The lady who helped reconstruct my life was an elderly Welsh doctor. She was a child therapist, who had been awarded an Order of Australia for her work with abused children. Over three years, she watched me grow, and shake off my demons. Looking at me intently, she remarked, “I thought you were irretrievably broken when I first encountered you. You have proved me wrong.” In my medical notes, a letter she had written to my orthopaedic surgeon was wedged between the pages. ‘I cannot say thankyou for referring this young woman to me, for managing her will be an overwhelming task.’ It wasn’t just this wonderful lady who had her misgivings. How often do we hear that when a tragedy befalls a person that they shall never get over it? At times I was afraid that I was irretrievably broken. Being a rebel, it became another tag to defy. I was not damaged beyond repair. We have a doll factory in Sydney, where even the most delicate porcelain dolls who have had faces fractured and limbs ripped off, can be put back together. If an inanimate object can be repaired, surely flesh and blood and heart can be too?
I firmly believe that your personality is gifted to you, and has nothing to do with your upbringing. You are a part of a tribe, but you are also an individual, here to shine in your own way. I look at my daughter, who has always been full of energy, stubbornness and humour. She has a pixie flitting around her soul, and it holds her in good stead. She has had her challenges and has seen me go through mine. She is made of strong stuff. I believe you grow into your personality. At first it can seem an odd fit for a little body, but as you grow, your essence makes more sense. If anyone-including an esteemed expert-ever dares to profess that you are irretrievably broken, don’t you believe it. Prove them wrong. Your personality is beyond what cruelty can damage. They can’t take it from you, nor reduce it long-term.