Sunday, December 05, 2010

Talk Thursday: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can stab much deeper

People use the words they mean, whether they realize it or not. As people we individually place levels of meaning to words that mean the same thing – read as “Cele can say four words that mean the same thing, through word usage is the seriousness of the matter is truly implied.” It’s a me thing to a point, I guess. People strike out with words.

My mother sincerely believed (until the other night at dinner) that I had once screamed the words at her, “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!” Not. I screamed those words at my father, whom in front of visiting extended family (rather loudly in bold font) announced he believed I would be pregnant by the Mexican boy next door with in six months. This happened because I asked if we could go on a neighborhood picnic. He said that, I screamed that, but not at my mother. My grandmother upon hearing this explanation of the facts looked at my mother and asked why he would do that? He did it because he believed I liked the boy next door (not, Benny and I were no more than neighborhood friends) and he judged me based on his actions as a teenager.

I adored my father; he was one of my heroes, my mentors, my friends. I miss him dearly to this day and know that there are things he said in my life that were said out of frustration and based on his experience but overlaid on what he thought was happening in mine. We were father and daughter, we were friends, and even though he is now passed close to three years he visits me, wants the best for me, and loves me. His words may have cut at the moment, but they helped me evolve into me.

My first husband has a drinking problem, but long ago it was a drug and drinking problem. We spent many a party with him passed out in someone’s back room, under the keg at a function (this was lovely when he was in the service), or just AWOL because a beer was more important than family. He’s not my favorite person, but we get along. He never used words that cut, he used his fist. I left

My second husband used words. Words that cut me more than anything my first husband ever did. He told me in succession
1) you have no sense of humor
2) you are the most negative person I know
3) you don’t have your own personality
4) and probably the worst, “I have never loved you, I just wanted the family you offered.”
Number four destroyed me, how do you live with someone for eleven years, tell them you love them and then turn around and say you never did. I’m sorry, let me reiterate that, NEVER LOVED YOU, because regardless of how somberly spoken, how quietly uttered they scream while renting through my heart and soul.

I gave the best eighteen years of my life to these two men and they trod with cork boots on them. I survived the fist, the choking, the beating my head in to a cement floor… and rather admirably I might say, but the words hurt me to this day. I am an imitation of others – hey wait a friggin’ minute we are all an amalgamation of others we meet through out our lives, the lessons we learn, the slang we hear, the books we read, the movies we watch, and the songs we sing. It may be personal preference that leads us to steal “dude” as a favorite slang word, Folk Rock as a favorite type of music, or Jane Austin as a favorite author, but it is the people we met through life that we take the little nuances from.

I choose my words carefully as to not unintentionally hurt someone. I do not fling words out in anger. You can’t take back words said in a heated moment no matter how hard you try – so I refuse to utter them. I am not a saint; I’m a normal everyday person who has through a life of personal osmosis become who I am.

Through effort I removed most of the negativity in my personality and strive to be a positive. While I have my loud moments and voice I tend to have a quiet personality. Sense of humor I’m not so sure about. But what I do have is a large vocabulary and usually know how to use it. I don’t use it to hurt.



Jen said...

Nicely done!! I'm sure I told my mother many times that I hated her, and meant it quite sincerely several of those times. She still exasperates me beyond all reason but of course I don't hate her. So what do I say now? Be good to think of something while she's still alive, don't you think? I guess I could be honest, but "I don't hate you but you exasperate me beyond all reason" is not much of an improvement, really.

Cele said...

Jen I have though over you comments often over the past week or so. I think we all say things we really can't take back, but don't mean now, or regret having uttered. The important thing is we still have time to say things that are better, to give the words that are so longed to be heard. "Mom, I may not always see eye to eye with you, you may even exasperate me (I imagine I do the same to you), but I love you more than I can ever say. You set my feet on the path I am on, you gave me the best part of yourself, and I am forever humbled by your gifts. Thank you."

I'm a bit wordy aren't I?