Living with broken

I live with broken.

Broken is a woman who stands next to you at the bus stop, she serves you in the supermarket, she overtakes you on the motor-way doing seventy and maybe just a little more, the wind in her face as she free wheels her way into the week.

Broken is a man who enjoys his authority, big in his work place he acts just a little bit tough so that he is in charge and in control of you. Sometimes he is not in charge of himself.

I live with broken.

Broken is the child whose anger at her mother was generated by the things that her father told her when she was small. Broken is built in layers of distrust and dismay and despair. Broken is desperate for someone to give her the foundation to build on that her feet cannot find. Broken is old and is young and is all places between. Broken has no way of knowing when she feels hungry. Hunger, was somebody else’s agenda, a need that she filled for others but something she never could learn to fulfill for herself.

Broken tries to make choices and sometimes she copes and her world begins turning like other folks’ windmills. Then guilt and uncertainty wash up from the basement and the choices she made turn out sour, uncertain, silly, ridiculous things.

Broken is angry and broken is frightened and broken is never quite sure of the right thing to do because choices and chances were all mixed together and split into two distinct parts in the world that broken grew up in. He chooses and never gives chances, not first ones not second ones, other people have always had too many chances, when decisions are made, broken feels justified, safe and secure. He struggles with friendships, is lonely is scared of the future but you wouldn’t know if you watched from the outside, broken is proud of the man he grew into, determined and driven, there is nothing uncertain and no ambiguities. There are no shades of grey that are whirling in broken.

I live with broken. The fall out the side effects, drug choices and outcomes.

I live with broken. The upsurges, anger and fury, the guilt and the shame and the black howling void. The hole that gapes wide unexpectedly. Dreams of being caged and then shot with machine guns. Losing her mind and perspective and finding it, there, where she didn’t expect it to be.

Broken. In mind and in heart and in soul and in sorrow. Broken. In childhood, which should have been safe when it wasn’t. Broken. Between people who purported to love him but left him instead for the vultures, on hillsides exposed to the elements, abandoned. And terrified. And desperately trying to please so that someone would love him. Locked in the gaze of his mother or father, not loved for anything other than the harm they could cause to the other.

Broken in mind and perspective. Broken in heart and in soul and in spirit.

Broken little children taken and broken and robbed of the right to their childhood. Pouring the poison of mother or father into the veins of the babies they bear.

Broken is not strong in the fracture lines but fragile and easy to break all over again.

Broken and damaged, alienated and finally erased.

I live with broken their lives and their lights and their souls, stolen away by the adults who should have known better but didn’t. And all in the name of the mother and father, these children are broken and turned into ghosts of the grown ups they could have been (should have been).

Living with loss is living with broken. Living with might haves and could haves and should haves. Living with hope that is dashed and despair that is futile. Living with broken is hopeless and useless and all of the negatives possible to think of.

And caring,

For broken.

Whose chances and choices were stolen.

Living with broken

is caring that children get better than that.


  1. Thank you Karen.

    When I start to lose heart with banging my head against the brick wall that is the family court system, and which purports to put children first, your words keep me going.

    Thank you.


  2. Thank you Karen.

    When my head really starts hurting from banging my head against the family court system, which vainly purports to put children first, your posts really help me to keep going.

    Thank you.


  3. I often wonder after 23 years of being deprived of seeing my own children how broken they must be. Where do you begin if your adult child is this broken? Where do you begin if you have no way of contacting them? Where do you begin if the alienation now affects your grandchildren as well as your children? Thank you Karen for highlighting the torment that children/adults go through.


  4. Living with healing

    With all the sadness and turmoil and indecision inside of me; the mistrust I had learnt from my parent/parents, I chose to stay a part of humanity. The hurt that forever lurks inside of me is finally exposed driven out by the companionship of humans and the source of their love.

    Whilst I know now that history cannot be changed it is my very own personal history unique to me; one that only I can visualise.

    I have come to terms with the feelings I felt and am now more aware, enabled, less confused and hurt by arguments which conflict.

    I can taste anger; chew it over and spit it out if I wish.
    I can smell fear and sense something more fragrant if I desire.
    I can feel the need for reassurance and stroke away the tears.
    I can see light and shade and smile in their brilliance in equal measure.
    I can hear the sound of pounding acid rain and sense nothing but the gentle flurries of Spring snow.

    My journey is my adventure and my choices good or bad, have become my perfect destiny.

    Kind regards


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