Reduced to fragments.

That is what I am.


I’ve been this way for a very long time. A day or two more than forty years.

Perhaps I was whole for a moment. Back in 1970, just after conception.

Perhaps not.

Perhaps I was born this way.

I would like to believe my brokenness is someone else’s doing.

It would not be true.

I am responsible for what I am.

It would not be true.

I was born like this.

I have become this.

I have become because of this.

I carry inside of me an immense sadness. I have written of it before. I will again.

It is not depression.

I do not need prozac.

I do not consider life to be tedious and meaningless.

I love life.

In the embrace of my Zuko I have found some healing.

In holding my son.

In talking with my daughters.

In being with people.

Like me.

Broken people.

Struggling to make sense of disappointment.

For each of us, I think, the brokenness is different.

For me it is in relational inability.

In words and actions destroying invisible being.

In loveless spells violently, repeatedly pounding hearts into nothingness.

I remember engaging my brother when we were growing up.

I can still feel his words reaching into my being, painfully strangling life from me.

I can still remember despising myself for not being able to reciprocate.

I am familiar with dying a little bit at a time.

I died a bit more when I was shunned by those who’ve shunned me since I’ve come into this world.

I die a bit more, every time they remind me that I am shunned.

Religious ones love shunning.

Catholicism calls it excommunication.

The Amish call it Meidung.

Jehovah’s Witnesses call it disfellowshipping.

It is scary that they have names for it & psychologists write about it.

My family did not call it anything.

They just did it.

And they choose to remind me often that I am shunned & that I should repent in order to be welcomed back into their fold.

Repent of who I am.

Repent of what I believe.

Repent of the fiber of my being.

It is part of shunning.

It is the reason for shunning.

In all societies & religions.

To force another to give up what has been chosen.

But I cannot.

Despite the pain.

Despite the loneliness that cannot be answered by a soul-mate and magnificent children and exquisite friends.

The Jewish & Christian Scriptures speak of a friend who is near being better than a brother who is far.

The writer of those words must not have known the reality of what he was speaking of.

Or was looking for weak ointment for his own soul.

For I have many meaningful relationships.




Yet it does not dissipate the desolation.

I do not want to belong.

I do not want to be one of them.

I can not give up who I am.

My being.

That would be the final death of me.

Yet it destroys to be persona non grata under the Cherem of good christian folk, in a world subtle enough to bless them for it and condemn for being condemned.

And it breaks amidst the happiness of being father & husband and friend.

And I wonder if in this life the curse will ever lift.

Or the pain ever subside.

Or the emptiness ever eradicate.

Or the rupture ever heal.

And I wonder if in who I am and how I are, I feed this monster to live new lifetimes in the history of my children.

And I cry.


If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy my books available from Amazon’s Kindle-store.

Just click this link to take a look: Theunis Pienaar in Amzaon.


8 thoughts on “ruptured

  1. “Ruptured’ drips with pain and angst – and some gut wrenching honesty. I find myself wanting to thank you for putting the words down Theunis. Having come through a shunning of extreme proportions myself, by church family 18 months ago – I find myself only now trying to find words, needing to finds words to name that pain and shock.
    Some people always hate – and therefore shun “otherness”. This brokeness, this pain has for me ruptured my heart. That word just captures it – thank you!
    And in that rupturing I will not allow hate to continue its flow. Although hated/shunned – I can only bring meaning to my brokeness by learning to love more. Someone once said we are “little” people that love poorly.
    Perhaps we can learn to be less poverty-stricken?
    Your honesty moved me and helped me today Theunis. I thank you!

    • i am grateful if these words meant something, Lesaya. I am sad that they meant something to you. I read some on ‘shunning’ in the past days. I am astounded at how ‘universal’ this destructive practice is. I am upset about how effectively it has been & are used by Christianity. I pray that, if we take anything from our experience, it would be that we never shun, more than that, that we may be proponents of exactly the oposite. I love our friendship across time & space. thank you for sharing in life with me.

  2. you do not feed the monster – you slay it, every day, as you love generously, unconditionaly and without hesitation. you have never shunned anyone & i do not see you shunning anyone. you embrace. you explain. you include. you accept. that is what i love about you. maybe that is part of your becoming in your rupturing?

  3. Oh my God!!!! Touching – knowing, or maybe just thinking knowing you – so true, touching, being the essence of being in our conversations!!!! Just keep on going – don’t stop – feed for thought!!!! Loved one!!!!!

  4. OH MY GOSH! Your books are on KINDLE??? Oh that is so awesome. On your blog post, I as you know, am one of your people. You know what makes me so mad? Jesus would freakin love hanging out with us and I wish he was physically right here with me, to throw the heretics off by embracing the beautiful soul you are.

    I bet he would be a bad ass blog commenter!
    I bet I would retweet everything he said, and yet, because of what you describe, I shake with anxiety when even holding a Bible.

    • 🙂 i couldn’t wait any longer. i hope you’ll see in seven CITIES that I took some of your advice and made some changes. about the bad ass blog commenter: yup, i think he is quite dissapointed in what has been made of his love & grace. I see you shining Kath & that is amazing. Slay that dragon every day. Slay it violently as many times as you need, until it does not have any fire left to blow. I am immensily proud to be your friend. T

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