Tag Archives: abandonment

Breaking Point: #13

After reading this hopeful post, the words of the poet Wallace Stevens came to me:

Only this evening I saw it again,

At the beginning of winter, and I walked and talked

Again, and lived and was again, and breathed again

And moved again and flashed again, time flashed again.

May we all flash again with the coming of Spring.  yrs. Laura


Submitted by:  Robin Dake, whose ebook is available here.

Painting My Nails

I painted my toenails last week. At one time, I kept red polish on my toes – bright red, happy red. I had tried other colors, but kept coming back to red. At one time, I sparkled. But somehow, in this last year, as my 18-year marriage crumbled, cleaved, then ended, I lost my sparkle and I stopped painting my toes.

At first, it was just putting off the repair. I noticed a few chips on the edges and thought, ‘I need to fix that,’ but never got to it. The chips got bigger and my toes now needed a full-out re-do. They needed to be stripped down to bareness, filed smooth, then lovingly repainted. By summer, the nails themselves were raggedy, but I didn’t have the energy to lift an emery board, much less gather the polish remover, lotion and cotton balls.

In yoga class – the class I joined to learn to breathe in the year there was no breath – my chipped and sad toes mocked me. They shouted that I must be a failure because I couldn’t even keep my toes neat and presentable. I couldn’t hear it then, but
there was another voice speaking softly, saying, ‘it’s okay, love your raggedy toes now and know you will be okay.’

As the months went by that voice did get louder and I was able to accept that I was a girl whose toes were no longer painted red. I could do downward dog without trying to avert my eyes from my toes and I found myself looking at polish colors in the drugstore aisle. In October, I unearthed the toenail clipper and neatened things up. I stripped away the last of the red and left it at that. I wore patent leather shoes to court that day, but underneath the shine, my toes remained unfiled and naked.

The cold that came in during the last part of November made me keep socks on my feet almost all the time. They were thick, fleece socks – blue with polka dots – that muffled the cold snaking around my toes. I only caught a glimpse of them as I showered and dressed before I sought out that fleecy warmth and protection again.

A friend gave me perfumed lotion for Christmas, and after a moment of listening to the inner voice that loves me, I slathered it on my feet and ankles, enjoying the luxury and softness. And finally, I dug out the polish. I gently filed and smoothed those nails, then put that polish on stroke by stroke.  My toes wiggled with contentment.

The polish is not fire engine red, but instead a soft, pearled pink.  It doesn’t sparkle, but it does glow. Today, I breathe again.

I may not make it back to fire engine red, but I suspect one day, I may just try purple.


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Breaking Point: #7

I am hosting an end-of-winter series featuring stories from the trenches of pain.  My hope is that in sharing these breaking points, we will feel less alone.  Thank you all for your bravery.  You are helping the world to heal.  To participate and for more info go here.

yrs. Laura

Submitted by: Laura Cassidy
My breaking point has come a few times in my life. I’ve always thought too much and felt too much, and writing was my survival skill for dealing with my pain so I was able to dodge the breaking point so many times.

I’ve had writers block since 1996. I was deeply in love with someone and he died in an accident when I was 22. I was devastated and felt I couldn’t or wouldn’t go on. I did, but nothing felt as close or connected and I didn’t do anything except drift for years. I started going to counseling and got everything out over three years.

I got myself a beautiful bouvier dog, and a year later I met a guy who seemed like the guy I would spend forever with, little did I know that he had a mountain of baggage that would later on cancel out a lot of bliss.

My dog got cancer and was put down, a year later we had a child. His dad died a few days after my child was born, his friend died a year after our child’s birth; and then he had a break down, ran off with a young girl, had another kid and got totally hooked on booze and drugs. He caused a lot of pain and suffering to me and my child first and then he disappeared. I had a partial break down. I laughed heartily at a joke that read:

” Grow your own dope, plant a man.”

It was just what I needed to see at the time. I had fantasies of pounding him into the ground, but instead I stood back and watched
him self destruct on his own and kept myself and my child from the danger zone.

I continued counseling; I ended up falling for my counselor and it felt mutual. After several years I told him. He kept seeing me for two years. Nothing happened but it felt like an emotional affair. I couldn’t stand going any longer but I couldn’t stand to leave.

I told him it was too much mental and emotional torture for me. He tried to dismiss it or get me to admit it was all only transferrence. My breaking point began then… I decided the only way to exit was to do something to make him not want to see me again. I contacted him too many times, knowing that would really piss him off and  he’d never want to see me again. It worked.

It had been a year and I felt myself slowly ebbing into a deeper and deeper breakdown… I kept myself going for my child but in my mind I kept feeling torn apart by all the loss, pain and unrequited love, leaving me feeling broken, torn and similar to ooze on the floor.

There had been too much loss and despair. Almost connecting and fulfilling a deep need but never completing the circle. Wanting to detach and never connect again.

Then a dear friend who was so close and we had shared so much, turned on me because her antisocial husband decided I had to go, because I couldn’t understand why an ipod their kid left here, but found shortly after was fussed over for three weeks.

I was told we were never friends, I was only a helper for years… their kid never liked my kid etc. I said I would miss them anyway and I was told we would never be missed…

That was it for me, I broke down and thought I can’t take anymore! Since age five, I couldn’t stand the agony in life. Sure there was joy and ecstasy in life but the losses and pains seemed to touch me too deeply and my child was taking after me in that department. She said to me, ‘Mommy, I think people just leave and that’s all they do. Right?’

I didn’t know what to say to her, so I paused and then said, sometimes but the good people and the right people for us always stay…

For me what’s been most heartbreaking are the losses and the betrayals and the fact that I offered my heart fully to those who served me with a hearty helping of pain and loss. What I learned from it and what strengthened me was that all our love is on the inside and no one can take that away from us.

All our feelings and thoughts can be chosen and let go of. Writing helps, music helps and good friends help. What kept me going was the ability to express the anguish, anger, fear and contempt for all the ins and outs of the pain and loss and finally a return to love, where home is in the heart and it really truly is.

Everything starts on the inside of us and goes outward and forms an exchange or not. No one can take away all our love, hope and faith or our warm inner sanctuary. That’s what’s helped me get through several mini breaking points and one big huge breaking point.




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