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Maybe you feel broken. I always have. From the time I was a small child, it was clear that I was not wanted and there was no place for me in the world. I felt worthless then, and fifty years later, I still do. I hoped I would find a place and become whole. I did find a place in a 22 year marriage with someone who gets me, and two beautiful and amazing children. But I am still broken. Shake me like a light bulb and you can hear the little pieces clinking around inside. If you, too, come from the Island of Misfit Toys, you know what I mean.

I tried to repair myself. Meditation, therapy, self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, bulimia, self-cutting, getting sober, dietary changes, exercise, more therapy, volunteering, religion, politics, more religion, psychiatrists, and prescription medications. Creating is the best response. I love my family. But the whole time, I kept thinking that someday, if I could be repaired, I would be OK, and I could live and be happy. Nothing I attempted to do to make myself or my world better made any difference – not in how I feel, not in who I am, not in how I see or relate to other people. Part of my brain is a screaming infant who will never stop screaming.

What I’ve discovered on my travels through brokenness is that it’s a myth that there is utility to being a good person. They say if you’re good enough, you can have good things in life. But that is false. There is no correlation between what you have and how good you are. You do not have to be a good person to be successful financially, to get married, to have children, to have friends, to achieve anything, or to feel good about yourself. Being good will not earn you self-esteem, relief from pain, or the positive regard of others. You can have everything you might want while being a complete asshole. People do it all the time, with no apologies. This is not to say that I advocate being an asshole, although I might be one. I am simply pointing out that if for some reason you cling to the notion, as I have, that expunging the negatives and growing in virtue will help you achieve anything beyond virtue itself, you are mistaken. I think this is a spiritual truth: being a good person, to whatever extent possible or realized, is its own reward – always and only.

I never thought I was an emotional extortionist. I thought I was in pain and wanted help, and that other people were withholding, compassionless, judgmental, spoiled, oblivious, shallow, selfish little fucktards - clueless because, when they were born, the world welcomed them. As a child I was ignored completely, and learned that if I wasn’t near death, there was no way I would get any attention. But I don’t think I consciously plotted to be in pain for forty years in order to get attention. That is not a logical or efficient way for anyone to get their needs met. A few years ago someone I knew told me I was being manipulative when I said I felt suicidal. It seemed like an ignorant and mean-spirited observation, but I thought about it. The accusation might be true, in that, while going about my life as a black hole, I still believed someone could help me, and was angry that no one was helping me. In reality, a lot of people have helped. Some have made a huge difference, or I don’t think I would be here.  

I am loved by some people, but no amount of love will fix the problem. It is not that I don’t appreciate the people in my life, it’s that no validation or support can fix the problem. Nothing anyone can ever do or say will fix the problem. If I’m angry at anyone, I’m angry at God for creating me as a broken person who feels worthless and is in pain, which seems like a pretty shitty thing to do. But I also know I am not unique in this regard. I have not been singled out. No explanation for why I am the way I am will change my experience. My motives or intentions don’t matter, because whatever the problem is, despite my best efforts, I can’t fix it or change it or be anyone other than who I am. I experience the world as an onslaught of overwhelming impressions and am not good at calming myself down. I am often depressed, exhausted, confused, and lose whole days to not being able to think. I tried everything there is to try. There are no more ideas, no more options. Whatever and whoever I am today: this is as good as it gets. Because I'm tired of trying.

Once, a long time ago, a therapist pointed to the tree outside the window and asked me, “Is it a good tree?” The tree wasn’t a good tree, or a bad tree. It was a tree. The comment stuck with me because that’s how I choose to face my life now.

Fighting to become whole, to be OK, doesn’t work. These are the facts: I’m not OK. I have never been, nor will I ever be OK. Short of death, I need to become OK with not being OK.  No angel will descend from the clouds to confer worthiness upon me. There will never be a day when I wake up and feel safe. Some things – and people – are broken in ways that can’t be fixed. There is freedom in recognizing that I am beyond help. I won’t be asking anyone for anything, because I’ll know they don’t have it. I won’t spend my time, energy, or money trying to repair myself, because I know it won’t work. God could change me if He wanted to. It’s not like I haven’t asked. I can only assume He’s fine with me being exactly as broken as I am. And if God is fine with it, maybe I can learn to be fine with it, too.

UPDATE: YOU GUYS ARE BEAUTIFUL AND AMAZING

Originally posted to the holy halfbreed on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:41 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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  •  Tip Jar (139+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YellowDogBlue, undercovercalico, blueyedace2, gustynpip, Lily O Lady, serendipityisabitch, radarlady, Buckeye Nut Schell, PatriciaVa, RenMin, SteelerGrrl, Rachael7, HeyMikey, Louisiana 1976, richardvjohnson, buddabelly, schumann, aitchdee, wilderness voice, 3rdOption, marsanges, wonmug, Mad Season, Catte Nappe, JoanMar, cotterperson, Lying eyes, unfangus, cv lurking gf, chantedor, CorinaR, petral, Wee Mama, puzzled, Naniboujou, myrmecia gulosa, ladybug53, petulans, geebeebee, Regina in a Sears Kit House, Joy of Fishes, doroma, dinazina, deeproots, Ekaterin, Chaddiwicker, FogCityJohn, stevie avebury, ferg, joedemocrat, broths, akmk, jbsoul, Larsstephens, No one gets out alive, coldwynn, notdarkyet, karmsy, ricklewsive, sfarnell, Pithy Cherub, Santa Susanna Kid, briefer, ramara, JanetT in MD, Yo Bubba, orestes1963, Eileen B, Kingsmeg, OldSoldier99, Anne was here, kpardue, MrBigDaddy, zerelda, TrueBlueMajority, chimene, page394, pyegar, shortgirl, asterkitty, antirove, AZ Sphinx Moth, Ice Blue, alx9090, ridemybike, daveygodigaditch, Dianna, YellerDog, dotsright, greycat, gmats, crose, katrinka, CanyonWren, thomask, NapaJulie, lotlizard, schemp, Shelley99, teabaggerssuckbalz, Sark Svemes, Brooke In Seattle, bsmechanic, Librarianmom, Youffraita, flowerfarmer, bewild, Pilotshark, triv33, fumie, shesaid, sillycarrot, Southcoast Luna, nathantyree, Chi, Blicero, Renee, SanFernandoValleyMom, EdSF, historys mysteries, oceanview, melo, escapee, poco, rubyr, missLotus, theBreeze, Desolations Angel, denise b, sricki, newpioneer, joynow, Nulwee, begone, riverlover, marina, ksp, bigjacbigjacbigjac, Kit RMP
  •  You can learn to live with the feeling of being (21+ / 0-)

    broken without accepting the illusion that those feelings mean you really are broken.

    You just feel that way because of certain things in your experience.

  •  I disagree.... (32+ / 0-)

    I think you are Ok. I know I have often had the sense of not belonging at various points of my life. I struggle with that feeling right now. I am often out of step with whatever fascinates other people, or I have a sense of lacking commonality with others.

    I think part of the problem is that we live in this culture that promotes the tyranny of happiness, I don't know if this is more an American thing or a western thing or what exactly. You aren't broken because you have pain. You would be broken if you denied its existence in your being.

    In the last year I have gone through some unwanted life changes and have felt lonely and isolated because I have a small circle of friends and many of them live far away and while going through these changes I did not always get the support I felt I needed. For me there has  been no obvious solution, the biggest thing I had to admit openly to myself was the fact that I felt lonely and isolated because others often see me as a strong person. Just admitting that helped me reduce turmoil within myself. For me what works and I am not suggesting what works for me will work for you at all is finding some small thing that makes me feel grateful and a small thing that I can do to make myself say hey girl way to go. My way to go girl things are often not huge accomplishments either.

    Again, I do not think my situation is analogous to yours, I do know what it is like to feel alone and to want not to. If you can write this all out in such a way as you have, I think you are more than OK. Even though I do not know you I will have you in my thoughts.

  •  Oddly enough, this is resonating with something (41+ / 0-)

    I've been looking at for the last couple of days. Unlike you, I had the feeling that if I could only learn enough, try hard enough, be enough (saving the world was a long time goal of mine), then I could someday be wanted. So I didn't feel broken, just incredibly incomplete. Bad enough, though I can't truly compare it with what you've said.

    What finally seems to be unlocking the whole mess for me is a seemingly trivial realization: It wasn't me they didn't want. In their lives, there wasn't any space for another person. I just happened to be the person there wasn't any space for.

    Best I can offer, and I hope there's enough similarity that it may help you.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 02:17:16 PM PDT

  •  I, too, am a permanently broken person. (55+ / 0-)

    I won't go into how I came to be broken, let's just leave it at sometimes life has not been kind.  But I found out long ago that the places where I'm broken are the places where I'm willing to take a stand and fight.  Those things that tried to kick my ass are the very things I fight against so that others won't have to live through what I did.

