Intrinsically damaged and incapable

This week I have been obsessing over my stuckness. My sense of being in the middle of something with no space to move. I don’t want my past, and I can’t envision my future. But right now feels horrible and I don’t want to be in this place forever.

I made a mistake in looking back at what I’d written this time last year. I can’t believe that it is all exactly the same stuff. The same feelings, the same thoughts, the same all-consuming cyclical conversations with myself.

Reading my post from a year ago today brought this all home for me. I could have written this word for word all over again right now. So instead of doing that, I’ll just share what I wrote back then. It’s still pertinent. It’s all still churning in my mind.

Nothing in this has changed. Nothing at all. And knowing I still feel just like I did a year ago is like a massive punch in the gut. I’ve tackled over a hundred hours of therapy since then, and I’m still grappling with the same issues. How could I not feel despondent about that?

5th May 2016

I am totally stuck in therapy . Even though I’m having three sessions per week, I still feel like I’m just circling the drain. I’ve drilled into myself this concrete message that I can’t be helped, and I am stubbornly clinging to that belief.

I read a thought-provoking post today about being the victim in the drama triangle. The full piece is over at Mental Health Today if you’re interested. In particular, I identified with this passage:

A Starting Gate Victim (SGV) has accepted a definition of themselves that says they are intrinsically damaged and incapable. SGV’s project an attitude of being weak, fragile, or not smart enough; basically, “I can’t do it by myself.” Their greatest fear is they won’t make it. That anxiety forces them to be always on the lookout for someone stronger or more capable to take care of them.

These lines summarise succinctly how I feel. I feel so broken, so beyond repair, that I firmly believe I am not capable of saving myself. Today, all I could say to J was that I don’t want to be an adult anymore. I want to drop everything I am responsible for, ignore all those pressures, and just be taken care of. I want the simplicity of childhood; in that most problems are fixed with a cuddle and forgotten about a few moments later.

At the same time, I can’t connect with J. I wonder whether maybe I don’t want to. I can barely even look at her, and the words just don’t materialise when she asks me a question. I’ve also noticed this angry feeling rising and falling in our sessions. I’m not sure what it ties into; but I’ve a hunch I’m angry with her and with all the other ‘helping’ professionals who delve into my life. Because I know, deep down, that they can’t fix anything for me. I have to do that myself and I simply don’t want to.

I can’t force myself into wanting to be whole again. I can’t face everything I’d have to confront in order to get there. So I am left with futility, with feeling sub-human. I feel so very abnormal, because I observe everyone around me doing life, wanting life, and not striving to destroy themselves. I am reminded of my abnormality when I see the scars I’ve left on my own skin. They ensure I know in every moment that I am disturbed, I am ‘intrinsically damaged and incapable’.

Out in the world, I get this sense of being a black and white figure in a colour photograph. I am out of place in my surroundings. I see what normal is and I am not it.


Photo: Jo Naylor, Creative Commons.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. bethanyk says:

    I was just reflecting on the SAME thing. I did this and thought…I am stuck in the same damn place I was last year. Feeling the same emotions and in the same spot of misery. BUT I didn’t give myself enough credit because in one tiny area I have moved forward and that is with boundaries. I have never had any or given anyone any. And now I can, barely, but I am more able than before. So that is something. Hoping you find something too

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Laura says:

      Well that’s a strange little bit of telepathy! It’s crappy being so stuck, I’m sorry you’re in that too. But I am glad you can focus on the progress you’ve made with boundaries. I know I have made small steps as well. They just don’t ever feel like enough. They never seem to do justice to the amount of work involved – the mammoth effort it takes to move forward a millimetre.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bethanyk says:

        Soooo much work involved!!!!!!!! So so so tired of all the work just to come up with a “hey bethany maybe put up some boundaries” great. Could someone just have told me that without me having to go through 4 months of therapy to get there!!!!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Nan Mykel says:

    Is that sarcasm I hear, Beth? Sarcasm and anger go together, and I can understand your anger. Where is the anger directed at the abuser? It’s true that the trauma bond forges some kind of toxic connection to the abuser, but most of my reading has told me that the true source and target for the anger lies with the child abuser, not the survivor. It has been my experience that participation in a group therapy of survivors is a great adjunct to individual therapy. I belonged to Survivors of Incest Anonymous because no group therapy for survivors was available…I’m sitting here fearing everyone’s sarcasm, which is probably a leftover of my trauma.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura says:

      I definitely use sarcasm when I am angry. It feels safer than clearly expressing that I am angry I suppose. Humour is a great way to deflect difficult stuff. I got a lot out of group therapy too, when I was an inpatient. Unfortunately none was available after I left hospital. But my CoDA meetings are helpful too.


  3. La Quemada says:

    It’s hard to make peace with stuckness, but I do believe it’s a normal stage in the healing process. It might be that you just aren’t ready to take the next step–you need more or different information, or you need help getting the information from your head to your heart, or your therapist is not providing the type of guidance you most need, or it just takes longer than you think. Having been stuck multiple times in this process, I can relate. I have also judged myself as wrecked, unfixable, inherently broken. But deeply wounded is not the same as inherently broken.

    Last fall I made myself a recording in which I told myself that it was okay to wallow around in the muck for a while. I told myself that I would be patient, and that I would trust that at some point I’d find a path out of the muck. It’s been kind of comforting to listen to that from time to time. I don’t know if you’d find the same, but you could think about trying it. It’s good to take the pressure off yourself. Becoming healthier just takes the time it takes–much longer than we want, of course, but truly, not forever.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Laura says:

      It helps to know that you understand this and how frustrating it is. I don’t know if maybe it also distresses me because it keys into feelings of helplessness as well. Wow, making that recording is a brilliant idea. I will think about doing it myself.


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