Words do hurt. In fact, I believe that verbal abuse is worse than most physical abuse, because bruises and scrapes disappear over time, but the emotional and psychological pain never fades from memory. Trust me. I would know. My now ex-step dad, Bart, who I saw most every day from age four to seventeen, was an alcoholic and a man with words abrasive enough to make a sailor blush. The verbal abuse that he spewed upon me still lingers in the depths of my mind. There were good times in my relationship with him, but the bad ones stand out as stiff as his liquor was. The hateful words would pour out of his mouth with the intentions of destroying my spirits, but I would accept them and act like they didn’t hurt me. I didn’t realize the effect he really had on my outlook on life, but now that he’s gone, I’m beginning to understand. When I thought that the words were not doing any damage, I was really allowing them to ferment within my mind, becoming stronger little by little. His words are like his whiskey. They sit for years in the oaken barrels of my mind and become more potent as time goes on. His words have affected me in the way that I respond to social stimuli. I now become angrier than ever, remembering his hateful nature and placing his face on all of my adversaries. Looking back, I’m amazed that I didn’t explode into a fit of anger when he called me those terrible things. Things like “Fu**ing son of a b**ch”, or “Fu**ing a** hole”. Who in their right mind calls their son that? He always considered himself my father, since he practically taught me everything I know. Well I don’t consider myself his son, that’s for sure. There’s one lesson that Bart taught me that I am thankful for. Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words can never fade from the mind. I don’t care what you tell me. Tell me that it will be okay, that I’ll get over it, but I promise you that as long as I live, those horrible words will never fade from my memory. They are my indefinite torture. When I feel bad, they are there. When I feel good, they are there. I cannot escape them. They will not disappear no matter how far I push them back into my mind. I become intoxicated with them. As horrible as it sounds, this I believe: I will take them to my grave; they will be with me forever. I only pray that God will somehow miraculously allow me to forget them. If there are any people in this world that believe that words don’t hurt, I guess that their happiness stems from pure ignorance, or just really good parents and friends.
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