Our Story

Mission Statement

It is the mission of Breaking the Window to reach out to people in all areas of life to help, empower, inspire, and educate them in an effort to help break the stigma in the world surrounding Domestic Violence and Mental Health issues; and to help those suffering to build healthier happier lives.   

About Breaking the Window

The idea behind the title Breaking the Window is a 'vision' that the author, Carla "Carley" Cooper, has had for many years.  Many times she was asked "What does it feel like... Mental Illness, that is?"  In an attempt to give an understanding in her explanation that could leave the other person with a mental picture that could be grasped, she would tell the following story.   
After I was asked this the first time, I thought about it for a while.  A mental picture came to me that I felt described what I was feeling inside.  I often used it over the years to explain to others what it felt like being on the inside of it.  It took many years for me to realize that this picture in my mind, of looking through the window of mental illness, is the same image I see when I look through the glass at abuse.  Here is the view that I painted for others to help them understand what I was living during my experiences with mental illness and abuse. 
I am deep in the forest; up in the mountains.  I can see a large log cabin close by.  It is much like a ski chalet.  I can see the trees all around, and snow topped mountains in the background.  The house has a covered porch that wraps all around it.  It is night time and I see myself walking up to the house feeling very cold from the wintery night air.  I knock on the door.  The lights are on, smoke is coming from the chimney; but no one answers my knock. 
So I walk around on the porch to one of the windows.  I look inside and I can see a large room.  It looks very warm and cozy.  As I looked through the window, around the room, I wondered why no one was answering the door.  I was cold and I wanted very much to be inside next to that fire to warm up.  Suddenly, two people ran into the room.  The female was tall, with long ash-blonde hair that had a little curl in it.  She had an oval face with clear skin.  I noticed that she was very upset.  There was something very familiar about her.  I couldn’t put my finger on it but I felt that I know this woman.
With her was a man who was much taller than her.  He looked to be over six feet tall.  He had short dark brown hair, and was very well built.  He looked like someone who spent a lot of time at a gym.
As she ran into the room he was chasing her with arms waving and yelling at her.  She was crying.  I could hear muffled voices.  He was telling her she was ungrateful, an idiot, and no one else would want her because she’s not pretty.  As I listened and watched I could see that he was being very abusive.  He grabbed her arm with his left hand and put his right hand in the air as if he was about to hit her. 
I pounded on the window to get his attention to make him stop.  Neither of them looked at me.  Could they hear me?  I wasn’t sure.  He continued with his abuse; being as verbally violent as he was physically. 
She was screaming “Please stop.  I will be better.  I promise”. 
I continued to pound on the window, to no avail.  I ran back to the door, and it was locked.  I pounded on it hard, and then pushed the doorbell several times.  I went back to the window and tried to break it.  He was still hurting her.  I have to get in there to save her.  I have to help her.  I didn’t know her name but I knew, in this moment, that she is my best friend in the whole world.  I couldn’t break the window.  I grabbed a nearby deck chair and threw it at the window.  It didn’t break.  I dug a hole in the snow and found a large rock and threw it.  Again, to no advantage.  What am I to do?  Am I just to sit here and watch her get hurt?    
That's when I realized... she was me!
That’s how, both, mental illness and abuse feels to me.  I am going crazy, and I am forced to simply watch it happen.  I'm aware that it's happening and I can't stop it.  I am trapped within the trauma of being controlled by another, as well as being trapped within my own mind.  I don’t have access to be able to relieve the trauma.  I am helpless.  I can't break the window and get inside and save myself. 
Friends... It took many years but a solution did finally present itself... the window was finally broken and I was able to get inside and be saved.  Read about me through the links below in the "About the Author" section.  My story is there.  Also, read the blog posts in this website, share, and submit your own story.  Won't you please join me in helping to break windows for others in this world who are suffering the same fate?  Do your part to help break the window on the stigma surrounding the issues of abuse and mental illness. 

Thank you, 
Carley Cooper


About the Author

To learn more about Carla "Carley" Cooper, see the following 'About the Author' pages on her other websites: