I can remember every single time someone has referred to my weight negatively. It’s just one of those things that has stuck in my mind. I was slightly over weight in my young years at different times and have always been overweight as an adult.
There was the time I was on break at work, eating an apple of all things. I saw a co-worker “mouth” silently to another co-worker “she’s fat” Well, I was looking at him when he said it and I had just had Sanura about a month before and I was very sensitive about the changes that pregnancy had brought my body. I cried and was very upset. He denied that he said it and coincidentally the guy he had mouthed it to wasn’t looking, only I was. Then there was the time I was in 3rd grade and someone said “lay off the Twinkies” Yep I still remember that. Another day I was working and a guy came through my checkout. He was Bosnian but spoke fairly good english. He said “You got fat” and I said “excuse me?” and he repeated “you got fat” I just said “Wow, that is really rude” I didn’t know what else to say. All of these incidences are forever burned in my brain.
In much the same way all the negative comments that people have made to or about Adrian are forever in my memory. They never go away.
The time we were at the movies and Adrian stimmed and a guy from the back was shouting obscenities at him. The time we were leaving IHOP and a couple was coming in. Adrian moaned and flapped his hands and a guy copied him. The sideways glances, staring, and pointing, well…they all kind of get stuck in my head.
I stick my foot in my mouth at times. I feel a little socially awkward. Unsure of how to handle myself in certain situations and consequently feeling my face get hot and red with embarrassment over nothing. I’m sure I’ve said things that could have hurt people at one time or another but it’s so important for all of us to really be aware of what is coming out of our mouths. You don’t want to say that thing that is forever burned in someone’s memory.
I think I’m more aware of this then I ever have been. I’ve always been a nice person. I was never a bully or one to pick on people. I have become increasingly aware of how I choose my words though.
The reason I started thinking about this is because I was reading R-word-Spread the Word to End the Word which has become one of my favorite websites to read lately. I read about these celebrities slipping with the r-word on their twitter or during interviews and I’m not angry, I know they don’t mean anything by it but we have to keep saying that it’s not ok. It’s disrespectful and someone slipping with that word in front of the wrong person could truly hurt someone deeply. I think of parents who are going through the diagnostic process and their emotions are raw and my heart breaks when I think about them being hurt by that word.
Not that we need to dwell on this negativity, I don’t. But I haven’t forgotten these comments and I probably never will.