gray scale photography of girl walking towards destination

We’re All Just Broken Children Living In Adult Bodies

We’re all just broken children living in adult bodies, aren’t we? We’re mostly made of scar tissue and deflated imaginations, composed of the narratives handed down to us from our parents. Parents who we sometimes forget were children just like us, with all the angst, insecurities, and paralyzing self-doubt.

Our parents learned to love from the only examples they had. Learned what to preach, when to praise, and how to punish. Then, whether intending to or not, they carried on these lessons to their own children and the cycle continued. If from a young age, we feel the hot sting of a hand across our cheek after misplacing one of our toys, we may very well improve at looking after our belongings, but what happens to that child who grows up believing that imperfection is unacceptable? Perhaps this moment in time is deemed insignificant, but do these moments not eventually define us when we’re older?

We may not remember the exact moment our abandonment issues emanated. We may not know why we fear the dark, cramped spaces, or being alone. But somewhere within our tender histories, we developed these phobias. This is also where we developed our bad habits or crooked ethics.

When we become parents ourselves, we vow to not repeat the mistakes made in the wake of our upbringing. We vow to guard our young against all the evil we’ve witnessed, at least until they’re strong enough to do so on their own. Surprisingly, many of us end up morphing into our parents regardless of our intentions and find it impossible to unstitch their teachings. Teachings that may have only resulted from scarcity beliefs or irrational fears. It’s not even just our parents, it’s our neighbors, our friends, our school teachers. Every relationship we have influences our posture to some degree, whether we realize it or not.

The good thing about these learned behaviors is that they can be unlearned. We can break the cycle and start our own. We don’t have to wear the scars of our parents or our friends or our teachers. We can manifest any life we want, assuming we learn to recognize what scars actually belong to us.

There likely isn’t a human being that walks the face of this earth and doesn’t have some sort of unhealed trauma. But there’s no reason why that trauma needs to reside in us forever.

If we do the grunt work and heal ourselves, we keep history from repeating itself, and we save the lives of future generations. If we stop blaming and learn instead to forgive, we find resolution. A breath of fresh air and a newly paved path for our families to walk amongst.

No one is at fault for their brokenness. But anyone who doesn’t attempt to mend what needs healing is only amplifying the problem. We all are broken children living in adult bodies, but we can choose to acknowledge our frailties and in the future maybe we will be far less likely to pass them on to our own children, and them to theirs.

Fluent storyteller, memoirist and lover of prose poetry

Keep up with Valerie on Instagram and