You Are Not Broken

I used to think that the reason there were different parts of me was because I had been broken. I believed that my mind had been shattered by early-childhood trauma and that, until the pieces were fit back together properly, I would never be healthy or whole again.

For years, many well-meaning therapists instilled this in me. They patiently explained how the mind, in a heroic effort to protect its core self, will split apart in times of great trauma. These splits can become more pronounced if the person is very young or the trauma is especially intense.

I was reassured that this was a highly intelligent and evolved survival technique but the message was still, always, “You have parts because you were broken.”

And I bought it. It made sense. It explained why I had raging arguments going on inside my mind. Why it seemed like there were different voices with unique agendas residing within me. Why self debasing criticisms and doubts pervaded my thoughts daily.

Until I realized I was perfectly normal.

Well, normal in its most figurative sense. In reality, there can only ever be one normal person walking the planet at any given time. The rest of us each fall somewhere on the bell curve of “above normal” and “below normal.”

I have met people with full-blown split personality disorder. I’ve had conversations with six distinctly different people while only two of us sat in the room.

I’ve also worked with dozens of people who experienced no significant trauma in their life and have never been diagnosed with any personality disorder.

But every single person I’ve ever worked with, spoken to or shared this with has been able to instantly relate.

Every single one of us has those old stories and nasty messages running through our heads. Some of us know where they came from, others don’t. That’s not important. What’s important is that…

Each of us has the power to rewrite them.

Because this is the True Story: You are perfect, whole and complete just as you are in this moment.

Nothing is broken in you.

Nothing is wrong with you.

You are love.

And you are loved.

31 thoughts on “You Are Not Broken”

  1. Thank you for perfect timing! :>

    I had experience with two twins sharing one body.
    I hope they kept their smarts about keeping this fact hidden from most people.

    Not broken is SUCH a great reminder to hear!
    I have theories that are a bit different re: the ‘Monsters’, messages, etc., based on my own experience, but the core message is the same:

    “You ARE enough, just as you are.

    Right here.

    Right now.”

    So let’s rock on, shall we? 😉 :>

    1. Birdy…now you have to share your theories. Well, you don’t *have* to but I’m all perky-ears if you’re willing.

      Either way, yes…let’s ROCK ON. (to borrow the battle cry from Monday’s post discussion…fuckin’ a’ right!)

  2. Maybe not broken, just a little bent. Too often I allow external circumstances (usuallyfinancial)dictate what feel and who I think I am.

    1. I think we all struggle with that, Jesse. The money thing is an insidious one, and one in which we’re all being forced to face new challenges as our economy continues to collapse.

  3. *THIS* is exactly why I get snappy at people when they call me crazy or when they call themselves crazy in a non-whimsical fashion. The fact that I have dealt with mental illness or trauma, does not automatically make me or anyone “crazy” or “broken.” My condition in life does not entitle me to anything except for what I have fought for, nor is it a valid excuse for anything. It’s just my condition. It is up to me to keep myself in good working order.

    Thank you for such a fantastic post.

    1. Exactly, Vas. And I can say with unwavering honesty that I would not change *anything* that has happened in my life. It’s what gives us our special spice! It’s what makes us unique and alike all at the same time. Now…if we can just convince the psychiatric industry…(don’t even get me started there, lol)

      1. Oh my gosh! Tell me about it. There are legitimate reasons to take medications. I would’ve not gotten over my issues with PTSD if I hadn’t schooled my shrink at the time on the appropriate dosage of Depakote, length of medication and what meds you simply don’t give autistics, with PDR and medical journals in hand. He didn’t like it at first, but he got over himself once he realized that you can’t argue with results.

        My favorite psychiatrist ever gave me advice ever. All she could do was give me pills, and if I couldn’t take them, it was up to me to fix my life. I haven’t needed pills since.

  4. Normal? That’s the last thing I want to be called. I’m proud of my quirkiness, divergent thinking and what others sometimes find odd way of doing things.

