9.19.2013

What's Wrong With You?!?!

"What's wrong with you?" I hate that phrase. HATE. IT.

Yet, I hear myself say it to the kids and I want to slap myself. It hurts my heart when I say it and all I can think is: "Shit. Why did I say that?!?!" Matt says it, too. I don't know who started it, but it's the worst thing ever.

I try to be aware of the things that come out of my mouth when it comes to the kids. I constantly worry about the little things that will get lodged in the pockets of their brains and become memories. I worry that the bad things could outweigh the good. I know that words count so much more than actions. I can still remember things adult said to me that stung when I younger. So, I try so hard to remind them of how good they are, how beautiful and loved and smart they are every chance I get. I cover them hugs and kisses. But it doesn't erase those times I scream "What is wrong with you?!?!"

When they throw a tantrum or knock something over or just will not put on their shoes when we have to go. When they won't get in the car seat or flip over the laundry basket I just folded. What's wrong with them? They're kids.

They might not be scarred by it, but I am. I never want them to feel that there is anything wrong WITH them. Something might be wrong in general. They might feel sick or sad or bored or lost a toy. But that is a different question and that's not what I'm asking, but should be.

Really, the better question is what's wrong with me... And the answer is I'm stressed, tired, distracted, overwhelmed, running late, not paying attention enough to intervene, and dealing with a million other emotions and distractions that run through my head every day.

So, from here, let's consider it deleted. Today, September 19, 2013, I banish that phrase from my house. How about you join me?

What phrases do you say that you wish you could erase from your vocabulary?

A controlling mother, a missing daughter, and a family who is desperate for love. This post was inspired by the the psychological thriller Mother, Mother by Zoren Zailckas. Join From Left to Write on September 19 as we discuss Mother, Mother.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

3 comments:

Jessica Peyton of Aim High Writing said...

"You're being ridiculous."

I heard it said to me and my siblings. Now sometimes I say it, either about myself or others (although, not to anyone's face!).

I am going to stop because I remember how dismissive it was - particularly of any kind of emotional response. Emotions aren't ridiculous.

Thanks for the reminder that words can hurt, but we can choose to stop using particular ones and certain phrases.

Thien-Kim aka Kim said...

I have found myself saying "What were you thinking?" And then I hate myself afterwards too. I'm taking the pledge with you.

misemann said...

I have to admit that I have said the same thing and feel horribly guilty after it comes out of my mouth. However, I know that it's because of all of the reasons you laid out in your post (I'm tired, stressed, etc). It's no excuse and I just try to do better.