Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Sophy

Is everyone broken? Is that just part of being human?

Recommended Posts

I grew up with broken parents, like so many kids do.

So I learned about broken people really early on.

I did my best to survive - I clung to things I loved - nature, my pets, books, things like that.

As a kid, I always figured, one day I'll be around non-broken people.

I just need to survive my family and then I'll go hang out with non-broken peeps.

But now, at 40, I wonder if there is such a thing.

Everyone I've ever known closely (i.e. close enough to be allowed to look behind their social facade/ mask) was broken.

And I have known a LOT of people. Although I can be quite introverted, I'm a people's person and have met and gotten to know countless, countless people.

Sometimes I think I'm like a journalist - always interviewing everyone I meet.

For some reason, I always want to know what people think and feel and do.

Human beings fascinate me.

I think they are incredible.

Incredibly good in some ways.

Incredibly bad in other ways.

But always fascinating.

So yeah, I've gotten to know soooooooooooo many people in my life.

And all of the ones I got to know well, were broken.

Of the ones I didn't get to know well enough to look behind their social facade, with many you could tell they were broken, anyway.

Some people aren't very good at hiding their brokenness.

Of all the countless people I've met, there's only a tiny handful, where I don't *know* they are broken, because I couldn't tell if they were or not.

Either way, I'd say 99% of people are broken.

Some cover it up incredibly well. So you'd never guess. Until you see behind the social facade. And then you think "Ohhhhhhhhh....."

So apart from that tiny, tiny minority that may-or-may-not-be-un-broken, 99% of the people I've met in my life are broken.

Broken in different ways.

Broken in different degrees.

Some broken and healing.

But all of them broken.

So my naiive childhood assumption, that I'd end up spending my life among non-broken people has turned into a total mirage!!

Honestly, I can't think of a single partner, friend, relative, colleague, neighbour, acquaintance that was not-broken.

People who are struggling so much with themselves, that it overshadows their whole life.

People struggling so deeply, that they are never free.

People trapped in their struggle. Trying to be positive, but still trapped.

It's so weird.

I've been having a rough time at work this week - it's a stressful time of year in my line of work, and half of the colleagues in the office are behaving like crap at the moment.

It's just their own stuff - their brokenness - seeping out.

But it's still triggering me.

And it always feels bizarre to realise how broken everyone is.

Society spends so much time pretending that we're not all broken.

All that keeping up with the Joneses.

All that ego crap.

(But that's just more broken stuff.)

I was raised an atheist, so I've got no religious background at all, but one thing I do like about religion is that it is a system of thought and feeling that has an adequate depth/ dimension to it, that it is able to deal with such concepts.

Religion KNOWS that we are all broken.

(And all redeemed, but that's another story.)

For some reason, society is too shallow - it can't get it's head around the fact that we are ALL broken.

Not just some of us.

Not just the ones that "seem" broken.

ALL of us.

Cos we are humans.

And all humans are broken.

By definition.

Why is society too cowardly, too 2-dimensional to cope with that?

Why is religion able to fathom that, to encompass that, without batting an eyelid?

And how do I make my peace with it?

That I am living on a planet with 7.62 billion broken people?

And that I need to deal with it.

Make it part of my life as-it-is.

How do I teach my subconscious to stop looking out for un-broken people.

I think subconsciously I constantly scan the horizon, in the hope that *maybe today* an unbroken person will turn up.

But no.

Being broken is part of our make up.

Being broken is part of our DNA.

Poetry can hold this truth too (I guess it's not just religion).

But how do I *live* the poetry of that.

My life is prose, most of the time, haha.

How do I deal with a workplace where 100% of my colleagues are broken, in their own, weird, broken ways?

Not just a bit broken.

But truly, deeply broken.

Permanently broken.

Their brokenness  defines them.

It motivates what they do and don't do.

Their lives are just them orbiting around their brokenness, trying to live as best they can despite it.

Trying to fly, but never getting very far, because of the brokenness.

All of em.

Not just a few.

All of em.

That blows my mind.

How do I deal with this?

Religion?

Poetry?

