What do you do with those Shitty things people say to you?

Red & Green Morphsuit Dudes


And with a roll of Duct Tape covering my mouth and tying my hands together, I ride the PMS wave. Once my hormones are back to normal, Dave cuts me lose and I breathe for another 28 days. Oh man, I can only imagine what Perimenopause is going to do to hormone-driven lack-of-verbal control.

Even when my hormones are perfectly balanced, I promise I will somehow offend you. I am just that skilled.  I will most often offend you when I am working extra hard not to offend you. When I try to FIX and MAKE things better,  you will see me as judgmental and I will believe that I am looking out for your best interest.  When you do not approve of my actions, you will let me know with an email, an unfriend, a phone call, a text, a Tweet, words to another friend, a glare, a silent treatment and if I am lucky you will say something like, “Dude, I love you, but you are really bugging me. Stop it!” I like it when you are direct and willing to work it through. My heart never intends to hurt you.

There are  many  many reasons and explanations, people say stupid and mean stuff. That is just how it goes. Really, this post is exactly what I said in my title, “What do you do with the SHITY things people say to you?”

What would you do if you were in my shoes? Here is the shittiest one that completely changed my world. I was a very young girl about eight years old (give or take a year).  I was sitting in our family room/office  while my mom was on the phone with my dad.   They were divorced and he did not know I was on the line listening. To this day, I believe the words I my dad said about me are what has made me stumble and feel completely “less than.”  His most well-intended words broke my heart and in one short sentence I knew he did not want me.  My mom was re-married and I believe my step father was interested in adopting me and my three siblings. I short-circuited and froze as I heard my dad say, “You can have Beth, but I won’t let you have the other three.”   I kept going over it in my mind and then thinking about how I could convince him that he really did want me. (I was so scrappy), “Did he really just say that?”  For a very long time I tried to salesman my way back int his life. “I am sure if I do [fill in the blank], he will want me.”

In one sentence, I went from knowing I had a place on this Earth to feeling like I did not deserve a space on this planet.  I have spent years and years trying to convince myself that I am just as worthy to be here as everyone else.   Those shitty words have formed this giant, you-are-worthless mountain and because of those words I have spent way too much time trying to make it all better. Somewhere I convinced myself if I could  fix and believe in everyone and everything else, maybe that big giant you-do-not-belong hole could be filled. Unfortunately life is not clean. As I have tried to fix the damage caused by the shittiest thing ever said about me, I have managed to pass the hurt along and consequently say and or write really crappy  things about others.   Thank God for  long internet breaks and Thank God for husbands. Thank God for little boys who love their mom.  Thank God for sons who say, “Mom, I think you need a hug.”  Thank goodness for friends who have loved you since you were five years old and who love you even though you say stupid stuff sometimes.  Thank goodness for friends who are human and say stupid stuff too. Thank God for scary scary diseases that wake you up and thank God for healing.  Thank God for perspective and thank goodness for the ability to let go. What to do with the shitty words, well, I say, “Don’t let them bring you down. Breathe and move forward. You never know where that person was when they said them.” Ok, I say all these Zen things until someone says something shitty to or about your children. Then,  I say, “ALL BETS ARE OFF!”

21 thoughts on “What do you do with those Shitty things people say to you?

  1. Well, I am listening. And I have no idea what to do with those mean things people say. I guess just let them flow like water right off of you. Still smarts, though, huh? 🙂

  2. Wow. Just wow. I cannot believe your father said that. It hurt me just reading it. I hope that you know you are loved and wanted and desired by the family you have created. Thank you for sharing your stories.

