For the past several day I have been engaged in an ongoing feud with my daughter. Truth be told I was the one doing all the feuding, ranting and raving while she remained calm, cool and collected throughout. One of those classic cases when the parent becomes the child and the child becomes the parent. Ouch. I allowed myself to become upset with her over something, which I now know had been completely blown out of proportion and exaggerated beyond belief. It was completely out of character for her and I knew in my heart she would never do, yet stupidly I believed it.
Although the incident is behind us now and I know we will move on, the damage has been done. You see I threw sticks and stones at her unnecessarily and some hit the target. You see I always fall back on words as my weapon of choice. I am a fairly decent writer and can manipulate a phrase pretty well, sometimes too well. It is a gift and at the same time my curse. If you’re reading this daughter dearest, my humblest apologies. I know we have spoken, and I know where we stand. In time hopefully we can mend fences and perhaps be as we once were. Sorry doll. I love you.
Last night while thinking about words and the tremendous power they hold, I remembered this post from last year, went back and reread it and found it quite relevant to this particular situation. I only wish I had had the good sense to heed my own advice. It’s called ” Careful What You Say, It May Come Back to Haunt You.” But I probably should have called “Careful What You Say, It May Come Back to Bite You In The Ass!”
Sometimes when we least expect it, long forgotten ghosts from our past have a way of suddenly reappearing to wreck on our lives. I recently had such a visit that rocked my world and has left me feeling deeply troubled. I’d long ago buried this particular ghost and others from that same time period and hadn’t thought of them in decades. I only wish they could have remained under wraps.
Several weeks ago someone I care about very much went through an extremely difficult time. She experienced a frightening incident that understandably has caused her a tremendous amount of emotional stress. In the weeks since she has been seeing a psychologist. As a result of these sessions she has come to some very important self understandings and is making giant strides in her return to normalcy. Thank God.
We chanced to talk last Friday afternoon and she revealed that in talking to the psychologist she had come to understand why her recent incident had caused her such distress. We spoke of the episode and how fear had overtaken her in those moments during and after. It pained me to learn that it was a childhood memory of me that lay at the heart of her fear. Not a memory of some terrible deed or action, but simply a remembrance something overheard. Actually a single word. One word out of a string of words said in anger that sent a deathly fear through her, a fear that has remained buried in her subconscious ever since and affect her ability to deal with fearful situations ever since. I felt awful knowing that I had something to do with her current situation. I’m so sorry.
I’ve mentioned before that I believe I have this monster living inside me, a monster that through the years I have learned to contain and keep pretty much bottled up. Oh he still manages to rear his ugly head once in a great while, but is much easier to contain now. But back in the day the monster was around a whole lot more and was much harder to manage. He would rant and rave, spewing angry and hurtful words. Pretty ugly. Sometimes after an episode I’d look back on it, try to understand the whys and what fors and it all would seem so melodramatic and theatrical, and perhaps it was just a little, either way the damage had already been done.
Sometimes the alcohol and pot helped calm the monster, sometime it just made him worse. The best remedy was music and playing my guitar, music sooth the savage beast or so they say. In time circumstance and events helped me see the error of my ways and I managed to turn things around . Thankfully my wife and kids stuck around (not sure if I would have) and things continued to improve. Eventually I was able to put those dark days behind me and all those memories began to fade to black. That was nearly 28 years ago. A lot of water under the bridge.
Since our talk on Friday the memory of those dark days have come back to haunt me with a vengeance. I don’t like remembering. Oh, there were some good times as well, I wasn’t the beast all the time, but the bad days cast a shadow over the period. It’s hard for me to believe I could have ever been that person. I wish I hadn’t been.
I would never have thought that all these years later my past would come back to bite me on the ass this way, no one probably would. What occurred back then was done out of anger and bitterness, I was not a happy person then, but I never meant to hurt anyone now with something I said or did all those years ago. I never imagined it would happen, but it has. Now I find that someone I care about, has this deep seeded scar that I unknowingly caused. But whether I meant to or not isn’t the point. The damage was done long ago and only recent has been discovered. II wish I could have a do-over. I’m determined to find a way to make amends for what I’ve done, even if it takes the rest of my life I’m determined to make it right. I’m sorry…
Take care in what you say my friends, casually, carelessly or in anger. You can never know what effect your words can have on someone whether you’re speaking directly to them or are merely overheard by someone else.The result as I have learned, can be devastating. The effect of your words may not be evident until much later. Learn to bite your tongue, I wish I had. Words are powerful! Use them wisely.
“Your Word are your weapons, you’re slaying my soul…” JS
Just a Thought…