A Cure For Insults (StoryADay post)

A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword. ~ Robert Burton

For a good part of my entire life, I have heard the words sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. But what no one told me was that words do hurt; in fact, words hurt more people than sticks and stones combined.

But I didn’t figure that out until I was in high school.

It began with me being bullied by a girl named June. Apparently, June had it in her head that I was an easy target, someone who could be picked on, with no one to protect him. I always had difficulties relating to other people, and I often alienated more people than I actually spoke to.

Still, June saw me walking around the school aimlessly and started throwing rocks at me. I mean, what is she? Five? I just ignored her and went on my way. She, angry that I ignored her, grabbed a stick and began hitting me with it. It stung like hell, but I continued to ignore her.

June was getting very angry now; I could tell that she was steaming. I had been ignoring her for years, hoping that she would go away and bother someone else, hopefully a dangerous animal. But June wasn’t going to get her way.

Just as I contemplated getting some assistance, as weird as it sounds, she came flying at me and punched me in the face, screaming, “What is wrong with you, you ugly freak? Are you that stupid that you don’t want to talk to me?” I just stood there, staring at her with a dumb look on my face. I mean, I was hurt by her words, but I didn’t want to say anything to her. Not yet.

June tried it again, “You better get that ugly look off your face or else I’ll beat you until you’re part of the sidewalk!”

I stood up and sized her up; she was one of those fat girls, so fat that not even Weight Watchers could help her. Not only that, but she had a super bad case of acne and crooked teeth and her fingers were the size of overripe grapes.

Hardly the kind of person to be a bully.

I then said to her in a very calm voice, “Why are you angry with me? Did someone call you “Fatty Face” one too many times? Just because someone made fun of you doesn’t give you the right to beat me up, you know. And to be honest, nobody really likes you because you’re so mean and ugly. Stop that, OK. Just stop.”

And with that, June’s face fell off her head and cracked on the pavement. Scores of other students who saw the fight gasped in horror as none of them had the guts to stand up to her. Several students went to get a teacher while another student dragged me to the nurses’ station.

Well to make a long story short, June was expelled from the school because she had beaten me up and insulted me. I didn’t even get in trouble for my insulting remarks, as the teachers and principal were very angry with HER for hurting me. I bet that she’s off somewhere, crying because I told her to stop picking on me. I didn’t mean to insult her, but I knew that she had no right to hurt me in that way.

Today, I learned that while sticks and stones can break your bones, words can break more than just bones. Words can cut people down and make them feel weak and ugly. I learned that lesson today, and I hope that you will too.

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