Because I’ve Been Broken

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This past week, like many, many weeks before it, entertainment news has offered a lot of cheap and easy fuel for any writer, blogger or person with a social media account.

It’s easy to point fingers, mock, insult or make hurtful memes of otherwise successful people when they are down and bleeding for the world to see.

We all secretly (or not so secretly) like to in one way or another.  I mean, sometimes these people are rich and powerful for reasons we don’t understand, and then they make such epically terrible decisions that it seems almost like kicking them while they are down is the *right* thing to do.

And I am no different.  Trust me, if there’s one thing I have in abundance, it’s opinions on how other people have messed up.

But then yesterday, through course of conversation with a friend I was reminded of something.

I’ve been broken, too.

In many ways and through no fault but my own, I have been broken.

 I have made very poor choices.

And there have been times those choices have left me in very, very stupid places.

In fact, I was reminded that 16 years ago, the *right* choice seemed at the time to rob a local liqueur store of a case of expensive whiskey. 


 Because we were already intoxicated in one way or another, and we wanted some.

I mean, that’s a totally reasonable, right?

Fast forward several hours and a shit storm of poor decisions and my boyfriend at the time is in police custody, along with a few of my friends and I have squelched my anxiety under so much of said whiskey that I am blacked out in a park, almost literally laying in the gutter.  A friend passing by put my hair in a Punky Brewster ponytail so that I would stop throwing up in it, my shoes were left somewhere back when I could no longer walk in  the heels and it is in that state that my father finds me, 16 years old and completely broken.

Funny thing,

you would never have known this story had I not told you.

Because there were no cameras to catch my mistakes and no press to repeat them.  When I woke the next morning the only lasting consequence was my well deserved punishment that started with cleaning my parent’s vomit crusted car while enduring my even more deserved hangover.

There were no photos.  No memes and no tweets and no talk show host monologues replaying my clouded thinking.

I have been broken but the world wasn’t watching. 
That anonymity is one of my greatest blessings.

And while I’d like to say that was my only mistake in this life, I would be lying.

I screwed up before that, and after.  Again and again.

And while I may momentarily feel like a better person by pointing out the epic screw ups of someone who is judged more successful than me by this world, may I never forget that my life is not perfect, but only redeemed.

Somewhere along the way in this life, we decided that bullying is only okay when someone “deserves” it, when they are considered more successful than their bully.

But I’ve started reading the news in the morning from a different perspective, and I don’t see a lot of famous people anymore.  I see a lot of broken ones.  

So when I watch people, whether they be in my own life or on my
television, make mistakes that seem completely and impossibly stupid, I
won’t be writing about them.

I have too many pages I could write about my own mistakes, and it seems like maybe that should be enough.




  1. In some way, it's possible that we are to blame as well. Society has told that this kind of lifestyle is worth having. When someone gets it and crashes, we then point fingers. It doesn't make any sense.


    1. So true. Have you ever heard the Bebo Norman song Britney? It's a little haunting.


  2. I love your words here. So honest, so true, so powerful. If we are really authentic we have all had our "gutter" moments. Lets get the logs out of our own eyes & stop pointing fingers at other peoples splinters.


  3. You're right…we've all done stupid things and I'm definitely glad FB wasn't around for the majority of them, or I'd be telling a different story.


  4. I've heard many sermons in church that didn't come as close to the mark of truth as this post. Thank you so much for your honesty – it is one of the many ways, I think, in which you are fierce.
    Padre Mike


  5. So true! On social media, people only like to show the good stuff and we forget that everyone is living a real life and it's not always pretty.


  6. Great post. It's difficult to not point fingers sometimes and judge others. I also find all these memes on social media where they plaster someone's photo and add a mean caption to it kind of disgusting. I try and make it a point to not repost things like that.


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