Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!
Do you remember hearing this as a child? How many times did we recite these very words? Countless…. However, over the course of my life, I never realized how wrong that little tune was. As a child, I grew up in a very dysfunctional home. I am still living a nightmare with my bi-polar mother. She still takes no personal responsibility for anything. She continues in her world of blame and ridicule, and her words cut like a knife. It breaks my heart how she treats me, but also my 76 year old step-father. She stops talking to him, caring for him; her silence is deafening and further alienates. I see the light leave his eyes, he tells me his heart hurts. She doesn’t care what her words, her actions, her lack of words do to those around her – only trying to understand, accept and love her. My heart is broken. . I became the pawn between my mom and dad. That is not a very nice place to be. The only other emotion I feel is anger.
I just spent the last two hours crying my eyes out. My mother has been unbearable lately and I just don’t know how much more I can take. My life is just falling apart…I am on the edge, falling; the seams are frayed beyond repair…I don’t see even a flicker at the end…
I am so sick of being a punching bag. There are times, too many – too often, the words that come out of her mouth are appalling. I have been hurt too often and for far too long from my mother. There has always been a small voice deep inside of me that tells me, I need to run away. I know there comes a time in one’s life when you should realize you just can’t help them any longer. I know that time for me is near. I know I need a break, and although I already feel immense guilt, I will have to find the time and strength to cut her out of my life.
Sticks and stones may break my bones…but words can also hurt and haunt me. Sticks and stones break only skin, while words are ghosts that haunt me. Pain from words has left its scar on my mind as well as on my heart. Forever. I am so raw, so tender, even scared. Cuts and bruises heal, but words, words will haunt me…I will remember.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me,” could not be further from the truth. Each one of us has at one time or other been on the receiving end of hurtful words. Make no mistake about it – those painful words not only hurt, they also change us forever. While broken bones can heal in time, words filled with rage, bullying, belittling and scoffing never heal. Even with therapy, time and knowledge – hurtful words remain for a life-time.
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” Frank Outlaw.
I pray. I cry. I hope.