Sticks and Stones, or, Words Do Hurt

All my life, I have despised the common saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I have always revised the second clause to “but words may break my spirit.”  While I try not to let what people say hurt me, I am not always completely successful.  I often work my way through the hurt, but that is not the same.

Tia Bach wrote this thoughtful post about how people will say anything.  She mentioned several hurtful things said about her eldest daughter; it made me so angry to read her post.  I know how sensitive preteen girls can be. When I turned 13, I transformed from a skinny, petite little girl to a “plump” teenager.  Suddenly, I was no longer being called a cute little thing, but “large-boned,” which I am not, or just “large.” I did not deal well with these comments, tumbling into anorexia nervosa.  

Being painfully thin only changed the comments, so that now I was “gawky,” or”skeletal,” but not the hurt. I often joke now about being many pounds overweight, saying I recovered too well from anorexia, but in all honesty, I have not recovered.  I am still far too susceptible to what is said about me. 

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