The first and only thing that comes to mind is that I wouldn’t want to tell her anything hurtful. But by the same token, I wouldn’t want to be the recipient of a barb as well.
The media is rife with coverage of bullying these days. Lady Gaga has interjected herself into the milieu in support of a young fan who was a victim, who decided suicide was preferable to the ongoing hatefulness of others.
Teasing has always been a sore spot for me. The youngest of 9, I was always the butt of sibling pranks. I most detested being chased the length of a sandy beach, my brother and sister threatening to throw a slimy sea urchin at me. They laughed hysterically. I wailed for my mom to stop them. She did. I so often solicited her aid, that my siblings taunted me with “You’re a spoiled brat!” “You’re a big baby!” They didn’t think it unfair that they were two, to my one. I had to bring in the big guns to even the playing field. But of course, my mom was more like a cannon.
It took me some time to convince my husband, the eldest of 12, that teasing is hurtful. For those who tease it may not seem so. They make a remark in the moment, tossing it out there like a discard. What they don’t realize is that the recipient may not be cut from the same cloth. Because of his or her own life experiences, “personal baggage” like low self-esteem, such teasing is like a lash of the whip. It stings, and often leaves scars. Those are a constant reminder of the hurt felt in the moment. And that hurt can last a lifetime…I know.
As my wise mother-in-law has said on more than one occasion, “Be careful what you say, for you can never take it back.” I heed her advice as best I can. More times than not I walk away from someone’s ill-placed statement. But it’s difficult to do so with someone I consider a loved one, a good friend, a confidante. It’s then I’m inclined to have my say, and make a clean breast of what bothers me. And it’s then, and only then, I say something I wouldn’t ordinarily say…to my best friend.
defense mechanisms…not something i use…or enjoy using…unless i have to…