The topics covered in Broken are difficult for some people. I portray a number of sensitive subject matters including animal abuse, torture, graphic rape scenes, violence, strong language, and drug references. I do not sugar coat any of this. Rape, torture, and abuse are true horrors people live through. No dramatization was needed for this part, and I do not believe in softening the truth. Broken is brutal, ugly, and honest. It was not written for shock factor. It was written only for me.
If you are victim of sexual abuse, I strongly encourage you to speak to a therapist before reading this book. Not doing so could prematurely awaken memories you may not be ready for. The results could be disastrous.
I don’t believe in spitting out facts. And my bio is already available to read here. And I’m a writer. Words are my bitch.
I live in New York. Not the gritty, bustling city crammed with people rushing about to fulfill their daily obligations… I love those people…
I live in the part of New York most people don’t know exists.
I live in the mountains. Everywhere I look, high rolling hills surround me. In the fall, those rolling hills of green, paint the earth with splashes of orange, red, and yellows. When you step outside you can smell apple in the air mixed with a hint of fireplace that floats on the wind. And it is very windy up here. The air is thin and many from sea level struggle breathing up here. The water is too high in mineral content to drink. That is how high up I live.
The sing song of the chickadee and vibrant reds of the male cardinal greet me every morning. And our winters here… you can smell ice in the air as early as September. Our springs are warm and inviting. But nothing is as pure and as perfect as our mountain rainstorms. Solid downpours last for three days at a time and, if you’re in the right location, you can gaze upon the world as it once was centuries ago when Native Americans—the Iroquois—traveled the Susquehanna River in canoes.
I have my own touch of earth in my yard where I’ve planted gardens. To make up for all the death I’ve seen—and I’ve seen a lot—I surround myself with life. Nine gardens surround my home, a shade garden, Irish garden, hummingbird garden, butterfly, and bird garden, and a rose garden, spring bulb garden, and lilies. Inside my house you’ll find my tenth garden. We converted our central living room into a full functioning greenhouse where my cats spend their days lounging in the sun.
I drink coffee, write books, mother my children, sing, dance, cross-stitch, play piano, swim, and surround myself with everything I love everywhere. Above all else, I am a survivor.
You can’t see it, but if you look hard enough, you’ll see the scars that have marred my mind. I’m okay now. But recently, I wasn’t. I have been beaten, tortured, raped, enslaved, raped again, prepped for trafficking, and denied human contact, love, comfort, and protection for all of my youth, and most of my life when my only family were the cats who I had to rescue from torture. At one point, I had to choose between being beaten, and being raped. For the record, rape is better. In my case, I knew I could survive rape. I wasn’t sure if I would survive the beatings.
But the thing I am most proud of is my smile. Through it all, I have found me… I have healed, and I’m still smiling.
This is who I am. This is how I became Broken.
Finalist for the 2015 Wishing Shelf Awards. Goodreads Reviews
“Broken is graphic, shocking, raw, disturbing, intense, appalling, shameful, and so very, very sad.”
“This story has the complexity of The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy, but written with the flow of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.”
“Your heart will have been on such an emotional rollercoaster by the end of this book, it may take some time to learn how to beat steady again.”
“There are a few really great lines/thoughts here. Little treasures I wanted to underline or come back to later. Some really great words.”
“Hypnotic and addicting.”
And Death it calls as the stone crow breaks. Streaks of blood malform its face.
Death becomes its withered eyes and the shadows whisper, “Lies.”
When William, a young journalist, seeks out Elizabeth, an acclaimed author, in hopes to write her biography, the recluse grants him twenty-four hours to hear her story. What unfolds are a wide range of traumas that teeter on the edge of macabre and psychological thriller.
While toggling the lines of insanity, Elizabeth examines her neglect, rape, abuse, torture, and pedophilia-filled past. The more Elizabeth delves into her psyche, the more William witnesses the multiple mental conditions Elizabeth developed to cope with a life without love, comfort, protection, trust, physical human contact, affection, therapy, or medication.
With the use of existentialism, I wrote Broken in an attempt to philosophical determine what I had become and why. Instead, I found the awareness I needed to seek help. Broken is the road map I took to arrive at “Awareness.”
I wrote Broken from 7 March to 20 March. During that time, I relived thirty years of trauma, and Broken records it all: the triggers, the hyperarousal, the breakdowns, and the panic. I explain the rationale behind my behavior and the thoughts I used to justify my behavior in a philosophical discussion with an interviewer. I show you the four worlds in my head where I lived for more than twenty years, as well as the four fictional characters I created in place of the human relationships I lacked. I record the conversations I have with my fictional friends and lovers as they took place.
Broken shows you what trauma is like for some survivors years later before they even realize they have a problem. Broken will show you what it looks and feels like to emerge from the mental cocoon I lived in for thirty years. It shows the road I took to awareness while going down that road. It shows how I began my recovery.
Broken is vivid, powerful, and not suitable for some audiences. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, I strongly recommend that you do not read this until a therapist says you are ready.
WARNING: ADULTS ONLY. Readers are strongly cautioned. “Broken” portrays sensitive subject matters including animal abuse, torture, and graphic sexual violence. There is strong language, drug reference and is not suitable for some audiences. Please proceed with caution.
- Like Broken’s Facebook Page
- Audio Excerpts: The author reads from Broken
- The Looking Glass: Behind The Scenes
- Broken Release Party
- What is “Broken?”
- Take the “Is Broken Right For you?” Quiz
- Living in November Rain
- Sample first 20% of Broken here
- A note to you, dear reader
- Defining PTSD
- Broken Uncovered: The author speaks on Broken via audio recording
- Follow the Author’s recovery in Unbreaking Me
Broken is a work of creative nonfiction. All events, opinions, and views are that of Angela B. Chrysler and are portrayed through subjective perspective based on the memory of Ms. Chrysler. While all the events are true, names, places, characteristics, and relationships have been altered and/or changed to protect the identity and privacy of the people involved. Some characters have been combined into one. Others have been divided into two, while some have been dramatized to better suit the story. The events themselves remained unaltered to the best of the author’s memory. The dialogue was composed to create the essence of conversations in an effort to recreate the scene and mood best to the author’s memory, and is not to be taken as verbatim quotes.