Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stones will break my bones But words will never harm me.

From Wikipedia:

“Sticks and Stones” is an English language children’s rhyme. It persuades the child victim of name-calling to ignore the taunt, to refrain from physical retaliation, and to remain calm and good-natured.

Sensible advice that, to remain calm and good-natured.

I have no problem with remaining calm.

But the truth is – as any person who’s ever been bullied can tell you, words can and do harm you.

Words can and do hurt you.

Words can and do cause you great pain.

Words can even lead you to suicide.

Mocking you, talking about you to a cat, as if you weren’t there, as if you were not perfectly able to hear all the name-calling and awful remarks.

Don’t tell me that doesn’t break the bones of your soul.

Try sitting there while you are repeatedly being called a fucking bitch and then tell me it doesn’t undermine your mental health.

And then last evening came the  coup de grâce:

I hope she goes back to Colombia

Oh yes, they did go there.

I. hope. she. goes. back. to. Colombia.

I can’t even begin to tell you how that felt.

All this from two very white senior citizens.

When people hear about the ongoing abuse, they are astonished to find about that little detail. Most people tell me they had pictured “young punks” whatever that means but never imagined it was coming from two older adults. I can hardly believe it myself.

Here’s another tidbit on Bullying/Verbal Abuse (emphasis is mine):

After exposure to verbal abuse, victims may develop clinical depression and/or post-traumatic stress disorder. The person targeted by verbal abuse over time may succumb to any stress related illness. Verbal abuse creates emotional pain and mental anguish in its target.

Despite being the most common form of abuse, verbal abuse is generally not taken as seriously as other types because there is no visible proof, and the abuser may have a “perfect” personality around others. In reality, however, verbal abuse can be more detrimental to a person’s health than physical abuse.

well, we already know I did end up in the mental health unit if the Windsor hospital with a diagnosis of Major depression prompted by last week’s round of verbal abuse.

We already know how I am developing a whole new branch of PTSD in response to the bullying. As if having just one weren’t enough.

Oh, well.

I will get back on my feet, of course.

I will dust my knees and go on with my life.

I will laugh again, feel joy again at some point.

What else can I do?

I’ve known for a long time my journey was not to be an easy one.

SSG's Compass

Where to now?

Recommended Readings

13 thoughts on “Sticks and Stones

  1. Ruby Tuesday says:

    I hate that you’re being put through this, Claudia, but I love your strength. I’m not at all surprised these individuals are old rather than young. Kids get a bad rap, and sometimes it’s deserved. But it’s pretty much the rule that the older people get, the more set in their ways they become. Which means they’re more apt to be ignorant and bigoted — that is if they started out with these ugly traits and never learned better.

    I’m sending you so much love. I wish I could do more, I wish I could fix it, but all I can do is send love to try to help counter their ugly hate.

  2. Rose says:

    Ugh… when I was being severely bullied in middle school, I was certain people outgrew acting like that at some point. Wrong! Double-ugh! I do not know your exact situation, but can say it is always painful. I know, in experiences with mental abuse through my life, I have always wished the other person would just throw a punch and get it over with…I have been hit repeatedly and sad to say, I actually fond that easier.

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