You Are Not Damaged

Written by Dr. Perry, PhD
Image Credit: Pixabay


It saddens me to hear people refer to themselves as being damaged. They speak about themselves as if they are a commodity that is for sale; a product whose price has been reduced for a perceived flaw. Often this expression is accompanied by the idea that no one would want to be with them. This idea of being damaged often stems from some form of abuse where the learned message was that a person is worthless, not worthy of love, damaged, broken or insignificant. These early life experiences become the basis for the negative core belief that a person is damaged.

It is important to realize that these negative core beliefs are not the truth. You have learned them from your environment. Your life events, experiences or wounds have driven these beliefs deep into your psyche. It takes awareness and conscious effort to break free from your negative core belief.

I want to say to those of you that see yourself as damaged that you are beautiful the way you are. All your past pain has made you into a more empathic and compassionate human being. To have experienced pain is to have a richer understanding of the beauty of life. Pain has given you a gift. It has made you more aware of the intricacies of life. In order to truly appreciate the gift of life, we must be able to withstand the darkness of life. You are not damaged. You are more evolved emotionally because of the experiences you have encountered. Please know that I do not mean to make light of the pain you may have experienced. I am pointing out that it is possible to find meaning in your pain.

Next time you want to refer to yourself as being damaged, stop and think of what you are saying about yourself. Are these really your personal beliefs or have you adopted beliefs that are not your own? Every traumatic event regardless of whether it is mild or severe leaves an imprint. For example, if a person experiences abandonment early in life they will possibly encode into their belief system that they are not loved, not important or that they are worthless. In this case, the environment of neglect has bred a false negative core belief.

In order to unravel the tight ball of acquired negativity, you must slowly peel away the years of these learned beliefs. You eventually can reach a point where your feelings about yourself are something you experience and move through rather than something that signals a reason to tell yourself negative messages. I hope these thoughts find you well.

The thoughts expressed in this blog post are my own and are not meant to create a therapeutic relationship with the reader. This blog does not replace or substitute the help of a mental health professional. Please note, I am unable to answer your specific mental health questions as I am not fully aware of all of the circumstances.

Kindly,
Dr. Perry


CREDENTIALS
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
M.A. in Clinical Psychology
B.A. in Psychology


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207 responses to You Are Not Damaged

  1. Kathy says:

    Thank you for this post. I also don’t like to hear young women refer to themselves as “damaged” no one is damaged goods. There are just different levels of experiencing life.

    Liked by 8 people

  2. I used to feel like a victim because this is what I was called after abuse. I realize now that I am a survivor. I totally concur that we believe what we tell ourselves that we are. We believe our own stories we tell to ourselves. ❤ We can continue to allow the past to haunt us, or we can release the past and create our own futures. – Jaclyn ❤

    Liked by 17 people

  3. DorothyMarie says:

    Wow! This is fabulous and I’m going to share it on my Facebook as I know a few besides me that would benefit from reading it. I know I have referred to myself as being very broken. There are moments when I still find myself believing that, but they’re few and far between now. Mostly I say I have a broken heart because sometimes I feel like I do. I love this post! 🌻

    Liked by 9 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      Hi Dottie, I am so happy you like this post. As someone who follows your blog I am inspired by your tremendous growth and positivity. Keep moving forward and thank you for your comment✨

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful inspiring post! I’ve never thought of myself as ‘damaged’ but, rather, ‘broken’; I guess it was the only way I could express the way I felt (still feel) when I lost my husband. When we love deeply I think that we entwine – physically, emotionally, psychologically and, when we lose that very intimate link it does feel as though we lose a part of ourselves, hence ‘broken’.
    However, your words today have reminded me that, although I am no longer linked, I still exist as an individual and I have worth. Thank you Dr Perry x

    Liked by 9 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      Hi Lisa, thank you so much for your comment. You most definitely have worth and meaning. From reading your blog I can see the beauty of your soul. Have a wonderful day✨

      Liked by 3 people

  5. autismduniya says:

    Very moved by this post. Thank you. By far the greatest gift of your writing is how you give expression to the ways in which sitting in the therapist’s chair must profoundly change you. It is very helpful to me as someone who sometimes has trouble trusting that process.