    There's no sin in being broken, it's what you do with it that tells the tale.  There's a reason I chose my sig line.  It's not just a lovely quote, it's who I am...

    "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

    by Got a Grip on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 02:18:10 PM PDT

  •  I hope things improve for you a bit at least. (25+ / 0-)

    I can identify with some of what you say, but certainly am not qualified to give any advice or help.  I hope you, like me, at least have your good times and your bad times, this is one of the bad times, and things get a bit better.

    I think the worst of feeling unwanted when you're young is it makes you so needy and there seems to be nothing that guarantees that you'll receive little than needing much.  I believe there are few people who have a lot to give - we all need, but are limited in what we can give.  And so when we meet someone who needs more than we can give, it makes us feel bad, and so we simply avoid those people.  

    The person who said you were being manipulative when you mentioned suicide was likely responding in that way because it was the easiest way.  He or she didn't know how to deal with such a scary thing, and so they said what they did to deflect you.  That doesn't mean it was true and it doesn't mean they're a bad person.  It simply means they weren't equipped to deal with it.

    Recognizing that other people are broken, too, and just don't have a lot of excess emotional reserves themselves to be able to give you what you need might alleviate some of that anger you feel.  You were entitled to feel loved and cared for by your parents.  But they were broken and didn't give you than.  Unfortunately, once you're an adult, there's seldom going to be anyone who can fill that hole.

    So maybe you have to accept that you're broken, you'll always be broken, and all you can do is get through life the best a broken toy can.  With some good days, some bad days, and some terrible, terrible days.  Don't try to be a good person because you think it will make others around you able to fill your needs; just do it because it will make you feel less broken.  Do it for yourself.

    And consider yourself extremely fortunate that you found someone who gets you and has stuck with you for 22 years, working at filling that void, probably even knowing it's an endless hole that can't be filled.  I know it's impossible to see the cup as half full when you're down in that deep dark hole, but do try to see what people have given you over the years.  And then just remember that everyone of those people have their own needs, possibly as great as your own, which are not being met either.  We're all just muddling through this together, with some of us doing the best we can and others not even seeming to try.

  •  There's a great deal of wisdom in that. (20+ / 0-)

    I believe I understand.
    But I'd caution you on one point, and that is the global nature of your self-diagnosis.  We're all broken, to various degrees.  The world itself, and all its institutions seem to be. I don't mean to minimize your suffering by saying that, but I think it's pertinent, because you sound to me like someone who is casting the struggle too sharply when you say

    I won’t be asking anyone for anything, because I’ll know they don’t have it.
    You're not broken the way a lightbulb is broken, by which I mean you're not completely broken.  There are parts of you that work just fine.  Anyone who reads your diary can see that.  And though I take your point to be that nobody has what you need to fully repair those places where you are broken, this certainly doesn't mean that nobody has anything for you.  Identifying the stuff they do have, the stuff you need outside of the broken places, is a damned good idea.  Because part of what you think is broken, but is quite repairable, is the part that thinks it is all broken and nobody can help about anything at all.
  •  I wish you peace. Love. Have you read "Moby Dick?" (11+ / 0-)

    I wish you peace. I wish you acceptance of yourself as you are and the world as it is.

    I wish you love. I am glad you have a spouse of 22 years and two amazing kids. I hope you also have good friends. I wish you many tight hugs, and someone to snuggle up next to on cold nights.

    Have you read "Moby Dick?" I read it when I was a kid, got through it, got very little out of it. Read it again in my 40s, LOVED it. Difficult to say what it's about, really, except marvel and mystery and acceptance or not. But it really resonates.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 02:58:00 PM PDT

  •  Being broken sucks (23+ / 0-)

    And it just keeps sucking. Sometimes it sucks a little less, sometimes a lot more, but it always sucks. For me at least, it helped when I had reasons to fight - people that mattered to me and stuff I considered important, to drag me through the suck. But that only works to a point; because eventually, the people you love die or leave, you run out of emotional strength to do the important stuff, and all that's left is the suck. And fatigue from fighting the suck. And then what? What do you do when you just don't give a shit anymore? Sorry you're having this experience. I wish I had something constructive to tell you. (((hugs)))

  •  Everyone is broken, maybe it's just you're more (13+ / 0-)

    sensitive and empathetic.  Some of us try to cope by overconsuming substances, or books, or music, or relationships.  I think the people here and the people in your life find you far from worthless...  

    Armed! I feel like a savage! Barbarella

    by richardvjohnson on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:16:49 PM PDT

  •  "As good as it gets" looks pretty impressive... (27+ / 0-)

    ...from where I'm sitting.

    You've lived fifty years past a childhood that was obviously a brutal crucible.  You've created and maintained a relationship that has lasted 22 years, given life and a good home to two children as part of it.  You've gained language and writing skills to pen this powerful essay about your pain.  You've found the self-honesty to work on accepting the part of you that will always be a hurt child rather than shunning it or trying to deny it.

    "Broken" in this context, to me, seems pretty relative.  You are who you are, and from what little I can glean from this diary, you fucking rock.

    You didn't quite state this out in your diary, but you've also done probably the hardest thing any human can have to do, and a task I wouldn't wish on an enemy.  You've learned to depend only on yourself, because (at some point in the past, at least) you had absolutely and utterly no one else you could depend on.  Some older-school parents used to call this "Self-Reliance" (ask me how I know?).  I think there is some validity to the concept of Self-Reliance, but I also think it's taken to hurtful (often ludicrous, on later examination) extremes.

    I wish I could say something more affirming and more fulfilling than, "You're being too hard on yourself," but that seems to be the only message I can distill out of my thoughts on your diary.  I do think you're being too hard on yourself.  "Broken" can carry some painfully negative connotations, and "learning to be all right with the fact that you're broken" implies further negativity to the state of "brokenness."  I don't dispute your self-assessment, just its emotional freight.  I don't mean to put words in your mouth - forgive me if I seem to be doing so.

    You've clearly faced challenges that not a lot of people probably could.  You didn't commit suicide.  You didn't hurt or kill other people, or animals.  You did hurt yourself for a while, but you got through that.  You've got a great family, and a lasting relationship (those things are HARD, not easy).

    So, know this if nothing else - if I am accurate in my assessment of your past and the person you've become, you have a lot to be proud of, and I admire the hell out of you.  Yes, I can say that honestly, knowing only the above about you.  I mean it.

    Call yourself "broken" if you want, but don't dismiss or overlook your strengths and triumphs.  And consider yourself hugged, if you'd like one.

    Take care.

  •  What is the point of this diary? (3+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    leema, churchylafemme, blueoasis
    Hidden by:
    page394

    What benefit did typing this up, editing it, and posting it on this website for others to read, provide for you?

    (This is not a question for other commenters to opine about, or attempt to answer, or to criticize. This question is only for the diarist, if he or she chooses to answer.)


    "Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession." - Barrett Brown

    by 3rdOption on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:38:51 PM PDT

    •  (Sorry, you don't get to set the rules on this (29+ / 0-)

      site.  If you choose to post, we can choose to respond.)  What is the point of your question?

      It's really none of your business what benefit was obtained.  If you have nothing constructive to add to a conversation, it's often best to simply be quiet.

    •  hmm (9+ / 0-)

      I promised myself that now I'm 50 I will stop explaining and trying to justify my experience and perspective. But since you ask respectfully....

      I posted it for the people who responded, because I knew they were here. I think we all sometimes need to be reminded that we're not alone. This is the most honest thing I've written in a long time. But I have to figure, if something is true for me, it must be true for someone else, and it's good if going through all that stuff can be useful to others in some way.

      •  Thanks. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme, melo

        Your diary compels the empathetic to respond, in some way, but I couldn't discern from it what would be, for me, an appropriate response.

        I've learned, from experience in talking to folks in this circumstance, and from my reaction to others talking to me when I've been expressing myself in this way, to make sure to have a clear picture of where the other person is at, and what they want out of the transaction, before wading in with my two cents.

        It felt insulting, to me, to try and give advice on how to "fix things" or "make things better" to someone who very clearly stated that they were done with trying, and who had explained very precisely why they were done with trying.

        Likewise, it seemed disrespectful to someone who is a veteran of the internal wars, for decades, to try and convince them that their observations about themselves or their milieu or their future were "wrong" in some way, or at the least, inaccurate.

        That might work for someone who is a noob in this fight, but a veteran with your background, who has covered so much of this territory from so many angles, should probably be assumed to have a much more accurate picture of their circumstance than anyone who reads a description in a diary can infer. Not to say that there might not be some new perspective that might be helpful, but one who offers said perspective should, in the words of Walter White, "tread lightly".

        So, given your elaboration on the motive behind your writing, I'd like to add a few (probably certainly long-winded) thoughts.

