Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sticks and stones

May break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

We've all heard that 'nursery' rhyme, we've all had it quoted to us at least once in our lifetime when a playground bully has let loose his tongue lashing and we've had our feelings hurt and gone to a grown up for comfort.

Have you ever sat back and thought about those words and come to realise what total nonsense that is ?

Words do hurt, sometimes hurtful words stay with us a lot longer than the bumps and bruises that would have been caused by those sticks and stones.

As a child I grew up in a household w/ a verbally abusive Grandmother, time after time she would tell me to shut up because nobody wanted to hear what I had to say, my parents never came to my defense and so I thought she was right, nobody was telling me any different, so as a child I became painfully shy, as a teen I was more reserved, as an adult even when I have strong feelings about something I am often very wary as to who I say those things around for fear of dealing with their verbal onslaught, as I get older it is getting easier but I still hear that voice in my head telling me that nobody wants to hear what I have to say.

I was told that I was unworthy of love,that I was Devils spawn, my parents never told me they loved me as a child, I was 23 when I heard those words come from my mother's mouth, by then I'd already moved 3,000 miles away from my family, what I would have given to have heard those words come from her face to face and not down the telephone line.
My father died almost 5 years ago, never did I hear those words uttered from his mouth, I would tell him "Dad I love you" In response I'd get "Uh huh" Deep down I know he loved me. After the 9/11 attacks all phonelines in the U.S were tied up for days, my father in the UK spent 3 days trying to contact me, on the 4th day when he finally did, he broke down with relief at the sound of my voice, that's when I knew he loved me, but up until then I'd always wondered.

Words can be used to make a person feel loved and respected, they can also tear a person down and rip them of any self love and respect that they may have.

Verbal abuse can be every bit as hurtful, sometimes moreso than physical abuse.
Words used to hurt another person in any way shape or form is a form of violence. Often verbal abuse can be a precursor to physical abuse, my Grandmother started off with words and then went to using me as target practice with her walking cane, I would walk by and she would either trip me with it or come up behind me and hit me in the back with it, once coming up behind me at the top of the stairs and hitting me so hard that I fell down the stairs hitting my back. I now have disc damage because of that.
If you are in a relationship where you are constantly being put down, and hurt by somebody elses words please seek help and try to find a way out.
You are worthy of love and respect and totally non deserving of somebody elses abusive verbage despite what they may be telling you... It's NOT your fault.

There are crisis lines out there equipped w/ counsellors who can give you the help you need to break away from it, one of which is Life Crisis Center, they have a 24 hr Hotline, 1-800-422-0009
If you or a loved one is going through any form of abuse be it verbal or physical please make that call today and change your life around. You are worthy of so much more.


Lisa said...

Wow, Penny... this is a great post. It actually brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this and giving a glimpse of a little window into your world as you give strength to others. I have known you a long time and don't think I have heard about this part of your life. It actually helps me understand you a little better.

Luvkids334 said...

It's not something I tend to dwell on Lisa, it's what made me who I am today, can't change the past.

You mean you didn't understand me before ? LOL

A Twinkling In Time said...

The way I was taught that rhyme is, sticks and stones may break my bones but unkind words may break my heart. For me I've always found the words harder to heal from than the sticks and stones.

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