After five days of being down with the flu and bingeing on Netflix, I have come to an unusual conclusion. I adore broken people. Dean (Supernatural), Martin Riggs (Lethal Weapon), Raylan Givens (Justified), Walt (Longmire) and Dexter to name a few. I got to thinking about why these characters have intrigued and fascinated me over the years, some even to obsession.
The common denominator is that each one is broken in one way or another. Life has dealt them some really hard knocks and they are all missing pieces of themselves due to their situations. Yet each one of these fictional characters uses the brokenness to right the wrongs of the world. These men get into our hearts because of their pain and because of the compassion gained from their pain. Each one is hardened, yet tender. They are tough on the surface, the face they show the world but ache and cry when away from prying eyes.
I absolutely love the contradictions and the complexities of each broken psyche. I find myself rooting for them like some underdog. I admire their ability to get out of bed in the morning when it would be easier to just stay tucked away. I long to see their vulnerabilities and share their pain.
We, as humans, all experience life changing shocks; Whether it be loss, illness, and/or any difficult situation. Those things change us. I have talked a lot about this in previous posts because I feel it is essentially important. I have vacillated between trying to show the world how fine I was and being a total basket case. I denied my own brokenness for years with a facade of normalcy. But it is not in the normalcy one finds growth, it’s in the brokenness. Not much in life is harder than smiling on the outside and breaking down on the inside.
I have not really discussed my years of struggle with infertility. I tried through two marriages and over 20 years to get pregnant and it never happened. A few people know that at the age of 17, I did have a child that I gave up for adoption. I was not going to be a very fit mother at that time and I did what I thought was best. Little did I know it would be my last chance at having a child. The years of trying and testing, the years of hope and crushing disappointment took its toll on me. I believe many of my odd behaviors were channeled through the monthly loss of a dream.
I tried to put on a brave face to the outside world, but those closest to me had to deal with my brokenness. I watched friends, family and strangers have children. Many, to me, seemed to get pregnant effortlessly. I cried, begged God, bargained with God and got mad at God. Nothing changed the situation. I was completely helpless. I could not will myself pregnant and it really made me angry. I had to be just horrible to live with.
After the last thirty years, I have finally found peace in the situation and realize it really was for the better. The twinge did hit me once again as my friends and family started having grandchildren. Another experience I would never know. The peace has come but the brokenness is still there. That experience has led me to understand the importance of compassion, for understanding brokenness; to see below the surface, under the exterior into the place where people really live.
The pain I feel at times is epic and is normal at other times. I have finally quit trying to bury it and have accepted it as a part of me, like my hair or eye color. Once the acceptance appeared I was able to finally move past it and learn lessons from it. No more running from the pain. I hope I can finally use the experience to help others somehow. That door is yet to open.
That’s why I love my broken boys. They show me it is ok to be broken, there is no shame in it. Asking for help is not a sin and giving help is the best medicine there is. We all have our brokenness and once we realize that, maybe we can start being kinder to each other, more forgiving. Imagine the concept of being broken as a way to heal the world. It’s worth a try.