        As I stated in a thread here somewhere, I came from almost exactly the opposite beginning. I was in, one could say, almost an over nurturing, and certainly a sheltered, environment, until school. So I had this inherent sense that I was wonderful and inherently lovable, especially by females, and then suffered the whiplash of being attacked, literally within minutes of walking out of the emotionally safe environment of family and into kindergarten.

        To say I was unprepared would be an understatement.

        So, in much the same way that it is impossible for a white person to understand what African Americans deal with, both internally and on a day to day basis, it is impossible for me to understand the grievous, crippling damage that must overshadow one's life when the person (or people) whose job it is to nurture a child during the crucial years of the development of the "self", ignore or outright abuse the child in their charge.

        It is unfathomable to me, disturbing to read about, humbling, and causes me to be profoundly grateful. I'm going to have to call my Mother and say something nice to her in a few minutes.

        But there's more than one way to end up being broken. And that's the point where I, for one, begin to personally relate to your diary.

        A couple of specific comments.

        ...someone I knew told me I was being manipulative when I said I felt suicidal. It seemed like an ignorant and mean-spirited observation, but I thought about it. The accusation might be true, in that, while going about my life as a black hole, I still believed someone could help me, and was angry that no one was helping me.
        From my experience, the answer could be "both". I had an individual who expressed to me, after years of not hearing from her, her desire to take her own life. She was clearly miserable, suffering from severe emotional anguish. When I called her mother in a panic, she said to me, "3rdOption, I do this at least once a week."

        In my opinion, this person was legitimately suicidal. Individuals who are purely manipulative do not plan out one, or several, methods of accomplishing their end and then keep that method secret to ensure that, when the time came, no one could intervene, unless that person is dead serious.

        At the same time, that person could still use the threat as a manipulative tool. This individual certainly did on me, her mother, and anyone else she felt like fucking with. Now, her circumstance is significantly different from what you've described, or I've experienced, specifically because she belligerently rejected, and in fact, openly attacked, any attempt at helping her find a healthier path. She used her misery and the obvious failures inherent in the downward spiral of her life as a weapon to injure anyone who cared about her.

        She gleefully fed off of the distress and empathy of others as she regaled them with horror stories of what she had done, or what had happened to her, and what miserable state into which she, and her children, had descended, and then slapped away, with mockery, any attempt to help, or encourage, or to get her into some form of counseling, therapy, or potentially helpful drug regimen.

        This was a painful way for me to learn the wonder that is a life of co-dependence.

        So my question about the individual who questioned your motives when discussing suicide is, had this person previously been fucked with by someone, using that as a tool of manipulation? That lake might have been poisoned long before you got there.

        Further, if the person in question genuinely cared for you, the conversation about that topic was going to be inherently traumatic for them. When you're overwhelmed enough by your circumstance that you feel the need to bring up that topic, you're inherently limited in your ability to accurately see the emotional impact on your friend, and thus to ascribe to their reaction a motive, one way or the other.

        I'm neither criticizing your reaction, nor advising on a "better" one. I'm just trying to provide a perspective from my experience in this area, for your consideration.

        I’m angry at God for creating me as a broken person who feels worthless and is in pain
        I have a different angle on this, and I think at least one person in the comment section has a similar perspective.

        You weren't created as a broken person, and neither was I. Someone did this to us. For you, it was individual(s) in a parental role who were anti-nurturers. For me it was my very first peer group (and many more to come).

        This may be a distinction without a difference, but I believe it has significant implications.

        Both nurturers and early peers teach us how to think about ourselves and this teaching is so implanted in our psyche that it is formative, and stays with us, in some fashion, for our whole lives.

        The lessons were false, and they were taught by people with, at best selfish, and more probably malicious, intent.

        Either way, the lessons themselves, are Evil.

        This is like being a computer that has had Windows ME installed on you and then blaming yourself because you keep crashing. As if the computer is broken. No, there are bugs in the operating system. Bugs can be patched.

        Now, I don't want to take this analogy too far, or it will become ridiculous. You can't just uninstall Windows and replace it with Linux, because we get our software, like our hardware, for life. But, in the human system, in certain cases, hardware can be repaired, and the OS can be patched.

        So is this a distinction without a difference? I don't think so, because, no matter how you look at it, there is a difference between you, and the lies you were taught about yourself, even at the basic formative stages of development.

        It sounds to me like you are taking too much ownership for lies that you had no part in the telling, and no capacity to rebut, when they were being seared into your psyche.

        As for me, I am angry at the liars. The individual who pushed me into the toy box ran into me one night, after not seeing each other for probably more than 30 years. He was profusely apologetic, seemed genuinely ashamed of himself, and marveled at what had become of me, given the level of abuse that he, and others, had heaped upon me for my entire K-12 experience. He had obviously carried this guilt with him for a long time. I accepted his apology.

        To this day (we live in the same general area), if he sees me, no matter the circumstance, he will seek me out and chat me up as if we were the best of friends. He's literally noticed me walking through a parking lot, turned his car around and drove into the parking lot, with his wife onboard, to say "Hi howzitgoin'?". I am unfailingly pleasant and civil.

        But I know who he is. That malicious part of him is still there. It is simply repressed by his desire to not feel guilty, and controlled by his need to not get caught venting it. But I can sense it in people, and it's still there, waiting for a moment when no one is watching, or when he's intoxicated, when a helpless victim is available and defenseless, so he can pounce, and gratify his need to feast on the suffering and misery of others.

        He, and others like him, had best hope that I don't come across them during their reverie.

        So, obviously, I am angry at the liars who taught me false lessons about who I am, and about my self-worth. I agree with you. Some aspects of those lessons will not be unlearned. But some of those lessons can be patched with new, more profound ones.

        Like this:

        ...being a good person, to whatever extent possible or realized, is its own reward – always and only.
        And this:
        Art and writing: those are the things, aside from my children and spouse, that make it all worth it.
        Moments like what you see in the videos of "For Good" that I linked below do this for me. There will be more, and I'd like to witness them, and share them.

        If I could reach through the tubes that make up the Internets, touch your heart, and heal it, I would.

        I'm sure you would do the same for me.

        Just knowing this, is, unto itself, a patch.

        •  That's amazing! (3+ / 0-)
          As for me, I am angry at the liars. The individual who pushed me into the toy box ran into me one night, after not seeing each other for probably more than 30 years. He was profusely apologetic, seemed genuinely ashamed of himself, and marveled at what had become of me, given the level of abuse that he, and others, had heaped upon me for my entire K-12 experience. He had obviously carried this guilt with him for a long time. I accepted his apology.
          Not to steal your narrative (and thank you for sharing it), I just wanted to comment on the (to me, at least) amazing and spectacular nature of this event.  I've often wondered what it would be like to meet up with some of the people who bullied me 30+ years ago.  That you had that exact experience, and the person remembered it, and felt (or at least expressed) guilt about it, is just... mind-boggling to me.  I might be too quick to put people into little classification "boxes," but I've always just felt - with some corroborating evidence, not just my own notions - that people who have that bullying nature will always be bullies, unrepentant and happy to be social predators.  Your account shows otherwise.  Thank you.

          Congratulations on living through a set of rough experiences.  Your analysis of preverbal mental coding feels spot-on and gets at a lot of the worst things about trying to deal with this kind of damage.  We're trying to fight pre-adult wounds (inchoate fears and hurts that feel unfathomably vast) with the things of adulthood (words and meanings - inherently smaller and more granular).  The tools of adulthood aren't worthless in that fight, but sometimes it can feel like trying to move a mountain one teaspoon at a time (for me, at least).

          •  A little more elaboration. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            viral, melo

            I've had two experiences like that. But first:

            I've always just felt - with some corroborating evidence, not just my own notions - that people who have that bullying nature will always be bullies, unrepentant and happy to be social predators.
            I agree with you.

            I believe that what happens is that, if they don't learn one fundamental lesson, that society won't openly accept their behavior, they end up in prison. Those who do learn that lesson become stealth bullies. They work very hard to conceal their nature, creating a facade of niceness, or social legitimacy, often with the help of their chosen profession (law enforcement, some kind of management, anything that affords them authority over others) and then they just bide their time for moments where they can act out without consequence.

            To put it another way; Evil people must learn to be effective deceivers or they end up in jail.

            Evil, however, isn't necessarily a pure state of psychopathy. We all have some drives toward cruelty or selfishness. You can have someone with very strong Evil tendencies, but who, especially as they mature, develops a fully functioning conscience. I think that's the case with the individual from my story.

            To add a little icing on that, someone who bullies, but either has, or develops that fully functioning conscience, may have injured themselves more than they injured their victim(s). Especially over the long term.

            Thus, a decades later apology. I got the distinct feeling that night that this guy really wanted me to tell him that I was actually ok now. But I could have been wrong. He might have been testing me to see if I was still vulnerable to his bs after all those years, so he could, in an adult fashion, resume acting out. But he found that he was now facing a brick wall. Based on his later transactions with me, I don't think so, though.