    As a matter of fact, decades ago when I decided to end my marriage, my husband’s response was “You’ve lost it! You’ve changed! You’ve gone crazy!” That’s when I knew I was on the right track.

    1. “That’s when I knew I was on the right track.” Been there! Flora, you always bring a smile. I love that story.

  5. Jenny, you always say what you mean and mean what you say. Amen sista. If more people would stop comparing themselves to others and loving themselves, this crazy world really WOULD be a better place.

  6. That whole person idea in the first place is what’s broken. What an absurdly reductionist and simplistic view of consciousness. Have you ever had an argument in your mind with your dead mother while you’re trying to fall asleep? ZOMG YOU’RE BROKEN.

    1. Exactly~!!!!!

      It took me so long (too long!) to realize the ridiculousness of what they (therapists) had taught us. I’m just so grateful to have realized it “in time”…I’m afraid so many others were never given the chance.

  7. Funny, as a coach I work with parts all the time without ever thinking it means people are broken. And then I forget that when my own parts start talking! I’ve come to view each part as necessary in some way to the whole and I believe that they emerge to protect us. They all have a positive intention. Beautiful in theory, sometimes hard to remember.

    1. It truly is hard to remember. Partly because at least one of those parts is usually convinced that we really ARE nuts. Oy, lol

      But you’re right, and that’s the thing that really transformed my feelings about having “parts”: each of our parts only wants to keep us safe. Sometimes their methods are questionable, but their intentions are always the same.

      We have to have the same compassion for ourselves (all parts of ourselves) as we have for everyone else. Simple but…Not. So. Easy!

  8. Thank you, Jenny, for this message. It is right on time. Looking past those stories, regrets, heartaches, and reconnecting with our perfect wholeness. The beautiful One inside. Freedom!

    I appreciate you and look forward to reading more.

    1. Freedom is right! Glorious, sweet (and sometimes terrifying) freedom. Thank you, Daniel and I look forward to getting to know you more as well.

  9. Hmmm… Can I *love*… ‘broken’ ? 😛

    Just kiddin’, this is absolutely beautiful, and a powerful message that I love hearing repeated and spread, in whatever form. Bravo, Jenny. Thank you 🙂

    1. Yes! We can absolutely love ‘broken’…as long as we can truly and honestly remove all egoic meanings from the word.

      Trouble is, many of us will say we “love broken” just as a means of continuing to identify ourselves as being damaged/less-than…Jason I love how you always add a new spice to the conversation. Thank you!

      1. Right back atcha Jenny! It’s nice to be noticed, ‘riveting conversation’ is one of my most passionate gifts, I coach people on conversational ‘flow’ all the time – and when someone else comments on something so personal, it’s really touching. Besides that, you write really inspiring blog posts 😛

  10. It’s funny how we each think that we’re the only one with thoughts, arguments and inconsistencies. If we had any clue about what’s going on in other people’s heads we’d me hugely relieved and quit trying to twist ourselves into knots to get to normal. Thanks for sharing this.

  11. Thank you for this reminder. I have been struggling with chronic resistant depression for 12 years. At times it has been absolutely debilitating. Being a social worker by profession I realize I have had such different standards for myself than for the clients I work with. Being a compassionate, gentle friend to myself is a daily goal.

    1. Your job must require so much of your energy, Nicole. I have immense respect for what you face every day. Sending lots of loving, warm vibes your way. Usually, it’s those daily goals that are most important (and the ones I most often forget myself 🙂

  12. I’ve dealt with this also, being diagnosed with depression for the majority of my life and then bipolar after my divorce, also PTSD more then once, and I can’t remember how many meds I’ve been prescribed that made me worse off. Once I started to accept each of my quirks and work with them instead of against them, I realized that I was just fine, even with some pain from my past and experiences I would rather not remember, each time I am faced with the memory or share it with someone it is easier to do and in turn easier to accept that it happened and that I’m not still facing that situation but that I am continuously moving forward and creating a new life every day. I’m not broken, I’m quirky ^_^

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