When It Comes to My Emotions and Words…

I think about Stuff a lot – sometimes too much…One of the things that has been popping up unbidden in my head was one particular Saturday when I went to the grocery store.
At that point in time, both of my kids were small and I treasured my Time Alone in The Store. So there I was, strolling through the store, not being nagged by a child for their cookie or toy, when I came upon a mother and her four small children. One or more were in the cart and the one I remember the best – a thin little girl of about eight – was walking next to the cart. I thought to myself that she looked so very sad…so maybe I could help perk her up a bit. I said to the girl, “You must be such a big help to your mom!” The mother’s response seared my brain forever. It was just two little words. Three whole syllables. One wouldn’t think that those two words could hurt so much…The mother looked at her daughter with thinly veiled contempt and said, “Not really.” That was the extent of the conversation…and I have been sad for that poor girl ever since.
What I wanted to do was to rip the mother’s head off and shove it so far up her…you get the idea. I wanted to scream at her and ask her how she could be so unbelievably cruel. All of these things went racing through my head as I stood there, dumbfounded, as the mother walked away with those four children. I think of them often and I wonder how many of them wound up either pregnant or impregnating someone too young…and how many of them wound up being as cruel as their mother, or how many of them eventually wound up in jail because for their whole lives they were probably told how worthless their mother thought they were.
Bottom line…words hurt. They hurt a lot. Really, really, really a LOT. After that (well, before it, to be honest…but DEFINITELY after it!) I was always careful to say something positive to my kids and to the children of other moms…because words can hurt.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post, hosted by the ever-amazing Kristi Rieger Campbell of Finding Ninee.

8 thoughts on “When It Comes to My Emotions and Words…

  1. OMG that mom!!! Isn't it amazing how an interaction like this stays with us for so long. Gah I hope that girl got out and that maybe the mom was having a bad day but still SO SO SO MEAN!!! People's words and cruelty gut me. I can't believe what some people say… 😦

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  2. I had a fair few experiences like this with my own mother (long story and would make a book rather than a blog lol). I grew up feeling inadequate, useless, unloved by her and that I would never be good enough (I will add I had, and still have, an amazing dad). All she did was make me determined not to be like her. I love both my kids and treat them as equally as possible. Yes they drive me crazy like kids do but I will never knock them down and make them feel how I felt. 🙂 xxx

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  3. I'm sad for the girl too. I've been on the receiving end of harsh comments like that, and they do stick – they sear themselves into our hearts and wire themselves into our brains and leave us forever fighting an uphill battle.

    I'm always SO thankful for anyone mindful enough to parent their children carefully, in ways which build up rather than tear down.

    I'm glad you noticed the family, and tried to inject some goodness. So sad when it backfires because someone is just determined to piss over anything remotely good 😦

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  4. Julie, I'm glad that you've been able to keep your head above the muck…and that you had a great dad. That really helps! And the most important thing of all – you have broken that cycle. Hallelujah!

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  5. I think that poor girl's face will haunt me all of my days…I suppose if there's anything good to come out of this, it would have to be that I've always been super careful to build my children up. Although..I remember one time when my daughter was probably around 4…or 5…or 6…anyway, I was exasperated with her because she had done something rather careless and I asked her, “Kate! Where was your brain?!?”…to which my autistic daughter replied…”it went to Canada!” How could I be mad with her after that?

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