Like Broken Glass

"Pain is pain, hurt is hurt, fear is fear, anger is anger, and it has no color."  ~Iyania Vanzant

There is a saying in recovery, "hurt people hurt people".  I used to think I understood what it truly meant and felt that I did not apply to it in any way.  I always considered those around me and their feelings in all my actions, but it seems that I have been mistaken.

It has been over a year now since I went through my last divorce.  It was my second unsuccessful marriage, and it was in my actions after that time that this truth become clear to me like a freshly cleaned window.

There are all kinds of ways we can hurt people in this life.  It is not just done directly by a gun, blunt object, or the tongue.  We can inflict all kinds of damage to others just by the choices we make for ourselves.  The man a woman chooses to marry, if he is not a man of integrity and kindness, can possibly down the road be an abusive father, or simply a poor example of what a man is supposed to be.  This is not a direct act of blatant hurt or premeditated infliction, but it still has its effect on others in the long run. 
 That being said, it is easier to realize that there are ways in my life I might have inflicted pain and suffering upon another.  

My point of greatest weakness is in my relationships.  My choice in men has left others to ponder my very sanity, and question my judgment deeply.  It is almost like a scarlet letter than I have placed with my own hands upon my brow. For others to witness.  I am drawn to a broken man like a river is drawn to the sea.  Is it because I want to fix someone or repair what’s broken?  Maybe, I only know that when faced with a room of choices I will always gravitate to the ones that others would avoid. 

When I started dating again after my last divorce I talked to a couple of nice men and then decided to join a dating site.  Needless to say, a person with my kind of issues should never join a dating site.  It is like putting a heroin addict in a room full of needles; or a child loose in a china shop. Not a good idea all the way around.

In the course of trying to find the perfect man for me, I found myself dating the most broken ones.  I cannot completely explain it, but that is only part of the problem I created.  As certain dates did not work out, or did not meet my need to be utterly needed, I would immediately latch onto the next prospect like a spider grabbing its prey.  Poor unsuspecting men, who simply wanted to meet someone to love, would be trampled upon like they were in the middle of a stampede, as I scurried over to my next prospect of a mate. 

Unfortunately, I left behind a trail of destruction in my wake.  I will probably never know just how far and wide, but I am certain it is there, and I am its culprit.  Now in hindsight I can look back and see it more clearly.  I can view the wreckage for what it is; a broken person hurting other broken people as they pass in life, like a frantic hand reaching through the broken glass. 

I am now settled into a new relationship.  To someone that I met on the date site.  A man that captivated me from the first moment I laid eyes on him.  Our desperate need to be loved and needed makes us both the perfect pair and not.  It is kind of like science experiment that is both amazing to watch, but can be a disaster when it explodes over the flask.  He is a beautiful hearted man, who has made choices in life that have sent him trailing down a harder road than most, and in so many ways so have I.

I guess one could say based on my last paragraph that I have not learned anything from my past mistakes, but to that statement I would disagree.  It may appear that way, but I believe that some changes do not happen fast.  Some things move slow like an old man without his cane.  I may still be in a relationship with a broken person with a past, and I may be frazzled and broken myself, but like a window that has been repaired with new glass, I can see what is before me.  There was a time when I was wandering blindly to this truth.  

Life is like that; a journey of different measured cobbled stone steps that take a while to make.  I may not be where I need to be today, but I am not where I was yesterday, and that is a progress, be it slow as it is.  The truth is, I am a work in progress, and I may still fall along the way, but I am learning a little here and there as I take each step forward.  I may have lingered in the place some would caution to leave, but I also am aware of the cause and effect of my actions and this is a clarity that in the past was utterly broken.  Now it is in the process of a careful and slow repair.

Yes, hurt people hurt people, but those in the process of recovery can reveal healing in their life, that can also give hope to another on their path, and that is where the miracle of recovery begins.

Linking with Poetry Jam for Mary's prompt "Broken".

The photo above was obtained from Google Images.


  1. Life certainly is a learning curve isn't it. Hope you have found long lasting happiness this time.

  2. Dear Carrie, seldom are we privileged to read of this deep, deep look into the lives of the bloggers we enjoy. Thank you so much for sharing. as all of us have these broken panes in our windows. Take care and enjoy what stretches ahead!

    1. I agree with Helen and could not have expressed this better !

  3. I have found that with time I know myself better and hopefully that makes me a 'better' person to live with. Best of luck with your new relationship.

