There are some great things about being broken. For one, people stop inviting you to baby and wedding showers because they are afraid you will:
a) break out weeping
b) make cold, sarcastic comments about the impending event.
They are not wrong. I’ve done both. You really only have to do it once before word spreads that you are not the right guest to be seated next to Aunt Nancy.
Being broken means you can be an asshole and people will offer you get out of jail free cards. Not all the time, but a lot of the time. The expectations change. And you let them. Because if you have to explain to one more person why watching a father and daughter dance at a wedding makes you want to slam your head into a wall, you think you will die. So you drink your body weight instead and pass out in the lovely garden behind the reception. And nobody thinks twice about it. Not even you.
But here’s the thing, being broken means you are…broken. Like for real. It means every time some one tells you they love you, you screw your face up like there’s a bad smell in the room. It means that you stop answering your home phone because you would actually rather not know than answer an emergency call ever again.
This may strike some of you as a fairly pessimistic view. Granted, it has its downer moments but there is also something very liberating about looking in someone’s eyes and just admitting how fucked up your puzzle pieces are. Somehow, owning the broken means it owns me just a a little less.
The bigger problem about being broken is that people think they can heal your broken. Flowers, nice words, remembering your favourite wine. I love these things. It would be untrue if I said they didn’t impact me. But deep wounds are not fools. They have not forgotten the kind words that precipitated their making. And they cannot differentiate between then and now. You have roomed with them for so long that you no longer believe you are worthy of being treated well. Fucked up side effect of being fucked up. Ask any child who has ever lived in care. We think if we place them somewhere warm and lovely, with people who are warm and lovely they will become…warm and lovely. But they will fight you, test you, wreck every last thing you offer them because it feel foreign. It feels too, too risky. And then you will finally agree too that they are not worthy of your love. And at least you know something for sure then. Stability in the chaos. Broken logic.
I have often said that it is the broken people in my life that make me feel whole. Like our pieces fit together somehow in a strange abstract portrait. What I am missing, you lend me. Hiding the bodies of our experiences in each other’s back yards. It is the only love I believe. And the picture above becomes the mantra we speak to each other: You are broken and I love your pieces.