As a speaker and a writer, I have always had a fascination with speaking well and getting my point across whilst being understood — BUT not to come off as rude/hurtful or pretentious. I guess that’s where I fell in love with my thesaurus…

My Mom was always one to say, “don’t be crude,” so I would learn how to “re-say” things, especially to my sibblings. My Mom couldn’t stand the phrase, “shut up,” so I learned how to tell my sibblings to “stifle it,” which meant the same thing essentially, but didn’t violate Mom*Law. It would make my brother and sister so mad, but I did always skate on the edge of wrongdoings. Long story short, I was a handful. My Dad always described me as “spirited,” which I greatly appreciate, but I was definitely A LOT. I think this tenacity kept me alive when I was in active abuse; that is, it kept me motivated on the inside, keeping my life force flame lit.

Growing up as a girl in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, I desperately hated being told “you can’t [do something],” as in I was incapable of doing something. Oh, really? Underestimate me, that’ll be fun. I certainly CAN! And, well, I would show the other person. I might fail, but I didn’t quit, so I usually would succeed… eventually.

There are also several things I still dislike hearing, due to formerly being in an abusive relationship. He was VERY verbally abusive, so there were things that would be said that would simply make me cringe, and STILL do when I hear others use them:

“You’re stupid.” My Abuser would sling this at me and my children constantly. I would change the narrative, telling my children that the impulsive action was not brilliant, but that they are not “stupid” people. I’m proud to say they mostly still use this, instead of inadvertently attacking people and their feelings.

“Spit it out!” I used to stutter as a child, so getting out what I wanted to say often made me just clam up and say nothing at all. My Abuser would also shout this in order to get me or the kids to start giving an explanation about literally anything that upset him. It would cause me to fear and stutter, which would just make things worse. We would tend to “verbally vomit,” just to appease him.

“Could this get any worse????” Do not, I repeat, DO NOT issue this challenge to the universe. JUST. DON’T. Because it can, in fact, get so much worse! Simply start saying, “it IS going to get better” and work toward working what you can control. Keep moving forward!

“I hate…” Hate is a REALLY strong word, folks. Dislike something, if you choose. I usually say, “I’m not a fan of…” and leave it at that. Life is too short to hate, so I choose love or adopt apathy…no in between. Hate rules the world waaaaaaaaay too much, so please, dear, don’t say it! Something to keep in mind too, hate breeds hate and using this word sets it in your children’s brains, while they’re forming, tainting their behaviors later on.

“I’m sorry…” I use this sparingly, but only if Im truly sorry and apologizing for something or I feel very heartfelt about something. I used to spout this about everything, apologizing for everything (even my existence). You can tell if someone has been emotionally and verbally abused if they say this A LOT. I give people validation that they need by saying, “that’s unfortunate.” I also say “I apologize” when something is wrongly done, reserving “I’m sorry” for more intimate situations. It’s probably my customer service training, or my vast knowledge of Grey Rock with my former Abuser, but I am one to try to use the correct application based on the scenario.

There’s more statements, I feel, but these came to mind. Please be mindful of what you say and how you say it. Words stick with a person SO much longer than physical wounds do —your body can heal, but your mind takes much, much longer. Words can hurt or heal: what will yours do today???

Love and light and positive language! <3