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Simply Kind Tuesdays: Words

Growing up around schizophrenics, like I did, I learned early how powerful one word can be.

A single word could send my cyclic schizophrenic mother into a paranoid, violent rant that would last for days.

A word, said over the telephone, misheard by one psycho sister, could easily be passed along as fact and truth and result in a violent beating.

An off the cuff phrase might lead to complete abandonment by my mother, who would repeat the misunderstood phrase to anyone who was listening as proof of her victimization. Stripped of even basic human dignity, my sisters and father would lead the chant, repeating the misunderstood, misheard phrase at school, church, or anywhere people would listen. A few words, less than a sentence, and I was cast out of the human race.

A paragraph written in an assignment could be brought up over and over and over and over again often for years by my mother and sisters as proof of my disloyalty, idiocy or cruelty.

A single word had the power to create nuclear destruction of my life.

That's not to mention the ravings and rants of insanity spread from mother to sister, sister to father, father to mother and back around again. I hear them in my head sometimes. They call me : whore, stupid, cruel, evil, demon, ugly, fat, useless, slut, friendless, worthless, unwanted. Even after decades of therapy, I'm still stunned at the power of the echo in my head of : "Who'd want to be friends with you?" said as it exited my sister's mouth decades ago.

I'm not saying this for you to feel sorry for me. I was very very lucky to escape the genetic curse both my mother and father shared and passed along. Living among your paranoia and delusions with little hope of ever being able to experience reality is a curse worse than anything that was done to me. I get reality and that's enough.

I'm saying this to remind you that your words have power. No matter how helpless or hopeless you feel, your words transmit over every realm including time. What you choose to say today, maybe remembered for a lifetime.

You can choose to change someone's life with a single word. You can choose to destroy someone's hope with a different word. It's up to you how you use the powerful sword of words.

What will you say today?