    Liked by 8 people

  6. Thank you Dr. Perry for such a great post on how we can remove negativity in our lives. I think its just because of how our world is and how we see others that the negativity is overwhelming. As a women seeing how others portray themselves we tend to see ourselves as damaged and think negative about our looks and so much more. Your insights and advice are always so helpful. Thank you again 😊

    Liked by 7 people

  7. Create Space says:

    Great share Dr.Perry, short enough to hold somebody’s attention, with everyday English making it easy to understand…all round excellent post which will offer a life-changing view for many bloggers and social media users!

    Liked by 7 people

  8. earthskyair says:

    This is such important stuff. There’s tremendous work in uncovering those negative core beliefs, their roots, and new responses, but the journey is so worth it. Thank you for this beautifully expressed and encouraging post.

    Liked by 6 people

  9. I wish I had found you two years ago after I lost my heart dog. I certainly felt broken or damaged for a full year. I guess extreme emotional pain can make a person feel that way. I appreciate your post(s).

    Liked by 8 people

  10. Eva says:

    Thank you Dr Perry for this beautiful reminder. I’ve always been a fan of yours.

    There are some bad days when I feel like nothings working out for me. These are the days when I feel most especially “broken”. You are right, people are not commodities. Life sets us apart from ordinary commodities.

    I loved this line of yours. “To have experienced pain is to have a richer understanding of the beauty of life.”

    Pain truly makes life even more beautiful even though we fail to see it in our darkest hour.

    Have a great day 😊

    Liked by 4 people

  11. C. says:

    Excellent post. This makes me realize that I there is strength in my pain. My past is not who I am but it was merely training for my soul. I am indeed a strong and compassionate person. Thank you Dr Perry❤️

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Gina says:

    “Pain has given you a gift” – Thank you for sharing such an important message. This reminds me of a quote I read earlier today, that said something to the effect of, “The next time you are in a dark place and feel that you have been buried, just know you have only been planted” The gifts of compassion, kindness, and gratitude are ones that come to those who have been buried and have risen up from the dirt. Thank you for your seeds of wisdom 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  13. beyondimagination25 says:

    A much needed thought which everyone has to think and act upon…Thank you very much for sharing and writing this.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. A wonderful post. Thank you. This post spoke to me on a really personal level. I am just starting to understand that the pain I am experiencing is shaping me and has changed me but that I don’t want it to define me. I am working really hard at not viewing myself as damaged but instead as an overcomer.

    You have such a brilliant insight into the powerful messages that we cultivate about ourselves. Thank you for encouraging us to recognise these negative patterns of thought that so many of us develop so that we might challenge it and see ourselves in a truer, more positive way.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      Thank you so much. Your comment reinforces why I write this blog. I seek to share positivity and understanding that we are not our wounds✨

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Cynthia says:

    Wow love this post. Dr. Perry I wanted to let you know that I emailed you for a consultation. I am hoping we can work together. I look forward to speaking with you.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Alex says:

    Thank you for this. It made me both happy and sad. Sad that I have experienced so much pain and happy to be understood. Now I wonder what my next move should be.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. It is so true. We don’t think of a painful past as teaching us anything, and yet it has taught us both negative and positive. I’m really happy you posted this since I know that the inner message many received in their youth (they weren’t perfect enough, good enough and worth less than…) You are such a godsend to the blogging world and your words and thoughts as well as motivation to look deeper and or beyond are well received as seen through the comments here. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Billie says:

    This is such a great post. I am sharing on Facebook because I know others that need to read this. Thank you Dr. Perry.

    Liked by 5 people

  19. Thankful says:

    I wish I had read this when I was younger. I wasted so much time believing I was worthless. It am now in therapy and I am starting to pull back the layers. I hope others are inspired to seek help.

    Liked by 4 people

  20. Thanks so much for that Dr. Perry.
    Sometimes when I overthink my friends make me as weird. But again you remind me , I have different interest than another!!

    Liked by 4 people

  21. I think it takes a great deal of courage to face one’s demons, and it pains me when I think of all the people I know who continue to live in a morass of fear, shame, and guilt (that is not their own but was foisted on them by their abuser). As a survivor I try to share a bit of my story to let people know life is worth the climb – that climb out of the pit of depression and deep unhappiness.

    Unfortunately there have been times I had to walk away for my own peace of mind as certain individuals just could not or would not see their own inner beauty and worth. There is only so much others can do to help and support, in the end we each have to “take the bulls by the horns” so to speak. But even though I walked away it doesn’t mean I stopped caring. I just had to choose to love them from a distance for my own mental health.

