Fear of breaking my legs

by Stephanie
(San Antonio, TX, USA)

A few years ago, my feet started swelling at all times of day. Still, I wore my high heels and suffered the pinching until I could take them off and wiggle my toes.

One day, I stepped into my shoes and twisted an ankle. Something snapped, but it wasn't my ankle.

For about four years now, every time I put on high heels, it is an effort of defiance. If I am wearing wedges, I become afraid that I will topple to the side and fall like a brick on concrete. Hard! If I wear stilettos, I am terrified that I will twist my ankle again, or worse, my feet will shatter. The pain does not help since it already feels like I have someone raking the soles of my feet with glass shards. On carpets, I worry about stepping on needles and other sharp objects. On grass, I worry about pests and insects. On rocks, I worry about shattering my feet against the harsh surface. On tile, I am constantly searching ahead of me for anything that can break my feet, testing every step with pent-up breath for the moment when the wrong step will shatter my feet.

My way of coping is to defy the moment. I'll walk barefoot on everything else but grass. After every victory, like walking from the gate to the house today in sandals, I pat myself on the back for my victory in making it even that far.

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