The phrase “Who broke you” has become a common retort used by people when they are speaking to or about someone who acts bitterly or angrily for what appears to be without cause.
Recognizing who broke you is serious business. So many people walk around broken, bitter, angry and hurt for such a great length of time that they don’t even have an awareness of what triggered their brokenness. So the question of who broke you becomes one that we all need to take the time to explore.
About a decade ago I was so full of anger and rage that had been brewing in me for more than 15 years. I wasn’t particularly fun to be around. I was easily irritated and I didn’t treat the people in my life that well.
I carried so much anger in me that I reached a point where after I would have an outburst of anger I would feel physically ill. I would experience excruciating pain throughout my body. My symptoms included muscular pain, headaches, lack of sleep, fatigue and anxiety. It occurred to me that if I wanted the pain to stop I simply had to work on my rage.
Thus I began my quest to determine what all my anger stemmed from. I determined I was suffering from childhood wounds from family members and elementary school teachers, old hurts from my teenage years from classroom bullies and bitterness from those who left me, resulting in feelings of rejection, abandonment and betrayal.
So there I had done it! I had uncovered my laundry list of who broke me! That was a huge step in my emotional healing process. It was great being able to finally put a finger on my pain. But there was a problem, I found myself feeling comfortable being a victim. I was angry because someone picked on me, I was depressed because someone betrayed me. My anger was present because someone I loved was absent.
Anything wrong with me, was clearly someone else’s fault. Oh I was great expert at rattling off my laundry list of all the people who broke me. What I wasn’t good at was taking responsibility for why I was not doing the necessary work to heal so I could move from a place of brokenness to wholeness.
I remember when I came to the disturbing realization that I actually liked playing the role of victim. As I stated earlier, I had played it so long I had mastered it and it felt comfortable! And best of all, being a victim freed me from responsibility. I mean I actually felt it was everyone else’s fault but mine that my life was a mess. Had they loved me more, not disrespected me, treated me better than surely I would not be so angry.
Being a victim was a security blanket that kept me from having to take responsibility for my actions. It wasn’t until I got tired of being the way I was that I began to own my behavior. I began to say I alone am choosing to be unkind, I am yelling because I am choosing not to speak in a calm voice. I am angry because I am choosing to hold on to bitterness and unforgiveness.
Being hurt and being a victim had become a habit and I had to do the work in myself to change my pattern of behavior. I believe that it’s when we start taking ownership of who we are, for our behavior, for our actions and our inactions that we begin to start to truly live.
You see, there really is a better question out there than “who broke you”, and that question is “why are you choosing to remain broken”. Love yourself enough to do the work to begin your journey to wholeness. Take responsibility for who you are and become uncomfortable being a victim.
© Renata Pittman and RenataNicole, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.