The Unbreakable Ones

photo credit

photo credit

I did not break the internet. It tried its best, though, to break me these past few weeks. Yes, the internet, and social media in particular, provided a swift and clear reminder as to just how cruel it could be. Or, to be accurate, how horrid and thoughtless small-minded humans can be under cover of a computer screen.

Unless you live in a blissful wifi-free bubble then you are likely to have read at least some news of current events in the US. I have stood fast in my resolve to not enter into any public discussions concerning my thoughts on any of these events. Generally, I am able to ignore the ensuing internet feeding frenzy that results when controversial news surfaces. This time, however, I could not turn away. I found myself submerged in the dirty, murky water wherein the internet trolls forage for prey. I was unable to pull myself away from the comments sections of Facebook posts and media sites. I was both stunned and saddened by the viciousness and hatefulness I encountered, and it was being hurled about with voracity by people on all sides of the equation. It took every bit of willpower I possess not to jump into the fray and get down into the ugliness. After a few days of wallowing in the decay I made the wise decision to unfollow almost all of the public figures I was following, not because they did not have a right to voice their opinions, but because of those dreadful comments sections. I forced myself to stay off of social media for a period to allow the worst of the storm to pass.

What I found at these sites tore at my heart, and it shook my soul to the core. I was on the brink of tears, and my stomach was in knots. It drove me to a place where I seldom go, and that place is a depressive state. I took to the couch, pajamaed and prepared to settle in for the foreseeable future. I have learned that when the rare bout of depression hits it is best for me to sink down in it, as this allows me to emerge from it faster than if I try to fight it off. So it was that I spent a few days prone in front of the TV watching anything other than the news, sipping tea, napping, and allowing my thoughts to roam where they would. As my soul began to heal it allowed my thoughts to go where they needed to in order to find the light again.

Those thoughts honed in on a quote from a favorite book, Gwen Cooper’s Homer’s Odyssey. (If you are not familiar, it is the story of how an eyeless, abandoned kitten entered the author’s life and changed it in ways she never could have imagined.) The quote is as follows:

“What happened was that I caught a glimpse of something I desperately needed to believe in at that point in my life. I wanted to  believe there could be something within you that was so essential and so courageous that nothing- no boyfriend, no employer, no trauma- could tarnish or rob you of it. And if you had that kind of unbreakable core, not only would it always be yours, but even in your darkest moments others would see it in you, and help you out before the worse came to the absolute worst.”

If you had that kind of unbreakable core… Boom! Is that powerful or what? These words have come back to me time and again over the years since I first read them. I once sent a copy of the book to a friend because, quite frankly, she had been through more than any one person should have to go through in this life, and I was left doubtless that she in fact had an unbreakable core.

Well guess what internet? So do I! I have that kind of unbreakable core. Yes, you may have made me forget that for a brief time. You may have sucker punched me and sent me reeling to the couch. You may have even scratched the surface of my core. But break it? With the likes of some sorry internet trolls so absorbed in their own self-loathing that they spew it outward trying to infect others? I think not! I am up off of the sofa and back on my feet. I know that the smart, caring, and open-minded people of the world far outnumber the rotten, belligerent ones. Oh, and for the record, I also know that I have the power to turn you off and tune you out! You could come at me with something far more substantial than that, and you still would not stand a chance at breaking me.

I have that kind of unbreakable core, and if you are reading this I am willing to bet that you have it, too. We all get pushed to our limits at times, but we survive to tell the tales. We are, always, inevitably stronger than we know. We are capable of rising above the smallness, the meanness, that gets thrown in our paths. We conquer fears, heartaches, illnesses, and all manner of adversity. We endure, we persevere, and we thrive because there is something planted firmly in our core that chooses to win. We are the unbreakable ones.

25 thoughts on “The Unbreakable Ones

  1. I am sorry that you have been through so much recently. I can imagine how nasty and vicious some of those internet troll can be. There has been so much negativity and high emotions on both sides that you have done really well not to have become embroiled in all the crap that is going on. I admire you and your strength of character. 🙂


  2. I’m glad you found your unbreakable core! That is an image and quote I will have to use. I have also stayed away from the comments, because they make me want to scream. Welcome back, and please take solace in knowing you are not alone.


    • Thanks so much! It is one of those quotes that has stayed with me since I first read it. I am getting wiser and for my sanity staying away from where I know trouble lurks…on my smarter days at least. It is nice to know I’m in good company. 🙂

      I love your blog’s name- how clever! I’m glad you came to visit me, thus leading me to your blog as well. Best, Karen


  3. Comment threads can be an ugly place indeed — such thoughtless and hateful things are said when people feel they are anonymous. So sorry, Karen. Glad your kind spirit has not been broken.


    • You are right on that Sandi! I have had that conversation with my husband more than once lately- would people feel compelled to say the same things to each other face-to-face that they so quickly type out from the relative secrecy behind a keyboard? I would like to think not…


  4. Love that quote. Thanks. I believe we all do have that same core, but I also believe it has to be “sheltered”? I find I’m better off keeping my “core” away from too much negativity because it does eventually get to one. Saints and sages throughout the ages seem to suggest, and I’m finding it true for me, I need to keep my focus submerged in sunlight, whatever form that takes. Hanging out in the dirt, we just get dirty. And after a while, we know, the washer just doesn’t get it all out! We don’t break, but we can get weighed down with debris!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Here’s a quote I just saw on the Pied Type blog regarding our previous discourse:
    “It’s a fact that you’re going to have a different opinion or view on certain topics or issues. You need stand your ground by sharing your view.” ~ Michael Barbarulo


    • Hanging out in the dirt, we just get dirty- isn’t that the truth! I usually steer far clear of that sort of thing, and this whole experience has been a prime example as to why. I am re-focused and turning back toward the positive.

      Great quote, and I agree. I’ll have a look at the blog as well. Another quote I have been getting good use of lately is from Anthony Bourdain and says, “I don’t have to agree with you to like you or respect you.” Here’s to having differing opinions without compromising our core values!


  5. Karen, this is really well written. I have seen the vicious comments on the comment threads of news feeds myself, and they can really affect a person’s mental frame of mind just reading them,
    I could never be a columnist for a newspaper, I take things way to personally….lol. So far, I have loved the blogging experience. 🙂
    I sincerely want to thank you for the follow. You are a very inspiring writer of what I have read so far. Looking forward to reading more! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Carl,
      Thank you in return for this wonderful comment and the return follow. I’m glad that I found your blog through our mutual friend See Fleck Run!
      I find the blogging community to be far more agreeable than other social media outlets for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think former generations were better at training the younger generations for this unbreakable thing you speak of. I think these are the tools we left behind when everyone left the church, women went back to work and the high divorce rates. Not that I think everyone should go back to church, not work, and stay in crappy marriages. But I think we do need to go back, take a look at some tools we left behind and see if we need to pick them back up.

    Liked by 1 person

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