Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me… words do hurt though!?
When I was 13 years old I met a girl. A girl who during her brief time on earth had gone through more hardship then most do in an entire lifetime. This girl, had confidence and strength like I’d never seen before. Together we grew and almost 20 years later I am proud to still call her my best friend, my sister. We caused my mother endless nights of worrying but we also entertained her with hours of laughter. Coming from a broken home, she entered my broken home and together we made our own perfect little world! We made our way through teenage drama, underage drinking and white Lycra leggings. We were separated and moved apart yet we found our way back to each other and ended up making our own haven in a basement flat full of spiders, living on noodles and chocolate.
“We weren’t born sisters, but sisters we became”
Now, we live in separate countries living separate lives yet we talk as we were never apart. When you have someone who means the world to you, you want the world to be great to them and when it isn’t, all you can do is be there like a silent support- solid in the storm. When I was needed, I tried to be just that!
Sometimes it seems the most deserving people get dealt the hardest cards to play, yet play them with such ease! Ease worthy of the most admiration
4 years ago my beautiful friend gave birth to a perfect and amazing little boy. He was the most wanted child and loved beyond the moon. This little boy was born with a chromosome disorder and started his little life fighting. He has continued to fight ever since. He was born in to this world with challenges so serious that it’s impossible for me as a bystander to fully grasp. What I do know is that I admire his strength more then I can explain as I do his wonderful parents. Tonight I read a statement written by my friend. A statement asking us to use our words kindly, a statement explaining how words hurt. Words that so many of us use without thinking about the meaning behind them. Words that are demeaning and cruel regardless of how they are used.
We live in a world where words are being used to degrade, with little consideration for those whom the words hurt. We verbally assault without giving it a single thought. These words may mean nothing to us, but to a mother or a father of a child with additional needs, these words cut deep. These words stand out like a yellow flower in a field of green.
When I was on the buss with my daughter a few weeks ago I heard some teenage kids having a laugh, sharing jokes and YouTube videos- then I heard them refer to each other as “slow”. I heard them use words so derogatory that I refuse to give time life here on my blank sheet. These kids don’t think about the mother sitting in front of them or the father getting of at the next stop- they don’t consider that these parents may be on their way to the hospital to visit a child, fighting for his precious life or that they may be the siblings of someone with additional needs! All they cared about was insulting each other, no regard of who they could upset in the process!
As parents we can’t always monitor our children, and unfortunately bugging them would not be morally correct… I guess! But we can communicate! We can tell them what the meanings behind these words are and how terribly they can upset someone! We can tell them about the love and joy a child bring and how all we want as parents is to make the world a better place for them but how we can only do this together, with kindness. We can talk about the importance of language and empathy. We can hope that some of it sticks.
We need to stand up for the parents of children who find everyday a challenge. We need to stand up for the children who are fighting to live, and grow. Aren’t these children fighting enough? Should they and their families really have to fight for respect too?
I really wish that this wasn’t something that needed to be written and debated. I wish that my dear friend, didn’t have to spend the little time she has (outside of being a full time carer for her sons) asking people to not use her oldest child’s challenges as insults.
In the morning I am going to speak to my children about the world and how it’s made beautiful by uniqueness and I will continue to do so until I’m reassured that if they are ever confronted with ignorance they will lead with empathy and love!
I will finish this blog with a quote from a woman, wise beyond her years!
“Please don’t purposely hurt someone. Many have hardship in life without the addition of unkind worlds. Express yourself, without degradation” – Veronica Drugge 2017.
Much love ❤️