            But to the original point, at my 10 year high school reunion, I had several people come up to me and apologize. Not for bullying me. For standing by and not interceding.

            Each individual brought up the topic, out of the blue, during moments when they could get me alone.

            To tie this back to the diarist's story, those who victimize others, or who neglect the ones they are charged with nurturing, are damaging themselves, those who witness it, and those who must cope with the personalities of those they have injured in the future.

            The challenge for the victims is figuring out how to dampen the ripples of injury that propagate forward through time, and, where possible, initiate ripples of goodness, which will inherently propagate outward in exactly the same way, but with healing effect.


            "Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession." - Barrett Brown

            by 3rdOption on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 04:04:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wonderful turn of phrase. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              churchylafemme, 3rdOption, melo
              To tie this back to the diarist's story, those who victimize others, or who neglect the ones they are charged with nurturing, are damaging themselves, those who witness it, and those who must cope with the personalities of those they have injured in the future.

              The challenge for the victims is figuring out how to dampen the ripples of injury that propagate forward through time, and, where possible, initiate ripples of goodness, which will inherently propagate outward in exactly the same way, but with healing effect.

              I couldn't have put it that well.  100% agreement.  Thanks for your writing.  I'll be reading more of it.
        •  I appreciate that (4+ / 0-)

          I didn't know what kind of response I would get to this diary, because it is personal, and could easily provoke the "don't be a self-indulgent whiner drama queen, why are you so pathetic, don't brag about your problems, why don't you go die in a hole" type of attitude. I'm relieved it didn't. I wasn't sure what would happen, but I kind of turned a corner feeling like if I'm good enough for God, I should be good enough for myself.

          A guy on the bridge out here within the past couple of years killed himself after some asshole drove by and yelled at him to jump. What the fuck is wrong with people?

          Thanks for getting it when I said I've done pretty much everything, because I have. The comments about how to fix things don't bother me at all. I get where they come from, and it's interesting to hear what others have done and how they think about it - insights that are useful to think about. But I have already been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Focus on the problem can become part of the problem - it's better to put energy into building and creating what I do want - but sometimes, if I'm feeling debilitated, I can't even if I want to.

          I am really impressed and awed and appreciative of the depth of the responses to this post. Everyone has said amazing, moving things.

          The emotional extortion stuff - yeah, there are people who are bitter and angry and have a kind of "love me or I'll cut off your fingers" attitude, who try to take hostages, and make threats like "I'll kill myself if you don't do such and such." That's like narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder. Not my thing, although I was obsessive about relationships in my twenties, wandering big-eyed hungry ghost-like and fragmented.

          It was painful to be painted as a manipulator by the person I confided in. Who, yes, probably did have some negative experiences along those lines. The point about not "people pleasing" wasn't easy to hear, but it is manipulative and self-serving, so point taken. There is no cheese at the end of that maze anyway - it's just that in childhood it's a survival mechanism and then you get older and don't realize you don't need to do that any more, and would actually be happier if you didn't.

          I got a lot of bullying in school myself, and I thought it was pretty weird when one of my tormentors wanted to get in touch with me as an adult. Disconnect much? I find that creepy and icky. I am still a creep magnet - like I give off the energy that I'm a target. The weirdos always find me and project their hostilities my way.

          I don't see my family as Evil, just damaged, floundering, and unable to take care of themselves let alone anyone else. Unable to give or receive, nothing given without a huge emotional price tag attached, volatility and unpredictability, verbal abuse, violent outbursts, some really crazy shit, and weird sexual energy from a couple of people, plus the attitude that I was an inconvenience and a burden if I needed anything, so I equated having needs with being bad. When I was small, I'd see all these other kids, cared for, hair combed, nice clothes, nice stuff, fed at the dinner table by engaged parents, and I'd wonder what was wrong with me. I just thought I was a bad kid. In my twenties and early thirties I was angry enough that I stopped talking to my family for seven years. They were never easy to be around - not before, not after, and I was relieved when they died. But they were not malicious - there was too much of a sense of their pain and vulnerability to see them as Evil. Soul-sucking, maybe, but not evil. I had the worst possible environment for a kid - no structure, no support, no guidance. Sometimes I can't believe the magnitude of how long, how bad, how persistent a lot of this stuff is. There are multiple factors. But I don't really care why, or who to blame, I just want to have the best life I can.

          Connections matter. I feel different and better today because of the response. Thanks for sharing.

          •  Book recommendation. (4+ / 0-)
            I don't see my family as Evil
            Dr. Scott Peck, the author of "The Road Less Travelled", wrote a book less read, called

            "People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil"

            Peck was an avowed Christian, and a champion of science and the scientific method. This book is about his discovery of human Evil through his work with patients. He came to believe that Evil should be considered a personality disorder unto itself, should be studied as such, and treatments devised. He differentiates human Evil from disorders such as psychopathy, borderline personality disorder, and multiple personality disorder.

            His first encounter with human Evil in therapy is a chilling story. It deals with a middle school boy who had been sent to him by his school counselor for rapidly falling grades and newly developed troublemaker tendencies. The Evil Dr. Peck discerned wasn't from the boy, it was from his parents.

            I'll leave the story for you to read, if you choose to, because Dr. Peck's telling should not be abridged.

            A note of caution. If you choose to read this book, do so when you're on firm ground. Peck himself warned readers about this book.

            On a political note, at the end, Dr. Peck analyzes the Mai Lai Massacre. He was on a panel, commissioned by the Pentagon, to study the massacre itself, and the aftermath, and to provide recommendations to the DoD on how they could prevent such atrocities in the future. The DoD rejected the findings of the panel.

            This book is worth reading if for no other reason than Peck's discussion of the massacre, and how a group of fundamentally good humans could do Evil such as that, and further, keep it effectively covered up for so long. I read this during Abu Ghraib, and was stunned. I'm afraid to read that part again, given the run-up to the Syrian war.

            there are people who are bitter and angry and have a kind of "love me or I'll cut off your fingers" attitude, who try to take hostages, and make threats like "I'll kill myself if you don't do such and such." That's like narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder.
            DING! DING!

            You get a stuffed animal. She was a borderliner.

            I feel different and better today because of the response.
            Awesome.


            "Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession." - Barrett Brown

            by 3rdOption on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 04:45:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  another interesting book (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              churchylafemme, 3rdOption

              which I started but am only about a third of the way into:

              The Self Beyond Itself: An Alternative History of Ethics, the New Brain Sciences, and the Myth of Free Will (Heidi Ravven).

              This talks about social influences on behavior. Ravven writes like a philosopher, each chapter a detailed analysis with a ton of supporting evidence - psychological studies and history. But it's very accessible. The gist of it is that we don't function independently of context. Your behavior is influenced to a large extent on the social hierarchy you live in and how it operates. She cites studies where otherwise normal people are taken into a closed environment where they are encouraged to be abusive to test subjects and all of them crack and start torturing the test subject, who is the authority figure who keeps telling them to do it even when they're uncomfortable. Whole bunch of stuff in there about what happened under the Nazis, why the Nazi doctors did what they did and how they rationalized it. The content is pretty heavy and also emotionally demanding. But what was interesting about that part of it was she notes that those who went against the Nazis to help Jews and other minorities escape were in some way cultural outsiders - they were not part of the German mainstream but apart from it where they could have the perspective that comes with distance. Sort of like a mob mentality at work on a national scale. The premise of the book seems pretty radical, in that we have this notion that each person gets to decide for themselves, through sheer force of will, what kind of person they're going to be. She presents quite a bit of evidence that contradicts that idea. But I'm only about 30% into it so I don't know how it turns out.

        •  awesomely mature (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3rdOption

          and enlightened comment

          thanks 3rd option, that made my day.

          why? just kos..... *just cause*

          by melo on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:55:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks. Credit however goes to the diarist... (0+ / 0-)

            ...who touched a bunch of people with her bravery and frank honesty.

            I can't understate how important it is for people who are suffering, who are in some state of mental anguish, to know that they are not alone. That there are others who suffer in similar, yet unique fashion.

            That there are others who survive, and in some ways thrive, in spite of that suffering.

            For all those who comment, and all those who rec, there are many more who just read.

            The diarist will never know how many lives she touched.


            "Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession." - Barrett Brown

            by 3rdOption on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 11:34:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  DNA coding is far from perfect, (14+ / 0-)

    and most of us have small (or major) imperfections and abnormalities.  Some of us are, in some (or major) regards, mutants. (At least, compared to the average.)  Many mutations are lethal, and it's amazing that some of us have survived as long as we have.

