Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Words Dont Hurt

While I was studying to be a nurse we had a class of very different types of people. We all used to love getting into debates about what we all thought. One day the subject came up about the abuse that a nurse has to receive. We were taking about how to deal with it and what is acceptable and what is not. We started talking about physical abuse vs emotional abuse. When a gentleman in the class stated words don't hurt. At this point it got quite heated. His theory was that they are only words and do not leave a mark. I then got up in front of the whole class and looked him in the eye. I said to him that as a child I was told on a daily basis that I was dumb and stupid and that I would turn out just like my mum (who in my family was not highly thought of) and many many more things. Then I explained to him that to look at me now you would not believe that for a long time that I believed these things. I also have days now that I believe everything I was ever told. Most of the time though logically I know that I am none of the things I was told. But on a day that especially as a mum for even a student and a couple of things go wrong then you start to hear that voice again. I also explained to him that logic and understanding will never come into play on a bad day. I also told him that so many days I had begged that my nan would hit me instead as at least the bruises would have faded. I asked him to think about how damaging the words would have to be to rather receive a beating.

I was so proud of myself the day I did that as firstly it was the day I started talking about what I had gone through. Secondly I had for so long been so painfully shy that through all my schooling nobody really knew me as I tried to be invisible. I did not believe I was worth being friends with or that I had anything to offer anyone. But that day I stood up and in a firm voice talked about what happened to me and people listened (though by the end of it I was almost crying but not from being embarrassed but from the memories), no one laughed or told me I was stupid or wrong. Then lastly it had a great effect to the class and also shut up the man who had made the statement in the first place. So the question was emotional abuse vs physical abuse? I say neither.

No comments:

Post a Comment