I know so many people who are constantly being hurt by other people and its something that has been weighing heavy on my thoughts because these people are absolutely incredible and I want them to know and believe that. I grew up being told I wasn’t good enough by the people who’s opinion of me mattered the most and struggled for the longest time with believing I deserved more than that. When bad things happened in my life and to me, I always just believed that I deserved it because I wasn’t worth anything more. So you may be sitting there wondering why I didn’t just ignore what was said to me and why I believed it, maybe you think I’m stupid. Grow up in a home where you are told by the people you look up to the most, starting at a young age, that you need to be better because you’re worthless and you start to believe it whether you really want to or not. So when someone comes along and tells you the opposite, you truly believe they don’t mean what they are saying. How could someone possibly think I’m smart, beautiful, amazing, fun, talented? Suddenly that person is marked off in your book as being someone you can trust because there is no way they could possibly mean what they say. It’s all a lie.
We all know a paper cut on the surface hurts and stings worse than any deep gash. In the same way, words can and do hurt worse than any other source of pain.
Words hurt. Bruises fade, scratches and cuts heal, bones recover, and the physical pain fades but the heart doesn’t heal that way. Grow up in a home with endless hours of being put down and being told that you aren’t good enough and everything that is wrong with you as if there is anything right. Right?
I am a writer but I am not naïve in my writing. I understand the power of words, even a word that stands alone. If you were to walk by two people talking and heard the word ‘holocaust’ and nothing else, it wouldn’t really matter what other words were attached in that sentence. At that moment, anything you have been taught about the horrible events of the Holocaust would come flooding in, not necessarily in pictures or memories, but maybe in emotions. Sadness, sympathy, anger, disgust, and maybe the inability to believe we could live in such a harsh world would surface even if for just a moment.
A single word can cause a tremendous amount of pain for one person but a feeling of love and warmth for another. You hear the words ‘mom’ or ‘dad’ and one of many feelings may arise. Most people would smile and be reminded of all the great times they had with their parents, fun vacations, long talks, helpful advice and a feeling of love. Then there are those who would be reminded of pain, abandonment, bruises, maybe hate and the bucket full of tears they kept hidden beneath their bed so no one could say they weren’t strong.
“I’m not the only kid
who grew up this way
surrounded by people who used to say
that rhyme about sticks and stones
as if broken bones
hurt more than the names we got called
and we got called them all
so we grew up believing no one
would ever fall in love with us
that we’d be lonely forever
that we’d never meet someone
to make us feel like the sun
was something they built for us
in their tool shed
so broken heart strings bled the blues
as we tried to empty ourselves
so we would feel nothing
don’t tell me that hurts less than a broken bone
that an ingrown life
is something surgeons can cut away
that there’s no way for it to metastasize
– Shane Koyczan
Children are abused verbally in school and at home so they shut themselves off from the world, some choose to end their suffering by letting death stake it’s claim, others push toward solitude and can become aggressive right back. Those who become aggressive finish out school throwing the punches in any way they know how because putting someone else down makes them feel a little bit better about themselves. One day they start a family and as long as they’re happy, things are fine but as soon as one nerve is pinched the rage turns to their spouse, maybe even a child. The kid who grows up in that home with harsh words and thrown fists spends their life angry and so many turn into the person they never wished.
Now what about that kid in the corner or the quiet one at work? Surely they are fine sitting by themselves. Does it matter that no one includes them because of how they talk, their smell, weight, or an illness they’ve had since being a child? If that’s what you believe, here is a surprise; the absence of words can do all the same things, bring serious pain and lead to a constant cry. It’s amazing to think that silence can be like constant stabs at a heart, someone’s self-confidence, and how they think the rest of their lives.
If you think about it for just a moment you’ll soon realize, sometimes it’s the absence of something that leaves the biggest imprint. Do any of us like to feel unwanted, rejected and pushed aside?
I’ve found in my life that God is the healer of hearts. For every put down he supplies an eternal put up, a love so endless. He places people in our lives to build us up and gives us a shoulder to cry on no matter what. Without Him, my heart would be nothing more than the aftermath of a long war but
His hand is always reached out to embrace each of us for everything we are, no matter what others may say. Just like the rising and setting sun, your beauty is endless for He is our creator and comforter.
Zephaniah 3:17 – “The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”