    Western Civilization, in key aspects, is a creation of, by and for the most aggressive.  At least in my day, children who didn't fit the norm were not adequately recognized for their differences. (Blank incomprehension does nothing to encourage a child to develop their true capacities.)  I have always found American "civilization" to be severely stunted.  It's hard to discover who you really are if the opportunities for self-discovery don't even exist.

    Within my terminology, bluebird seems to be an extreme case of what I call the "Stranger in a Strange Land" syndrome -- a perpetual feeling of alienation, not belonging, being fundamentally different.  This syndrome might be more common than we realize, since most of us have learned to wear the happy face so we don't get rejected.

    From the looks of it, most animals (and many humans) seem to be perfectly OK with their lot in life.  "Existence is its own reward."  From one breath to the next, everything is just fine.   (As long as it lasts, at least.)  The feeling of not-OKness that bluebird talks about, well, you might as well blame a DNA glitch as anything.  And there seems to be little we can do about such glitches at this time.

    If we could really transmit anything of value to each other via the written word, we would already be enlightened, prosperous, healthy, and happy.  But alas.  I just jotted down a few thoughts here...  it's the best I could do.  Thanks, bluebird, for sharing from your depth.  Being broken didn't stop you from doing that.  That must be an important clue somehow.    

    •  I don't see that Western Civilization (0+ / 0-)

      is uniquely aggressive, put in historical perspective, unless for example, you consider the Mongols, the Muslim conquests or the Persian Empire to be Western. China did not become a huge country by politely inviting various factions to join together. And there are regimes that use brutal aggression towards their own citizens every day.

      And while there is certainly room for improvement in the U.S., so is there in much of the world. Consider that in too many places, life is about survival and opportunities for self-discovery probably don't even figure into people's thoughts.

    •  I think the problem tends to be environmental (6+ / 0-)

      rather than genetic.  A child who is deprived of stimulation must either find a different means to have their needs met or, more often, simply shut down that part of them.  Once the child shuts down their need for nurturing, comfort, affection, and mentoring, the child will typically turn inward and will rely solely on him/herself to meet those needs.  The continual reinforcement of this pattern (self-soothing in the absence of being present in the eyes of one's caretakers and others) creates a vicious cycle that is difficult to break.  

      Additionally, the child will develop other defense mechanisms (excelling at school, in sports, being a good, polite, obedient child to adults, being class clown, etc.) out of aneed to be valued.  Even when the child gets this need met, it will feel hollow (perhaps only unconsciously at this age) because the child is performing a role to achieve his/her goal.  

      A troublesome element is that the child may perceive these defense mechanisms as good traits (eg, being an overachiever), which only solidifies the defensiveness into their way of being (I liken it to muscle memory).  At some point, the defense mechanisms will cease to sufficiently compensate for the sense of alienation and larger coping problems will likely develop (addictions and other self-destructive behaviors).

      The child also learns to navigate the world as a lone traveler, as no one else provides the comfort, security or guidance the child needs.  This also inflames the sense the alienation:  No one understand me; no one is capable of helping me; no one cares.  This in the aggregate is the sense of brokenness that it seems to me the diarist eloquently expresses.  I do not mean to speak for the diarist and recognize that I may be projecting my own experience and attempts at understanding the human experience onto the diarist's words.  

      I do not know how one undoes all of this conditioning to reach the state the diarist has longed for.  It is easy, as one gets older, to think, as the diarist expresses, that there is nothing to be done.  I am not a mental health professional, although I have read a lot in the area of psychology/psychiatry.  I offer this as only my thoughts.

  •  Of all my attempts (24+ / 0-)

    at repairing something broken in childhood, writing has been my most consistent refuge. As valuable as therapy and prescription drugs have been, writing is low-tech, free, and you can do it anywhere. You probably already know this! Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt and beautifully written diary.

    Not everyone will understand the depth of the brokenness you have experienced. Mine led me to cut off contact with my parents eight months ago. That's a hard thing for some people to get their heads around, and I rarely mention it because of the inevitable well-meaning chorus of advice. It's not fixable. Not everything is.

    I tend to see myself as "differently wired" rather than "broken." I'm bipolar II and ADHD with deep-rooted family dysfunction. I didn't experience early life like most socially well-adjusted people, and I have to work a little harder than most people to function at a consistently high level. But I have lots of experience and am an expert at it!

    My silver lining is a creative streak a mile wide. I've channeled a lot of the tangle of emotions into art and music. Who'da thought a 44YO could learn to play bass?

    No bass here, but a good tune. Thanks again for a thought-provoking diary.

     I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.     -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by SteelerGrrl on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:10:50 PM PDT

  •  Brokenness is a judgement (16+ / 0-)

    To repeat what some others have said here: You are not broken, you ARE. A lot of suffering comes from that judgement.

    I have a few mantras I'm working on:

    "Is this mode of thought or action good for me?" If it is not, then I abandon it for that time, until the next time I have to make that decision. I don't always make that decision correctly. Oh well.

    Coping mechanisms cause damage. I find that attempting to avoid pain often hurts more than just accepting it. In a time of crisis, a mentor once told me to "Lean into it" (the pain). It was probably the most frightening thing I've ever done, but it helped me survive. So, I say to myself, "At this moment, in this space, I can accept this." I'm frequently unsuccessful. Oh well.

    I have small victories that I cherish. Even and especially, "That didn't go so well, I'll do better next time." I can't tell you how good it feels to be ABLE to say that.

    Those small victories add up over time. I'm not always very happy, but sometimes, I'm SATISFIED, and that's new.

    Thank you for sharing with us, I got a lot out of your diary.

  •  Heartbreaking. (29+ / 0-)

    Your diary has me in tears.
    I don't know whether I am crying for you...or for me.
    I could have been you.
    I had a very challenging (to put it mildly) childhood.
    I have felt unwanted and unloved even when I knew I was wanted and loved.
    I don't know how I made the transition from a sad little girl to a happy woman.
    Despite everything I have gone through, I am basically a happy person. I have been through some things - physical abuse from my mom, rape, unhappy marriage and here I am now without  a husband and a house but I have never been happier.
    I just want to hug you and tell you that you are loved and that you are beautiful. I know that sounds so cliched...
    Music helps me. Reading helps me. My children. I had just the most beautiful, loving maternal grandmother and paternal great-aunt, their memories help. Loving others help me.

    Can you read this poem from Max Ehrmann?
    And think about it a minute? Maybe something will resonate...

    “Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love – for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment is it perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you from misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”
    I wish you the best.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:19:41 PM PDT

  •  (((blue))) (11+ / 0-)

    Ditto Frankenoid's comment.  You may be broken, but so am I, so are many of us.  Your voice is unique and welcomed.

    There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.

    by puzzled on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:26:49 PM PDT

  •  Oddly enough, one of my turning points (19+ / 0-)

    was my suicide attempt.

    I obviously did not succeed, but what I found was that I had killed a part of me. My attempt to stop all the hurt and the pain and the stupidity that I had brought on myself helped me to kill some of the tapes that told me I was stupid, ugly, not worthwhile, not funny and definitely not wanted ... that I was simply taking up space and using up air that other, better ones, could use.

    I did not kill all the tapes, but I killed some of them and learned to like myself (not completely). My mantra for a while was "It is just as arrogant to deny your talents as to claim talents you do not have." Because, I did not have clear eyes to see who I really was, I turned to the people I admired and trusted and asked them how they saw me. I tried to hear what they said instead of trying to disprove them. I used their insights to replace some of the tapes.

    I am going to get religious here so you can stop if you would rather.  The best thing about my suicide was my vision of God. I saw myself as an infant who had fallen down a deep well (the little girl rescued from a n oil well in west Texas was in the news at that time), mired in the muck and filth. But two hands reached in and lifted me and put me, dirty nasty me, up to a clean and full breast to nourish me and give me new life.

    I am still broken, but not in the same way. I hope your pain does not defeat you and does not take away the joy you can find sometimes in knowing that there are people who can love you even when you can't love yourself.

    If you would like to kos mail me .. feel free.

    Strength and peace.

    "I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night." Greg Martin, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida

    by CorinaR on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:31:51 PM PDT

    •  "I did not have clear eyes to see who I really was (14+ / 0-)

      This is the danger of depression.

      It's like trying to drive a car when your windshield distorts your view like one of those funhouse mirrors.

      When someone is depressed they cannot make accurate assessments of themselves or their own worth, because everything is filtered through the radically distorted lens of the mind.

      It's tough enough to be mentally healthy and get a reasonable picture of yourself. Now completely distort all your perceptions to the negative, and guess what your view of yourself will be?

      Worthless and unworthy, unlikeable, unattractive, useless.

      And then what's your only logical option? End the suffering, for yourself and others.

      Except the only thing that's real is the suffering itself.

      The self-evaluation is absolutely, fundamentally flawed, and must be given zero credence.

      It certainly cannot be used as the basis for life-or-death decisions.

