Tattered Hearts and Their Repairers

My best friend collects heart-shaped rocks. I’m not sure you would believe the sheer amount and variety her devotion has rendered. It’s impressive, and makes one want to start their own collection.

She gave me this one. Can you guess why by the visual?

Yep. Because it’s scarred, just like my own heart.


Marked by deep grooves that will never completely smooth into non-existence.

And the reason I’m bringing it up is because, as survivors of domestic/intimate partner abuse, we often fall into the trap of thinking someone else will and should fix our cracks and broken spots. That our rescuer is just over the horizon, running our direction with all the salve and bandaging we might need.

But I’m sorry to say, this isn’t true.

And it’s one of the first truths in survival we must face, that no one is going to swoop in to save, mend, or heal us; rather, we simply have wounded and unrealistic, romantic notions of such things.

This is (in part) because we have no idea yet the difficult journey before us. We only know that we want to stop hurting, and to be loved and valued and to feel safe, and on some level that we don’t want to be responsible for making these things happen ourselves. It’s just too much to face. Too big an undertaking when we are so low.

But listen, anyone who *does* swoop in, who allows us to believe they’ll “save” us, is more often than not a vulturous predator who’s taking advantage of our vulnerabilities.

Can you agree with me that that’s the last thing we need?

What we need, instead, is for patterns to stop and cycles to break. We need to teach ourselves about abuse, and learn about self-love. We’ve got to train ourselves to the red flags, and establish boundaries that will protect us into the future.

We must wield our own salve and bandaging, friends.

Because it is the only way we truly heal.

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