Broken Children
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Broken Children

                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 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
                One 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 to know, 
                That we were acting just like them ---
                And might evermore 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's possible 
                That God could so forget
                The worthy child you knew you were,
                When you'd 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 of us are stealing.
                Most are passing the anger on.
                Some give their lives away to drugs,
                or the promise of life 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's 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 is 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,
                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's very hard to bend.
                Please remember this
                When we're out of sorts.
                Tell us the truth, and be our friend.
                For children  who were broken...
                It is very hard to mend.


                                       By Elia Wisa  
                                      (copyright 1989)