Let’s talk about broken homes…
Traditionally, the term “broken home” refers to something very specific and narrow. You know it already, I’m guessing: a really freaking messed-up home – with horrible parents, or one too few; ones that deal with abuse, or addictions, or all things worse.
But no matter what the exact conditions of the home, the basic idea is that because of those difficulties, the home harms the children who live and mature there.
The broken home becomes a wound. Something that must be dealt with or overcome in order for them to live the life they want; in order for them to one day create a home for their children far better than the one they themselves endured.
But think of the people in your life. Your family. Your friends. Your siblings. Coworkers. Fellow students.
Look at anyone. Look at everyone. Look at yourself.
Are they happy? Are they well-adjusted? Are they not wounded in some way?
The thing is…most people don’t suffer from some obvious or life-crippling anxiety or sadness that can be attributed to some alcoholic mother or some absent father. Most aren’t so messed up that they have mental breakdowns, or prolonged periods of clinical depression. Most don’t have some disorder so easily blamed on their parents or the home they grew up in.
Most are just normal people. Mostly sane, mostly functional, mostly likable even.
But beneath that – beneath the outwardly “fine” exterior – the great majority of people are actually pretty messed up they’d say – pretty sad, pretty angry, pretty disappointed with their life and with themselves.
Rather than the obvious depression of those on therapy sofas, they wake and live each day with the quiet and subtle depression most everyone else holds within – a kind of discontent with what life has done to them, or given them, or taken from them that everyday harms them as well.
And that’s a pretty messed up thing, a pretty fucked up thing – that so many live like this all around the world.
No one’s born like this, though. We learned it – like we learned everything. We accepted it as the best way to live when we were never taught the right way to live.
Because a home is more than just walls and paint. And we’re raised by more than just the parents the law calls our guardians.
Our homes – our broken homes – include the people who raise us, the friends who influence us, and the teachers who teach us. It includes the society that shapes us and the beliefs that are fed to us. And from all these influences we have formed the Self that so disappoints us right now; the one that’s led to the life we’re not pleased with; the one that has proven entirely incapable of bringing us happiness.
And it’s in this world – this “home” – where we live, grow, and mature; never learning how to best become the individual we should and need to become.
And it freaking sucks.
Because we are all the products of broken homes.
We all suffer still from the circumstances of our youth. Because it’s in the “homes” of our childhood where we learned – through examples set, and things that happened, and things we were told – the methods by which we would deal with our lives and with ourselves.
And if those around us are proof of anything, it’s that most learn a flawed method, a messed up method, or no method at all. And it’s what we learned (and did not) which has harmed us ever since.
But when we fix it, we fix ourselves.
And then, finally, our life becomes our own. And our broken home becomes the last broken home.