    I am grateful for this post. Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. Socks in my Rocks says:

    So many people need to hear this! Thank you for caring about people as deeply as you do.

    Liked by 5 people

  23. Great Post & Reflection. We are what we say we are….if we change our mind of who we think we are and start seeing ourselves the way God sees us. We’ll have a different concept. Love your take on this..

    Liked by 5 people

  24. laronda65 says:

    This is such a valuable post! I grew up feeling barely tolerated. Fortunately, I got affirmation through school and forensics competition. But it made dealing with God’s grace hard when I was expected to believe that someone who wasn’t tangible loved me unconditionally while the woman who raised me, on whom I was dependent on for the basics of food and shelter, often reminded me that I could always leave if I didn’t like something. She went so far as to tell me she was sending me to the town’s orphanage – which I only understood as the place where kids went when they didn’t have a parent. She told me they’d keep in in a dark closet and feed me when they felt like it. When they hadn’t shown up by bedtime, I asked her about it. Instead of assuring me that she didn’t mean it, she told me they probably ran out of time and would come by later. I spent my 20’s just hoping someone would take care of me. I was finally brought together with a Godly man who is everything my mother never was – patient, long-suffering, merciful and loving. And I’m beginning to accept God’s grace in my life. I’m hoping to reach others who’ve felt unlovable to strip themselves of the lies they’ve been told so they can feel God’s love through the blog I’ve started. Thanks for this!

    Liked by 3 people

  25. ambervantage says:

    Loved the post, Thanks a Lot Dr.Perry , your post Really helped me, and would be helpful for more ppl I know… plz keep sharing your wisdom like this Regards.

    Liked by 5 people

  26. These are challenging yet hopeful words for me. I struggle with feeling broken at times. Especially when my anxiety is flared up… Hoping for the best. Thanks for sharing Dr Perry.

    Liked by 4 people

  27. Moony says:

    Well put.

    I feel our greater community is becoming more accepting of our individual psychological challenges but that the individuals themselves have yet to catch up. I am not sure if it is a worry of being a burden to others, fear of being a disappointment (taught), or a misguided perception of perfection (or all combined in some way).

    Personally, I find as I share my Bipolar symptoms with others people receive, judge, and provide perspective to it not as something bad but with kindness and compassion.

    Thanks for this post.

    Liked by 4 people

  28. Nikki says:

    I felt extremely and deeply worthless for decades of chronic pain and trying to succeed in the workforce… and failing. And then when on leave, as I am now, I would feel even more useless fundamentally as a person because I was so nonproductive. I now accept my limits more and think a lot more on what I Can do and not what I Cannot. And valuing those things I can do. But, man, it is hard work.

    Liked by 4 people

  29. Benzoic says:

    This is a great post. I often refer to myself in this way. Guess I have a lot of thinking to do before doing it again.
    Thanks.

    Liked by 4 people

      • Myth*. says:

        You’re welcome! There is so much going on in our world, to people. Home life, outside the home, etc. That just doesn’t need to be. Long term anquish has long term effects? So many, too many people are hurting, and unfairly!

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Loveart says:

    I adore the way you write. It’s simple and beautiful. I can feel your heart in certain sentences. Keep writing!

    Liked by 4 people

  31. It’s so ironic, because I work with homeless people and my life’s goal is to help them (and others) see that they have worth, and they matter, and they are not damaged – just struggling and in need of a hand up because of circumstances beyond their control. I do know this is true for me as well, (I know logically), yet I continue to wrestle feeling like parts of me are beyond repair – that the best I can do in some spaces is to learn a workaround. This post today was The perfect timing after a very pivotal EMDR sesh. Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

  32. I wouldn’t be so empathetic and loving if it weren’t for my crappy experiences. It gave me the ability to understand what people talk about, because I’ve been there. There are still some days if around the wrong people or I think too much I can wander down that dark road. But God had a purpose for my pain.

    Liked by 5 people

  33. Lostbutnotdfound says:

    Thank you. I tend to say this about myself. That I am damaged. I know this is not an original thought. I picked it up from my messed up upbringing. I’m going to really make an effort to stop.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Good post and great reminder. Thank you for the path we need. I find that the real problem is identifying moments when those thoughts from long ago creep in our busy lives. Confronting the problem is difficult when the smallest things can set negative thoughts into action…not an easy job to defeat old emotional wounds no matter how self-aware one becomes. It is a continuous task to stop its spread. Daily meditation helps.

