HUSH with your “broken beyond repair” nonsense. I am no more broken than the next man with flu….

If there’s one thing you hang on to when you’re being abused as a child (or indeed, as an adult), it’s hope. Every survivor I’ve met has said the same: hope almost becomes as natural as breathing. You don’t cling on to it, because if something awful happens, then the hope has been ripped from you and you collapse. You barely even realise it’s there, like you don’t consciously notice you’re breathing. But it’s there, in a very natural and calm sense, and it’s that hope that means so many find the courage and fight to find safety…and recover.

So why must so many professionals, and textbooks, insist that full recovery is not possible…that at best a survivor can function and lead a generally fulfilling life, but big dreams will be too much…too “stressful” and that we simply will not cope? That we will simply always be traumatised? WHY?!

It annoys me a lot. By implying this time and time again, the sense of empowerment we deserve after getting free, is taken away from us. Suddenly I find myself feeling like a little girl incapable of looking after myself, incapable of achieving what I want to…and having to settle for a life filled with flashbacks and general misery.

What if I refuse? Why now should I become a soft little girl, when actually when I was a little girl I managed fairly well at protecting myself and looking after myself – there was nobody else to! Why is there this general belief that abuse victims are so broken…broken beyond repair. Actually every single victim and survivor is a fighter, using incredible techniques to protect themselves – both consciously and unconsciously – and regardless of how in the pit of despair they may feel, the “fighter” is a part of their identity. To be a fighter doesn’t mean you had to punch the hell out of your abuser, or stand up to them in any way. If your survived, then you fought. If you can still breathe, eat, read this blog, cry like a human and laugh too…then you won.

So don’t let them convince you that you’re broken beyond repair. The textbooks drive me crazy. Everyone has illnesses. I’m not broken. I have lived through extreme trauma and abuse, but that doesn’t make me broken. A little damaged and worse for wear, but not broken. It makes me a survivor…someone in need of a few tissues until the psychological “flu” has lifted and my nose has stopped running, and I’m better.

And I will be. Shove off textbooks…

Don’t lose the hope. Don’t fight through hell to be defeated by people speaking for you…telling you how you will recover and that it’ll never stop.Watch this space, silly textbooks.


4 thoughts on “HUSH with your “broken beyond repair” nonsense. I am no more broken than the next man with flu….

  1. I guess I have been extremely fortunate to have not heard or been told that I am ‘broken beyond repair’. I’ve thought it more than once, but no one ever told me that. I didn’t read it in my psych textbooks, but I tend to not do much more than scan them enough to be able to ace the tests. I am highly skeptical about anyone’s “authority” over mental illness.

    I said something on my blog once about being broken and one of my readers replied that I was “bent, not broken”. I like that modification. Surviving abuse means bending and shaping yourself to fit the situation. It means resilience in the face of unimaginable horror. It means curling yourself up into a ball one night, then straightening yourself out to go back into the world the next morning.

    We are resilient Claymation dolls – like Gumby and Pokey.

  2. I do love that modification 🙂 Because bent also means we know how flexible we can be if we need to…know that we can cope if we absolutely must…makes us stronger…not weaker 🙂 My friend read this and said the following:

    “Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with gold, to make the break a feature of beauty. I always think of it when I hear talk about “broken” people. And as I was googling for a picture to show you, I found this poem:

    The bowl we wheeled, fired, and glazed
    when broken, became the metaphor for us;
    a shining heaviness on my lap,
    unfit for water or fruit

    fusing again, what rejoins
    is no longer flawed, but deeper;
    our story, refired to epic
    by gold veins running through
    a clay that melds with grace inside heat

    that everyday us
    becoming something precious
    only after breaking.

    ~ Susan Daniels

    I think it’s a beautiful analogy….

  3. I feel broken beyond repair… because of exactly the opposite. I have been a victim of severe emotional abuse. I’d call it psychological abuse actually, and nobody will take me seriously because my abusers work so hard lying and putting out a false image. It’s disgusting. It’s like living in an alternate reality where I am completely torn apart by these people (my father took sleep away from me and convinced me I was crazy) and it is totally invisible to everybody else. I would call ALL emotional abuse psychological abuse, maybe someone would take this VERY serious and VERY real form of abuse seriously. They isolated me and destroyed all aspects of my self, my soul, and my life. I am very very strong to have gotten this far. But it will be my 22nd birthday in 2 months and I haven’t stopped thinking about suicide

    • Hang in their soldier… I hear you. Despite all that I’ve gone through I will say the emotional/psychological abuse has left the worse scars. I’m so sorry for what they did to you and wish also psychological abuse was taken more seriously. But you are not broken beyond repair. They want/wanted you to feel this but you’re not. You will recover. You won’t be the same person but as you say, you’re strong, so that will be part of your recovered self. It’s a long road but it is exactly that – a road, not a dead end. It has twists and turns and some excruciating bits and some beautiful bits and gradually the light will start shining on you. You survived all that they did to you. You can survive the aftermath. I am 20 years old and also constantly feel suicidal… but we cannot let them win. If we are to wake society up and make them take it seriously we need to use our voice…the same voice our abusers tried to choke and silence. They cannot take our voice, the handcuffs are invisible. Keep living because you deserve to… keep talking and people will hear you and maybe a child elsewhere will be saved sooner. We cannot take away what happened, but we can show them that they lost by using our pasts as tools to reach others. Keep fighting…you are not broken beyond repair…nobody is. That’s their thoughts, not ours. We are changed. But we can try and use that change to empower ourselves and help others. It’s possible. I promise. X

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