I am broken

When I hear the words “I am broken”, it is very heart-wrenching for me. But really, it is the feeling that is behind the words that get to me.

Here are two examples of how this was expressed:

I was with a group of women and one of the women was describing how her week went. At one point she stated, “I am broken”. She said this with the utmost despair, hopeless to feeling a possibility of being repaired. Her feeling of sadness and helplessness showed through her expression of her words.

Another example when discussing someone’s trauma with them I made a comment about healing from it and they said, “Oh that is not possible, it is too bad. I can never heal.”

Both persons were making the statement that they were broken – broken beyond repair. If we break our leg we don’t just decide to throw away the whole body. But for some reason the person who feels “broken” goes to “I’m unfixable, I am worthless, or even just throw me on a shelf since I am clearly not a value to society.” We are not broken toys to be trashed. Each one of us has value.

Not too many years ago when someone had a stroke it was thought that whatever ability that was lost or paralyzed was done. In recent years the medical community has learned that is not necessarily true. The brain can make new pathways to the information. However, it does take work.

I am actually a case in point. I had an incident happen with my blood sugar levels that forced my brain to shut down. It gave the neurologist the impression that I had a stroke. Since then they have learned this happens with diabetics from time to time. I am not diabetic but hypoglycemic. My body produced too much insulin and my brain was literally starved for the energy it needed to function. The result for me was 3 semesters of calculus were seemingly gone and several other memory and physical issues. I was so embarrassed. As a teacher of math, you can understand the devastation this felt. Over time I started to share that sometimes I had trouble recalling things. I spoke with a man who studies brain traumas and he said the information was still there I just needed a new pathway.

I continued to teach and tutor learners (students) and even worked with a young man taking Advanced Placement calculus. It took me a bit to prepare for working with him but I was able to help him. Then one day he came to me with a question and I had an answer without doing any preparation. He knew my plight and we shared in the celebration. I had regained my pathway to calculus again.

So if our bodies can work around the physical limitations of broken synapses and neurons don’t you think it can also work around a broken soul?

Having gone through the entire process of healing from trauma I know that one can heal and not be “broken” anymore. In fact, I felt better than just being healed from the broken state – I felt stronger. I was also wiser.

In my current state of trauma, I have heard it mentioned more than once that one of the things I can say is my eyes are now wide open. How’s that, you might say? Well before I was abused I didn’t know how such a thing could happen and now I do, thus I am wiser.

I think that one of the reasons people might feel despair is because science hasn’t necessarily caught up with the healing of the mental processes that go with our soul. With that lack of help, we may flounder. But good therapists exist as our ‘intervention’ or intermediary.

The journey to healing soulful parts is not as well defined as healing a physical part. For one thing, it is a very individual thing. A femur bone in one person is much the same as a femur in another but our soulful part is unique to each of us. Even those who have experienced the same event will have a different insight into that event.

One thing that is not unique is now that we know that it is possible it is just a matter of working on it. I’m not saying that is the easy part, just that it exists. It is interesting how finding a light at the end of the tunnel makes something more obtainable.

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