By Katherine Knosher
It’s 2017. And I am set out to live a life of transparency.
This past week I was reminded of one very important truth:
We all have brokenness.
That is one of the simplest, yet most powerful things we can realize. Every one of us is broken. We are broken in different ways, have been brought to our lowest point by different means, but we all feel the brokenness inside of us.
This past week I was also asked two questions, “What if we took our brokenness and celebrated it?” and “Am I ready to show my scars of brokenness?”
These both hit me hard and these words are the result.
To my best friends and family who are reading this: Know that this is not meant to hurt you, blame you, or cause you to worry. I do better writing than in person, so please don’t be upset I couldn’t find the words to speak to you face-to-face.
You could not have done something to change the path of my story because God set it in motion a long time ago. This life is the life I was given, and although two years ago I wouldn’t be saying these words, I am thankful for this life.
I love you all.
To the people I have hurt along the way: I thought I was protecting you, when I pushed you out of my life. I cut you off, plain and simple, I didn’t want you to see the hurt I was going though. I was embarrassed and ashamed of the person I was becoming and I am sorry that I had to hurt you to do what I thought was best for you. I made up the shittiest of excuses of why you weren’t welcome as a constant in my life anymore. It didn’t make sense then and it doesn’t now, it only made sense to me and that’s all I saw. It may not help now, years later, but I want you to know I am sorry.
Here we go.
I am a happy person or at least that’s the mask I put on for all those years. People wouldn’t look at me and think, “she is broken and hurting.” No, because I was good at hiding my pain. I had this destructive idea in my head that pain was weakness, and that my pain would bring my friends and family pain, so I kept it hidden.
When my sophomore year began I was sent spiraling into a mindset of self-hate and self-loathing. Along with this came the development of an eating disorder. This was my breaking point.
Stemming from the dysfunctional environment I grew up in and the world that we live in, I struggled with my worth. I felt so unworthy. I never thought I was good enough for myself and if I wasn’t good enough for myself then I certainly wasn’t good enough for someone else, let alone God.
I thought that if I could just look skinnier, prettier, more put together on the outside then along with that would come healing on the inside. Then I would and could finally see my worth, my life would make sense, I could find my purpose. I thought things would finally fall into place if I could just loose a few pounds, but that thought was the beginning of everything falling apart.
I didn’t talk about it. It was invisible. It was something I dealt with internally only and something that no one could ever know. I was ashamed of myself all the time. I felt worthless and replaceable.
As I started to fall deeper and deeper into self-hate I started to become angry and depressed.
Depressed? Depression isn’t always obvious. It is a constant sadness that never seems to end. Yes, I could be happy for a moment, but it never lasted, it was just a moment. I could wake up every morning, put on the mask, and keep it all inside. But eventually everyone reaches a breaking point.
We are all broken; meaning we all have scars. For some those scars are invisible to the outside world, they are scars on the heart, mind and soul. For me, those scars are very visible to the world.
My junior year ended with me falling into the entrapment and false promise of comfort that comes from self-harm. This is when I hit rock bottom. I was broken to the bones of my being. The feeling of being so worthless that I hurt myself because I thought I deserved it. For two long years I struggled with this horrific demon.
I have had some amazing people placed in my path along the way. One by one, each year, they fell into my story and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them. Sophomore year, junior year, senior year, and freshman year in college, best friends who were perfectly placed in my life at the exact moment I needed them (you all know who you are). Friends, who even through they didn’t know the pain I was dealing with, lit up my world and kept me smiling by just being themselves. I am forever grateful for these people.
Somewhere in the midst of my struggling I found an organization called “So Worth Loving,” a community of people who shared their stories with the world, opening themselves up to criticism and rejection, a very crazy and bold thing to do as far as I was concerned. This is where I learned I was not alone in my suffering, countless stories of people with stories like mine. These stories were my hope.
I was so broken. I was hurting. I was in so much pain. But it is through brokenness that we find healing. It is through brokenness that we find the devastating beauty of the cross.
I lied before when I said I was asked two questions this week, I was asked a third question, “What do you need to let go of?”
I need to let go of the shame, guilt, and anger of my past so that I can live the life that has been put in motion for me since before the beginning of time. No matter what I think, I can find my worth in the devastating beauty of the cross and nothing else.
This is why I share my story of suffering, so that I can finally after so many years of shame be free. With the truth comes freedom, and there are few things I believe in as strongly as that statement.
I also share my story because I believe in the power of sharing our struggles, that through sharing you can help others.
I am a little over a year free of self-harm. My mind is slowly healing from years of self-abuse and self-hate. I will admit, not all days are good days. There are days where those thoughts of unworthiness slip into my mind and try to tell me, “I am not enough.”
But that’s okay.
I know that I am good enough.
I know that I am called to live a life worthy of love.
I know who I am in Christ.
So, am I ready to show my scars of brokenness?
No, but are we ever really? I am not ready, but I need to do it in order to move forward into a life free of shame and guilt, and to live a life of transparency. I am done hiding under makeup, long sleeve shirts, and countless amounts of hair ties and jewelry.
I am ready to show that through Christ I have gone from a victim to a victor.
My name is Katherine. And that's my story.