A trauma healing piece, please read alone, read together He…
By Gerri Malinowski
Have you ever heard the expression; “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me”? It is so not true. Words are often more powerful than physical violence. Physical injuries eventually heal. Words, however, can do damage that stays with us forever.
Words are not easily forgotten. They can pop into our minds sometimes, even when we thought they were gone forever. They seem to come to the surface when we least expect them to. Even when we think they have been anchored heavily or tired down tightly, they tend to float to the surface and burst in our faces.
I have said some things to people I love, in a moment of anger, that I wish I could take back. Unfortunately, that is impossible. Once our words leave our lips, they are gone. We can never take them back. Even more permanent, are the words we write. They are out there forever, for all to see. If these words are unkind, they can come back to haunt us over and over again.
I have been the victim of cruelty, both physical and verbal, by persons who by all definition, should have been bound by love to treat me more kindly. I can honestly say that the physical injuries have long since healed. I can no longer remember the pain, and no scars remain. I have never been physically abusive to anyone or anything.
The scars left by the words of others have lingered though. I hoped this legacy would not become apparent in me. Until recently, with the exception of the occasional slip, I have escaped the scarring that would cause me to use my words to seriously, with intent, hurt another.
It is with deep sorrow that I think back on the comments I made, that would bring someone I love to use words to lash out at me. Now, there are no words that can take back those I used. There is no escape from the hurt I inflicted.
No matter my past. No matter any hurt I have endured. There is no excuse for my behavior. There comes a time when one must take responsibility for ones actions. Throw off the chains that bind us to the past, and allow ourselves to live now, in order to have a future. A future where love is spoken, in word and in deed. A future where our loved ones feel safe and cherished. Where we build up others with our words, instead of tear them down, as we have been.
Irregardless of the circumstances in my life thus far, I have been truly blessed. Even with my many character flaws, I have friends and family who love me unconditionally. I hope to live up to that love and trust.
It is my prayer that the Lord will help me do this. That I can learn to control my tongue. That I will remember to speak with love, and kindness to all I come in contact with. That I will show love with my actions, and my words. That those I cherish most, will always know I love them, because of my words and my actions.