What my therapist asked of me - to express having been hurt by my parents when I insisted I wasn't, I couldn't have been, they never had the power to hurt my feelings for as long as I can remember - made me rethink my metaphor.
Intellectually, I'm now aware a child cannot put on an armor against her parents, preventing hurt. What we as children could have done was, at best, to start sedating ourselves, numbing all feelings, never experiencing any hurt at all.
BUT WE WERE STILL BEING HURT AND WE ARE STILL HURT.
An armor would have prevented injuries. The painkillers leave us unfeeling, but still mangled and bleeding, unaware of these still very acute problems.
This is still a merely intellectual insight.
I'm afraid to feel it because I'm impervious to my parents and what they did and do and said and say.
It is perhaps not a well-known fact that soldiers in wars often go into fighting drunk or on drugs. They have to feel like they can't really feel hurt even if they actually get hurt, or they won't be as brave. It's fake, but it's a necessary survival mechanism. The other option is becoming a deserter, I guess. And I don't want to be a deserter. I want to fight.
I need to keep finding better metaphors. Ones that might actually help me get healthy.