Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'm Rubber, You're Glue....

Remember these sayings from childhood: "I'm rubber. You're glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you" and "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?"  The meaning seems pretty simple, "Say what you want about me. Your words can't hurt me."  If only reality were so simple.

In real life a broken bone heals.  A bruise fades.  But words - they stick.  They creep up on us when we are the most vulnerable. When we are at our lowest point.  When we feel like nothing we do has meaning.  When we are being haunted by the mistakes of our past. 

Lately, the words someone said to yelled at me over a year ago have been bothering me.  Causing me to think that maybe he was right.  Even though I KNOW he wasn't.  This person called me a "Worthless Waste of Flesh", accused me of ruining my son, and of having done nothing of value in my life.  I know he was wrong.  I know I have not ruined my son.  Far from it.  But the rest, well, the rest causes me to doubt myself. Especially when I feel like I am blowing in the wind with little or no direction.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about Accepting Myself. I read this post again tonight and should print it out and stick it on my bedroom mirror.  I said it wouldn't be easy, and I suppose trying to get over the words some idiot said is part of it.  Trying not to allow the words anyone says affect me is part of it.

Maybe these childhood sayings  have more to do with not ALLOWING words to hurt us than actually meaning they can't.


just call me jo said...

I always SAY what other people think isn't going to bother me, and almost every time it completely destroys me and makes me question the worth of my existence.
I used to teach school and it really hurt when kids didn't like me even though I tried to say it didn't. (At least I never let THEM see me cry.) I want people to like me and value me.
Who ever yelled that at you was obviously a vindictive idiot, but I know it still hurts. Nasty words imbed themselves in our psyche and lie there waiting to spring just when we start to feel a little good about ourselves. I think that's why I self-depricate so much. I figure I will say bad stuff about myself before some one else has a chance to.
You certainly seem like a capable and stable person with a good heart and sound mind. I have no idea how you can keep that thought upper most in your mind. When I figure it out I'll let you know.
In the mean time, just try your best to know that what others say is not reality and shouldn't control us. Find a mantra and repeat it over and over and over! And over!

Megan Rees said...

WHY WHY WHY have I not been checking your blog until now??? I have a feeling it's gonna be a favorite of mine. I know how you feel. I got a parent email two years ago telling me i'm the worst teacher ever. It doesn't matter that she later apologized--the words will never be forgotten. The fear of whether some of it was really true tortures me. Words DO hurt. I can't believe ANYONE would say such a horrible thing to you! Who DOES that? I'm so sorry you had to go through that!

Pam said...

Words do hurt. This person sounds like he was mad and wanted to hurt you. Of course the words are not true, but sometimes they cause us to doubt ourself.
Once I had someone tell me I wasn't a good mother (when my daughter was 10 months old.) I spent a long time doubting myself. But, ha! I may not be perfect, but I do the best I can for my kids. It's funny to see now that the person who accused me of that now thinks I am a good parent.

Amy said...

Thanks for the comments. It is nice to know I am not the only person who struggle to forget the mean stuff.

Megan - I have no idea where you have been but I have been watching you. :)