  4. Carrie, I think you have a gift of personal honesty, and that cannot help but be very good for your present relationship. You seem to be in tune with your weaknesses as well as your strengths. I like the idea of 'careful and slow repair. Wishing you success and happiness!

  5. So good for you that you are sharing this and that you are , like others of us, gaining insight in to who you are and how it affects you and others. This insight, to me at least is the beginning of growth!

  6. Thank you for another powerful write! Relationships are so complicated, though over the course of my-life-so-far, I have developed some impressions about them that, for me, seem to have held up pretty well.

    Narcissists do exist (statistically one in every 100 people, so they say) and they should be avoided at all cost.

    The people that remain seem to fall into two groups. Within both these groups, there are smart and not so smart people, the talented and the untalented, and on and on. On a superficial level, people in both groups can come across as engaging and pleasant. But there is one thing that separates those that can heal themselves and repair their lives from those who cannot. And that is the ability to step back from their life and look at themselves – not as a central character but as a player, surrounded by others who, too, have hopes and dreams, challenges and adversities.

    I have seen people who were despised as bullies when they were children become lovely adults – and people you would have thought had the world at their feet when they were young, turn their lives into train wrecks of broken promises. I have seen people with debilitating addiction problems turn their lives around and go on to help others – and I’ve seen functioning alcoholics hurt anyone who comes near them, over and over and over again. I have seen people age with grace and dignity, while others become embittered and miserable.

    The difference, I believe, is the ability of one group to see their lives with introspection, clarity and honesty, to set realistic goals and to strive to be the best person they can be (they want to be liked and loved and respected and regard that as being important in their life) – while the other group is totally lacking in introspection; they live in the moment, see themselves as central to their every interaction and do not hold themselves to a higher standard (they expect to be liked, loved and respected).

    You are very honest and introspective, Carrie (and an awesome writer, to boot) and have triumphed over a lot. And I have, no doubt, things will only get better and better for you.

  7. This is an insightful writing Carriie. There's a heart and soul endeavor to seek the right path to carry on life's uphill journey. It's not so easy to hold a search-light upon the inner self. Kudos to your courage and honesty. You deserve to be happy. My very best wishes for your happiness.

  8. It takes a lot of courage to lay it all out there for the world to see....but it surely is the path to our own individual freedom too. We are only as sick as our secrets. Bless your heart for jumping in with both feet and looking deeply and honestly at your spirit and what makes you, you. I am a long time member of Alanon and that program has helped me with lots of similar issues as you are describing here. My need to be needed, to help, to fix what is broken. Its been quite a journey. lol Thank you fro sharing your heart here.

  9. I fully agree with you. We 'damaged' people are automatically drawn to that which is familiar to us, be it an alcoholic, a drug addict, an abuser, a manipulator... It's like our 6th sense picks up a broken person in a room full of perfectly normal people and we zero in on them. I've proven this to myself time and again.
    The fact that you are fully aware of it this time, I hope will tilt the balance in both your favours and you are able to support one another, break the circle, and grow together into the wisdom you so obviously have.

  10. there is also a statement that rough stone smooth each other out - healing comes from those who have been ill also!

  11. This is a powerful and heart wrenching piece and i pray for your healing and happiness.

  12. So much honesty--a brave and insightful piece of writing. I think we all learn along the way--it is WHAT we learn that varies. Good luck.

  13. I feel privileged to look into your heart, Carrie, with this intimate write, which is quite poetic prose. I hope this new relationship mends the breaks and makes the pieces whole again.

  14. this was such a thoughtful reflection.

    i can totally sympathize with how you attracted all the 'broken ones.'

    i have found myself doing that, repeatedly. i always attracted broken people. my insight on this was that i just wanted to save them...i saw a good person with a broken soul, and i always wanted to help them...yet i never really could. :/

    i also think that has a lot to do with how receptive you are to people and their personal wounds...i'm very sensitive, i think i can sense hurt people, and always wanted to offer solace. i guess none of that is a healthy basis for a you mentioned, it becomes destructive and never quite works.

    i wish you luck in the dating arena. maybe, if all else fails, for a while you can enjoy just appreciating your own company. :)

  15. Hugs to you, for sharing your heart and allowing us to realize life is a process of forgiveness and beginning again!

    YOU are in my thoughts and prayers, Carrie! @>---------------


Post a Comment

"Our best thoughts come from others." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Popular posts from this blog

Metaphors Have Stained Glass Windows

Simple Yet Profound