from my journal for June 10
One of the dances we did was Broken Hallelujah. When we go into the center we are reaching out to our broken parts. I have been imagining that I don’t have any broken parts — because I’ve never been consciously cruel — but then no one is consciously cruel, they strike out because they have been hurt. I see that the homies feel terrible about the “bad” things they have done — but those things are not what’s broken, they only show that something is broken. When I think about things I am ashamed of, I think about losing my cousin’s bike and not even offering to buy a new one. Not even being able to look at that because I felt so ashamed. It wasn’t until I realized that Mother never forgave me for anything, so I learned that no apology was good enough. No repair was possible. No “I still love you.” I learned that the only thing that was OK was never to have done it at all. Suddenly I’m seeing that that is a horrible wounding. I put my arms around my wounded self and hold her gently. I see that my broken parts are mostly about things that were not done and so harder to see. I’m grateful for the part of me that was searching for the truth and open to it as soon as it appeared. I don’t suppose mother ever got that chance, her denial was too deep and solid.
As I type this up, I see that perhaps the biggest broken part of me is my lack of good boundaries, my inability to stand up for myself. I have allowed people to exploit me, and couldn’t even see that I was being exploited.
There’s a warmth in my heart now, as I hold wounded, broken Jenny with tenderness. I am seeing that the tight hard Jenny that I’ve been imagining was me is actually mother.
“Homies” are what the gang members of East L.A. call themselves. Father Greg Boyle works with them.