I need to make my peace with this. Deeply.

I can't be a kid my whole life, thinking unbroken people are going to turn up.

Yes, there are nice people.

Kind people.

Fun people.

Inspiring people.

But they too are broken.

I don't mean to say that everyone that's broken is horrible.

Course not.

But everyone - no matter how nice, kind or fun - is carrying deep, meaningful, debilitating, bizarre brokenness inside themselves and just trying to do their best, despite it.

Edited by Sophy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Sophy everyone is broken but this is the beauty of life it points us to the One who is not broken.  In finding this you can now begin to live because that means no one can point a finger at anyone else.  That is most beautiful thing anyone can find out about life because it set you free so you can begin to live and find out your true purpose for existing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Society expects--maybe demands--that we appear unbroken. We are supposed to be in an unending reality TV show where people look handsome or gorgeous and have sparkling personalities. Strike that...not sparkling personalities, but ruthless, cut throat, and vindictive personalities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Sophy! That is so true. I had always thought that if I worked hard enough at my issues, I could be one of those un-broken people. That seemed to keep me going most of my life. Now I see that because of the evil in this world and that so many generations have passed down dysfunctional stuff, more than ever before, it makes us all broken. The difference is the ones who are brave enough to admit it, face it, get help, and learn to live with it in a healthy way. What has helped me is to have boundaries, especially emotional (like a shield), and boundaries with myself so that I'm not letting other's issues into my heart (the essence of who I am) or that I don't make my own negativity.. Also, not religion but a relationship with God has helped yet religion can help with that. Maybe you could give it a try. You can always change your mind. Thanks for sharing this!

Edited by BeyondWeary
wrong word

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I work across the street from an online clothing outlet. They do a lot of photo shoots with models over there. I see the models, both male and female, almost every day. Their appearance is some kind of "ideal" I suppose--foisted upon us by...what? corporate media? Society's expectations? I dunno.

I sometimes wonder how "broken" these supposedly beautiful people are?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, JD4010 said:

I work across the street from an online clothing outlet. They do a lot of photo shoots with models over there. I see the models, both male and female, almost every day. Their appearance is some kind of "ideal" I suppose--foisted upon us by...what? corporate media? Society's expectations? I dunno.

I sometimes wonder how "broken" these supposedly beautiful people are?

Good point. Yet I think they may even be more broken on the inside but can't even show it. I've learned not to compare my insides to other's outsides. Yet it's not easy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for all your replies! : )

I agree @Floor2017 that given that everyone's broken, there's no one that can point a finger at anyone.

But it also kind of means, that because we are all broken, there's no one to truly reach out to either.

Because then it's the drowning, reaching out to others who are also drowning.

I guess for people who are religious/ believe in God - that's actually what makes that a lot easier.

They reach out to God, they find un-brokenness there, so they can see the brokenness in the world with more equanimity.

I'm certainly not religious in this sense, so that's not my approach to it, even tho I can understand it and value it.

From a philosophical point of view, I do very much like the imagery that every one is equally naked, broken and a sinner before God. (And equally redeemed, as I already said.) It's a very powerful and deeply true image.

I doubt that for me that will ever be more than poetry or philosophy.

I can see and feel what religion has to offer, but I will never be able to believe in it, the way a child believes.

So I will have to approach this through the lense of philosophy/ poetry/ art/ spirituality in its widest sense and just use this particular bit of wisdom religion has to offer as inspiration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, JD4010 said:

Society expects--maybe demands--that we appear unbroken. We are supposed to be in an unending reality TV show where people look handsome or gorgeous and have sparkling personalities. Strike that...not sparkling personalities, but ruthless, cut throat, and vindictive personalities.

Yes, by a weird accident/ chance, I went to a really weird/ horrible high school for the first 4 years of high school.

It was a very cut-throat, Darwinian, dog-eat-dog place.

No "win-win" attitudes there.

It was all win-lose, and if you didn't want to lose, you'd better make sure you win.

I think that we've all been in societal situations like that and it is deeply ingrained in the subconsicous of all of us.

