I’ve always been a quote person. When I was younger, my favourite quote was one I found in a Lurlene McDaniel novel:
“What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.”
I’m not sure why 12-year-old me liked it so much, but it was inscribed on the inside cover of my journal, so it undeniably made an impact. I think I liked the idea of becoming stronger, and in a sense, of being indestructible.
Of course, 12-year-old me didn’t know much about things that could hurt, about pain.
“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall / Humpty Dumpty had a great fall / All the King’s horses and all the King’s men / Couldn’t put Humpty together again”
Today, I think I resonate more with Humpty.
I’ve been hurt. I’ve felt pain. And instead of feeling stronger, I sometimes think I’ll never be fully whole again.
I think we’re all a little broken, despite the appearances we put on. A little broken, a little cracked, a little chipped. I think that, at some point, we’ve all been hurt, we’ve all fallen apart, and we’ve all put ourselves back together. But I’m not convinced that any of us are stronger. Hardened, sure. Greater resolve. Yup. Less willing to let shit happen, absolutely.
But stronger? Not me, that’s for sure.
I’ve fallen apart before. That’s an undeniable fact. Somebody that I liked, loved, even, treated me like crap. Somebody I trusted broke that trust again and again and again. Someone with whom I was vulnerable, threw that vulnerability back at me, and shut me down. And worst of all, I put up with it- for a long time. I put up with lies, threats, harassment, blackmail, insults, stories about things I just didn’t want to know. I let it happen, because I loved him. But I was cracking, slowly but surely. And then, like Humpty, I broke. All I could find were pieces of myself, and I wasn’t quite sure how to put them back together again. I’m still working on figuring that out.
We’re all a little broken. And we’ve all tried our best to rebuild. We’ve picked up the pieces, and done what we could to patch ourselves together. We’ve moved forward with our lives. But the past never truly stays in the past, does it? It nudges into the present, and encroaches on the future. I may have rebuilt, but I’m still cracked. The slightest push or tap in just the right place contains the ability to make me fall apart all over again. Come too close to the wrong spot, and I’ll lash out. But really, good luck even getting through my protective bubble wrap layer.
What didn’t kill me doesn’t really seem to have made me any stronger. Instead, I’m constantly balancing on the wall next to Humpty, a little broken, but doing okay.
We’re all a little broken. And that’s a lot okay. The wall is a friendly place, and we’re in it together.