    Liked by 5 people

  35. Maggie Kuhn says:

    Thank you Dr. Perry for spreading hope to my life. And helping me give a reason to suffer pain to gain a greater understanding of the beauty of life. This pain I have physical pain I have experienced and I can firmly attest that this index is true. Thank you for your hopefilked article I hope to hear again from you soon! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  36. Katiedash says:

    Thank you for this post. I could go into all my abuse I lived through and then the resultant consequences because of my brain injury and disabilities. It is all too long to list here. Just to say you reminding us that we are not a commodity means the world to me! Through all the pain we are loving, strong individuals. I am glad you are offering your services online. If I could afford it I might have taken you up on it. But, online counseling does read the homebound individuals. The thing is often those homebound individuals that need the help the most do not have the funds to pay for it. Thank you for putting words out there for us who cannot afford you individually still are blessed by your talents.

    Liked by 4 people

  37. msbyepoleher says:

    I curiously wandered to your blog and this is the first thing that I see. Also, a message that I very much needed to receive. Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

  38. This post spoke to a very vulnerable part of me. Thank you for sharing it, because it is helpful to read that those of us who have been taught we are damaged are, in fact, not so. It was emotional to read, but also so reassuring. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 4 people

  39. dbl04b says:

    Pain definitely allows a growth in awareness of the intricacies of life. Since losing my father at an early age, I am conscience of how life/health are so delicate. Appreciate the moments you have.

    Liked by 4 people

  40. I love the way you describe those feelings of inadequacy and how it seems you get in our heads. So perfectly understandable. Not damaged… just experiences that shape us into the wonderful perfect human beings we all are. Sometimes we just need reminding of that. Thank you Dr Perry

    Liked by 5 people

  41. What an exquisite article, written by an obviously excellent, healthy, and empathetic doctor. We all need someone like this in our lives! Thank you for this message, which I have found to be rarely expressed by others…. blessings!

    Liked by 4 people

  42. Aniibella says:

    This is something we all go through and it’s such a shame. To go through life feeling worthless. I have a friend who’s feeling like this because of a break-up. Has her feeling she was only put on this earth to be a stepping stone for men to better themselves after they leave her. It truly saddens me because she’s amazing. I would love to refer her back to this post. And possibly my readers as well. This is something everyone should read.

    Thank you

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      Please feel free to share it with her if you think it would be helpful. Thank you for your comment✨

      Liked by 2 people

  43. delphini510 says:

    I just spotted your post this morning and was taken by its clarity and quiet understanding.
    I like the affirmations as well as the understanding.
    There are so many who never get help in any way. A real good friend would do wonders as I am sure an understanding professional would.
    Bless

    miriam

    Liked by 5 people

  44. Barbara says:

    I needed to read this post. It really resonated with me. I love your posts and your positivity. Thank you!

    Liked by 4 people

  45. Thank you for this post I have read it several times I refer back to it when I am having one of those “I can’t seem to do anything right days” it helps me more than I can say. I am now 50 and still have those moments where I feel like I fail over and over I suffer from PTSD, OCD and seizures, sometimes I have moments I am not proud of and get angry when I can’t get things right or get stressed in a ugly way. I have always thought of myself as damaged, so this really hits home with me so I thank God for you and your post. Many blessings 😁

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      Thank you🙏🏽 Your comment gives meaning to my writing. I am humbled and honored that I am able to help through my blog. You are definitely not damaged! Life is about experiences good and bad. When you are having a bad moment just realize it will not last forever and ride out the feeling. Even feelings have a life cycle. Have a wonderful day✨

      Liked by 1 person

  46. Sometimes I hear phrases that are even worse like “damaged goods” and “stay away from such people”. Pain can cause more pain, sometimes to others involved in a romantic relationship or a friendship with someone who suffered from trauma or neglect. Yet, there is much beauty and compassion in those people as well. No one is a commodity which comes in “mint condition” as well, it is our duty to embold and strengthen those who are in pain. As one famous Turkish professor of law said to his students after graduation, duty of the strong is to protect those in a graver condition.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. I printed this article and have it on my desk where I drink my coffee in the morning. It greets me as I sit down, “You are not damaged.” I read the entire article every few days. Thank you for writing it. Jeanne Marie

