“A home is more
than just walls and paint.

And our broken homes are more than just
the family that raised us,
and the house we called our own.”

– Adam Austyn

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So what's a
broken home?

A dictionary would tell us that a "broken" home is defined by nothing more than the family structure of that home — that a child is raised by a mother and not a father, a father and not a mother, or neither at all — left to relatives, or orphanages, or strangers to be for them what their parents could not. A broken home, we're told, is a divided home. Nothing more. And so often these homes become synonymous with the most destructive and abusive of situations for a child:

Homes with parents who fight – who yell, and scream, and hate one another and their lives – all in front of their children.

Homes wrecked by abuse; by parents who hit, and spank, and make fun of kids too impressionable to be anything but hurt.

Homes destroyed by addictions; by parents who stumble home drunk and high to their children waiting scared and alone.

But is that really it?
Is that a broken home?

Afterall, a home is more than just walls and paint. And we're raised by far more than just the people we come home to, our parents or guardians. We have friends. We have family. We have teachers and coaches, neighbors and acquaintances, strangers and enemies — all who affect us and shape us every day of our youths as much as any parent. We have cultures that pressure us, religions that shame us, and a society that stifles us. We have the world.

bro⋅ken home (n.)
A broken home, then, is every thing and every one that affected us negatively at that point in our lives when we were most impressionable — our youth; when instead of learning how to live and be our best Selves, we learned how to fear, and hurt, and hate.
“Every home is a broken home. Every home does some damage.”
– Adam Austyn

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