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.

If you would like to schedule a free 20-minute initial consultation to see if we would be a good fit to work together on your mental health please click here.

Dr. Perry

Educational Credentials:
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
M.A. in Clinical Psychology
B.A. in Psychology
“We specialize in a solution-focused approach to psychotherapy, specifically treating depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and narcissistic abuse.”
Verified by Psychology Today
“Reframe Your Pain is a closed Facebook group bringing together those who have suffered from or who are suffering from personal challenges that would benefit from connecting and sharing with others who have had similar experiences.”
Presented by Dr. Perry, PhD

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123 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 3 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 10 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 4 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 4 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 3 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 3 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 2 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 1 person

  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 3 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 😊


  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 2 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 1 person

  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 1 person

  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 1 person

    • 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 1 person

  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 1 person

  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 1 person

  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 2 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 2 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 1 person

  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 2 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 2 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 2 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 1 person

  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 2 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 1 person

  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 1 person

  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 1 person

      • 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

  29. 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 1 person

  30. 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 1 person

  31. 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 1 person

  32. 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 1 person

  33. 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 2 people

  34. 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 1 person

  35. 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 1 person

  36. 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 1 person

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