Many of us try and find ways to combat this, or to avoid it, or to seek spaces of calm.

But it's a powerful part of our societal "atmosphere".

It's deeply de-humanising.

Bizarrely, most people are pretending to be "fine", rather than BEING fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, BeyondWeary said:

Good point. Yet I think they may even be more broken on the inside but can't even show it. I've learned not to compare my insides to other's outsides. Yet it's not easy.

Yes, totally!

I find that to be a real tell-tale clue!!

The people who are OBSESSED with their facade, who put a HUGE effort into seeming "fiiiiiine" and making sure everyone thinks they are super successful - those are the most broken ppl of all.

If you're less broken, then you are less hyper-anxious about your facade and about what people think of your facade.

People who hyper-focus on their social masks - that's a total give away that deeply broken stuff is going on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, Sophy said:

But how do I *live* the poetry of that.

My life is prose, most of the time, haha

I just loved this bit. I mean, I loved it all and you got me thinking quite a bit, for better or worse, but these lines stood out to me.

Anyway, I think yes, everyone is broken in some way. Everyone experiences their own hardships in some way or another. Whether one person's hardship is another's blessing doesn't really matter. No one has a "perfect" trauma-free life.

But the difference is in whether we're just chipped a little around the edges, have massive cracks and fault lines and pieces broken off, or something in between. Also in how we deal with our own brokenness and how we put our pieces back together and the brokenness of others. You said it well here:

1 hour ago, Sophy said:

Broken in different ways.

Broken in different degrees.

Some broken and healing.

But all of them broken.

I don't really know how to come to terms with it yet, though. I guess like you said, do our best despite it. I don't really have anything more to contribute right now aside from agreement, for that I'm sorry. But I think I agreed with every word you posted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, my 2nd-to-last partner, I was together with for 15 years.

I ended up gently breaking up with him (and we are still friends) because although we had both tried for years, each of our brokenness was impacting on the relationship. Two people drowning and healing but still too much drowning.

In the end, I ended the relationship (in my mid 30s) because I thought "I cannot be with a partner who is *that* broken."

At that point, I decided I'd rather stay single for the rest of my life.

Not in a bitter or resentful way.

I've had some beautiful, deep relationships, that I've grown a lot in.

After that long relationship, I just felt like I had learned what I could learn from partnerships.

I wanted to move beyond that, to transcend it.

Then I met someone and fell more head-over-heels in love, than I've ever done in my entire life.

I was with that last partner, for (only) two years.

Strangely - paradoxically - he seemed like the least broken person I'd ever met - like the most un-broken person I'd ever met.

And then - bizarrely - incomprehensibly - turned out to be one of the most broken people I'd ever met.


So, in my mid-30s I was "over" relationships with broken people.

I decided to move beyond that.

By a freak chance, I meet someone who seems utterly unbroken - and it turns out it's a mirage.

(Ooooh yes, there's a LOT of irony and mind-warping stuff there. I'll spare everyone the details.)

 

Now, at 40, I'm realising EVERYONE is broken.

So, saying in my mid-30s that I'm "over" broken and dysfunctional relationships - while that sounds very healthy and mature - now seems like a funny, trite joke. (Cos on this planet, broken, dysfunctional relationship is all that's on offer. Some less so, some more so.)

And then falling in love with someone who seemed unbroken but then turned out to be shockingly, deeply, painfully broken - that's taught me a lot too - that there is no such thing as an unbroken person.


So, from here on in, anyone I'm in a relationship with or in a friendship with - any one I spend time with and that includes myself - is broken.

How do I have the compassion and the generosity to not be disappointed by that?

I'm so childish! I'm always disappointed by people's brokenness.

I can't help myself but wish they weren't broken.


Really, what I'm silently doing is saying "NO".

No to people's brokenness.

No to the world's brokenness.

No to brokenness as such.


I dislike it.

I want it to go away.

I want it to be fixed.

I want things to be non-broken.

Deep down, I say a big fat NO to brokenness.


But I can tell there's something not right about that.

It's dumb, in a non-trivial way.

