Bitter Surrender

We accepted the bank’s terms this morning and they accepted our acceptance. When it was over, I first felt relieved. The first thing I did was pull into the house, step outside, and water the plants. I haven’t watered the plants in weeks, watching their shriveled existence in passivity, perhaps enjoying that their pain resembled mine. But then, I felt compassion for them and wished them goodwill.

But while the water rained on the thirsty plants, the relief metamorphosed into something dark and numb, like a shark’s eye. I felt … malevolent. Like I could crush, pierce, grind, and clack without horror, without pleasure, without feeling at all.

I want to pack in earnest now. We’ve been taking our time, puttering around, listless. But now, I want to get out of here fast. I don’t want to ever see this house again. I want it behind me, forever forgotten. I hate it. I hate it for the years it robbed. For blighted dreams. For plans gone awry. For missed opportunities. I hate it for being so far and away not what it was intended. It is a perversion. A waste. A black hole devouring stars.

I anticipate seeing Prineville in my rearview mirror. I want it receding into the distance, disappearing in the horizon. I want it gone, blotted out, and cast away.


As Greta would say, it is such a good word. It sounds evil — having all the letters of that word, save one, included.

Rejected, I want to reject.

I know in the future I may be able to construct a memory of this place with fondness.

But not now.

There is a time for everything, and now is the time to hate, to feel humiliation. To taste the bitterness of defeat. To relish the gall.

I feel, not the red-hot anger, but the cold, clammy fury of revenge — of wanting someone else to pay, someone else to blame, a receptacle for the emotions I wish to pour.

But there is no one.

I am defeated. And it is bitter. I surrender, seething.

It will all be over soon. The hope will return. But, today, I don’t care. I don’t care at all.



  1. Danielle,

    I’ve been following your writing about losing your house with a heavy heart. We went through the same thing about four months ago. You write about the pain, struggle,and sense of rejection so eloquently. I stood in my beloved garden on the last day in our house, running my hand over the rough fence boards and trying to hold back the tears. Working in that garden brought me solace and took the place of the thousands of hours I would’ve spent with the childern I might’ve had. Every ounce of me wanted the world to pay for this mini-heaven being ripped away from me by the worst progression of circumstances we couldn’t have planned for. But like you, there just wasn’t anyone to aim at.
    But healing will come and the corner will turn, my friend. I am sending up all the positive thoughts in the world for you and your family. If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to ask.


    1. Thank you for sharing, Tracy. Strange, but misery does love company. It feels good to hear other people have experienced this. Rationally, I know I should feel compassion first, but the sympathy arrives after the relief of knowing that other people have experienced this too. I am ashamed to say it. Aren’t humans strange? How does it help either of us to know we’re not alone? And yet, it does help. Perhaps it proves we are meant to live in community with one another, sharing each other’s burdens. Perhaps it helps us to build relationships and rely on one another. Thank you for your words of encouragement. Let me know how you are doing. Has the healing come? Have you turned the corner? Are you onto something new? My better feelings have won out now and I am able to feel only sorrow for what you’ve been through. But I’m thankful for your sharing it. It has been a consolation.


  2. Your best post yet: A lovely piece full of the honest passion of the experience. You’ve got the outline of your book…now what.


  3. Hi Danielle,
    I am so sorry for you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers. No one should have to go through this, no one! I just heard that North Dakota is hiring left and right and are desperate for workers. It is mostly construction work, but if your husband is willing to lift a hammer, I heard they pay very well. They even pay $15.00 just to flip burgers. You might check into it. Let me know if I can help, I would love to buy your family pizza one night for dinner. Let me know. I am back at the office, my number is 447-5189. I know it’s hard, keep your chin up you are an awesome person with a beautiful smile and you have an awesome husband and beautiful girls. Love ya, June


  4. I agree w/ Jeremy…best post yet. And yet, I am so sorry you and your family have to experience that. As I read your words, the phrase “…beauty out of ashes” keeps going through my mind. I don’t know why, or when it will be for you Danielle, but I keep hearing those words mean’t for YOU strongly spoken in my head. Although you can get “evil” out of evicted, minus one letter, you can also get “excited,” with a change of one letter. I pray that this pain you are going through today, turns into so much joy for you and your family one day soon, and the doors will be opened for you to one day say, “Oh, now we understand.” If you or anyone in your family ever needs anything, don’t you dare hesitate. Our door is always open to you all!
    On the Solid Rock,


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