“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.
The Heart’s Serie #1
« The escape »
I drew this picture when I started to feel healed. « Healed » is a big word, but at least better, when I started to feel a little bit alive, when the taste of little things made its way back in my life. This story almost got me, it’s like I came back from the dead.
Because it’s cute to post funny pictures but sometimes, behind the curtains is hidden a dark, moist, bug-swarming place, and it happens, and we should talk about it too. Being sparkly happy everyday is a fight against darkness, it’s a fucking struggle, but back then, for months, on the ground, destroyed and ashamed, I couldn’t fight anymore.
I went to get help after it – yes it means seeing a shrink in a softer way – and one thing stood out more than the others in my head : when you have known this kind of person ONCE, you don’t get fooled again. You smell them from miles away like a shark with blood.
So yeah, I will do something with this picture someday. This story needs to be told. I wanted to wait until I was healed, until my stomach ain’t no longer aching.
The Heart’s Serie #2
« The spell in the wilderness »
No matter how devoted people around me have been, some fights have to be led alone. Friends, family, they were all here, along the road, giving me encouraging taps in the back, and awaiting for me at the end of it with a towel, a pint of beer and a piece of chocolate cake.
But the climbing, the long exhausting road to the top, had to be done alone. And oh my god, it seemed so f*cking long to me… When I opened my eyes, I also blamed myself of course, because a fellon sneaked his way into my life and I gave him a first-class seat.
Yes I lost some toes in the frost along the way, but the strength it took me will stay forever, and this too, is mine, and mine only. When I started to bounce back, I was unstoppable. No matter how brutal it was, that bitch of a lonely spell in the wilderness was really worth it.
The Heart’s Serie #3
« The Quarantine »
Losing him was torture. But losing myself for someone was even unacceptable. I had to run away. Trying to forget what I felt to remember what I deserved. To rationalize. To hand over the reins back to logic.
My heart, that douchebag of an organ, was childish, agitated, irrational, and basically made me act recklessly.
Enough already, let’s put on a straitjacket and see if you still play smartass !
I imposed myself a drastic cut with my emotional self, to accept the pain and its side effects, to not fight it, to not foolishly overcompensate, to not seek for comfort in men’s arms in desperate search of a little love, to not take shelter in ephemeral easiness hoping to find long term solutions.
So I waited. And waited. I repeated to myself « Be patient. Be patient (For god fucking sake it feels so long!) Be patient. ». And I ate french croissants (applicable with each individual’s favorite food). *
And to not call him. Because inner peace ain’t like losing a ring in the grass : there’s no use looking for it in the same place you lost it
The Heart’s Serie #4
« The Retreat »
And someday, finally, some peace. To avoid emotional outbursts, I quit everything that could have been a trigger, such as drinking and partying too much. Eat a little, go home early, see real friends : it has been my very own little way of taming my recovery. And you can’t win some calm back through abuses. I had to build it all over again.
I had accepted so much: senseless drama, spiteful criticism, isolation, anger, chaos… Why is it like this with him? Why does he treat me this way? Do I deserve it? Did he really mean that? What went wrong? When? WHY?
You know what ? There is no truth to find. No empathy. No possibility of sensible answer from him.
You know what ? My peace was way more important than torturing myself trying to understand.
You know what ? I-LET-GO
I gave it my whole gut strength until it slipped on me like water. I made a paper windmill out of his fucking storm. A duck pond out of his landslide. A little cabin out of his ruins. A little origami chicken out of his dark thoughts.