Edited by Sophy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe you are grieving the loss of what you hoped was possible and now have to face the disappointment of it all? Once you go through the grieving it is easier to see the silver lining in the clouds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, BeyondWeary said:

Maybe you are grieving the loss of what you hoped was possible and now have to face the disappointment of it all? Once you go through the grieving it is easier to see the silver lining in the clouds.

Grief is an interesting concept in this. Seems likely to me. It's the same as that other active thread right now about feeling like you've wasted your potential - it's as if we might be grieving for who we thought we'd be as we got older.

Maybe we just have difficulty reconciling our previous, childhood hopes and dreams for ourselves and others with actual reality, thus causing grief and pain.

Maybe, I don't know. I'm having a foggy brain day/difficulties forming coherent thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, JD4010 said:

Society expects--maybe demands--that we appear unbroken. We are supposed to be in an unending reality TV show where people look handsome or gorgeous and have sparkling personalities. Strike that...not sparkling personalities, but ruthless, cut throat, and vindictive personalities.

I definitely agree.  

3 hours ago, JD4010 said:

P.S. don't listen to me. I'm a cynical old b@stard with a terrible attitude.

Society is the b*****d here, not you.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Wizardwarrior315 said:

I definitely agree.  

Society is the b*****d here, not you.  

Life is hard. Period.

Having a mental illness filters how we view life. If we are delusional then we perceive everything to be great, even though those around us know something out of kilter.

That just me.  But then I would be considered not normal. I stopped using the phrase not normal, because it assumes we are all judged by the same measure.

I instead use the idea of acting natural for you. Meaning you choose the plumb line or measure.  If you think standing on your head is your natural self then stand on your head.  But for me I want to walk on my feet.  We both are pursuing our natural proclivities.

Am I broken, hell yes. But I wrote a song about it as we speak. "Cuz I'm broken since I went away from you!" I used music as my therapy.  Yes, I am broken but I am dealing with it and accomplishing my goals so I am natural.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sophy - I am grateful for your poetic descriptions of our brokenness. And I am grateful to be reminded that I'm not alone in being broken. Because, in spite of being blessed with loving friends and family members, I feel so alone in my brokenness. It's hard for me to imagine that anyone else goes through their days with the weight of depression and anxiety dogging their every step. And I am so good at hiding it, except when I trust someone enough or feel desperate enough to open up. The weird thing is that objectively I know I am not ALWAYS depressed, because I had the good sense, the other day, to write in my journal "I was not depressed today." But now I can't remember what it felt like not to be depressed, and it is hard to believe that only a few days ago I declared that I was not feeling depressed. Probably this is why it would be useful to keep a mood journal. Do other people here do that?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think people hide it because being "broken" is being vulnerable and being vulnerable means you are at risk of other people taking advantage of that. So you put on a facade to hide your vulnerability in order to not get hurt/taken advantage of.

I think that is why I am doing it anyway, to not give away the fact that I am extremely vulnerable.

Edited by GoldenOne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/22/2018 at 8:52 PM, Dormilona said:

Probably this is why it would be useful to keep a mood journal. Do other people here do that? 

I have done so at various times over the last 20 years. I do find it helpful. It seems it doesn't matter which state I've been in - very depressed or okay -  the opposite state is more like remembering a dream, or a nightmare. The details become fuzzy. 

Wishing you more good days ahead. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is interesting, and definitely something I’ve thought a lot about over time. My conclusion so far is that while everyone is imperfect and troubled in a multitude of ways, there is just such a huge difference between those who suffer serious depression and those who don’t. Realising this has been enormously helpful to me. I’ve had some great conversations with people who don’t have depression and though they’re not exactly happy all the time, the experiences and feelings I describe are utterly alien to them. I grew up with persistent trauma and abuse, and  recognising how different this makes me from others has been very helpful in recovery. 

 

I wanted to post this (my first post!) because I do think it’s important to view depression as atypical, though it is common. I used to view the world as broken, and everyone in it broken too, but that was in part because I refused to acknowledge the severity of my own difficulties, and the abuse I was subjected to from early childhood onward. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...