Walking on Eggshells – Part 2 Image Interpretation Series

walking on eggshells

I did a Google image search for “walking on eggshells” a long time ago and this picture really spoke to me – enough that I saved it on my computer.  I think as a society we throw around the term “walking on eggshells” so much that many people are familiar with the term but not how it feels to actually be doing this.

Eggshells are fragile; they crack easily.  It would be impossible to walk across them without breaking the ones you step on completely.  Therefore you walk gently, trying as hard as you can to avoid stepping on them, knowing that it is inevitable – you will step on them and they will break.

I felt like this for my entire marriage to Bubba.  It was as if there were eggshells all over the floor and I was blindfolded!  Yes, let’s avoid the eggshells we can’t even see!  That is how life with an abuser feels.  You don’t know the rules because they are made by the abuser and they are constantly changing.

This picture is profound in its simplicity.  There is nothing shown in the room except the eggshells.  To me, this symbolizes that there is nothing in a victim’s life but the eggshells created by her abuser.   Her world revolves around trying to manage her abuser’s moods while avoiding those eggshells.  It is an impossible task yet the victim perseveres because *this* time that he apologizes is the time that he really, really means it.  There is always the hope and certainty that he really doesn’t mean it, that is truly is her fault and she can mitigate the abuse by just doing a better job next time.  We all know how that ends.

Even in the midst of his profuse apologies she continues to walk on those eggshells, deep down just waiting and knowing that this really isn’t the last time.

The floor is littered with eggshells and the remains of her dreams.  They are trod upon because they are strewn haphazardly and they cannot be avoided.  I have swept the eggshells out of my life.

It is a miracle to step confidently now, each footfall landing plainly on a clean floor.



  1. I’ve always thought walking on eggshells was a pretty apt description. Never knowing how one moment is going to go to the next. The floor is a little cleaner, but only since he has less strength and is tired due to age and health.

    • The floor can be completely clean, if you choose it to be. There is such freedom out there – never to walk on eggshells again. Even if he isn’t “as” abusive as he once was, he is still hurting you if you are *still* walking on eggshells. Eggshells have NO part in any relationship – EVER!!!

      You are beautiful and precious and worthy of love and respect.


  1. We Don’t Have To Walk On Eggshells | Bipolar Lessons

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