Don't take life too serious., Fiction

Flawed Sacrifice.

flawless sacrifice

Looks can be deceiving. The four walls around Maggie’s lifeless body, told a very different story of her life, than the one that played out in her head.

Maggie’s office housed all that anyone knew about her. Her PhD hung on the wall, adjacent to the plush couch, her patients sat on. The bookshelf displayed her best-selling, self-help books. Her children’s artwork, framed around the door.

Not even those closest to Maggie, suspected the depths of her sorrow. A pain that her silence fueled.


Jack looked at his wife for several seconds before asking, “Are you feeling ok, hun?”

He couldn’t help but notice a void in Maggie’s eyes tonight. He watched her clean a dinner plate, in a repetitive circular motion, for nearly 5 minutes longer than necessary. Maggie’s body and mind were locked on something internal.

“I’m fine, babe. Just thinking about Addison’s birthday party this weekend. Could you pick up what’s left on the list tomorrow after work?”

Maggie’s vibrant nature was as absent as her mind. Jack could feel his wife’s vibe, begging to be left alone. He respected the unspoken plea, answering only, “Yeah, I can do that.”

That night, as Maggie tucked the kids in to bed, her hugs and kisses were stale. Afterwards, she sat in the middle of the hallway, equal distance from the only real traces of love, in her defective heart.

Maggie passed through the living room. She stopped behind Jack’s recliner and told him she had a ton of patient’s notes to catch up on and would probably be in her office late tonight. Jack felt a pull in his heart to grab her, but decided to give her some space.

To my family,

I wish this wasn’t real. But it is. This had to happen. I’m not the wife and mother that you have always thought me to be. I have spent the last 20 years building on my knowledge of how to help people feel authentic and happy. That journey has been about me, attempting to heal myself. I’ve been searching over half of my life, to find a way to “fix” me. There is no where else to look.

I followed the paths that are suppose to lead to happiness. I married you Jack because your love was so strong, I thought it would help build me in to a woman that was capable of loving herself. I became a mother because I had studied and seen the power of maternal love. I failed at that too. My soul is just too broken to hold the undeserving love you kids give me.

I have become numb. Numb to the reality that there is no hope. I am numb to career and financial successes. I am numb to the arms that embrace me. I walk in stride only with fear of being exposed as a fake. A woman who masks her total void of self-worth, with drive and designed compassion.

Knowing the pills will be taking effect soon, is the only peace of mind, I have ever really had. Joy on the surface is what I have spent my entire life portraying. There would have come a day, when my make-up wore off, exposing my unhealed wounds. This was the only way to prevent it.

tree painting

Jack, I want you to look at the Piet Mondrian painting you bought me, so many years ago. Do you see how the branches are being pulled away from their foundation by a force, unrecognizable in the painting? Please understand that to be me. Remember how you loved the straight lines and bold colors? Please understand that those lines always looked bent to me, and the colors, pale and draining.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the burden of my false emotions, misleading arms and fractured soul. I will no longer be those burdens on you all.

Now you are free. Now I am free.


Jack sat in the first row, his and Maggie’s children on both sides. They wept together. It was not only a room full of grief for a wife, mother, sister and daughter; but heart ache for a woman, who was never able to truly live.


This week’s prompted writing challenge was to use the line, “Looks can be deceiving” as the first sentence of your story; as well as, make reference to the painting Avond (Evening): The Red Tree by Piet Mondrian, featured above.

50 thoughts on “Flawed Sacrifice.”

    1. Thanks TD …not an easy one to write but couldn’t seem to get away from it. I’m glad you read it…I appreciate it and happy to hear you liked it.

    1. Thanks for reading…it made me sad writing it actually. I tried to change the direction the prompts took me in but just ended at back at Maggie’s story.

    1. Thank you. And you’re right so many people do struggle with depression, and see it as a sign of weakness to ask for help. I’m glad you were able to feel how powerful this disease can be.

  1. Wow, this a great read. Although I’ve never felt this way (I have felt crap, but not this bad),this piece really lifts the lid and exposes and explains so much. I feel like I have a better understanding of depression and those with suicidal thoughts. I’m sure it could help lots of people understand depression, and why, unfortunately, it can be so powerful.

    1. I’m not sure I could have received a better compliment Olivia. The intensity of emotion or lack of emotion that Maggie struggles with in this story is something very real for a lot of people. The shame associated with it is what prevents people for asking for help.

      As you can imagine, I had to tap in to my own dark spots to truly portray the pain she was in. It’s not an easy thing to do but so very necessary. Thanks for reading as always.

      BTW…did I miss your article for the Mums and Tots mag?

      1. You did a great job writing that and you’re so good to share part of yourself.
        It was published but I haven’t put it up on my blog yet. I got some paid writing work and have lots of bills to pay so I’ve been stuck into that recently.
        I’ll put it up tonight and msg you! :0)

      2. Paid writing gigs!! Yeah for you…I only dream of that. lol. Look forward to reading it … whenever you get a chance.

      3. Hey blogging mummies is up! Hope you like it. I’m so pleased about getting work. Can really do with the cash. It’s online content stuff as opposed to really creative eloquent writing like yours, but I do enjoy it. :o)

  2. Dawn,

    This was so heartbreaking. Maggie’s pain was palpable, as was her husband’s helplessness in the situation. You did a wonderful job portraying the emotions of Maggie and her husband.

    God bless you,

    1. Thank you, Cheryl. I appreciate this comment so very much. In re-reading this, I was a little worried that I wasn’t able to convey how helpless the husband was feeling, so that’s just great that you commented on it. Thanks again.

  3. ‘wonderful’ is the only word that crept up to describe such vivid writing. strange how we as readers gravitate towards hopelessness, despair and death….

  4. I was really moved by this piece. It touched my heart in so many places. For a brief moment I thought the inner dialog was your personal thoughts and my heart wept. So thankful that it was all fiction, but alas, I know a thing or two about dark imagery… enough to know it takes life experiences to pull this off. My heart goes out to you nonetheless. Well done my friend.

    1. Thank you so much. Unfortunately, you’re right. It did take a piece of personal experience to pull this off. I though, luckily, have been able to ask and receive help along the way. Had I not, Maggie’s story could have been mine…and so many others. Thank you for reading and understanding the truth in the struggle.

  5. A lot of people have talked about the story as a whole. What struck me the most was the way you used the prompt – the way the painting was an image of her inner self. That was very well done.

    1. Thank you Christine. That was actually a part of the story I was most proud of as well. That feeling of the tree representing me, in a way is what opened a door to Maggie’s character. I appreciate the comment very much.

    1. Thank you, Jen. I really appreciate that. It’s a tragedy like no other…unfortunately it happens way more often then people realize.

  6. Oh,how sad!Beyond even my worst nightmare to feel this way-suicides are so not the answer I feel!Loved the title Dawn-so apt and you have been able to show Maggie’s “flawed” and “pain blurred” emotions/thinking very expertly-felt really sorry for the family.

  7. Such a tragic tale, to be lost like that – and for her family to be so disconnected from her reality. Well-crafted story. And wonderful use of the art prompt. 🙂

    1. Thanks Deanna. I had a college professor (I studied psych) who was a PhD and actually wrote psych text books who committed suicide. That was, in part, where the idea came from.

    1. Its so true. I worked in the field of mental health for 8 yes and saw too many of my peers lose their job and one even her life because of their own baggage. Its tough.

  8. once again…beautiful….I am all too familiar with the feelings… need to connect with Hay House on Facebook…they will take your books……..hint hint

    1. ??? Can’t wait to check that out! And funny you should say that… I have a plot in mind. Just need the courage to go for it.

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