    Liked by 4 people

  48. leticiaj says:

    This is one of my favorite posts that you have written. Thank you for all you do Dr. Perry. Blessings to you and your family❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  49. I love this post and I strongly believe that many of our reactions to things are down to adopted beliefs on how we feel we should react. Realising this, actually really helped me through my Fathers passing. I know that sounds a little far fetched but it did. Fab post! Thank you x

    Liked by 3 people

  50. This is an amazing article! I am guilty of calling myself damaged but as the years have gone by i have stopped. Howeve i referred to myself as damaged several times because i felt broken and beaten down. Thank you for this 💕

    Liked by 3 people

  51. ritkan says:

    This post is so important. I am so touched and want to Thank you for putting forth such a perception.

    Liked by 2 people

  52. Janaki Chengalath says:

    This resonated with me a lot. I think there’s also truth in saying that whenever one gets the chance to put themselves down, they pounce at it. However, when it comes to honouring themselves it often proves to be a rather difficult task. Bringing these topics to the fore is incredibly important, so I really appreciate what you do!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I’m happy this post resonated with you✨

      Liked by 1 person

  53. I love this! My inner dialog is pretty negative thanks to unhealthy treatment by one of my parents. It helps so much to have someone else affirm that I’m not permanently and irreparably damaged by the experience.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      You are far from permanently or irreparably damaged Ashley. I am happy to hear this post resonated with you✨

      Liked by 2 people

  54. imghostlypale says:

    I’ve been haunted by my past for years now and I can’t seem to break free from it. I do think of myself as damaged because of how messed up my responses to things are, due to abuse I’ve experienced. I can’t give people what they want, intimacy (physical and non-physical), and that’s why I think of myself in that way. I really like this post, and I can’t wait for your future posts relating to abuse.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Glenda Herdman says:

        Wonderful article. So many of us think we are broken and damaged, because of the lies we were told by our abusers. And that’s so sad. When in fact there is nothing wrong with any of us. We were convinced the lies were true. Thank you

        Liked by 2 people

  55. jonicaggiano says:

    Yea so true thank you Doctor I like to refer to myself as a warrior!! This is such a kind and caring post. You are a beautiful person doc. Thanks again. Joni

    Liked by 2 people

  56. Pink At Heart says:

    Very well written. I like this content a lot and your perspective on ‘being damaged’. Thank you a lot for sharing. Enjoyed reading 🍀 – Mentje

    Liked by 2 people

  57. iamvhardik says:

    Damaged is a word I used to and still at times associate myself with. Thanks for giving a perspective on it.

    Liked by 2 people

  58. Angie says:

    “In order to truly appreciate the gift of life, we must be able to withstand the darkness of life.” – I love this!

    I have spent years learning to undo the damage of my childhood and the core beliefs instilled by those experiences. One of the ways I heal is by recognizing the gifts: I am far more understanding and aware of others suffering, I have a deep and abiding compassion for others. I often share the lessons I have learned through my healing process to give hope to those struggling that there IS healing to be had and a light at the end of the tunnel.

    I’m not grateful for the pain, but I am grateful for the lesson.

    One way I fight the core belief that I am damaged is with an affirmation: I am enough.

    As always, thank you for sharing your education and experience to give perspective.

    Liked by 3 people

  59. Great post! The word “damage”comes in many forms, of negativity, I am on road to knowing myself, my new words are empathic, compassionate, caring, loving, sincere, honest, loyal, listener, Queen, Beloved, Daughter, Warrior, Strong, Courageous and Lion! Hear me Roar! Great Post!

    Liked by 3 people

  60. Tina Starks says:

    Whenever I hear someone speak of themselves in negative terms, I actually feel the sensations of pain. It’s hard to witness someone feeling unworthy because universal Truth reveals a different reality. Your words explain this with much grace.

    Liked by 3 people

  61. I am not damaged, I am a survivor. I am strong and capable. Every scar, invisible and visible are reminders of obstacles overcome and lessons learned.

    Thank you Dr Perry! Without people like you that have helped me along the way, I wouldn’t be able to feel the acceptance and peace I feel today.

    Liked by 2 people

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