Sticks and Stones
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.
The O’Jays - Back Stabbers
So goes the old Nursery Rhyme. But those of us who have survived domestic violence and school or workplace bullying know better. Doesn’t matter whether you’re 4, 14, 24, 34, 44, or 54 words do hurt. They do damage. Evil speaking can destroy careers, relationships and lives. Gossip, lies, slander, libel, and innuendo can cause scandals that cannot be lived down by the innocent victim. Battling scandalous stories sends victims on a quest to either prove their innocence or force them out of relationships or jobs because trust has been broken. In the extreme bullying is a major cause of suicide. No matter how hard the victim has worked, how faithful or how loyal he/she has been family, friends, colleagues and co-workers all view them in the light of these newly found “facts”. Those at the receiving end have to deal with the shame of false accusations.
Smiling Faces - The Undisputed Truth
Church is not a sanctuary or refuge from gossip and lies though it should be. How many of the faithful have been shunned or ostracized because of untrue rumors going around against them started by jealousy and envy. Constant jockeying for so-called high level church positions, i.e. those they get you closer to the Pastor have split congregations and created nasty battles that cause the faithful to leave and never return. Trust me when I say the Seven Deadly Sins are alive and well on Sunday mornings and in Bible Studies and Prayer Meetings. Maybe they should be called Prey Meetings.
In the case of domestic violence the abuser telling their spouse or partner over and over again how useless, ugly, stupid, dumb, fat or skinny they are becomes a belief system then a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Lust, anger, jealousy, envy, greed are the many roots of conflict among humans. Innocents are degraded and penalized never really understanding their crime. Victims are disgraced, dishonored and humiliated. Basically you’ve been judged, convicted and sentenced without even the opportunity to state your case or refute false information. Victims are consigned to a living nightmare a personal hell from which one is always trying to escape. You’re entire life becomes one of chaos and havoc. The health toll is enormous. Fear, nerves, anxiety, insomnia, nightmares, headaches and panic attacks rule the day. Every avenue of escape is blocked. How many lives have been ruined because words once spoken cannot be taken back? No, words are not innocent. They can be used as brickbats, swords, spears and knives. Words are deadly weapons imbued with the power of life and death.
We become the fallen Angels caught between Heaven and hell in a purgatory ruled by satanic beings obsessed with the destruction of mind, body and soul. Lost souls wandering a hellish limbo of victimization. Victims and survivors forever search for the lifeline and lighthouse of rescue.