Thursday 22 March 2012

Verbal Scars

I’ve been doing some thinking about how easy it is to hurt someone with words.  Once something has been said, it can’t ever be unsaid.  You can forgive and try to move on, but the scar will still be there. 

I’ll admit I tend to be a foot-in-mouth kind of person sometimes.  And sometimes I think I end up swallowing most of the leg.  But I don’t think I’m the sort of person who says things in anger.  Deliberate, trying to hurt someone where it will do the most damage.  I’m more likely to walk away.

Dr. Phil compares emotional hurt to burns.  It only takes a fraction of a second to do, the area will be incredibly painful until it heals and the scars left are the ugliest and most difficult to deal with.  I think it’s a good analogy.  In the movie The Story of Us, Michelle Pfeiffer’s character talks about how people think time heals old hurts but it’s not true because hurt always hurts.  You learn to deal with it but it never completely goes away.

We can all remember moments where a careless or angry word seared into our psyches.  The details are usually painfully clear as if tattooed on our brains.  It doesn’t matter if the person apologized after.  Those moments are one-way doors.  Once you step through, you’re in a different world and you can’t ever get back to the old one.

I try to be cautious in this blog.  I usually write a day or two in advance to give myself time to think whether or not I really want to post what I’ve said.  Sometimes I change it and sometimes I won’t post what I originally intended.  It’s easy to forget impact when you’re angry or excited.  The Internet makes it very easy to speak first, regret later.  Once something is online, it’s out of your hands.  The same with the words in your mouth.  Once they’ve been said, they can’t be unsaid.

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