Referring to famous Morrissey's "Children in pieces" b-side.
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closed as off-topic by terdon, Ellie Kesselman, Dan Bron, Tushar Raj, ScotM May 5 '15 at 2:13
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"To be in pieces" means to be shattered or broken. On an emotional level, you can say "I'm in pieces after she dumped me"
Quite similar to it's literal sense, imagine a glass bowl in pieces i.e. it's been smashed on the floor.
The lyrics from Morrissey's song go
which is a reference to the large scale abuse that took place in those schools and thus their childhoods have been damaged.
Best understood by being there and is somewhat subjective. From a biological standpoint, I'm guessing it may be the brain's way of avoiding emotional pain. It jumps from emotion to emotion, trying to side-step the painful one. Normally, I think we flow more congruently through our emotions. The "pieces" experience leaves one having disconnected emotional states and shifting perspectives and the outcome is somewhat disorienting and your navigator is gone and you are just sitting there wallowing in crap!