  3. I can’t imagine hearing that from a parent, but then again most of the things my Dad did after my parents’ divorce indicated that he didn’t want me or my brother very much, either. I can honestly say that you’ve never done or said anything that I thought was so offensive or outrageous, but maybe that’s because you and I were both in some deep, dark places in our lives at the same time. What I do know is that you’re a sweet, sweet person who offered me support and friendship and encouragement when I needed it most, even though you and I have never even met in person. That’s the Beth I know, and that’s the Beth I’ll think about if for some reason you aim a thoughtless remark in my direction someday. We all have our moments…I think it’s a mark of character when a) you recognize that you’ve been hurtful and sincerely want to apologize, even though it’s embarrassing; and b) that you allow those who’ve been hurtful to you to apologize, even though their behavior was hurtful and unexpected. It takes integrity to do both, I think.

  4. Powerful, like a thunderstorm! You cleared out the atmosphere there, and now the sun can shine through! I agree with Lula above, that it is a mark of character when you can recognize that we are all human and forgive and allow forgiveness. Some people are “there” and some aren’t, but you can only own your place. And you own it well!
    I too, was incredibly touched by you hearing your Dad’s words. I’m sorry that it had to shape you for a long time, but wow, you are coming out of that shape, and it’s beautiful.

  5. Wow…is all I can say to your Dad’s words. I cannot fathom what it must be like to hear those words as a child. Props to you for fighting through.
    While I have never met you, you don’t strike me as someone who intentionally would use words to hurt someone. We are all guilty of saying stupid things and then later wishing we could rewind and take them back. I think it’s (unfortunately) human nature.
    Music often speaks to me. There is a song on Train’s CD “Save Me San Francisco” called “Words.” I love it’s message (or my perceived interpretation of it). I always thought of it in terms of bullying, but it really does fit in with life in general. It goes:
    They’ll try to shake you
    Don’t let them break you
    Or stop your world from turning
    When words
    Keep you from feeling good
    Use them as firewood
    And let ’em burn”


  6. Melissa, Ah words (and blindfolds, for that matter) can still sting no matter how they were intended. It usually takes me a second (or a few days) before I can let them roll off of me.

    You are smart, talented and pretty amazing. Those are the words I have for you!

  7. Amy, thank you!

    Seriously, those words sting as I read them. The amazing thing about life is that layer by layer we get all of these opportunities to heal and move forward. I know I am loved and am also super blessed to have Dave, the boys, good friends, family and awesome blog connections in my life.

  8. Antivka,:) You are sweet. I actually think my dad was trying to piss of my mom. I was the youngest and I giess disposable (NOT). Thank you for appreciating me and for being glad!

  9. I had to tell my half-sister once, “you deserve to be here. Nothing your parents do or have done can diminish the fact that you exist and that your existence is a good thing.”

    If only I could believe it about myself.

  10. Why is it that we take to heart the shitty things people say about us as if by virtue of them being outside our experience they have some magical perspective or insight? Baloney. But we believe it anyway.

    What your words brought to my mind was a time many years ago when I fell in with a group of women on the Internet who were cynical, sarcastic and funny, but unfortunately they were also MEAN. They brought out in me a sarcastic wit that I knew I had but never used. They were toxic for me to be around because they turned me into something I despised, a MEAN GIRL. I had to disassociate from them in order to not be that person anymore and I deeply regret that time. And there is no way to undo my trollish behavior, much to my chagrin.

  11. the other three are sticking with most awesome you. Now I am going to go look for some duct tape.

  12. LULA, I am now for the third time writing a response to you! Yesterday I started and was stricken with my very first ever optical based migraine. Y’ouch!

    I will say it again. I am so grateful and so glad our paths crossed all those years ago. You are a forgiving soul with such a compassionate heart. I stumbled. I was rough and somehow you knew my intent was always to make things better. Thank you for being there! You offered me support and friendship during such a terrible time as well and I was always knew you got it and because you got it, I did not feel alone.

    Thank you for validating me now and reminding me about the beauty of forgiveness. You are amazing!

    Hey and if we ever meet in person I will give you one big giant squeeze!

  13. OtherB, Thank you for getting it and what an amazing & perceptive image you chose. Did you know I was terrified of thunderstorms as a child? Crazy, huh? My Mom would hold me down as the lightening struck and the thunderclouds roared while I completely came unglued.

