I remember seeing the movie “Split” after I had been diagnosed with PTSD. I sat in the movie theatre and cried at the ending because it was profoundly moving. People who “suffer” with mental illness often feel trapped in their shells. They can be extremely lonely and often feel ostracized from what is deemed normal.
The reason why that movie was so profound at that specific time in my life was because I had cracked under the pressure of this life. My perfect porcelain exterior had cracked wide open for everyone to see and feel they had a right to have an opinion. Most of the time, the opinion was condescending in tone no matter how tactful the approach. When you are diagnosed with a label many people feel it’s a excuse for their poor behavior and often times will dismiss their behavior behind Your diagnoses.
They will say things like, “wow,I know you can’t possibly understand this because xyz” or “well I think because of Your diagnoses you are feeling xyz” which isn’t the truth. It very well may be true however in that moment it only isolates the person more. The ending of “Split” is so powerful because it basically forces the viewer to look deep within themselves and face their own hypocrisy. Often times we avoid pain however anyone that has embarked on the journey of self discovery knows pain is an essential ingredient used to refine the soul.
In the movie “Split,” the remaining survivor is trapped in a cage, trying desperately to protect herself from anymore hurt from an the killer. The killer is pulling on the cage to get to her, and to cause harm when he sees her scars. Her scars are the only thing that save her from the same fate the others endured. The killer says to her, “the broken are the more evolved.” This is a very pivotal line and at that point I was a puddle of tears in my seat. That moment was so freeing! My whole life I had worn this mask to prove that I was not different because who wants to be different. Being different in any way causes immense pain and being diagnosed and labeled as broken or what I perceived at that time as broken was recasting to say the least. The killer’s next word brought about hope. He told her to REJOICE…
My friend was speechless but also in tears and when I looked over at my friend and my friend looked at me, we had our first real moment of true friendship. A moment that only two people who had been keeping the same secret know. We sat there crying and holding each other and this quickly turned into laughter as the other movie-goers were sitting there having their own experience. My friend told me they had been diagnosed with mild schizophrenia and were taking Prozac as a way to deal with the very dark things that had happened to them. I told my friend “you are beautiful,loved and blessed. We both screamed,”Rejoice we are broken” to which I added “but we have yet to break!” Living with PTSD at times can be challenging but I wouldn’t change it for anything because it has given me a unique lens to see the world through, to see how many do not deal with their own mental issues yet are so willing to point the finger at those of us who are out in the open and dealing with it the best way we know how.
It has given me a deep sense of compassion for others and a need to connect at deeper levels with people. I am not ashamed of my brokenness or my scars, they are the very things that make me beautiful because I survived. Now the healing waters can come just like they did for the girl who was the lone survivor in “Split.”