Yes, I am calling Bull#! on the phrase "What doesn´t kill you makes you stronger". Suicide rates simply don´t escalate by chance. It is because trials and tribulations become so unbearable, that people choose to give up. "Abuse, whether physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual, can have long-term effects on your mental health. Trauma can affect how you feel about yourself and how you relate to others. Women who have gone through abuse or other trauma have a higher risk of developing a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)." (Women´s Health.gov). In other words, permenent damage is highly possible when dealing with certain tribulations. Just because we made it out to the other side doesn´t mean we are unscathed. We may not see the damage right away, lasting effects can go undetected for years. If we dissect the phrase, it is actually setting us up for failure.
To say "What doesn´t kill us make us stronger" is basically telling us to suck-it-up. Just feel the pain, and deal with it. But we are not created to deal with pain. Pain is not a rite of passage to prove how strong we are. It is not a measuring tape that judges the content of our character. On the contrary, it is a signal that something is wrong. Something needs to change.
Let´s look at how our bodies are set up. Our body tries to eliminate things that do not belong by vomiting, running a temperature, and other various things. It doesn´t hold onto to poison, because it is good for our health. But it gets rid of what is toxic, and hold onto to what´s good for us.
Tribulations that dont kill us will surely test us. But it doesn´t make us stronger. We can absolutely learn from it, in turn, that makes us a wiser better person.
Surely, we all know people who have experienced similar trials as we have, but did not fare so well. They did not "become stronger". What was the difference? The difference is YOU. Because of the person YOU are is the reason you were able to come out on top. You chose a different road than others. YOUR choices made the difference. It is vital to recognize YOUR strength, and not give credit to "what didn´t kill you."
Some people say "because I went through this..I am a better woman." Or "because I made it thru that..I am a smarter person.." But there are plenty of people who didnt have to suffer in order to have great qualities. I believe that I am a kind hearted person. But i do not believe that I needed my childhood stolen from me to become one.
I take ALL the credit for the person that I am today, IN SPITE of what I endured...not BECAUSE of what I endured. And I give mad props to those who have done the same.
And finally, please be cautious about teaching young girls that pain makes them stronger. It sets them up to become an "emotional hospital for toxic people". It teaches her deal with abuse, endure mistreatment, and ignore the obvious signals that something needs to change. Instead, teach her to listen to her body, her gut feelings when she feels something isnt right. Surviving what doesn´t kill you, only means you survived. But at what cost?