All those things you said I was – that I am not

A hard thing to get over after domestic abuse or emotional abuse or being bullied in any manner is the damage that’s left behind. Those words and names that were used to keep you in your place for me were a huge stumbling block. As always I can only speak of my experience of emotional abuse but long after the bully or the abuser has gone those words are still etched into your vulnerable brain.

The old sticks and stones rhyme has things all wrong . Words do hurt. They’re harmful and painful and last long after scratches or bruises heal.

When you’ve been called things regularly , incessantly , relentlessly they start to stick. Over time they become not just something someone spits at you but words you’ve taken on . That’s how you view yourself. Your thoughts and brain manipulated to the point that even after the bully or abuser is long gone you find yourself doing their work for them. You call yourself these names , you take them on as things that are true and part of who you are.

Over the years though I’ve kind of chosen and learnt to own and remove these words of their power. The ones that bother or get to me . I can honestly say none of these do anymore but let me tell you about them in case anyone else has struggled.

FAT

Firstly I wasn’t fat . I had 3 babies in 3 years and that will take it’s toll on a body. The way I look from 0-3 babies changed dramatically (let’s not even go with baby no 4 who left her mark majorly too ) Your body is meant to change dramatically though . It has grown and given birth to actual human beings . It has to change to accommodate this.

I used the word against myself many many times . I did the headwork myself for anyone that had ever called me that .Not anymore. How much I weigh is between me and the bathroom scales (if I had any , which I no longer do because they’re toxic in themselves in my opinion) Unless I’m asking for a piggy back my weight is not your concern.

Ugly

Another physical one. Isn’t it odd how these hurt the most. There is a rant about patriarchal society raring to go here but I’ll park that for another post.

Ugly ,to me now , makes no sense . You can be not attracted to someone that doesn’t make them ugly. This one stuck in my brain too though , compliments were tricky. If someone called me beautiful I would bat that right away with “ah I’m just plain but I’m alright with that”

You don’t find me aesthetically pleasing ? Ok let’s both get on with our days !! Really there is no brain space left for that stuff anymore.

Stupid

Ok THIS bothered me more than any other. Even when said over and over I doubted this one . My brain resisted . I’m not stupid. At all. I’m a reasonably intelligent person. Reasonably intelligent people are quite intimidating to the bully types though ,they’ve the potential to make your average bully look ridiculous using words alone. A massive threat. So stupid is thrown around in the hope that it sticks. I do have to pull myself up on this one sometimes because I will STILL use this about myself. Only I don’t mean stupid as in not clever but as in “I put my dress on inside out again ” I need to find a kinder word.

Unloveable

I’m cold , I’m emotionless , I’m averse to affection and love. This made me unloveable. If someone is abusing or bullying you it’s quite a powerful tool for them to project their views onto other people. Maybe you’ve heard “It’s not just me , everyone think ‘that’ about you ” It’s high level manipulation this because while you’re mentally fighting one person you can grasp onto the thought other people see positives in you. Ugly is most certainly objective. Unloveable feels like fact. The real masters of manipulation here will then throw your deepest insecurities at you ,that at one time you have confided in them. Maybe it’s parent issues , something you went through with your ex, an old friend but throw in well *insert name here * thought you were unloveable too didn’t they , that’s why…..

This one stuck with me the absolute longest . Do I believe myself to be unloveable now though? Absolutely not.

Rubbish in bed

*eye roll emoji*

Along with fat and ugly – well you’re not going to dare go sleep with anyone else now are you?

We do.

It’s brilliant.

I’m sure everyone can personalise this post with their own words that have lingered in their minds way too long. Whether put there by bullies , abusers , toxic family members . It can be so difficult to stop internalising these words and using them on yourself. With a bit of work and a lot of patience and surrounding yourself with positive, loving people you really can get there .

There’s nothing more empowering than when those words bounce right off your suit of armour of self belief .

That’s freedom.

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30 thoughts on “All those things you said I was – that I am not

  1. I can totally relate! As an empath, I have been bullied/ abused by narcissists who I seem to attract. When I was pregnant, I was bullied by my half-sister-in-law and half-mother-in-law… called me ugly/ fat/ etc. I have chosen to disconnect with them and remove them from my life. Presently, I am undergoing a detox process. Words/ things that happened years ago are coming up now… what I have learned recently is that I can detach myself from those ugly words… they are a reflection of the abuser, a gaslighting technique that narcissists like to use to get their energy supply.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes exactly this. Cutting yourself off from toxic people can be so incredibly difficult and harder work than you expect,but so worth it just to get your own mind back together again x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. what a fabulous positive post from an absolutely negative situation – I’m glad you have taken he power out of those words for yourself … I hope you have surrounded yourself with some new positive ones . much love #blogcrush

    Liked by 2 people

  3. An important post. The stupid one resonated with me after a relatively recent event with my OH and yes as an intelligent woman it really rankled and my mind fought back. Fat was used against me at school and I now look back and see just how ridiculous that one way. This is an important post showing how so many folks we come across can be toxic and how easily anyone can slip into these behaviours too perhaps for reasons of abuse in their past too so such a complicated field. Self-love and self-care are the ways forward. You will help others with this post as you so often do #BlogCrush

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I was in an emotionally abusive marriage and he knocked every bit of my confidence out of me and was always saying no one else would every want me. I am now in a very happy loving marriage and have my confidence back and am me again. It takes time but stay strong you know you are none of what he said

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are one brave woman and you have access to your inner volume button. Turning off that voice is so helpful. Leaving toxic people in the dust is too. So relatable to so many of us, I am sure. xoxo Bg hugs to you! #blogcrush xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh Kelly, this is such an inspiring post. I’ve not been in your position, but a word that was banded around a lot when I was growing up was “worthless” – I was often told I was worthless and that it was a terrible thing to have pride in anything I did. This is my word that I am still doing battle with – I have come a long way but it still creeps up on me from time to time.

    But I love that this post unpacks each word that was thrown at you and really holds it up to the light for scrutiny – these words were untrue – they have no holding on you and no place in your reality. That is something we all need to learn.

    Also – this line made me chuckle “Unless I’m asking for a piggy back my weight is not your concern” #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooo that is a horrible word , it’s probably ok if it creeps in occasionally because you recognise it and you are most certainly no such thing !!

      Like

  7. Loved reading this. I was in an emotionally and, sometimes physically, abusive relationship for five years and I still have to see him every other weekend for the sake of our son. It took my up until last year (so it took five years more) for me to realise what he’d done to me and how it had effected me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so feel for you having to see him. I don’t know how I’d cope with that. Thankfully mine are now teenagers and can arrange to see him themselves. It’s so hard to realise what has gone on when you’re in it isn’t it ?

      Like

  8. Most of those words I’ve heard my whole life in one form or another by toxic and abusive family members. These were really tough to overcome but I did it. You did too and we can both be proud of that! Great post! #TweensTeensBeyond

    Liked by 1 person

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