      It hurts to even think of all those people who were not fortunate enough to live long enough to learn the basic truth, that

      depression lies to you, about you.


      "Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession." - Barrett Brown

      by 3rdOption on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:51:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  one of my favorite (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueMajority

      parts of the bible is the Book of Job. I love the way that despite his suffering he ultimately learns to let go.

      My vision of God is a little different - a wind tunnel, like a tornado, calm in the center, chaotic on the outside.

  •  {{{{bluebird of happiness}}}}} (18+ / 0-)

    There is one aspect of living after a hard childhood that I didn't see mentioned and I will bring it up because it has been pivotal for me and for folks for whom it is a key issue. Have you had discussions with anyone about dissociation? Dissociation is a powerful survival strategy for children but when it lingers in adulthood it can have many of the manifestations you describe. The encouraging thing about dissociation is that if it is one of the problems once someone begins working on it, it is actually possible to overcome it - it is one of the few curable psychological conditions. If you would be interested in knowing more either comment here or drop me a kosmail.

    It made a huge difference for me to get a handle on my dissociation.



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:42:53 PM PDT

    •  How did you do this? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kpardue, churchylafemme, SteelerGrrl

      Was it a form of therapy?  Pharmaceuticals?  Reflection?  If you don't mind sharing.  

    •  they used to say that about me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme

      early in the therapy process. But nowadays the autism spectrum disorders are all the rage, and I'm diagnosed with ADHD, which if you listen to the "experts" can be quite serious - ADHD looks like a lot of things, including dissociation.

      Could be a whole bunch of stuff, plus recurring episodes of major depression, not to mention perimenopause. I've been on antidepressants and stimulants - they work for a while, then they stop working. Exercise seems to help.

      I don't feel the medical establishment necessarily knows what it's talking about. They are supposed to be there to serve our needs, not us to serve theirs. So I take everything with a grain of salt.  I wish there were more room in society for different ways of being without it being about making everyone "disordered." As if it weren't enough of a hassle to deal with a problem without the stigma. The whole purpose of a diagnosis should be that they can tell you how to improve your situation - if they can't, which with ADHD they kind of can't in my opinion, the diagnosis isn't a whole lot of help.

      Weirdly enough, when I was in my twenties I was always floating around outside my body. I felt like I couldn't touch anything, like my hands were someone else's hands, like I was a character in a book. Sound familiar? But some time in my thirties I got inside my body and I've been here ever since.

      Nice to see you, by the way.

  •  not at all suggesting a "fix" here (12+ / 0-)

    because that would be disrespectful to the diarist and what s/he knows so much better than I do.

    BUT -- I wanted to share that neuroplasticity is a real thing, and attachment disorders that have plagued us all our long lives can be mended, even in old age. We can change our brains and root out the sh!tty, unwelcoming messages many of us received in our families of origin.

    Daniel Siegel is a great resource for looking into these ideas more deeply.

  •  We can sing along with Kermit the Frog, "It's not (7+ / 0-)

    easy being green, but it's better than being no color at all."
    I get you.  Benn there done that.

  •  Thank you for writing this (12+ / 0-)

    All that we broken people can do is make the best of what we get. And to make a safe place for ourselves in this world, to accept ourselves for who we are and learn to love ourselves, to be better people than the people who broke us, to be better people than we were in the past, to move forward one step at a time. That is all we can do.

    I try every day to hold the little pieces together and see the other broken people who are all around me. I try to love them for their beautiful humanity and find a way to love myself. I accept that there are things that I do not get in this life and I try to make the best of what I do get. I do not get to have a 'love of my life' but I do get a wonderful daughter and a wonderful stepdaughter. I do get friends and neighbors that I love. I do not get a beautiful house but I get a beautiful garden. I did not get financial success, instead I get appreciation for the what I do have and for the beauty of the world around me.To make a safe place for ourselves in this world, to accept ourselves for who we are and learn to love ourselves, to be better people than the people who broke us, to be better people than we were in the past, to move forward one step at a time. That is all we can do.

    I try every day to hold the little pieces together and see the other broken people who are all around me. I try to love them for their beautiful humanity and find a way to love myself. I accept that there are things that I do not get in this life and I try to make the best of what I do get. I do not get to have a 'love of my life' but I do get a wonderful daughter and a wonderful stepdaughter. I do get friends and neighbors that I love. I do not get a beautiful house but I get a beautiful garden. I did not get financial success, instead I get appreciation for the what I do have and for the beauty of the world around me.

    That passed by; this can, too. - Deor

    by stevie avebury on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 05:18:45 PM PDT

  •  The angels just informed me that you are (11+ / 0-)

    perfectly okay just as you are.

    And thanks for sharing.

    It's hard to recover from not being made to feel special by others. Sometimes you just have to get out in nature and remember you are just as valuable as anything and everything and everyone around you.

    And you write really well too.  :)

  •  Live for the small moments of beauty. (10+ / 0-)

    I find most of life is a slog, some just boring.  Many people have it far worse.

    I have found, though, that there are moments of such intense beauty that they make the experience of existence worthwhile.

    They often seem a small thing - fleeting - rare.  But - real.

    Don't discount these things.  Remember them.  Savor them.

    And keep plugging.  There are more to come.


    The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. - Pangolin@kunstler.com

    by No one gets out alive on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 05:38:13 PM PDT

  •  thank you for sharing (7+ / 0-)

    I hope that you find peace and happiness. Sharing your thoughts and experience will surely help others in similar situations make sense of their feelings.

    I have always returned to this quote from Mr. Vonnegut whenever I find myself slipping into a dark place:
    "I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'"

    Peace

  •  I often feel like a (5+ / 0-)

    fish out of water blue...it comes with the territory.

    I remember your writing from the old days at MLW...you were one of my favorites.

    I wish you solace and peace.

  •  No. You're perfect. (7+ / 0-)

    There is nothing wrong with you. You don't need improving--beyond tweaks :) maybe.

    I am sooo sick of the plastic surgery craze. And bodily self-hatred. And perfectionism. And people trying to be "good enough" to compensate for some "original sin" or other. Sigh.

    No. Just, No. Refuse to shoulder the baggage. It's not yours.

    You're speaking of familiar territory. I was the child of a mother who felt she had to "fix" me because she couldn't repair her warped marriage. She obsessed over it day and night. She couldn't control her husband; I was the next best thing.

    It's taken many years of my adult life to start to disentangle that legacy, to start to realize that I don't have deep, dark "flaws." Maybe, just maybe, I don't need fixing.

    I wish the same liberty for you.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 05:59:56 PM PDT

  •  Broken people (8+ / 0-)

    can't become whole, but might become a mosaic.

    Everything in your life is part of you, so treasure it for what it is, a part of a whole.

    I sometimes feel broken, have often felt I don't belong, and have a hard time believing good things about myself. But I'm working on the mosaic, and parts of it are lovely.

    Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

    by ramara on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 06:33:27 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for your courage in sharing your feelings. (7+ / 0-)

    I am part of the broken tribe too.  I have been a work-aholic and a hobby-aholic to make myself so busy, I did not register the pain. There are a few things I have found that take the edge off my pain, at least for a while. Maybe these items can be of help to you.

    #1 Looking at my family, and my ancestors going back several generations, there were so many who are/were effed up. Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are rampant. My parents are dead, and I should be ashamed of myself  to say they were effed up. But that is the truth. They could not help the neglect and terror they inflicted on me, because they were so effed up. I am almost ready to grant complete forgiveness. I am not there yet. But it will surely come.

    #2 I am not sure about the concept of God. During a past Christmas service, hearing a reading from Genesis blaming Eve for eating an apple, my mind exploded. When investigating my ancestors, half of them came from a culture that, on the surface, embraces Catholicism. But scratch the surface, and paganism is their foundation. This particular branch of paganism is not the new agey stuff, but goes back thousands of years. It holds fast to the truths of Earth and its cycles, and to the importance of community. A person is part of the Earth and part of the community.  "The wolf is made for the pack, and the pack is made for the wolf." My family members who are  appreciating this wholeness of life experience seem to be the least effed up. Wish I were more like them.

    Since I have abandoned paternalistic monotheism, I have gotten much more comfort from nature and its truths.
    Maybe you could say God's creation, nature, is the only reality. Like you said, a tree is neither good or bad. Maybe it's because I am female. This has worked for me, and it might not for you, but it is an option out there.

    #3 The two V's. One of my counselor friends says that everyone needs to give expression to feelings, ventilation. And receive supportive acknowledgement of the expression, validation. Ventilation and validation. Kos is serves this purpose in many ways. Thanks, Markos, and all here who have a positive impact!

