“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” the mother told the little girl that cried in her arms. But the little girl knew better. Her loving, kind mother was wrong about this. She had been stubbed, bruised, and cut by her share of sticks and stones like any kid, and she forgot about the pain minutes after it happened. But words, those hateful, cruel words that had embarrassed her and made her hide her face in shame time after time, she would never forget those. They were engraved on her heart, her mind, her spirit.
Ten years old and her prayers at night were," Dear Jesus, I love You, Mommy, Daddy and Sissy so much. Will you please let me die before them? They are the only ones who love me. They don’t call me Four Eyed Freckled Face Pig, or say Oink Oink, We need you for our Barbecue everytime I walk by. Mommy and Daddy make me feel pretty. They tell me I’m smart, I’m beautiful inside and out, and that I can do anything I want to do, so I do it."
So the little girl worked hard in school, then everyday she came home, went into her bedroom, cried with her face buried in the pillows so her family wouldn’t hear her sobs and asked Jesus to just help her survive. She joined the drama club and performed in plays, made the Jump Rope Performance Team. Played on the Ring Tennis Team. Was in the DuPont Choral Group and made 1st Chair Viola Section of the DuPont Symphonette and endured ridicule and torment everyday while asking God to take away the thoughts of suicide because her loving caring family was worth surviving for…
Now something else about this little girl, because of the emotional pain she endured, she sought solace and peace in the water. Living on the Atlantic Coast, she was a beach baby.
Plus her Daddy built her an in-ground pool because of her love of water. Now she and Daddy were fearless when it came to swimming and playing in the ocean or pool, but Mommy and Sissy didn’t share that same love. But emotional pain can drive you to do insane things. She would stay in the water for hours praying for God to turn her into a mermaid so she could swim away to Atlantis and finally be happy. She felt such a connection to God while in the ocean and such peace, such acceptance and belonging that her young, hurt, confused mind began to think she didn’t belong on land. There was too much pain there. And she knew the minute she stepped out of the water people were going to point and laugh, and she would hear, “Fatty, Fatty 2 by 4, Petunia Pig, Henrietta Hippo”, and more, so she wanted to stay wrapped safely in her watery caccoon of acceptance and non- judgement. She could do more than just survive here, she could thrive.
But of course she grew, she knew, she had always known but she had needed that fantasy as a stress reliever, a fleeting moment of hope for something new and beautiful in her life. Life continued, she poured all she had into achieving in school to make her parents proud.
And then it happened, the possibility of something good, a change. A change her parents thought would be great. Sissy was married, living in a city a few hundred miles away and they were moving to another city and state, her birthplace. She hadn’t lived there since she was one year old. Could this be a fresh start, a happy start?
NO! She was a bell-bottomed, tunic shirted, head banned hippie looking,Florida tanned girl with a strange accent entering a small, pretty much red-necked Alabama town back then. Things just got worse.
The stress of it all had caused her to trim down some. She had a nice curvy body (not slim, but not fat, but she still felt like the world’s biggest hippo. Her confidence was zilch.) The “good kids”, the supposedly “Christian kids” wouldn’t accept her. She dressed different, talked different. They labeled her a ‘whore’ and a ‘drug dealer’ and they didn’t even know her, didn’t even know her name. It was the ‘trashy’ kids that were kind to her, that showed her around the school, that sat with her at lunch and outside on the ten minute courtyard break. This just gave those ‘good kids’ more fuel for the fire. Her reputation was shot, lies were told and spread-no matter how much her denial. An incident one day- a setup, an entrapment – but God intervened, her name cleared, a public apology, but you can’t undo the damage to the heart when something is taken that far. But still, for her family, she survived.
She was loved by her teachers, excelled in her grades, involved in numerous clubs, but blackballed in National Honor Society by the one whose bluff was caught and called, yet she still graduated in the top 10% of her class. # 14 out of 225. Recommended by her French teacher, she took an exam to compete for a full scholarship. She scored the highest and could go to any college in the State of Alabama, everything paid, tuition, room, books, supplies, gas, EVERYTHING. Sometimes it pays to be a survivor. But the test showed other things. The psych evalve part showed OCD, depression, anxiety, paranoid schizophrenia. She had to agree to go to psychiatric therapy the first year.
She did. She survived. She graduated with honors. She had wonderful, successful children. She’s still married for over 35 year to same man now. Had a successful career.
Yet, she struggled with her weight, she struggled with her health, had over 80 surgeries and came back kicking, she struggled with her mind, she struggled with her confidence. She loved God and Family with all her heart.
But there were still days when kids and adults pointed, made fun, said derogatory things. And unlike the hurts from sticks, stones falls, bruises, broken bones and surgeries, those wounds didn’t heal.
She even lost so much weight at one point that people said she looked anorexic. But when she looked in the mirror all she could she was that Four-eyed, freckled faced Pig or the Big Ugly Cow that Everyone Just Wanted To Kick Around.
She tried her hand at many things: singing, writing plays, drama, art, photography, designing, cards, designing fabric and wrapping paper, even writing a blog. She found out that she was okay at some things and almost good at others, but just not good enough.
You see, her Mommy, Daddy, and. Sissy have gone to heaven. They were her cheering squad. They would have gotten behind her, supported her, pushed her… Not let her give up. But she just couldn’t get all those “words that never hurt” out of her heart, her mind, her spirit. Now she does have 2 or 3 really good encouragers and supporters. She has one young man that helps hold her up when she feels she is going under, reminding her to pray and remember why she is doing it.
But still there are days her heart is so heavy, it’s hard to keep on trying. For when she puts her heart into a design or a blog and those she loves never gives even a nod, to a person like her whose heart is fragile from years of negative degradation, it’s like like they’re yelling out, “You’re worthless, no good, you’re not worth a dime. What a waste of space, what a waste of my time.”
But then the Survivor bows her head in shame realizing what she’s doing is just the same. She’s being hurtful using the past as a reason to be prideful and judgemental, God forgive, please!
So she cries in her pillow to muffle her sobs and all she can say is, " Please, Please Help me Dear God."
And soon she arises to try once again, because It’s God she needs to please and quit worrying about man.
She’s a Survivor… By the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of Her Testimony. So She will keep on trying if it’s only for one.
After all, she must once again face and realize, that Jesus would have gone to the cross and died, even if it was only for her.
STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK YOUR BONES BUT WORDS WILL NEVER HURT IS A LIE OF THE DEVIL. PLEASE WATCH THE WORDS YOU SAY TO PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY CUT DEEP. THERE ARE MANY YOUTH AND TEENS WHO HAVE COMMITTED SUICIDE BECAUSE OF VERBAL ABUSE.
✿☞this rose bush is in my yard. Just 2 years ago it was healthy, loaded and bent to the ground with roses and leaves. Evidently it got damaged in the storms and tornadoes that wrecked havoc here. Now it is almost all dead except just a couple appendages.