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Posts Tagged ‘damage’

I have spent the better part of the last 2 years thinking that I am now permanently damaged goods. Besides the constant sense of bitterness and the fragile state of my already-heavily-damaged ego, I have questioned if these experiences have made me unfit for future human relationships. Forget about the male-female romantic type of relationships (of which I fear I am permanently unfit) but even just the simple human interactions. What happens if I am too screwed up to ever have a normal friendship again??

If you had asked me 10 years ago where I envisioned my life would be at this juncture, you can bet your sweet bippy that it never would have occurred to me that I would be more lost than I was at 18 – rootless and struggling with my faith, my self-esteem, and my future – I thought I had outgrown these sorts of emotions. So now I feel that I am too messed up, too crazy, too jaded, too broken – damaged goods.

So last night, in spending some time with my nearly-perfect friend (who will be known here only as “The B”) I discovered that I am not alone in the feeling of being ‘damaged.’ “The B”  is tall, gorgeous, outgoing, funny, intelligent and charismatic – and yet feels that she isn’t good enough. We actually spent quite a bit of the evening arguing over who is crazier, more angry, and/or more flawed. How is that a woman who is almost the perfect ideal of a female in current American society share the same sense of inadequacy that I have? “The B” is the kind of woman that I want to be when I grow up – how can SHE feel that she’s as crazy as I am?!

Is it a woman thing? Are we, as females, programmed to feel inadequate in some way at all times in our lives? I don’t think that’s exclusively the answer – although I DO believe that females specialize in feeling insecure and flawed. But I know many men who suffer from some of the same feelings that we have, especially the men who have been through shattering divorces or other life-altering events. These men are normal, everyday guys who have managed (just like “The B” and I) to get out of bed and face each new day. So, no, I don’t think it’s just ‘a woman thing’ – I actually think it’s more widespread than that.

My evening with “The B” has helped me to realize something very important – we are ALL damaged goods! There is not a single person, no matter how good it looks like they may have it in life, that is truly content with who they are. Maybe it’s trauma (emotional or physical) that has damaged someone, maybe it’s simply born in them – but we ALL feel that we have flaws. I am so glad to have company in the Damaged Goods area of the department store of life! Does it make me a bad person to rejoice in the company I keep?? I have truly wonderful friends that have helped me to realize that they too struggle with the damages in their lives – and if they can survive, so can I!

So, to”The B” I send the assurance that we are both crazier than hell, totally screwed up, and yet totally lovable!! And we are not alone – there are a lot of us that are Damaged Goods – and we should stand proud!

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To whoever says my job isn’t difficult: have you ever tried to tactfully schedule an office visit for a squirrel with a self-inflicted scrotal injury? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

This is a true story. One of our clients called and needed to see one of our small animal vets because his squirrel had, for some unknown reason, done harm to himself. What ran through my mind was a mixture of disgust (ew!), horror (why that area of his body?), pity (that poor baby), and curiosity (what’s mentally wrong with this animal?). I have been around animals all of my life and have seen some pretty grotesque sights – but this one even made me cringe. And I’m not even a guy so I lack that sensitivity on the subject of ManLand!

But, this got me thinking – what kind of harm do we humans inflict on ourselves? We may not all be as….er…obvious about our self-inflicted scars as the squirrel was, but like it or not we all do this sort of stuff to ourselves. Sometimes its physical mutilation (cutting, eating disorders, piercing/tattoo addictions, plastic surgery addictions, etc.) but I think mostly its mental and emotional. I think we all beat ourselves up, inflicting a variety of short- and long-term injuries, over a plethora of topics – work, relationships, children, marriage, friends, holidays, schools, etc.

Think about it – what scars are you carrying with you that you inflicted on yourself? What internal stress have you allowed to cause pain and suffering? What have you mentally sliced yourself up about?

Take it from an expert – on both squirrels AND emotional mutilation – nothing is worth harming yourself over! No person or subject on the planet is worth any extensive harm you might do to yourself! Forgive, forget, and look for something wonderful on the horizon! Have faith that the Lord has a plan and has something amazing in store for you! How’s that for a Pollyanna moment?

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