    "The will must be stronger than the skill." M. Ali

    by awhitestl on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 06:35:36 PM PDT

  •  Broken in lots of ways (6+ / 0-)

    Some of them have healed misshapen but stronger.  Some may never heal but I own them now, the little f--ckers don't own me.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 06:48:01 PM PDT

  •  "Who can say if I've been changed for the better?" (5+ / 0-)

    "But
    Because I knew you
    I have been changed For Good."

    This is the chorus to the song "For Good" from the musical "Wicked", which is an alternate telling of the Wizard of Oz.

    The song is about The Good Witch, and The Wicked Witch, who have, in this story, been life-long friends. But something has happened and The Wicked Witch learns that she can no longer see her friend. This song is their parting.

    Here are two versions of the same performance of this song, from a recent performance at the Hollywood Bowl. The backstory is important.

    Kristin Chenoweth was The Good Witch on Broadway for years. When she tours, she often pulls audience members up on stage, if they say they know the song, and has them sing The Wicked Witch's part with her. If she can't find a volunteer, she does both parts herself (this song is often sung at funerals, as a solo piece in this fashion).

    On this night, at the Hollywood Bowl a couple of weeks ago, backed up by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Kristin pulled up a volunteer named Sarah Horn, who said that she "liked musical theater" and was a "vocal instructor".

    The result was, shall we say, both unexpected and spectacular.

    (The reason I have two versions (recorded from cell phones in the audience) is that the first version shows the moment Sarah walks on stage, and the pre-song banter, but chops the post-song stuff, while the second begins just as the first verse starts, but has great video (which is important so you can watch the women's faces as they sing), and it shows all of the post-song stuff, which is really cool.)

    For Good v1

    For Good v2

    (Note the number of views these two versions have. Google "Sarah Horn" to get more info if you're curious about what's happened to her since...)

    I hope folks find this inspirational, given the topic of this diary.


    "Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession." - Barrett Brown

    by 3rdOption on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 06:56:11 PM PDT

  •  having lived (6+ / 0-)

    with people with depression, I'm seeing some of the same signs here in this diary.  I dont even begin to think I know you well enough to say one way or another, Im just tossing a few comments out there, so please dont be offended.

    What I’ve discovered on my travels through brokenness is that it’s a myth that there is utility to being a good person. They say if you’re good enough, you can have good things in life. But that is false. There is no correlation between what you have and how good you are.
     
    this jumps out at me, that is depression talking IMHO.  Life actually does reward good people, maybe not in money, maybe not always in ways we easily see all the time,  but having seen enough people now begin their end of life journeys, the amount of sincere support I see good people get from loved ones and friends, the kind words spoken about them upon their passing, and even years later, the pleasant memories their name evokes even years after they are gone.  Good people make their mark.  And let me tell you @$#holes get it back in spades at the end, lonely, afraid, forgotten , and used.

    Its the ol' George Bailey, Wonderful Life scenario, and ask hospice workers and so forth about it, this plays out everyday. A well lived life is a reward, and since nothing in this universe actually dies or is destroyed, who know where our next journey starts and ends.

    so in reality what you put out into the world/universe does come back to you. Again not with money or fame or any of that other nonsense, but with sincerity.  so please dont trick yourself into thinking being good is a waste of time, in fact it is all that matters.

    As I spoke, I have first hand knowledge of depression having lived with loved ones with it. Its an ugly disease, one that I think has many causes, our crappy american diet, genes, societal make up, ( the fact that humans arent suppose to work in a cubicle for 40 years) , etc etc. Its the brain and its chemistry simply off balance, and its not hard to understand considering the human existence right now is so out of balance with nature.

    Ive seen certain drugs restore the balance of chemicals in people brain, gets the brain firing correctly again, and I have seen people snap out of decade old funks.

    Keep on fighting, try different things, there is joy in this life.

    •  I love that (4+ / 0-)

      It would be good to be that kind of person, who is remembered for having made a difference, even if only to a few.

      •  It's a Wonderful Life is my favorite movie (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bluebird of happiness

        George Bailey at the end of his rope wishes he had never been born and then he sees the effect he had on other people's lives and is able to value himself and his life in a different way.

        i may be a sack of broken pieces and I may never feel whole, but occasionally one piece or another turns out to be very valuable to someone.  i take some comfort from that.

        I have not done well in terms of being loving toward myself, and I despair of ever being healed in that respect, but I have had a positive impact on some other people's lives and helping other people feel loved.  maybe that is all I am meant to do.

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:15:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  the world breaks everyone (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ksp, bluebird of happiness

    but afterward, we are stronger in the broken places

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 07:38:56 PM PDT

  •  I used the same words to describe myself (9+ / 0-)

    I don't anymore. I understand your frustration about nothing seems to work. Tired of scraping out of the black hole only to fall in it again. I think it is a healthy sign to be angry. Reading your diary, I sense that you still care. Because my heart goes out to you, I can't help but to offer an idea that has really stuck with me. The same therapist who I said those words to gave me this to think about. She directed my attention to the fact that I was a loving, attentive and caring parent. You could say I over compensated. Anyway, she asked me to look at the broken little girl inside and to be her mother. Whenever the broken little girl would enter my thoughts in our session, my therapist would ask me to comfort and hold her as if she (me) was my daughter. May you find love and peace within.

  •  i've been broken for so long..... (8+ / 0-)

    it's all i know.

    Meditation, therapy, self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, bulimia, self-cutting, getting sober, dietary changes, exercise, more therapy, volunteering, religion, politics, more religion, psychiatrists, and prescription medications.
    sounds like my life.

    __

    we're all just trying to find our way.

    every adult is responsible for every child

    by ridemybike on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 08:53:32 PM PDT

  •  we are all broken to some extent, (8+ / 0-)

    some more than others.  I am broken but not as much as I used to be.  I also have accepted that I will never fit in with most people, most situations, but I have been fortunate to find a few people who I do fit with, including a loving and accepting spouse, also of 22 years.

    May you find what you need, whether it be peace, mending of some of the broken places, or acceptance, ideally all 3 in some proportion.  I wish you happiness.

  •  I find this diary inspiring (4+ / 0-)

    acceptance can be very powerful. It sounds like you've given a great deal of thought to get to where you are now, perhaps we could call it wisdom from age and self awareness. I know it could appear that depression is the culprit but I have a feeling you've dealt with that before. We're all the same and unique at the same time. I think some people are hard wired to be unhappy, like a colic baby that just can't be consoled. It doesn't mean anything, it just is. To accept it without judgement is enlightenment. Your kosname and diary remind me of something I  read recently in a history book quoting a few lines that survived from a Sultan in Spain around 1200 years ago who had written in his old age that he had everything anyone could ever want in his life and yet he could only come up with recalling about 14 days where he was truly happy. In other words we humans have been dealing with this for a long time.

    Again thanks for the diary- it gives me hope that while people may not change they can accept things for the way they are allowing room for peace and perhaps more. I speak from  someone not knowing anything but as someone who is a fellow traveler hopefully on the road to wisdom.

    music- the universal language

    by daveygodigaditch on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 09:45:04 PM PDT

  •  It is (6+ / 0-)

    the human condition to feel broken. But we aren't. We are like everyone else. Nobody is 100% happy all the time or 100% sad. Even people who appear to have it all together are just like the rest of us. There are certainly people who can't or won't show their normalcy--what you call being broken. I have a very narcissistic "friend" who would rather die than believe she is like every other person on Earth. Each one of us is unique, yes; but feelings of inadequacy, sadness, loss, exuberance, hatred and fear, even though they are distilled through our lives and experiences, come to everyone. Since there is no perfectly happy person, there are can be no broken ones. I hope you don't feel that I am making less of your experiences--that is not my intention as I have felt that broken for most of my life too--but eventually you may come to realize that we are all, as Dickens said in A Christmas Carol, "fellow passengers to the grave."

  •  I'm broken and different from almost everyone (12+ / 0-)

    I know.

    My wound from childhood is severe emotional abuse (physical abuse too but it's the emotional component that wrecks), which convinced me that I wasn't worthy and fatally flawed and shouldn't ever be happy. Thanks, mom!

    I too have spent decades and thousands of dollars to undo it. I find that I'm better as I try to replace those old tapes in my head that are basically my mother reminding me I was unworthy and not of merit.

    I'm bright and have good things about me--I know that intellectually but not emotionally deep down-- but lack confidence with my sense of unworthyness.

    There are many things I do not have in life--money, spouse, kids, my own home, a career--that most people my age seem to have at least some of, that I'd want. When people meet me they don't understand why my life is as it is because I seem bright, educated, reasonably normal. I am oftentimes judged as lazy.

    It is like I have an invisible handicap that society does not recognize and to the extent it does, it judges. THe average person does not recognize how lucky he/she has it...getting good enough parenting to be able to be reasonably self actualizing and get what you want in life. It is like I need some kind of affirmative action or training or something.

    Invisible handicap that many, perhaps here, think "get over it". Well, they don't know what they don't know. It is kind of like how many WHite people cannot perceive White Privilege from their perspective because it seems like where they are is just normal.

