“This story has the complexity of The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy, but written with the flow of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.”
“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 a young journalist, William D. Shaw, 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 events that teeter on the edge of macabre and a psychological thriller.
Together, they descend into the bowels of psyche and examine her past filled with neglect, rape, abuse, torture, and pedophilia to explore the psychology of a human being who has lived her entire life without love, comfort, family, physical contact, affection, therapy, or medication.
As William tries to understand Elizabeth’s decisions to embrace an isolated life, he witnesses Elizabeth’s multiple mental conditions that send her spiraling into the worlds of her psyche all while toggling the lines of insanity. Broken takes you inside the mind of a trauma survivor while one survivor relives the memories that resulted in her mental conditions. Experience what BPD and PTSD is like from the inside.
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.
From the Author
You won’t be told about the abuse. You will relive it alongside Elizabeth. You won’t be told about her feelings. You will experience them. You will tantalize her ID and toy with her sanity while you descend into her subconscious desperate to help Elizabeth as she crosses from one world to the next… and you will go with her, blindly. You will experience the mind of Dissociation, BPD, and PTSD and you will emerge from Elizabeth’s mind changed.
Broken isn’t about my story. It is about perspective. It is about the questions, “Who are we?” “What is reality?” And it forces you to question yours. This is a book that will make you question everything you thought you knew about truth and opinion. It will make you doubt yourself and change your perspective…Repeatedly. It will force you to truly question your beliefs. And it will force you to answer for them.
The beautiful thing about Broken, is that each reader takes away something different from this book. Some of you will walk away reviewing and remembering you own trauma. Some of you will compare childhoods. Some of you will walk away analyzing the psyche and Elizabeth’s medical conditions—of which there are many—and attempt to diagnose her. Some of you will walk away questioning the world around you and dipping deep into philosophy and existentialism. No one will put this book down and dismiss it as “just another read.”
Is Broken real?
I have two answers for this: The answer I give those who have not yet read the book…and the answer I give to those of you who have read the book.
In short, yes. The events are real. All of them. The characters are real. All of them. Nothing was “made up” as far as reader definitions go. Once you have read Broken, come back and check out The Looking Glass (the password is located at the end of Broken). There, I delve deeper into this answer, spoilers and all.
Broken was written using Gestalt’s Empty Chair Therapy though I didn’t know it then.
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.
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.
- Broken Official Page (You’re on it)
- 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
The Broken Blog Tour
- Jay Norry presents “ABC Day”
- Lu J. Whitley presents “Release Day Special”
- Fantasy author, Timothy Bateson presents “Broken”
- Mia Darien posted a “Broken” review
- Joshua Robertson and his review on “Broken” TBA
- Floryie has a promo that goes live at 10:00 A.M. EST
- Aurelia Maria Casey has a promo that goes live at 10:00 A.M. EST
- Broken’s event posted on Jo Harrison’s Paper today! Take a moment to check out her site!
- Ani posts a Meet and Greet on Right the Writer
- From the pen of Ed Ireland
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.