“Breadcrumbing” is, in fairy tales, a small boy abandoned in the woods by his parents trying to find his way back home.
In social and romantic terms, we use it to talk about some kind of Little Thumb who is playing with your feelings like a cat with a half-dead mouse.
How does it show in real life ? Well…
– Receiving messages outrageously short to ungodly hours : “Hey what’s up ?”, “What are you doing?”, etc
– Seeing a few Likes on your old vacation pictures of 2015
– Being tagged on a random article which is supposed to be relatable to you
– Receiving a message with a link to a viral video or a picture, with the lines “it made me think of you, wink wink, amused emoji”
– Or receiving lame excuses to cancel a date art the very last moment
In a romantic relationship that includes the sexual component, the Little Thumb is the one who gives you enough so that you keep hoping and developing attachment, but who, deep down, does not want a real relationship with you.
It can last a looong time, and hurt sooo much.
It is not necessarily a will to hurt… But sometimes, our ape brain needs to fill up a crack, but we don’t know which one, nor how to… And in a momentum of survival, we tend to choose the easy way, which is sometimes to turn towards this other person, who is available and waiting for us. Tell me you never hurt someone without wanting to even once ? We all did it I think.
So what can we do against that ?
Well, if you feel like you’re being the pigeon being fed with crumbs, the best way is to stand up for yourself, defend your little self, speak up. It is okay to want more, it is okay to claim we deserve better.
We can’t blame someone who loads it up as if we were a little donkey if we never really said our back is hurting.
And if you feel you’re being a Little Thumb ? Well we can, for instance, find someone who wants the same thing we need right now, which means no strings attached, to have fun without hurting anyone. Or, I promise you that staying alone never killed anyone, and our ego is stronger than we think and it might survive it :-)
I have personally not always been an example on that regard. Wether it be in the team Little Thumb nor team Pigeon. But it’s okay to be wrong sometimes, as long as it helps going forward. It’s okay to not want to only eat crumbs. It’s okay to want a real f*cking toast at some point. With butter. And jam.
So, where are you at right now ? Team Pigeon ? Team Little Thumb ? Team Toast ?
The following pictures have been done when I started to take a step back from my trauma to be able to laugh about my own insecurities.
To get back on track after a traumatic experience is really NOT easy. Wounds are not visible to every eye. But I must admit that it sometimes creates funny situations. Having a little humor is important when you’ve hit rock bottom. It allowed me to not sink into squeamishness and unstoppable weeping. And above all, it’s the best way to avoid denial, which is, to my opinion, the enemy of any attempt to move forward ever.
So even and especially when you hit rock bottom, we can laugh of ourselves, of our insecurities, our mistakes, our most crazy reactions, of these littles gaps in our deep inside that sometimes makes us act like drunken monkeys. THIS is what I tried to do.
Illustration #1 :When you’re being figured out a little too quickly…
Illustration #2 : Mr Know-It-All
Illustration #3 : Mr Know-It-All 2
Be with someone again after a toxic manipulative relationship is complicated. Even a long time after, it leaves scars. The fortress is very very very well kept. Sometimes I think I’m saved, I find it easy for a moment, I manage to open the drawbridge for a while to see who’s there, and then, from nowhere, my subconscious, this old bitter stepmother, appears screaming bloody murder :
-“ WHAT DA FUCK D’YOU THINK YOU DOING?!Don’t you remember last time?!
-Yes but I was thinking that maybe…”
-NO ! NO WAY ! Close the bridge back up and go back to your dungeon! You silly little bitch…”
It’s been 2 years and my subconscious (who’s an alcoholic teddy bear, remember) often wins the game. But I don’t lose hope. Someday, we will share a big meal family style in the front yard, with wine and meat and stuff (with vegan options). And me and my drunken teddy bear and the guests will all sit at the same table.
Illustration #4 : Take cover !
Unfortunately this doesn’t only happen when you get out of a toxic relationship. Anyone who has ever taken a bullet in the heart will use heavy artillery the next time they meet someone. And the next person, who has done nothing wrong, will pay the bill of the previous table. Yes, it’s very unfair, I know. And yes, while the person who played you is already giving away “I love you” like a rapper would si with $100 bills, you are still buried to ground like a rabbit on a hunting day. No, it’s really not fair. Like Rambo said, it was not my fucking war. Yes I love litterature.
It is hard and it would be so much easier to keep my head into the ground and never face anything. Here is another quote I like : as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Yes it’s a little cheesy, but I like it. It’s from Ernest Cline. Plus, I looked, and Stallone said nothing as good as that.
Illustration #5 : Drama Queen
So after months of thinking, of getting better and fighting against what have become my new survival reflexes, telling myself that trust is still possible and that HE is not HIM, lowering my guard is still a very tough thing for me to do. And tough thing to understand for the person in front of me. He comes along with all the best intentions and his heart on a plate and instead of thanking him I pull out my magnifying glass, my night-vision goggles and my forensic gear.
No it’s not his fault, he shouldn’t be paying the previous table’s check, but the last time I heard « I love you » it was followed by the worst attempt of psychological destruction.
So, to the future nice guy with whom I’ll share my life : I am sorry. I am sorry that a felon before you turned the 3 most beautiful words in the world into a trauma. *
I am sorry that you have to fight the obstacles that someone else’s has left before you. But if you have a little faith in me and try for a while, I swear we can be good together. I can fix a washing machine and cook crepes.