey Horne too ;-)

  15. I wish I was as good with words as you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us here.

  16. Sending you mountains of white light and love !

    Your rabid, yet harmless fan.


  17. I love your writing. I am not interested in being a mother or anything like that but it is sad to me that the men in my generation don't treat us as womanly as they did to women in the past.

  18. Dear Sherilyn,

    Yes, I can hear your quietly spoken words. Family and relationships are more important than we'd like to admit.
    Love and light,

  19. Hey Sherilyn,

    Thanks so much for sharing such poignant and emotionally truthful journeys with us. It's a breath of fresh air amidst the constant barrage of air-brushed, publicist approved nonsense from other celebrity bloggers.

    Not sure if you're aware of the British band Portishead, but you'll find the lyrics of this song rather appropriate in regards to the title of your this most recent post, and it's a stunning live performance.


    Simon x

    "I don't want to know about evil, I only want to know about love" - John Martyn

  20. Ms. Fenn:

    I have followed your career since "Twin Peaks," and I especially enjoyed your performance in the dreamy, atmospheric, and sadly misunderstood film "Boxing Helena." However, after reading your journal entry, my respect for you has increased tenfold. Here's why.

    Raising a child with autism is a hard road to tread. My wife and I have an autistic daughter, so we are on this path as well. Every day is a struggle, but you live for those moments when your hard work as a parent, an advocate and a caregiver pays off. It inspires me to know that you are facing these challenges head on, and are being very proactive in your child's treatment. Keep fighting!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  21. Bravo! I especially applaud your courage in expressing your belief in the value and beauty of being a woman... such a shame, the misunderstanding that if women are equal to men in value & worth, somehow women must therefore be the SAME as men. What a mistake! A woman's strength is in her vast capacity to give, to sacrifice, to surrender, to nourish and hold a child in her warm and loving embrace. This is her gift to the world. It's easy to see how this subtle strength is subverted (most tragically by women themselves) - and the evidence of the damage from this subversion is everywhere around us: broken homes, traumatised children, a society where people are taught to not trust themselves but always look outwardly, never inwardly. Bravo to you, for being so true to yourself. What beauty!

  22. amen to that. i just read all of your blogs: from first to this one. i just made my own blog altho' u can't comment there..lol but thank you for your blog, u reminded me of some things. so kudos to you and your truth. i luv your warmth and attitude... and have seen a lot of your films but esp. loved: twin peaks, swindle and the oldy showtime show:rude awakenings... anyhow, good luck with life and wish you peace luv and a ton o' hgs.... :)
    p.s. not sure what to say to an actor, but i hope that this ok. lol ;)

  23. This blog in particular resinated with me big time. Sad to see that u have left facebook. I will miss your updates...

  24. Water is H2O whether liquid, solid, or gas. And like water you can flow into the spaces and gaps in your life when need be. Be fluid and soft in the perception of your identity, past and present, so you can adapt to the ever-changing conditions of your life, as you have. Labels confine us as much or more than liberate us. You are whoever you are in the moment. Try not to be too critical or pass judgment on your choices. Honor yourself and those around you who led you down this path which formed and informed who you are today, and will continue to influence the whole person (sister/mother/daughter) you will become. God Bless, and thank you for sharing and inviting participation.

  25. i relate to this so much. where have all the mothers and fathers gone. the world it seems is now full of nothing but man-children who are not willing to commit or grow up and provide for a family, and psuedo-feminists who wait till they are 40s to try for a child if at all and then have no choice but invitro because they put their careers first. to each their own but to me it's sad that we have so few stay at home mothers or fathers these days. i hope that will change.

    Missing you sherilyn and i hope you will blog again more soon. Hope you are well.


  26. I concur with Ellis Tribe further up who said "I want to personally thank you for taking the time to share the evolution of your thoughts and truths" - I have really enjoyed reading everything you have written and the honesty with which you have expressed yourself.

