Why Can’t We Fix All the Broken Ones?

I have a bone to pick. This might not sound like something new, but this one is so entirely different –

Why can’t broken children be fixed?  I mean, they are children – the most malleable, resilient beings I’ve ever encountered. Why, if they have parents & family that love and care for their well-being (and maybe a regular shrink appointment), can’t they all just bounce back, get well, learn a lesson and move beyond the darkness that is drugs; that is demons; that is Hell for Children?

My cousin lost her eldest son yesterday.  That is to say he was technically NOT lost, per se, but at an outside location away from home where he died in his 22-year-old sleep.

How does this happen?  How does a baby who is wrapped up in love and brought to live with two funny, kind, generous, creative, patient people devolve into a sad, frightened, damaged soul who spirals down the drain of drugs and self-loathing?  How does a boy who was wanted out of strong desire to share their love and expand their family unit spin so low and out of control?

Someone damaged him; that’s how. I don’t know exactly who or when, but someone definitely did something to this kid at some point.  They did it well and they did it often.  Often enough for an infant to be constantly fretful while in the care of others. Often enough for said infant to be inconsolable in my arms until he finally cried himself to sleep.  When he finally fell asleep, he’d cry as soon as he was gently set down in the crib he slept in.

Baby-sleep is supposed to be the sleep of angels, but his wasn’t.  He would whimper like a frightened kitten.  There was more to it than this but I can’t even say it – I just can’t.

The things I heard and witnessed from this tyke killed me.  I’ve never cared for a small child who was so intrinsically unhappy and frightened. This was way different from a cranky, colicky baby or a shy toddler and it seriously irked me.  It bugged me enough to mention my concerns to his mother who thanked me and promised to keep a close eye out.

Besides the sitter who cared for him while they were at work, me and my other cousin were the only ones entrusted with his semi-regular weekend-care.  They’d often attend away-meetings as lifelong Amway disciples.

His parents were never able to figure out who did what to him so they were left caring for a boy with unfathomable issues.  He couldn’t articulate specifically what had happened to him.  He just acted out as most troubled children do – by accusing his parents of not loving him; by breaking things in his house; by failing in school; by picking up drugs to ease his agony. It really sounded like agony with this kid.

Gabe spent the past several years in and out of rehab with on-and-off ultimatums from his parents. He had to get his shit together; he needed to either go to college or get a job; he needed to stay clean.  A couple of times his parents took him out of rehab after desperate middle-of-the-night phone calls through a waterfall of expert crocodile tears.  Feeling the pain and promise in his voice, they’d “rescue” him from the rehab facility and bring him home to his comfort zone.

Except his comfort zone was a mirage.  This kid was never happy for whatever reason and it took its toll on him as much as it took a toll on his parents.  Either he gave up or his body just gave out.  He was only 22, if that.

So whoever it was that poisoned this kid’s mind, I hope you were a witness to this broken child’s downfall.  I hope you feel the pain of the fractured wings you left this family with, when all they wanted was to soar on winds of love and light and promise.  May you choke on darkness.  May your blood be tinged with the poison you inflicted on this family; on MY family.

On Gabriel.

Poor Gabriel. I heard that God or Jesus or whoever you believe in restores you; that they are experts at wing repair and halo-shine.  I hope you fly with pimped-out wings, kiddo.  We’ll miss you. I promise to kick ass if I ever find out who damaged you. I’m sure I’ll have a small army… Save some wings for us, Gabe.

Gabe is the sad one. My little guy was looking to bonk heads with him; he was sort of a tiny bully... At least they got to play nice sometimes. :(

The sad one, ca. 1992. My little guy was about to kiss him on the head… Gabe was happier in the inset shot; playing with J’s toys or possibly the cat. 😦


About LVital7019

Just your normal, everyday 9-5er. An uninspiring position in an inspirational non-profit moves me to constant goof-offery; aimless, on-the-job procrastination; a crankiness that borders on psychosis; and attempting to craft something meaningful with words. Just another so-called-job inspiring someone to feats of insanity with a hint of creativity... (Insert demonic laugh HERE.) View all posts by LVital7019

4 responses to “Why Can’t We Fix All the Broken Ones?

  • barbaramullenix

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. Sometimes it is just indifference and not abuse. That’s almost worse, as there’s no one specific to kick in the ass. My brother and mother were both bi-polar, back in the day when it was referred to as “hormones”. Certain circumstances still have the ability to truly piss me off.


    • LVital7019

      I fully acknowledge that it could be. I used to get on the other one’s case about being “too judgy” – it’s easy to say they’re away too much; they should spend more time with him; he’s left with too many different people. They seemed, in my eyes, to be doing the best they knew how. We’ll never know I guess… Thanks for your words but I’m sure his parents & little brother deserve them more. My obsession will be over the WHY for a good while. :/


  • REDdog

    Gnnnnrrrr…include in me in your army L

    Liked by 1 person

  • Tony Single

    This makes me so sad. There are always those who are undeserving of slipping between the cracks… 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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Tony Single

artist. wastrel. a quantum of potential.

The Greenwich Village Literary Review

A magazine by writers who love to write for readers who love to read.

The Winter Bites My Bones

The Collected Poems of Dennis McHale: 1981-2016

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