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