Broken Child

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,

remember …

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.



2 thoughts on “Broken Child

    • voiceswithin1nshead says:

      Thank you, my childhood was something I would never wish on my enemy but yet I cannot escape the painful memories, so I write them down.

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