From the child who was broken
for her it is very hard to mend…
Her pain is rarely spoken
and she hides the truth from friends.
My parents said they loved me,
but they didn’t act that way.
They broke my heart and stole my worth,
with the words that they would say.
I wanted them to love me.
I don’t know what I did
to make them yell and hit me,
and wish I wasn’t their kid.
They’d beat me up and scream at me
and blame me for their lives.
Then they’d hold me close inside their
arms and tell me confusing lies
of how they really loved me
— even though I was BAD,
and how it was MY fault they hit me,
MY fault that they were mad.
When days were just beginning
I often prayed for them to end,
and when the pain kept coming,
I learned to just pretend
that I am good and so were they
and this was just one of those days
…tomorrow we’d be friends.
I had to believe it so.
I had nowhere else to go.
Each day that I pretended,
I replaced reality
with lies, or dreams,
or angry schemes,
in search of dignity …
until my lies got bigger
than the truth,
and I had no one real to be
My body was forsaken.
With no safe place to hide,
I learned to stop
hearing and feeling
what they did to my outsides.
I tried to make them love me,
till I hated myself instead,
I couldn’t see a way out,
I had wished that they were dead.
I scared myself by thinking that
and it scared me to know,
that I was acting just like them
–and might ever more be so.
To be half the size of a grown-
up and trapped inside my pain…
To every day lose everything
with no savior or refrain…
To wonder how it is possible
that God could so forget
the worthy child you knew you were,
when you had not been damaged yet …
To figure on your fingers
the years till you’d be grown
enough to leave the torment
and survive away from home,
were more than you could count to,
or more than you could bear,
was the reality I lived in
and I knew it wasn’t fair.
We who grew up broken
are somewhat out of time,
struggling to mend our childhood,
when our peers are in their prime.
Where others find love and contentment,
we still often have to strive
to remember we are worthy,
and heroes just to be alive.
There’s a lot of digging down to do
to find the child within,
to love away the ugly pain
and feel innocence again.
There is forgiveness worthy of angel’s
wings for remembering those at all,
who abused our sacred childhood
and programmed us to fall.
To seek and to understand them,
and how their pain became our own,
is to risk the ground we stand on
to climb the mountain home.
The journey is not so lonely
as in the past it has been …
More of us are strong enough
to let the growth begin.
But while we’re trekking up that mountain we need everything we’ve got,
to face the adults we have become,
and all that we are not.
So when you see us weary
from the day’s internal climb …
When we find fault with your best efforts,
or treat imperfection as purposeful crime …
When you see our quick defenses,
our efforts to control,
our readiness to form a
plan of unrealistic goals …
When we run into a conflict
and fight to the bitter end,
We think that winning means
we won’t be hurt again.
When we abandon OUR thoughts and feelings,
to be what we believe YOU want us to,
or look at trouble we’re having,
and want to blame it all on you…
When life calls for new beginnings,
and we fear they’re doomed to end,
Wounded trust is like a wounded knee–
It is very hard to bend.
Please remember this
when we are out of sorts.
Tell us the truth, and be our friend.
For children who were broken…
it is very hard to mend.