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TX, United States
I am a 39 yr. old stay at home mom to 3 girls ages 10, 9 and 7. My goal is to be fit by 40! I want to lead a healthier lifestyle. I was banded on 4/5/2011. I tend to be a bit on the sarcastic and cynical side. I love to read, hate to excersise (but am learning to tolerate it!), love to shop and want to smack anyone who is a size 2 (not really!). I am learning to work with my band and my new self one day at a time!

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Words Can Be Weapons

My mom used to say to us, "If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all."  She knew that the words you say can be hurtful. 

I bet every single one of us learned that lesson as a child.  So why is it when we are grown-ups we can not say pleasant encouraging words to one another?

I was remembering 5 1/2 years ago, after my stroke, at a doctor appointment that has been burned into my memory.  I will always remember it.  I will always remember the doctor who said it.  It was a defining moment in my stroke recovery.

After my stroke 6 years ago, I had to have regular check-ins with my then physician bi-weekly.  It was about 3 months post-stroke at the time.  Needless to say, I wasn't doing well emotionally. 

At the end of my exam, the doctor said, "You know what your problem is?  It's not the stroke.  It's that you are FAT."

Those words hit me like a ton of bricks.

He thought all my problems were because I was fat.  Not the fact that I had just suffered a life-altering tragedy.  No, everything could be fixed and I would have never had the problem (so he thought), if I had never been fat.

After, I picked my jaw up off the floor, I promptly escorted myself out of the office.

Where I sat in my car bawling for 30 minutes.

Shocked.  Humiliated.  Mortified.  Beaten down.  Self-loathing.  Depressed with life.  Depressed with my circumstance.  Depressed with myself.  Hating me.  Hating him.  Hating life.

I never went back.

Never.  Ever.

And I loomed in that dark self-hating depressed state for 5 more years.

Words are powerful.

Words can be sharper than any knife.

We have the power to leave a lasting impression in someone's life.....with words.

The fact of the matter is this:  Yes, I was heavy when I had my stroke.  But, it wasn't my weight that caused it.

But regardless, his words have stuck with me for 6 years.  Haunting me. Making me feel justified in loathing myself.

The words no longer hold any power over me.  But, they were life altering.

His words are a reminder to me everyday to treat people with the respect they deserve.

You never know what words people will remember days, weeks, months or years later.

Choose your words carefully.

They may just have an impact on someones life.

9 comments:

  1. So well said and so very true!

    We all need to think before we speak.

    I am so glad you are doing better!

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  2. I am glad that you had the strength to walk out and never return.

    Words do have power - may yours and mine always be kind!

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  3. Ty,great blog. Treat everyone with respect

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  4. Ain't that the truth! You (and Holly - since she blogged about something similar) have given me inspiration for my own blog post about hurtful words...hopefully, I can find the time to write today...

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  5. You should write the asshole a letter and let him know his bedside manner is horrible and that words are super painful. He should know and feel bad for the crappy thing he said to hurt someone after going thru massive battles. It is not kind for anyone much less a CAREGIVER, a Doctor to come out and hurt people like this.

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  6. You are so right . And honestly some doctors need to take lessons in this . It is no always about our weight. And it's sad that many obese people can't even get appropriate health care b/c the doctors assume eveything is tied to that. As if as long as you're fat then nothing else will ever be wrong with you!!

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  7. I don't know why doctors think fat causes everything - OR why they think it is okay for them to say things like that to people. I honestly think they feel it is their JOB to say things harshly to make sure you are healthy... or whatever they are thinking. I have had a couple experiences like this. The most recent being 4 years ago when my dad had a heart attack (which may or may not have had anything to do with his weight, who knows). We were all by his bedside while he was unconscious for 8 days and we didn't know if he would live. Of course at this time my hubby and I were both very large (before our surgeries). A doctor said to us in the room - "you guys need to do something about your weight or this could be you, even at your ages." Now I will not sit here and say she was WRONG. It's true. But... very harsh, unsolicited considering she was not our physician caring for US as her patients, and rather tactless to say to us when we are there, emotionally upset and not sure if my dad will live.

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  8. Doctors need to realize how what they say affects our mental health. Before my surgery, I was being treated with anti-depressants and my nurse practitioner used to tell me if I'd lose weight I'd be happier, etc. Well, here I am... almost 17 months post-op and still have episodes.

    Maybe he just thought he was being helpful. Maybe they all do. You should go back and tell him how he made you feel... that's the only way they'll learn. :(

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