I’m Not Broken (And Neither Is Anyone Else)

A few days ago, I got a notification on WordPress that someone had liked a post of mine called “People Aren’t Broken”. It was probably on an old blog of mine and I can’t remember exactly what the post was about. From what I remember, it was written in response to a person being officially diagnosed as autistic and seeing this as a reason they weren’t “broken”.

Indeed, before my autism diagnosis in 2007, I always thought I was “broken”. Same once my autism diagnosis got taken away in 2016. I still had a personality disorder diagnosis (dependent personality disorder and borderline traits), but I believed strongly in the stigma attached to it. That wasn’t helped by the fact that my psychologist at the time used my diagnosis to “prove” that I was misusing care. I wasn’t.

Today, I found out people applying for benefits are completely screened by some kind of information gathering agency. It made me worry that the benefits authority or long-term care funding authority will do the same, even though I already have both.

It’s probably the same internalized ableism (discrimination against people with disabilities) speaking up that tells me that, if I don’t have a “legitimate” disability (like autism) that warrants me getting care, I’m just manipulative and attention-seeking and generally broken. I am not. And neither is anyone else. Including those who actually do have personality disorders.

This post was written for today’s Five Minute Friday, for which the prompt is “Broken”. Of course, I could have (should have?) written a more spiritual post and, from that perspective, everyone is in fact broken. What I mean with this post, though, is that there’s nothing that makes certain people broken based on disability or diagnosis.

29 thoughts on “I’m Not Broken (And Neither Is Anyone Else)

  1. Visiting as your neighbor from FMF. I, too, am broken with many diagnoses. I am not sure “who” I truly am, but I do know I AM BROKEN. I am broken because I am human. We are all unique, and we are all deeply loved by God. He knows us, and he doesn’t diagnose us. We are just us. We are just his children. Prayers that you continue to get the help you need, and I will covet your prayers as I seek to do the same. Life is rough. Keep rolling. Sincerely, Jennifer

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree 100%. Just edited my post to acknowledge the fact that, indeed, spiritually we’re all broken. However, this is not dependent on any of our diagnoses. Like you say, God doesn’t diagnose us. Thanks for encouruaging me.


  2. Thank you for writing this. I always cringe when people talk or act as if someone with challenges is somehow broken. We all have challenges; some are just more overt than others. FMF#17

    Liked by 2 people

  3. regardless of labels, or lack of labels…. I don’t know that we can call people “broken”. There are folks who are very damaged….but is being damaged the same as broken? I think there is a quantifiable difference. But autism does not broken make. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Changed, yes. Not broken.

    How can one take the martial road,
    the path that leads to war,
    without incurring heavy load,
    the post-traumatic scar?
    How can one come back to the mall,
    and to the bright cafe,
    and not think back unto the Wall,
    and the price they had to pay?
    Even in the peacetime glade
    the eyes still scan the way ahead,
    for of this is survival made;
    the quick are not the dead,
    but simply still are in the zone,
    never, ever to come home.

    The Wall is the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We are all broken in some way and yet also made more beautiful by it. My son has been coming to terms with his own diagnoses this year and I’ve struggled with what it means for me as a parent to a neuro-diverse child. My claim feels illegitimate because we haven’t had it as hard as many others and it can seem very isolating. I’ve been grappling with my husband’s diagnoses for almost two decades. Being married to someone with chronic mental illness is hard and yet who he is is so amazing, I wouldn’t change it, hard as it is.
    I tell my son his brain works differently than other peoples. Not better or worse, just different. That means his strengths and weaknesses may be more apparent than other people, but everyone still has both.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That last sentence truly resonates with me: everyone has strengths and weaknesses. I’m so proud of you and your entire family for juggling life as a family with neurodivergent members. Thank you for stopping by.


  6. I feel broken when I have trouble making friends and see others doing it so easily. I thought it was because of my depression and anxiety. But then, I find out people with lots of friends have depression and anxiety too 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand. I don’t have many friends either except online. I want to say though, neither your lack of friends nor your depression makes you any more broken than everyone else.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I like your way of thinking here Astrid!

    One of my meditation teachers claims we all have mental health issues, just that some are lucky enough to get a diagnosis and treatment … while the rest of us can’t get treatment without that diagnosis!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I wholeheartedly agree, you are certainly not broken, nor is my autistic son and anyone else for the matter.
    We are all different and face different challenges and that’s ok.
    Keep being awesome, your honesty and openness is inspiring. x

    Liked by 1 person

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