One of the biggest lies we tell our children is the old adage: “Sticks & stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” We have told our children this with good intentions. Sincerely hoping they understand that the words are fleeting & don’t mean anything. Which is true – the words themselves dissolve in the air as soon as they are released. But it’s not that simple. I have gone through so many things in my life. And to be brutally honest, I would much rather take a bone-crushing beating than have heard some of the things I have been told in my lifetime. Words can bring so much happiness & joy, but they can also bring devastation, heartache & tears that won’t cease until the wounds have healed over & the scars are all that remain.
After losing two babies in less than six months, my heart and soul was broken. My brain was not where it needed to be either. In times like this, you need the people closest to you to be completely supportive – even if they think you are crazy or it’s hopeless. You desperately NEED them to just be as understanding and supportive as possible. But some people just aren’t like that. Instead of saying simply, “I’ll be praying for you,” they try to be logical & tell you “maybe it’s just not meant to be”, “you should give up” or “if you could just move on.” Which makes complete sense from the outside of the situation. But I wasn’t on the outside. I was locked in – trapped – on the inside of the insanity brought about by devastating loss. I could not hear the helpful intentions in those words. All I heard was someone reiterating the mantra I kept hearing in my head. Only they were saying it out loud – for all to hear: “You’re broken. Why are you bothering? Just give up. You’ll never be able to give Al a baby now that he wants one. Remember – you’re broken!”
Then you have the honest people who finally tell you what they’ve thought all along. The ones that do not realize that what they just said was not just a kick in the teeth – it was a literal stab in the heart. In the heat of an unnecessary argument, I was told by someone I dearly love (not my husband so don’t misunderstand!) that they never wanted me to have Abi to begin with. Now whether they meant what they said in the heat of the moment or not, does not matter. What was said left an undeniable scar on my heart that will never go away. I was not mad; I was not angry. I was crushed; I was devastated. And all I can remember was the sinking feeling wash over me that in my brokenness, I truly was all alone. Al came to my rescue because that is who he is. And because his first reaction is to lash out in anger whereas, mine is to walk away. I don’t know that I could have survived any of this without my super hero husband. He has rescued me so many times over the last three years. And probably all without ever knowing he was rescuing me!
I have done a lot of praying since then. I have apologized to many people because my reaction to things said was not always in keeping with their intentions. I know they will never be able to understand where my words came from unless they were placed in that situation & had to survive. I would NEVER wish that on anyone – ever. I just hope they know that I am truly sorry. While my brokenness remains, the heartache & hurt that was such a huge factor in my reactions before has eased. I only write this blog to help others understand that sometimes those “innocent comments” are not always so innocent to the person hearing them. And those words that were not necessarily intended to be hurtful, can be quite devastating. Don’t walk on eggshells, but try walking in their shoes for a moment just to see if your words could be taken some other way. “Be careful what you say. You can say something hurtful in ten seconds, but ten years later, the wounds are still there.” – Joel Osteen.
The tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do.
“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” – James 3:5 (KJV)
Til next time, take care & God bless . . .