words that hurt worse than sticks and stones [82]

Have you ever said things you didn’t mean? I have. And sometimes I say things that I want so badly to say and then immediately regret them. zingers I think they’re called. You know, when someone is hurting your feelings and instead of simply walking away like all of our parents have taught us to do we snap back. guilty.

Have you ever been in an argument with someone you love, and you want so badly to just prove your point. You need so badly to just be right. And then you make the mistake of saying something true but wrong. You call them out for something you know they are self-conscious about. You bring up something they’ve done or said that you know they regret. You hit them below the belt. why do we do this?

Then I meet people who are just genuinely kind all of the time. And it gets me wondering how they do it. Am I just genetically made up to be mean sometimes? Is it in my blood to just lose my temper occasionally? I don’t remember always being this way, but I notice it a lot recently. and i hate it.
So mean what you say and say what you mean. But think before you speak. You have heard these sayings hundreds of times starting in elementary school. But sometimes they get lost on people. Especially these days when sarcasm has grown so popular in an attempt to make people laugh. You may be making other people laugh, but who are you hurting at the expense of this laughter?
It is in our nature to remember the things people said to hurt us.
****************************************************************************************

I was twelve. It was eleven years ago. I walked into my third period healthful living class. We were in the health portion this week, so we were in the grimy classroom in the back of the seventh grade building. It smelled like mold and body odor. I was in a good mood, anyway. I wasn’t popular. I wasn’t the “pretty” girl. I wasn’t part of the cool click in that class, but I was friendly. And that was enough. People were just as nice to me as they were mean. I was as often the recipient of a sweet smile and friendly wave as I was of a rude comment or harsh prank. I was in middle school; I expected nothing less.
I did a pretty good job of letting the hurtful things people would say about me either behind my back or to my face roll off my back. As good of a job as a twelve year old who was self-conscious could do. I didn’t hold grudges. I always forgave. I always looked for the good in people even if there was no evidence of goodness. But I was not immune.
I took my seat beside a girl who hated me for unknown reasons. She was always just so mean. Looking back, I wonder what was going on behind the scenes in her life to make her that way. Looking back, I actually feel bad for her rather than feeling bad for myself.
I pulled my binder from my book bag and turned to a clean sheet of looseleaf paper. I started writing my header on the paper when I felt her staring at me. Please just leave me alone today. Please, just this once.

“You know what? You have a witch’s nose.”
what?
“Your nose. It looks just like a witch’s nose. It slopes down so far and it’s all pointy.”
oh.
“Yeah. You are just such a funny looking kid. Asian eyes with a witch’s nose. Never seen anyone like you before. Hope I never do again.”
ouch. I felt the tears stinging my asian eyes, and I took a deep breath. Don’t you dare cry. If you cry, she wins.

Well, it’s eleven years later. I haven’t seen that girl since the day I graduated eighth grade. And I still remember that conversation perfectly. I can replay it in my mind like a record. I’m not sure you ever forget things like that.
sticks and stones, ha. yeah right.

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About JoElizabeth

I am a writer who loves to explore all different types of relationships. I am most happy when surrounded by my loved ones and furry children. I've never met a stranger, and I talk way too much. My favorite things to do are eat {preferably at a restaurant} with good friends, write, watch DVDs of TV series {especially FRIENDS}, drink lots of coffee and learn.
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2 Responses to words that hurt worse than sticks and stones [82]

  1. Corley May says:

    I've been struggling with my inner meanie a LOT lately. In my case, it's not that I snap at people, I'm just hyper-critical and snarky about the people I know. I've been really working on it, though — my mantra has become "Who am I to judge? I do things my way. You do things your way." And if I have to unload, I do it in my journal so that I don't have someone to bounce off of and feed the fire. It's tough, though, for sure.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I'm afraid I'm not the writer you are Joey (^_^) I can't produce wonderful prose that will make you feel like you were right there, but I can relate to your experience I think. When I was 12, a girl named Holly verbally destroyed me for more than five minutes after school in front of every friend I had in the world at the time. "Hey! You! The big ears, big nose, loser! What makes you think I would ever want to have anything to do with you? Just looking at you grosses me out. If you were the last guy on earth I'd kill myself…" She didn't miss anything. My clothes, my appearance, my hair, my everything. It was a _really_ long five minutes. It seems I had made the grave error of telling one of my friends that I 'liked' her, and she found out. It took years for me to get over it. I really took the things she said to me to heart. So, I think I sorta understand. If it makes you feel any better, I can tell you, it's not you… it's her. You're awesome Joey (^_^) — Ramsey

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