The Breaking Point

Hi. My name is Lindsay and I’ve got issues.

I mean… I knew I had issues… I even understood which issues I had (for the most part) and how they got there. My interest was less in my having issues and more in how to fix them. The problem with that is that I mistook my avoidance behaviours for coping behaviours without realizing what I was doing. Instead of dealing with my insecurities and fears, I effectively managed to both squish them into the pit of my stomach and nurture them by believing the lies that they told me.

…If you were smarter.. skinnier… Prettier or more interesting…. He would love you. And if he loved you, everything else would fade away.

 People talk about not having all their eggs in one basket but I really outdid myself in this instance.

Behaviours are a funny thing. we may engage in them so automatically that we don’t even know what we’re doing. We repeatedly do what has worked for us and hope that it will keep working in the future.

Spoiler alert.

Your brain is lazy. If it doesn’t have to do work… It won’t. Automatic reactions are the brain’s favourite because the more they show up, the more time brain has to do… Nothing cognitive, which brains love.

But it’s a trick. I was lulled into a false sense of security.

I believed with all my heart that my relationship with my father was on pause. I could SAY that it was nothing or his loss or that it didn’t matter. I could SAY that he just didn’t have room in his life for me and that it was ok. I could put up a little front to hide my vulnerability but my father is my weak spot. Then, now and always.
And I always understood that, at least to some degree. But in the back of my mind, there was a resolution. There was a time, I didn’t know when… But there was going to be a time when he would admit that he had made a mistake in abandoning me and we would be okay. I would be okay.

But life doesn’t package things up nicely. And it doesn’t deliver the ending that you are so convinced is coming.

So instead of my hurt being mended, he died in his chair at 64 years old. Alone in his home and alone in his life.

There was no pretty bow on​ this here package. 

It’s over. But it can’t be over. Nothing is resolved. Nothing is better. And now he’s gone and the change of heart that I hinged my entire life around is suddenly not possible.


I had some anger while he was alive, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a saint. But I can’t remember a single time when I was angry enough to close my heart off. My anger always came from one of two things; hurt or the complete inability to understand or relate.

Other abandoned kids lash out. They shut down. They rebel in the hope of hitting the absent parent where it hurts. I never wanted to get even. Revenge isn’t in my game plan. I wanted to be smart and witty and talented so that he would see what he was choosing to miss out on.

I never stopped caoling him dad.

I never stopped waiting for him.
His death… Well… It’s changed everything.


One thought on “The Breaking Point

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  1. i may or may not be sitting here at my kitchen table sobbing. i get this. my dad & i have been estranged off & on (mostly on) for 30 years. i just want to feel like I’m worth his trouble, which clearly i’m not. sending you hugs (i hate that phrase). but i understand this place.

    Liked by 1 person

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