    The average person who had good enough parenting--not perfect but not so abusive it ruins kids future--often takes it for granted. There is so much judgement in society of those of us who didn't have it so may not be successful. That's because people who did have it REALLY do not understand what it is like not to have it. They think we are lazy or being a victim or, as the diarist says, even manipulative.

    I work with children when I can work. I have coursework in child development and psychology as well. I know  what good enough parenting is (it varies for particular kid's temperments and that match or mismatch with the parents as well).

    You all who had it good enough are lucky. Count your blessings. If you see someone who just isnt' successful in life but seems like, talent wise, they should be, remember that the can have marks on their soul you cannot realize and may be suffering rather than lazy.

    Some of us are lucky not to be dead, as the diarist may be.

    Diarist, I envy you that you have a loving spouse and the deep blessing of children. Many people like us are alone in the world, and we suck at bonding with other people because we were isolated as kids very often. But I am so sorry for your pain. I've found healing in fits and starts...it's hard to find a good match with therapists though, but once in a while you get one that can help you to move foward. Not to fix what is broken, as I don't think we/are broken. I think it of it as undoing "programming" ie beliefs and self talk and attitudes that are no longer useful.

    For me, tonight is yet another holiday alone. L'shana tova to Jewish Kossacks.

    •  Helpful comment. (4+ / 0-)

      Read it several times-very helpful.
      It is difficult for those who grew up with good parents (or parent) to know how deeply damaging it is to grow up neglected,abused and the object of constant abusive language. It IS like a hidden disability.
      It is very difficult to connect with people and develop trust when you have experienced cruel,manipulative,violent parents. You struggle with a sense of belonging, feeling safe- almost like an orphan would feel.
      Later in life, what we do,what we create,how we write and speak,how we treat others,how we care for the memory of our child self, how we care for the family we create ourselves has the power to heal us over time.

      Oh, I hope that you continue to find healing. May good people find their way into your life and may you celebrate future holidays with friends!

      •  thanks for your complement/kind words (3+ / 0-)

        invisible handicap that society does not cut you slack for, and in fact blames you for when it manifests in your life not working out as most others do.

        Kind of like the "makers and the takers" arguments about low income people. Those that have generally have NO CLUE how hard it is to move ahead when you are poor, especially if you were born into it. MANY of the higher or moderate income people who think of most low income people as "lazy slackers" do NOT realize how much of what they had that helped them get ahead was Privilege. Connections, etc. Something like 70% of jobs are gotten at least in part via a work around connection (even to just know about the opening), for example. If you a poor and surrounded only by low wage workers, you will not likely have connections like that.

        It just reminds me of those that had good enough parenting. They just Do Not Understand, very often...really, almost always in my own experience...how much of what they have is Because they had good enough parenting. They cannot fathom how NOT having that effects people.

        And like the higher income people who blame the poor for their difficulties and situation (not knowing their own relative privilege), many people with good-enough parenting ALSO blame those with poor parenting for how that manifests in our lives.

        But the factor that holds us back is even more invisible and inexplicable. I can't explain on FB why I can't go back to work in my old (professional) field right now, for example.

        They would not understand that back then I did not know how to keep up relationships (having never learned) so I have no connections and no references. They don't know that in my periodic major depressions, I devalued myself so much that I lost any connections that I did have...didn't try to keep in touch with people.

    •  So true (5+ / 0-)
      When people meet me they don't understand why my life is as it is because I seem bright, educated, reasonably normal. I am oftentimes judged as lazy.
      No one knows how far you have already come, how hard you have already worked, how high the mountains are from where you started.

      What you say is so true.

      "I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night." Greg Martin, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida

      by CorinaR on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:44:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks. I wish (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CorinaR, churchylafemme

        our society judged people,if they are going to judge, by How Far you have come on your journey and how much effort and work you did do to get there, rather than just measuring Where you are at now.

        Much of our society assumes that if you are successful you have worked the hardest (in all ways) and have come the farthest and are the most deserving. Similarly, that also means there is an underlying belief that if you don't have much in your life that society judges (or even you judge) as success, you must be a looser who is lazy or didn't work hard or didn't try or is not deserving.

        Those messages from society back up what the abused already learned from their abusers---that they are not worthy.

        It is up to the abused to find a way to counter the all enveloping messages from inside and outside of them of how much they suck.

    •  I am sorry that you are alone if you don't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme

      want to be.

      "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

      by rubyr on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 05:38:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  this this this this this (0+ / 0-)

      this whole comment really resonates with me, jplanner

      especially this:

      If you see someone who just isnt' successful in life but seems like, talent wise, they should be, remember that the can have marks on their soul you cannot realize and may be suffering rather than lazy.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:19:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for writing this great piece. (2+ / 0-)

    It's all those people who are supposedly so perfectly intact who cause all of the misery in the world.  

    Don't forget you are an expression of what it is to be human as much as you are an individual.  

    But how could you.  

  •  I, too, was broken. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bernardpliers

    I believe most of us are to one degree or another.  I found what I needed here:

    Why We Suffer

  •  You are ok...and broken is normal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluebird of happiness, CorinaR

    Most of us are broken. We grow up thinking we and our families are normal and healthy. Then someday we realize how messed up we are and how messed up our family is. Then we get upset and depressed because we aren't "normal."

    Then someday later we realize EVERYONE is broken and ALL families are messed up. Then we realize that we are normal, whatever that means.

    Life is a muddle. The best we can do is enjoy as much of the muddle as we can. I think the biggest mistake is thinking perfection is somehow normal and desirable. It isn't. Being a muddle is normal...and might even be desirable.

    Be who you are. No one else can do that so you might as well be the one to be you. And I will be me in return, for whatever it is worth.

    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. NYC's Progressive/Reform Blog

    by mole333 on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 05:38:49 AM PDT

  •  Bless you, dear. (7+ / 0-)

    I'm broken too, but nobody likes to hear us admit that.

    And I am also from the Island of Misfit toys. It's always nice to meet a fellow islander so far from home.

    Unlike you, I don't find any comfort in a spiritual life. I guess I just have to muddle through without it.

    However, I was going to say, "Why isn't this on the Rec List?" because it's great writing. But I see now that it is.

    Peace to you, my brother or sister.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 06:36:03 AM PDT

  •  This is as good as it gets (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluebird of happiness

    ...tomorrow will be less so.

    America, we can do better than this...

    by Randomfactor on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 08:19:47 AM PDT

  •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)

    as a broken person I understand this. I love this. This makes me feel kindred. As Bukowski said "there is a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out but I wont let him out"

    Again, thank you

  •  Interesting. (2+ / 0-)
    utility to being a good person.
    I've never expected a useful reward for showing love and kindness. It's not a transaction.


    Someone has to be held responsible for the chain of custody in determining the authenticity of my life. I’m getting a lot of false positives.

    by glb3 on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 12:43:05 PM PDT

  •  Here's what I tell my choirs and theory students: (6+ / 0-)

    My favorite living prophet is Leonard Cohen, who writes this refrain to his hymn/poem, Anthem:

    Ring the bells that still can ring.
    Forget your perfect offering.
    There is a crack in everything:
    That's how the light gets in.
    The truth is that we live in a world full of broken people. If we have a bit of honesty, we can admit that we ourselves are among the broken ones.

    But that's okay, I tell my students: there is a crack in everything--that's how the light gets in.

    And who is it that creates the light and brings it to the broken places in the broken people? We do. The creators. The painters and dancers and yes, we musicians. We are the light-bringers.

    I will confess that I am FAR from perfect at doing this. But it does matter that we try to make the light and bring it as best we can, however imperfectly we do.

    In times like these, we cannot make too much music.

    by ProvokingMeaning on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 02:01:25 PM PDT

  •  I have learned so much from this diary. (3+ / 0-)

    Thank you so much for your emotional courage. Blessed be.

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 05:47:23 PM PDT

  •  Excellent diary. (3+ / 0-)

    Another broken person with decades of therapy, pills and all the rest.... At 51, I still believe that if I just "tried" a little bit harder, I'm sure I could "be perfect."

    As if anyone wants to be around someone who is perfect!

    Thanks for a thoughtful diary.

    The best psychiatrist in the world can't compete with a puppy licking your face.

    by AmyVVV on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 08:20:12 PM PDT

  •  The Internet Is Mostly Used To Avoid Recovery (0+ / 0-)

    Just remember that all those  wingnuts ranting about killing their neighbors would probably be a lot more normal if they didn't have an internet connection, and that also applies to people on the liberal end of the spectrum.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 08:49:37 PM PDT

  •  Some of the most beautiful beings are the ones (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority

    that grow, twisted and weathered, and wise from their pain.

    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

    by GreenMother on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 05:52:26 AM PDT

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