Things said can't be unsaid
June 25, 2012 2:18 PM Subscribe
How do you deal with the horribly cruel things people have said to you throughout your life?
posted by thrasher to human relations (66 answers total) 63 users marked this as a favorite
Things like: my grandparents nicknaming me "dumbshit" for an entire winter vacation when I was 12. A boy I had a puppy love relationship with when I was 13 suddenly breaking up with me because, "you're not hot enough and you have zits." My father berating me around the same time for slouching, because it made me look "disgusting, with your gut hanging out and your saggy tits." (I started wearing a bra for the first time after that.) A coworker at my first job when I was 17, upon meeting my mother, telling me "wow, you look just like your mom, except she's beautiful." My husband telling me, in all seriousness, "I'm smarter than you in every way." (He acted like it too. I divorced him.) This is just a small sampling, unfortunately.
While these things don't sting like they once did, of course they stick with me. Logically I know I'm at least reasonably attractive and somewhat intelligent. Still, I do believe that my opinions of my own looks and intelligence - and my ability to trust other people - has probably been incredibly damaged by these things. I wish I could just forget this crap, but in many instances the bad memories have stayed with me far longer than the good in these relationships, even if there was/is more good than bad overall.
I know I'm not the only one that has experienced this kind of treatment. Do most people just forget when this kind of stuff is said to them? Brush it off? Use it for self-improvement? If you've been on the receiving end, how the hell do you cope, get beyond and stop believing this shit?
If you're the kind of person who would be this brutal to someone you know/care about, why? And do people who are this brutally honest expect and appreciate the same in return?
(Counseling is scheduled to begin Thursday, by the way, for this and many other things.)