She was at a crossroads in her life. She had watched helplessly as her mother  suffered through an unfairly  long, drawn-out death, a death surrounded by family betrayals and its ultimate demise.  Followed by more loss and betrayals. She wrestled with understanding, numbness,  lack of sleep, flashbacks and the ridiculously unfounded guilt she had about not doing enough that was tightly packaged inside her body.  Stewing. Fermenting. From time to time slowly oozing from her pores, leaving fractures in its wake. She knew she had to find a way out. Unleash this burden, or it would turn on her.

She didn’t want to do it. It. This. Thing. The Challenge. During the fifteen year relationship she has had with her mentor, she heard it many times. Too many times. Write. Put it to words. You don’t have to do anything with the writing. Just write. Write. It sounded so simple and simultaneously, so horrifyingly hard. Boring even. She’d kept journals in the past, but had always found them so, well, mundane. So she ignored him and she ignored it, and she ignored it. Until she could ignore no more. She had to open the floodgates. Unleash.

No, she didn’t want to do it. But she had avoided and resisted and ignored long enough. It took her several days to find a blog that would fit her most basic needs. After all, she knew, just knew, that she couldn’t, wouldn’t write for thirty-one days in a row. Impossible. Not happening. Nothing she could possibly say would interest herself let alone anyone else.  No use in paying for a blog, or having one with bells and whistles.  It took her another day to find a title that fit where she was and another to find the right image, an image that didn’t need an explanation. .. Exhausted, it took a full week to set up the blog, and the game hadn’t yet begun.


Early on, she realized that this thing, this writing thing, held potential.  She knew she didn’t want it to become a journal, a diary of her life, a kitchen sink list of her days. She threw herself into it, determined to make every piece count. Have meaning. Be alive. Unleash…



The first pieces she wrote seemed endless, even though they were short.  She was spent. Wondered how she would keep the pace. But she found a zen and wrote and wrote and wrote, able to open the gate just a little so that some floodwaters were released, without breaking the dam. Unleash.

And then, it happened…


She kept at it. More determined than ever. She made a commitment , made up her mind, and she had no intention of not following through to the end. She was strong-like-bull that way.

More writing followed. Sometimes it was hours behind the keyboard, waiting for the topic to bubble to the surface.  Each day,  a new surprise as she learned that she didn’t know what she had to say, that she had something to say, until she went back and read it.  It. Read her. Read herself unleashing.

Another revelation ensued. She  understood that the writing she most connected to, the writing she found most provocative, the writing she wanted and desperately needed to do, was going to hurt. That writing would be filled with tears. Her tears. The readers’ tears. Tears all running together as writer and reader came together as one. Unleashed.

She knew it would be risky. She knew it would be unpopular. She was already close friends with the route: The Road Less Traveled…


road less traveled

But she explored the road less traveled anyway, and along it,  she…

…unleashed   and   unleASHED  and  UNLEASHED.

She.   finally.   Unleashed.

And she was better for having done it, for having written, for having cried a river, for having conquered…


Thanks for a great run!

Merci à tous et toutes et à très bientôt !

©Maribeth Batcho     All Rights Reserved


20 thoughts on “Unleashed

  1. While I was reading your words, I thought of the words of Robert Frost, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” and then I saw the quote. This is a journey that changes us. I’m honored to have been a witness to your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good morning, Michelle! Thank you for reading my final piece. I am honored that you have been a witness to my growth this month. I sure do hope this isn’t the last time that we meet like this. 🙂


  2. I love this post. What a wonderful journey you’ve experienced and painted in these words. I need to come back and record some of these quotes they are keepers! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have a strong voice and I am so glad I stumbled onto your words, every single day. What a journey this month has been, but I hope it’s only the first step and you continue on and on and on.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So you saved the best for last! I always loved your photo and title, Unleashed. Now I know the back story….. But it didn’t really matter because your writing was so compelling no matter what the motivation. Your first paragraph really resonated with me, as I, too, had a very bad experience like that in my life of family betrayal. But becoming a writer has helped me to wrestle with my demons in a more productive way and it has taught me that words can heal rather than hurt. So glad to have shared this journey with you.
    A bientot!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This brought a tear to my eyes, Barbara, and I thank you for that. When I went back to search through all of our photos, I knew this was the one for the blog the second I saw it. Mighty, Powerful Niagara Falls. Even frozen she unleashes with force…
      This daily writing became an obsession. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. There is still so much more pent up inside that needs to be unleashed, but not tomorrow. Tomorrow I rest. 🙂


  5. Maribeth, this was stunning. I loved learning why you chose the title and the picture. What an incredible post. You are truly amazing and strong and I’m glad that I found your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is powerful because you packed so much in and kept it moving.
    Here’s the grabber for me – “the ridiculously unfounded guilt she had about not doing enough” because I share experience of caring for elderly parent. You took the real challenge, the one Hemmingway charged writers with, “Write long and hard about what hurts.”
    And I am sure you benefited even more than your cheering audience of TWT bloggers. Yay for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for recognizing that! Many, many of the pieces hurt. I know that some of them were unpopular, because of the not-all-sweet-and-sugary content, but the challenge was about the writing (the unleashing was the motivation). The writing is solid, powerful as you say. Truthfully, I never knew I could do that before March. I thought my ability to create was in another domain completely. So, you are right. I gained enormously from having made Hemmingway proud.
      And, as much as I know-and you know-the guilt is unfounded and ridiculous-it only lessens it slightly. I know I did my best intellectually, but my heart wanted her to live forever, so there is always the ‘what if I had done this…’ that creeps in. Good luck with your mother and her health. It is not an easy path, but love her for who she is today, and all will be good with the world!


    1. I am not sure how I found you, but from the title of your blog, I knew you must be from Haddonfield even before I looked.
      Thank you for the taking a peek at the writing and thinking and for the follow. The challenge was very challenging, sometimes even torturous. Some days I was just plain exhausted, and I think that comes through. Overall, I am glad that I did the challenge, though I am not sure I will do it again. Looking forward to reading your blog, and those of the people you follow.


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