    I am a single father of two perfect kids myself, and staying at home with them in their early years would have been a prefered option, but alas it was not possible in my situation, however I believe that if you are given the opportunity to do so then why on earth wouldn't you do so? I don't think you have anything to feel guilty for in the slightest - to be honest once your kids are over about 12 years old they just want to be with their friends and explore the world, and I see so many parents cling to their "little babies" and it ends up causing so much tension between them and their teenaged kids, sometimes their relationship doesn't recover....so really you only have the first decade or so to give your kids every ounce of time and love you have available,after that you are there to support and advise, but thats about it and it is that early time that kids remember the most, like your first play story, I would bet your parents played a large part of that memory. Please keep posting these amazing and honest snippits of thought, and thank you again.

  27. Hey Sherilyn
    Just wanted to say hello...and hope your new anonymity from FB is working out for you.
    Though I'll always miss your words and pics of of your boys.
    Take care Goddess :)

  28. Thanks for sharing, SF! I love it when you mention Roy London. He was wonderful, as are you! Keep writing.

  29. Hi Sherilyn,

    Just wanted to thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us. Looking forward to your next post!

    P.S. (Finally got to see the "Dual Spires" episode of Psych. As great as everyone from TP was, you absolutely stole the show. Epic.)

  30. Greetings and a warm hello. Enjoying the blog. There's a genuine warmth that you have; I think matters of a mystical nature would interest you. Until we speak again, I remain

    Peter Alexander Vaughn

  31. Sherilyn, congratulations on your beautiful text .... I am a Brazilian fan in love with their ideas. A big kiss and lots of peace!

    Almir Menezes

  32. Checking back from time to time hoping for your return.

  33. I just discovered this blog. I congratulate you on your successes and your ability to change with your changing circumstances. You are undeniably one of the most beautiful women of the 80s and 90s. Ive not seen you since then except in a coffee shop whee it was clear you are still amazingly beautiful.

    Your words are plain, the words of any mother I think but to hear that someone as lovely as you struggles with them just makes its more clear, you are worth reading, worth listening to and worth paying attention to.

    While yes my life has been interesting, you are a kind of lovely I cant even begin to address. I too just sometimes wish to be a woman. So few articulate it well, so few really understand.

    Did having your second child so late in your life change you? Did it change your ideals of a mother or the way you view motherhood?

    I adore you and sincerely hope you will answer.

  34. I have been a fan of yours since "Rude Awakening" ran on Showtime. It was a show I identified with at a very difficult time in my life. In my recent search to find old episodes online or DVDs (I am still frantically searching for them!) I came across your blog. I must admit I am confused as to why anyone would bash, harass or mistreat you or your posts in anyway. I find you a very refreshing actress who has not lost herself in the trap of Hollywood. I hope to see you on the screen periodically but understand the responsibilities and desires of being a parent. The only comfort I can offer is that I am one of the many Sherilyn Fenn fans in the world and we most certainly outnumber the detractors. Find solace in your family, friends and the anonymous (ok and maybe not entirely anonymous) fanbase. I also hope you continue to blog for those of us who find wisdom, comfort and a kindred spirit in your words.

    J. Casey
    Husband, Father, Marine, Actor, Human Being and of course... Sherilyn Fenn Fan

  35. "...just wanting to be a woman after a beautiful connection with my man. I still digest this and shall continue to."

    I know exactly what it means. A strong feminine presence seeks to shine her nature by being - sensual, passionate, and tender. Sometimes just fragile. A woman wants to be the wilderness and grace of a flower.

    And to also be cared for. To still be kissed long after, wrapped up in fiery love by a presence as commanding as masculine, and compassionate.

    Society struggles with allowing the true nature of both genders to breathe outside of clichés. With just allowing persons to be their simple natural selves.

  36. Hi Sherlyn

    I seem to read your blogs backwards. No matter I completely understand this blog. Another way of looking at this issue

    From a societal perspective, society in evolving to free women more, somehow has done so but the result is that well we have a confusion were women have to be more like men and the men are now struggling to find what it means to be a Man in this "brave new world of ours" .. It is a confusing indeed. We can't go back but were are we heading ?

    May I recommend something, that is you have never heard of it before. There is a book I read called the "The way of the superior Man" by a writer called David Deida don't let the name put you off
    he describes the differences between masculine and feminine essence beautifully in my opinion. it might throw another angle on this.

  37. Your Beautiful

    Marlon < From the Philippines >