Wednesday, 11 February 2015

'Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me'




Name calling is something that often happens to us in our day to day lives. Ever since we were little we have been taught the rhyme 'Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me' and as a kid I used to chant it over and over again hoping it would be true, but it neber was. And it still isn't.

A few days ago I tried something that was very hard for me. I suffer from anxiety and any social situation puts me on edge, from going to a lecture to being in a club. My boyfriend had been asking me for months to come and pre-drink with his flat and go out with them, to get to know them and stop being so god damn elusive. Everytime he asked me I always managed to come up with some excuse, some reason I couldn't go, until it got to the point where I just said I was scared and didn't want to go. It's not just that I was scared of being in a small space with lots of people, drinking and playing personal and stressful games which are supposed to be fun, I was scared of letting him down. I wanted so badly to get along with his flat mates, to be a fun and interesting girfriend, and I knew how much he wanted me to get to know him too. So I went, and I tried, despite my shaking, and sweating and my lack of people skills. I lasted a while, I made it all the way into the club before I had to turn around, cry in frustration, and go home. And although I felt huge dissapointment in myself, as if I had let my boyfriend down and shown myself to be odd and shy infront of his kind and accomodating flat mates, that didn't turn out to be the biggest problem.

The next day when people asked me why we had left so early, my boyfriend would turn to me, and everytime I would just blurt out 'People scare me'. Not only was this causing confusion among his flatmates, it was firing up the name calling inside my own head. 'Odd', 'Weird', 'Awkward', 'Anxious'. Then the true blow came, words that certainly felt like I had had stones lobbed at me and sticks jabbed into my chest. Someone had actually called me a horrible name, a name which didn't even make sense but never the less still caused hot tears to fall down my cheeks. I had been called a prude. My boyfriend had explained to his team captain at training that he had to leave early to be with me, his girlfriend. He had explained my anxiety issues and how I was really pushing myself out of my comfort zone by going out, and he had turned around and called me a prude. Whether he had been joking or not, whether that word actually made sense, it rocked me to my core. And as I began to chant my childhood mantra in my head I realised there was no point, that I was lying to myself. It did hurt. It hurt more than I would've thought it would, and it made me realise how many names people get called for being different.

In todays society derogatory terms like slut, prude, faggot and gay get thrown around like thumbtack conffetti, little pin pricks everyday that can eventaully wear a person down. I had been called a prude for having anxiety, from someone who had barely met me and probably didn't understand a whole lot about mental health problems. People get hollered at and harrassed for being a different race, or having a different sexual preference, for acting or dressing a certain way or even for struggling with things that most people take for granted. We can all pretend that they are just meaningless words and chant that childhood mantra, and ignore the pain inflicted by a bunch of letters, but who is that really helping?
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2 comments

  1. I know its probably a lot easier said than done but don't let people like that get to you - especially those who have no interest in understanding what you're going through. Try and stay positive. x

    Charlotte - styleaked

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Charlotte, I am trying to and hopefully I won't meet people like that in the future H xx

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