You Are Not Broken and You Never Were

Broken: Having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order.

Webster’s Dictionary

I can’t tell you the countless times I’ve told myself that I’m broken because of my vaginismus. However, what defines “broken?”

I used to think that because I couldn’t have sex something was wrong with me.

Everyone else could, so why can’t I? Why can I not do an act that even animals can do? Isn’t this supposed to be instinctive? I must be broken…

I constantly brought myself down by telling myself that I was defective. Even today, while I’m in therapy explaining something, I constantly have to catch myself from saying, “because I’m broken…”

My therapist was the first person to ever catch me saying this and tell me the truth.

Just because I can’t have sex doesn’t make me flawed or broken, and she would correct me everytime I accidentally used this word to describe myself.

It only instilled negativity inside my brain and, the more I told myself this, the more I believed it. It was me being angry with myself for not being able to do something others can do. It was me expressing self hatred towards myself because I didn’t like this condition that I felt was ruining my life.

However, if we actually stopped and thought about it, we’d be surprised how many people think this exact same thing.

As humans, we all tend to self criticize and view ourselves in a uniquely negative way. We might not all be facing the exact same struggle, but we all have obstacles that we are learning to overcome. We often compare our insides to other people’s outsides and, by doing so, we convince ourselves that the images they portray are real and that they have everything put together while we do not. However, this is not the case, and we are never completely alone.

Last night, I was watching Sex Education on Netflix. On the show, a girl told a therapist that she felt broken because she wasn’t interested in sex. For some reason, it didn’t appeal to her like it did to all of her high school classmates. She immediately told the therapist that she must be broken because she doesn’t want sex.

The sex therapist, Dr. Jean Milburn, who is also the main character’s mom, said something that really resonated with me.

She told the girl, “Sex doesn’t make us whole, so how could you ever be broken?”

I thought that was incredibly profound and validating. Why did I never look at it this way before? Sex doesn’t make us whole! Sex shouldn’t be the thing that makes us feel whole or complete! Sex isn’t everything. Sex is just an act. It is not a defining characteristic.

I thought I would share this quote with those of you who might be feeling the same way inside, whether it’s because of vaginismus or something else.