    I agree with YOU and LULA: “A mark of character when you can recognize that we are all human and forgive and allow forgiveness.”

    Forgiveness will set you free and open up the opportunity for healing. So cool!

    And to Quote the Quote you sent me:

    “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ― Rumi

  14. ((Hugs)) right back at you, Andrea! Thank you again for your insightful words and it is your very own words that let me know what an amazing and wise lady you are.

    I’d like to think I wouldn’t say things to be mean, but I have been mean, wether intended or not. I also say things in the heat of the moment and then, “Ouch!” Ah, human nature! And as humans I would hope we could cut each other a little slack.

    Love the Lyrics:
    When words
    Keep you from feeling good
    Use them as firewood
    And let ‘em burn”

    I’ll tell you what. Between you, me and the internet, I burned a lot of firewood this week. 🙂

  15. Sara,

    You are so smart and so sweet. See that in yourself. I can see your value. I always have and have always thought you were pretty darn cool!

  16. Kim,

    I love where you went with your comment. Thank you! I had no idea you traveled that road. Thank you for being so honest. I love that you went there, learned a lesson and then set a boundary. What a good example for all of us. Thank you for being human! Hey and thank you for letting us stay in your condo all those years ago. You are a good soul!

  17. “A mark of character is when you can recognize that we are all human and forgive and allow forgiveness.”

    AMEN to that, sister.

    Did the “big bloggers” ever forgive you?

  18. Thank you, Anne! I hope I do the right thing. Sometimes it takes me a minute to figure things out. Forgiveness is where it is at.

    I also hope I do your question justice with my answer, because I feel like forgiving others and forgiving yourself is what helps every single human heal and move forward. And when I say HEAL, I mean that forgiveness can lead you to the TRUE healing you need in your life. It is so freaking significant. The thing about forgiving and forgiveness, however, is that we all know that you can only control your actions and how you feel. When you forgive you let go of any power a bad situation has over you. It is not always very easy, but when you forgive the positive results are beyond anything you can imagine. Even when you think you bare some fault, suck it up, apologize and then know that forgiving yourself is just as important as forgiving others. It is really important to forgive yourself, see your value.

    And then let go. Like I mentioned, you cannot control wether the other person choses to forgive, open their heart or whatever. As far as the other bloggers wether they have forgiven me or not is really their business. Of course I hope they have forgiven me. Who wouldn’t want to feel forgiveness and be given the opportunity for EVERYONE to move forward? Kind of a given.

    An aside: I (REALLY) got it that when I focused on fixing things or not being able to let go, I get stuck and when I am stuck, I miss opportunities. Obviously! More than getting stuck, I get distracted and closed off and then I miss those opportunities for healing, growth and new experience. Life is too short to hold on to crap. It just is.

    You know what helped me come to peace with my Dad? Forgiving him. I dont have to like what he did or even like him. But because I could let go, when I do see him (which is almost never), I don’t freak out. I can say hello, give him a hug, open my heart and try to see the person he has become. Often in those moments, (like seeing my dad), I pray a 1,000 times for healing and for the best for all involved. At that moment, if it works, well then, great. If not, I move on.

    Really, I am no better than anyone if I am not able to forgive.

  19. Had I read this back when you posted it, I would not have had it resonate quite so perfectly with me. I’m dealing with a series of 3 relationships ending in my life, one romantic and two very old friends. All of these, for the first time in my life, ended very poorly with a lot of very angry words flung at me. Yes, I flung mine back. I am not proud of it. But, I’m left feeling very flattened. I posted something and took it down about feeling like I don’t matter to anyone but my kids. It’s been very hard to deal with, but I also seem to offend others when really reaching out with the best/most noble intentions. The harder I try to help the worst it seems to bite me back in the butt. Thanks so much for posting this. When I read your blog years ago (I was Crazy MomCat), I always felt a connection to your way of thinking. I’m glad to see that hasn’t changed!

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