I was reading Carolyn’s comment on that last post and she used a term that I’d been thinking about lately, “damaged goods”.
Are we, as child abuse survivors, damaged goods? To a certain extent, we are. Being victimized like that as a child leaves long lasting impressions and issues. On the other hand, it’s not exactly a death sentence either. Plenty of people have overcome the issues surrounding being a survivor and gone to to live succesful, happy lives.
The other thing about being “damaged goods” is that to some degree, everyone over the age of 15 is. Everyone you meet comes with their own baggage, whether it be from parental relationships, past romantic relationships, or just life in general. You will never meet anyone who doesn’t have their own perspective on life, and their own issues that they are dealing with on an ongoing basis. In a sense, we are all damaged goods.
This sense of being damaged goods most often comes up in regards to romantic relationships. I’ve got news for you. If you’re looking for a partner with no baggage, no “damage” from previous relationships, you’re going to spend an awful lot of time alone. And, if you’re afraid of talking about your past out of fear of being labeled “damaged”, fear not. All you’re doing is weeding out the people who are too shallow to be worth your time anyway. Go ahead and weed them out, and focus your energies on finding the people who not only don’t view you as damaged, but recognize the great strength that you posess as a survivor.
We can all do with more people in our lives, romantic relationships or just friends, who see our positive traits and remind us of them.