Mental Health

Feeling Fragmented

Feeling Fragmented peter-sjo

How can I describe the feeling of being fragmented to people who have always felt whole? Perhaps none of us feel completely whole. Perhaps we all feel that we have lost a part of ourselves along the way.

As a victim of violence, incest, and rape it took a while for me to become truly lost. My survival instincts were strong. But, over time, the damage inflicted upon me pushed me further away from myself, until I found that I was drowning in a sea of alcoholism and despair, staring at a stranger in the mirror.

It’s as if I had been a beautiful, vibrantly colored stained-glass vase, and my perpetrators a chisel. Each punch, each belt lashing, each touch of violation, tapped a crack in the delicate glass of Light and innocence until, finally, it shattered into a thousand tiny shards. Their razor-sharp edges cut deep wounds into my psyche, my soul. It has been and continues to be, my journey to piece these shards back together.

My vibrant colors, layered with decades of shame, guilt, and self-loathing, don’t shine as brightly as they had before the trauma began. Part of my work toward healing is to uncover the beauty and brilliance that lies beneath these layers. I don’t know if I will ever completely heal, for the tremendous effort required to adhere the shards to one another will always be a reminder of my brokenness.

Fragmentation has kept me from knowing my true self. It has kept me from realizing my full potential as a psychologically, physically, socially, and emotionally healthy human being. To feel fragmented is to feel like the best parts of myself are out of reach. I have only shadowed memories of what it was like to feel joy, to feel love, to feel safe, and to feel the freedom of exploring the world without fear.

I hope that one day I will be able to look in the mirror and see the essence of who I once was before the damage was done. For now, I will simply continue my quest to realize my full potential and strive to feel whole again.

14 thoughts on “Feeling Fragmented”

  1. I have been reflecting on your post all morning and I came to realize that I have become whole. I have moments when I feel fragmented but I am able to hold it with such a fierce and tender compassion. This is the wholeness I have looked for my whole life. This wholeness is now with me every moment in time. Thank you for setting off this reflection.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is amazing! You have an extremely talented gift for putting into words things that are not easily described. Feeling fragmented. I felt that way for so long. Part of it was dissociation and part of it was exactly how you describe. Fragmented! I began to reframe it (for myself) to feeling like a many-faceted diamond because I kept associating fragmentation with dissociation. If that makes sense. There are times when I still feel this way, when triggers happen and Im having a tough day but, like just like you, I work to feel whole. Keep sharing my friend, you are helping so many! ❤️


  3. Thank you for your encouraging words. I like the image of a many-faceted diamond. Diamonds are fiercely strong and beautiful, like all survivors of trauma. I hope you are well, my friend. 🙂


    1. Thank you. I believe that every survivor is brave beyond measure. We’ve endured so much yet managed to survive. It’s a long, slow journey toward wholeness but I believe you and I – and all survivors – will get there.

      Liked by 1 person

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