Monday, October 8, 2012

Defining Broken

I have been thinking about how we define brokenness since I read a post about it a while back.

I'm not talking about the whole "breaking a submissive" bit. Though since I do (for some odd reason), get hits from the term, I'll probably give in and go there eventually.

My train of thought is more along the lines of how we define someone as being a broken person.
Until I read the aforementioned post (which I can no longer find, so no linky link), I had never considered thinking of someone as being broken because of their physical condition.

I think that broken is really a state of consciousness.

I have a client with a degenerative nerve disease. Her body does not respond to her mental commands as it should, she uses a walker, and is now moving on to a wheelchair. This woman is far from broken. She has spirit, determination, motivation, and a seemingly unconquerable sense of optimism.

Thing1 (sil for new visitors), is a physically fit 24 year old. She is also a very broken human being because she chose to live her life in a way that clearly broke her.
And it runs beyond her addictions now (I don't really care what Thing2 says--unless Thing1 is pissing in a cup in front of her every day, Thing1's still a junky as far as I'm concerned). There are fundamental cracks in who she is as a person.

I think that the majority of us are scarred--it's a part of living and being human.
But the truly broken people? They are not the ones with physical issues. The broken people are the ones who's minds are bent beyond repair.


  1. That is a sad state for sure.

    But, is beyond repair really the case? Are there people who really can never be repaired? I know there are people who really never WILL be repaired - but is that because they can't or because it just won't.

    And sometimes, and I have been pondering this, breaks of mental health are beyond the control of others. Sigh. We so want people to do it on their own and be fully functioning around us. (I really, really want that.) But it never quite works out that way in real life.

    1. Kitty,
      I sent you an email.
      I do think that, for the most part, it's "won't" not "can't."
      And while it's extremely rare, I do believe there are unrepairable people.

  2. Oh Lil you've given me too much to think about on a Monday morning.

    1. sunnygirl,
      I'm sorry! One of these days I'll have lighter morning thoughts to share.
      It's generally not my humorous time though lol.

  3. This has been a conversation topic in my mind since yesterday. So it's ironic that you wrote a post about it.

    I see myself as a pretty broken person, emotionally speaking. Too much pain for far too long. I don't have hope, I can't afford to anymore. I don't even have expectations.

    But I was told recently that I'm still a fighter. I'm working to make my life better each and every day. I have game plans.

    It takes everything I have to take each step. To get through every day. Sometimes I don't want to, but I've been trudging along for so long that it's habit.

    So I guess it depends on what a person does with what life throws their way.

    Broken doesn't mean non-functioning. Sometimes people surrender to being broken. It consumes them. As for the rest, they keep trying even if it seems like there's no reason to.

    The latter is where I am. I don't know if I'll ever not be broken, but it's a part of me I own completely.

    1. simplyHis,
      I do think it's all about what people do with what life gives them. Almost everyone can pull themselves up and repair the damage life has done. I think that the surrendering to it is what make is reality.

      And in my experience, the most broken rarely see it in themselves.
      I hope that you find what you need--owning all parts of who you are seems like a really good place to go from.

  4. lil: I have a post coming up in the near future on this being broken business. I like how you define it here.
    But there are many occasions where I've heard it in a kinky/BDSM/'like-minded' setting where the usage of the word, i.e. 'broken toy' term offends me deeply.
    And because of that, regardless of a person circumstances or how they are living there life, I'm not sure if I would use it in a context of describing a person. Broken plate? Sure. Broken person? Iffy, very iffy. Context is everything, though.

    1. Bleuame,
      I'll be very interested to read your upcoming post.

      "Broken toy" seems like a phrase that is just...Off. Because how do we define broken, and who defines it for us?

      I agree, using the term for people is tricky. It's not something I think one could say about someone they didn't know very well.
      And I think that most people can repair themselves. But ""won't" does come into play depending on the person.

  5. Perhaps im too much of an optimist but i do believe fundamentally no one is beyond repair, some people are just not very strong and they need something or someone to give them purpose..something to hold onto.

    I do think the concept of being broken is a mental concept within bdsm and out of it but just meaning perhaps different things, when i think of being broken within bdsm i see it as being in a positive context (there are exceptions).


    1. tori,
      I like your optimism. I'm going to say that I believe there is one real exception to the ability to repair oneself--serious cases of mental illness. Because the breaks can be so extreme, no amount of medication or interference will help some people put themselves back together. Not to be applied to all cases of course, but in my personal experience, it has done irreparable damage to people like my mother in law.

  6. No lil, never beyond repair. i was a junkie for over 10 years. i am proud to say i have been clean for 8 years now. i am a fitness freak now, run marathons and work out 1-2.5 hours a day.Anyone that knows me now would never guess at my previous life. It was a long road but I walked it, one dam painful step at a time.

    Junkies and people with addictions are broken but if they have the want to repair, they can be fixed............but they have to want it.


    1. M_A_kitten,
      I think it's wonderful that you have come so far and put yourself back together.
      And I do think, as you say in the case of someone being a junky, they can repair.
      But as, kitty said, it's many times it's about "won't" not "cant."

      Thing1 has never shown any real want. And that's what makes me doubt she will change.

  7. I have always imagined someone broken as being someone who's spirit has been broken and their self image demolished. A complete loss of self worth. I don't believe anyone is ever beyond repair, but the person in question has to want to be "fixed" so to speak. You can't heal someone who doesn't want healing no matter how hard you try (and I have tried). But I also believe it's possible to live through very traumatic experiences and come out stronger rather than broken. It really depends on the person and their inner strength.



    1. Turiya,
      I do think that, for the most part, it is our trials and tribulations that make us strong. The strongest people I know are the ones who have been through hell and back.

      And it is so true that you can't "fix" someone who doesn't want to be and isn't willing to do so themselves.
      It took me a ridiculous amount of time to in life to realize that.

  8. This is such a terrific post, i'm back reading it for about the third time, thinking i had a comment to make. Then i read the comments already there, and i think that i don't have anything to add, there is so much wisdom and insight already here.

    But i'll throw this out there - i believe that we are all doing the best we know how to do. And we can all learn to do better.

    I think that some people not only don't know ways to handle things differently, but don't actually believe they can do things differently - don't truly realize it's an option for them.

    And addiction is a huge barrier to making the kinds of choice that lead to a more meaningful life. It really is. So is shame.

    Interesting post. Thanks


    1. aisha,
      Thank you.
      I agree--we all do the best we can.
      Sometimes it's really hard to show people that they can do things differently. We tend to get so stuck in our mindsets as human beings, that sometimes we just can't see any other way than the path we are on at the moment.


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