So Easily Broken text on broken glass image

Yesterday this “story” of mine was published on at FICTION SERIES: So Easily Broken, Kitt O’Malley | Stigmama. Clearly, it is fictionalized autobiography. I simply wrote what surrounded me in third person.

FICTION SERIES: So Easily Broken, Kitt O’Malley | Stigmama

All around her books, binders, and training manuals piled. She had an article to finish and submit, blog posts to write, book reviews to complete once she finished reading the books, and multiple social media presences to maintain. “Shit,” she thought, “how the hell am I going to get out from under all this?” Why, oh, why had she made so many friends who wrote books and blogs she now felt obligated to read? Actually, she really wanted to read those books and blog posts. Really she did. But there were only so many hours in the day, so many days in the week, so many week in the month, and she could not procrastinate indefinitely – actually, she could and she did.

Why now had she decided to volunteer in her community? Volunteer work that required her to study densely written manuals before her actual training even began. Volunteer work in which she would bare her soul, expose her vulnerabilities – her struggles living with mental illness, with bipolar disorder – in public, in person, in front of classrooms of high school students, in front of mental health professionals. Yes, she would share her triumphs, too, but she didn’t feel particularly triumphant in the midst of the chaos that surrounded her. Her anxiety grew. She neglected herself, her family, her dogs, her home, even her roses.

Like she didn’t have enough to do already. Everywhere she looked on every horizontal surface – every counter, table, desk, chest of drawers – she saw clutter. In the corners of the master bedroom, under the stairs, on the living room and dining room floors – clutter. Stuff and more stuff. The clutter needed sorting, needed decisions made. Keep or toss? Where would she put it anyway? The clutter overwhelmed her – buried her.

Then there were those unfinished walls – a patchwork of dreary earth tones the previous owner preferred, fresh new paint, and raw drywall texture covering up wounds from temper tantrums thrown. Turns out not only toddlers throw temper tantrums. Her child had no way of knowing that if he kicked the wall it would break. Lesson learned. Walls are only sheetrock, son. They are not strong. They are not invincible. They are not all that solid. She felt just as fragile. Maybe she looked rock solid, but she was so easily broken.


21 responses to “So Easily Broken”

  1. Another outstanding piece of writing – the closing really affected me, and it was beautifully written:

    “Walls are only sheetrock, son. They are not strong. They are not invincible. They are not all that solid. She felt just as fragile. Maybe she looked rock solid, but she was so easily broken.”

  2. Thank you, PJ. I appreciate it.

  3. I changed the header.

  4. Reblogged this on Finding Out Fibro and commented:

    I feel like this lately, and really all of the time, but especially right now. The anxiety makes each breath rattle and shake as I take it. It makes the migraines worse and the tense points all over my body sing louder and louder each day. There are triggers everywhere I look, in my over-cluttered house, in nearly every blog post I read, every comment I struggle to write or reply to.
    I was hoping I would get the hang of this, but I have not. I want to get the hang of it. Instead it is burying me. And the garden hasn’t even gone in yet!
    A deep thanks to the author for her portrayal of the chaos that comes along with living in a constant state of being overwhelmed by everyday life, as I am, even without the chronic pain on top of everything.

  5. Immaculate houses are weird in my opinion. Plus, you never know. I used to think my neighbor’s house was perfect until I opened a drawer and her pantry door one time. Wow!

  6. pjcolando Avatar

    extending my hand to your hand, the one that penned this glimpse of your heart. Happy Valentine’s Day, friend

  7. Nicely written and congrats on getting published in Stigmata. You writing is clear and concise and relatable (oh I can relate!). Also did you change your header or am I imagining it? Either way I like it – very pretty and soothing 🙂

  8. Well intellectually challenging pursuits are way more interesting than cleaning the floors. I still do it but not as often. I spend more time online and with other interests.

  9. I was at one time. My house was immaculate. Everything just so. That time is long gone.

  10. Just reading that really exhausted me. I don’t know how you can do all that. You aren’t a perfectionist are you? Because that would need to go.

  11. Thank you, Ellen. I actually feel like I’m not doing enough – on the home front, that is. I’m a really terrible homemaker (not that I ever intended on being a good one). I had always imagined myself a professional with hired help. Very classist, I know, but I hate cooking and cleaning, and would much rather do more intellectually challenging pursuits.

  12. Thank you, Tony. Good advice.

  13. Thank you, William Ian. I am glad to hear that you, too, have the love of a family and manage your life well. I’m heading off to your site soon…

  14. Really loved the story but I, too, am concerned that you have too many irons in the fire. I know what it is like and then depression and/or illness hits and you cannot do anything. Take care, Kitt! Great story, of course, because based on the truth and you write so well.

  15. Oh Kit, I’m concerned with so many irons in the fire you may soon suffer serious burns. Take care of yourself, my friend.

  16. hobbithole50 Avatar

    Ms. O Malley. I stumbled upon your biography and web site info on the DBSA page. I loved all of the biographies. I just started my own website Yours is way better!
    But I am a beginner on the internet. I am 64 and was diagnosed with depression and mild pschyzo affective condition at fifteen years of age. It has been a long road but I have learned survival. I attended Manic Depression and Depression meetings in the eighties in Ann Arbor, Michigan but lost contact with such support groups when I moved to Kansas City in1985. I have never stopped seeing professional help since 1985. Recently, when I started to set up a blog to share my experiences I discovered DBSA and am excited about being in contact with others and attending meetings again. MY illness has progressed over time but so has science so I am able to have a family and function at a moderate paced life style. I congratulate you on recovery and on sharing your life experience with others. Blessings to you. William Ian

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