The rhyme goes like this…
Sticks and stones may break my bones,
but names will never hurt me.
We teach it to our children to help them learn to shake off insults and unkind remarks that they will undoubtedly experience, especially in grade school.
I am recently divorced as of the beginning of this blog. I left my husband two years ago and didn’t tell him I was leaving. I packed my bags quickly and quietly in the morning; he thought I was leaving to go to church. I disappeared. A couple of days later I called my two teenaged sons to let them know I was okay. I did not tell them where I was. I did not use my atm card or write checks. I was afraid of my husband. We had been married for 22 years. It took me another year to finally file for divorce. Although there was a lot of joy during those years and I am forever madly in love with my two sons, I grieve that the dynamics of our marriage have all but destroyed the person that I once was.
In a day and age where we as a culture are becoming more and more aware of domestic violence and physical abuse, we need to understand the devastating impact of emotional and verbal abuse on those who are in long-term relationships with controlling and destructive people.
So what about that rhyme? What about names? What about unkind words? Do they hurt us? Some people will tell you they only hurt if you allow them the power to hurt you. Or do words hold a power of their own?