Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thank you very much….but I’ll take the sticks and stones.

Ah yes…the old saying…

* Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me. *

In Drazil’s head – that’s a load of bullshit. Lately I’ve been finding my power in words. I’ve been figuring out inner demons based on words I’ve heard or more importantly – words I haven’t heard.

I can go way way back….even as a kid on the playground. If some kid punched me and I got a bruise….today that bruise is gone. If that kid at the same time called me some nasty name or was making fun of me – you can bet your ass I remember every word and it can still sting if I let it. Those words shaped me. In the same way kind words held me back then….in the same way no words at all tainted me. Just some syllables and nouns all thrown together – made me who I am and who I am not.

I see this in blog land a lot. We all think we’re writing – for ourselves. And while we’re right – I don’t think any of us understand what one sentence we write can do for someone else. There are bloggers who comment or email me personally – and they change my life. Literally. In one comment or email. They can give me hope, laughter, a pat on the back, an emotion, or a question I neglected to ask myself. I don’t think it’s coincidence. I believe every word any of you have spoken that touched me was put there for me to hear….and that’s powerful.

Many of you reacted to my prodigal son story – saying you were also the “good” daughter…the rock…the one who never went wrong – and got the shaft because of it. God - what a spot for a parent to be in. The one sibling addicted to crack and alcohol who is constantly in trouble and needs to be bailed out – gets 99% of the attention….because let’s face it – they outright need it and half the time demand it. The parents help – as they think they should – leaving the good child in the dust….cuz they’re okay…they’re fine. They are the rock after all. The parents in essence reward bad behavior.

As the “good” kid I’ve often contemplated going down the bad road – just to see if they’d give a damn and give me some knowledge of my existence….how ironic and insane is that? The lesson I choose to take from this….well I pray with everything in me that some day if one of my two girls goes astray that I never ever forget the one who didn’t.

And I got another email this week from a blogger I’m very close to and a few of her sentences struck me at my core. So much that I have thought of her words every day. I question why I can’t let go of the pain in my childhood though it wasn’t sexual or physical abuse and I know many had it so much worse. I question the validity of my feelings about how angry I am still today. Then my blogger friend said this.

To know that emotion from your parents is dependent on not making them look bad in any way to the outside world- is nothing short of emotional abuse.

One sentence. One validation. One life-changing moment.

Just words? I think not.

There are words my husband says to me every day like Baby Doll and Punkin Love and those words can instantly change my day. There are words my kids pronounce wrong that I hope and pray they’ll never pronounce right so I can hear them forever. There are words my father won’t speak to me ever and it changes how I parent every day. There are conversations I’ve had with Jenny that have altered my life in an instant. There are comments you leave me here when I pour my heart out and if you think for one moment they are just words….you are mistaken.

So if I leave you with something today – it is this. Watch your words – speak them sincerely and carefully. And better yet – watch your non-words. Do you want to email someone and think better of it and then don’t? Do you want to say something but you are fearful so you don’t?

My advice today is - say it – write it – feel it….you could literally change a life……….you’ve already changed mine.  And to say I'm grateful....doesn't really even cover it.


Jen said...

Great post. I too was the good child (twin actually) and felt the wrath a lot!

But I know my Heavenly Father loves me for ME and with that I put all my hope and focus!

Thank you for the reminder that our words can hurt!


Nora said...

Ah yes - the good child - If only my parent's knew what a bad kid really could be... I absolutely agree about the absence of words, that can hurt so much too.

Very good post. Thank you!

Stephanie said...

From one "good child" to another, Your words do more for me than you can possibly know...I'm truly honored to have gotten the opportunity to know you! :)

Crystal said...

you are soooo right... words can change people's lives in a hurry... i still, to this day, remember my sister calling me the 'fat sister'... she didn't mean it to hurt my feelings - it was said when i lost a lot of weight - and she said it in a casual conversation in a frank tone... but now that i've gained a lot of weight back, i guess i'm back to being the 'fat sister'... and it bothers me... everytime i look at myself in the mirror i think of it... i've never been angry with her, but it kinda stings... but that being said, encouraging, positive, happy words also have the same affect... i tend to not have a filter on my own mouth, but i never mean to hurt anyone's feelings... it's just something we all have to be conscious of! excellent post!

Nella said...

Love it!
I remember the mean words like they were yesterday and hell, I will never forget them! Sucks cause I try and protect my kids maybe a little too much and I take the stress on. Craziness! Thanks for putting it out there!


carla said...

Amazing post. You are so right on with the sticks and stones and bruises heal but words last we have to try and remember not only the negative words that hurt but all the positive words and tell them to ourselves every day...

amandakiska said...

Great post!

Katie J said...

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

xoxo love you baby!

Heather said...

Wow that post really touched me today. I am too the good daughter. My brother is a piece of work! My mother still to this day has a daily comment about my weight. Thank you for making this post today, it helped my outlook!

Fiona said...

Loved your post today and was reading the comments wondering how many of us good children ended up the fat ones????? My sister is tiny, a UK size 6.
Also I remember a casual friend said years ago that I would never be thin and I still believe that today. It makes me so angry with myself!
Thanks for the post honey x

Dinnerland said...

Great post.
I am another 'good daughter'-- didn't really rebel until I was around 30 and met my husband and my parents saw their little princess going off into the sunset and growing up and didn't like it.
I love that your husband calls you Baby Doll and Pumkin.
Not me!!
My husband and I call each other all variations of "Tushy" or "Butt" as little nicknames. I cannot recall for the life of me why we started doing it, but the nicknames include: "Tushymonger," "Buttcake,"and just plain "Butt."
Ha ha.

Angela Pea said...

*sigh* You so Totally rock.

Thanks for this amazingly insightful, side-splittingly funny blog, for sharing it with us, and for the confirmation you and your other followers provide.

Seriously. Totally Rock.

tessierose said...

Great post today. I was the bad sister, I got it all wrong and my poor sister and my poor brothers were the ones always welcoming me back in. I'm glad that they didn't give up on me. @Fiona, even though I'm the bad sister....I'm also the fat one.
When I'm feeling sad sometimes, the recording hurtful words in my head is on a loop and I can't shut it out. Very powerful!

Kristin said...

Great post. It's wonderful to find people who care about each other without ever having met in person.

Colls said...

Great post, it really is amazing the people that we have met (but not really)! <3

Kim said...

You are awesome and your words have helped, changed me so often!

JourneyBeyondSurvival said...

You are one good friend. you are!

Ms. Chunky Chick said...

So true!

Bonnie said...

I'm at a loss for words. Great post and so true.

Carmen said...

awesome post.... xoxo

-Grace- said...

Amazing post.

Love you, Draz!

DB said...

A truly insightful post - thank you from one "good daughter" to another.