Wednesday, August 20, 2008

You can't fix broken people


You just can’t.

Not one person gets through their life unscathed. Each of us collects scratches and dents, a few bruises, a little chip here and there.

But some people are broken.

Early on in their lives, these people were seriously injured. They were hurt, battered, bruised, ripped, torn and kicked. They were shattered and broken and while the pieces were picked up and glued back together, if you look closely, you can still see the edges, the scars which crawl over the surface of skin and soul. For while skin may stretch - translucent and apparently whole - across the scar of the hurt, run your fingers along the deceptively sleek surface and you will feel the uneven places where bones have knit and egos have tried to mesh.

But it is fragile, this “fixing” and temporary. Push, even a little pressure, and your fingers will break through and the gaping wound will reopen, the blood start to trickle.

My eldest daughter chose damaged boys for her first serious relationships. The saviour in her, the yearning, caring part felt the cry of their pain and wanted desperately to assuage the agony.

Instead, pressing up against these boys, the sharp cutting edge of their broken souls cut new scars into her fragile skin, sliced into her tender heart.

After the second time, I sat her down and talked to her candidly, honestly.

I explained to her - you can’t fix the really broken people, no matter how much love you use to salve the wounds. You can’t heal broken people, no matter how much of your own soul you use to try to stem the hemorrhaging tide of need that threatens to overwhelm your own sanity.

Only they themselves have the ability to forge some semblance of normality. Only they know where to find, deep down, the wounds that caring eyes can’t see, the ones which ache and throb and bleed internally and are the true reflection of their damaged psyches.

All we can do, we who love them, is to gently rub cream into the sore muscles and use band aids to cobble together the torn flesh …and in the doing, understand and accept the wounds inflicted on our own fragile lives by the sharp, jagged edges of their broken souls.

1 comment:

Buffalo said...

Unfortunately, you speak the lamentable truth. It is also true that the would be savior often sustains life altering wounds.