• For Children Who Were Broken

    by Elia Wise

    For Children Who Were Broken
    it is very hard to mend......

    Our pain was rarely spoken
    and we hid the truth from friends.

    Our parents said they loved us,
    but they didn't act that way.
    They broke our hearts
    and stole our worth,
    with the things that they would say.

    We wanted them to love us.
    We didn't know what we did
    to make them yell at us
    and hit us,
    and wish we weren't their kid.

    They'd beat us up and scream at us
    and blame us for their lives.
    Then they'd hold us close inside their arms
    and tell us confusing lies
    of how they really loved us --
    even though we were BAD,
    and how it was OUR fault they hit us,
    OUR fault that they were mad.

    When days were just beginning
    we sometimes prayed for them to end,
    and when the pain kept coming,
    we learned to just pretend
    that we were good
    and so were they
    and this was just
    on of those days ...
    tomorrow we'd be friends.

    We had to believe it so.
    We had nowhere else to go.

    Each day that we pretended,
    we replaced reality
    with lies, or dreams,
    or angry schemes,
    in search of dignity ....
    until our lies
    got bigger than the truth,
    and we had no one real to be

    Our bodies were forsaken.
    With no safe place to hide,
    we learned to stop
    hearing and feeling what they did to our outsides.

    We tried to make them love us,
    till we hated ourselves instead,
    and couldn't see a way out,
    and wished that they were dead.
    We scared ourselves by thinking that,
    and scared ourselves to know,
    that we were acting just like them --
    and might ever more be so.

    To be half the size of a grown-up
    and trapped inside their 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
    that 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 we lived in
    and we 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.

    Some of us are healing.
    some are stealing.
    Most are passing the anger on.
    Some give their lives away to drugs,
    or the promise of like beyond.
    Some still hide from society.
    Some struggle to belong.
    But all of us are wishing
    the past would not hold on
    so long.

    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 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 s been ...
    More of us are strong enough
    to let the growth begin.
    But while we're trekking
    up the 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.