This title is taken from a line Roxane Gay’s book Hunger where she states, I am stronger than I am broken.
The book and Gay’s journey, which I’ve written about previously, remain with me. In particular how we relate to brokenness—to broken moments in our lives, broken relationships, and seeing ourselves as broken.
One of the many things I respect about Gay is that she takes back the term victim. She says, It took a long time, but I prefer victim to survivor now. I don’t want to diminish the gravity of what happened.
Too often we want to push past the pain, say we’re ok, show the world we are resilient. We can even fool ourselves into that wishful thinking. But this disassociation hurts our hearts and our bodies. And can affect choices we make, clouding our vision of who and what are safe. And it’s just plain untrue. Shit happened.
Yet, we can also let only brokenness define us and forget how resilient we are! We can be drawn to controlling relationships with haters who water torture drip nasty stuff in our brains. Or it can propel us into perfectionist obsessions as we try to fix ourselves, blot out that stain, remove the Scarlet Letter. But, step back and look at the reality of your life. You are a fighter. You are still here!
Like Gay, I claim the word victim. I will not diminish the pain, the challenges that come back when the stars align or I haven’t slept enough or someone gives me that look. Nor will I make excuses for the perpetrators or package it all with the ever-pithy I’m a better person now because of it!
No, bad stuff happened. As it did for all of us in varying degrees! Yet, I am stronger than I am broken. And I work to own both—the truth of what is broken, and the truth that I am strong. And I do my best to heal, every day…