We’re all damaged goods. Let’s talk about it.
WHAT’S YOUR DAMAGE?
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?
This is an ongoing series about my grappling with trauma, mental health, self-doubt, anxiety, insomnia, and other cool stuff. But in a fun way. Yeeeee!
“What’s your damage?” It’s the iconic line from the iconic 1988 movie Heathers. It’s also a good question. What is my damage, anyway??
When Veronica said this line to one of the many Heathers in the movie, she was basically saying, “What’s your fucking problem, Heather? Get off my back!” But that’s not how I’m using it here. Instead, I want to talk about emotional damage.
WHY THE “DAMAGE” FRAMING?
We are all damaged goods—emphasis on the goods. Being damaged is universal, yet it makes us so incredibly unique. I am who I am because of and despite my own set of damages.
There’s no avoiding damage altogether. Because, honestly, we are all just banged-up jalopies hurling ourselves down the freeway of life. We all have dings, dents, missing parts, and our “check engine” lights often come on at the worst moments. Some of us are lucky enough to have had the resources, ability, and access to slap on a new bumper or new coat of paint. But the damage still hangs in the air. We are all so fucking vulnerable to a sudden crash, caused either by our selves or others.
Yet, underneath all that damage is so much good. And I’m not talking about cars anymore, because fuck cars I hate them. I’m talking about our beating hearts, our need for love, our scared little souls, our eyes that look up into the stars and contemplate the vastness of time and the universe. This is goodness, even if it comes in a beaten-up package that looks like its been lost by USPS for 25 years.
There’s all sorts of damage. Some of our damage is reparable, some isn’t. Some damage is self-inflicted, but a lot of it has been forced on us. Some damage is visible, some is well-hidden. Some of our damage happened during childhood, some of it happened earlier today.
I also like that the question—What’s your damage?—is present tense, but can be referring to the sum of everything damaging that’s ever happened to us. And it’s not a judgement, it’s just an assessment. Having damage doesn’t mean we’re defective or broken, but it does affect the way we operate. And different kinds of damage affects us in different ways. Sometimes damage is so strong it can suppress the goodness, but I believe the pilot light of goodness is always there, it just needs the right tending to.
I’ll say it again: We are all damaged GOODS.
SO, WHAT’S MY DAMAGE?
I’ll tell you! The short answers are: low self-esteem and anxiety, with a little depression and lots of insomnia sprinkled in. But I want to flesh these out, to explore the specific of those things, how they hurt me in my everyday life, how they manifest in myriad ways (lol, did you catch my second Heathers reference there?), and what connects them all in my past and present.
I’m doing this for my own catharsis, but also because maybe it will help some other people feel less alone or be inspired to explore their own damage in meaningful ways. I hope so, anyway.
Upcoming posts will be discussions of a specific kind of Damage I’m dealing with. I’ll also give you my Takeaway—not as advice or lessons learned or Jerry Springer closing remarks—but as my “so what” of it all. Lastly, I will close with Something Nice, not necessarily related to the damage, but just as something positive and light to close on. Often it will be about Kitty the cat.
SO TELL ME . . . WHAT’S YOUR DAMAGE?