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Topic: sticks and stones  (Read 9993 times)
Tags for this thread: embroidery , empowerment , domestic_violence_awareness , good_cause_challenge  Add new tag
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« on: October 18, 2009 11:53:36 PM »

i embroidered this because it's something that i want to hang in my house. i want to remind myself, and to remind others in my life, that words can be as incredibly hurtful as other kinds of abuse, and to take care.

i remember as a kid, the phrase "sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me". i sincerely hope kids aren't still learning that, but when i was a kid, we didn't talk about bullying and the cruelty of children. when i started school, my dad told me that if a boy bothered me "punch him in the nose" (i don't think i ever did, though as i grew older, i realized a groin shot would be more effective anyway! Wink) but we never learned how to deal with the emotional cruelty, you know?

i was a super sensitive kid, i cried at EVERYTHING, and got teased all the time, and even more so when i started to cry! it got to the point that by my early teens, i'd trained myself to never cry in front of anyone else - even if it was totally acceptable (like a sad movie). i don't really know how things would have been any different if we'd talked more about it in the 80s, but i wonder.

i really wanted to embroider this piece for the domestic violence theme because i think emotional abuse can sometimes be overlooked. i think survivors of emotional abuse are often the first ones to do that. i was in a common law relationship for several years that was really messed up, when i look back on it now. it took me over a year to stop hearing my ex's voice in my head putting me down, even though i realized soon after we split that it wasn't really ME thinking those things. friends have come out and called the relationship abusive, but i still shy from that. i don't think he was intentionally trying to hurt me or to control my actions, i think he had a lot of his own emotional problems, and we were really unsuited. is it still abuse if it isn't intentional? i'm also uncomfortable calling it abuse because it doesn't seem "as bad" as other people's stories of physical or sexual abuse, which i know is totally contradictory to what i'm saying here. but that's how it goes, you know? rationally, i know that emotional abuse can leave long reaching scars, and for some people, may be more damaging than other kinds of abuse. but emotionally it's a different story.

coming out of the relationship i realized that both my physical and mental had been affected by the relationship, and even now, years later, i still struggle with things that go back to that period in my life.

so this is what i embroidered

the words are a simple font, i wanted them to look almost childlike. (i'll edit this with the actual name later, i have to look it up!) they're simple backstitch, and the heart is satin stitch with two different shades of pink.

once again, comments and criticism are totally welcome, and the pics are on flickr, so if you'd like to see them bigger, just click on them.

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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2009 11:58:20 PM »

gahhh this made me start crying so hard. i'm in one of those emotionally terrible relationships right now (i too can not call it abuse, although my friends try to pound that into my head) i know i need to get out but i just can't do it.

i think the 'child like writing' really hit home, too. it adds that extra touch! nicely done.

at least i know that i am not alone  Undecided
« Last Edit: October 18, 2009 11:59:15 PM by Lo{ve} » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2009 12:22:42 AM »

oh Lo{ve}, i'm so sorry. i'm so glad the piece helped at least a bit, but i'm so sorry that you're in a place of needing that knowledge, you know?  ((hugs))

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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2009 12:25:21 AM »

   I love it! I think you should put that photo on t-shirts. It is cute, but real. And ,
I can definitely relate to being teased as a kid.

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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2009 02:14:58 AM »

craftydame I love this, it's wonderful. I'm glad that you got out of your previous relationship and have healed. I think that many times emotional abuse is a lot harder to get over, like you said. With physical abuse you know that it's wrong, you know that it's a violation, with emotional abuse it gets into your brain to the point where you really start to believe what your abuser is saying.

It's been published that military torturers know that most people can be broken completely by brainwashing (which is kind of what emotional abuse is) but they will hold their convictions and beliefs to the death when being physically abused.

Words have power, we know this. I think a lot of people can be unintentionally cruel at times not paying attention to what they're saying, especially children.

Lo{ve}- be strong. Know that you are a wonderful person and that you should be valued as such. Whatever you decide you should know that there are thousands of people that share similar experiences and communities for you to get help should you choose to seek it.

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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2009 06:26:24 AM »

They were still saying "sticks and stones" when I was a kid in the 90s.  Sticks and stones my ass!  Words can hurt, a lot.

I am sorry for what you have endured.  But it seems to have made you much stronger than before.  Often the worst things we've been through can be things which shape us the most and make us beautiful, like a caterpillar turned butterfly.

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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2009 07:23:53 AM »

What a wonderful piece and very true. Words hurt just as bad and can be very abusive. Such a simple saying, with such a powerful message.

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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2009 08:57:23 AM »

thank you everyone!

KLKinng, that's such a good idea! someone should do it in cafe press or something (so beyond my computer skills though!!)

Seraphina_de_Sangre, the military fact is super interesting as well. brainwashing is such a terrifying thing to me. i grew up in a fairly conservatively religious community, and it wasn't the religion itself that bothered me, but how EVERYONE had the exact same thoughts and beliefs, because they weren't encouraged at all to question their faith, or to learn about it any deeper than what their youth minister told them. that's so different than the way i grew up, with open minded parents and the knowledge that you don't HAVE to agree with everything that the church says or does. words and the emotions that they create can have such a powerful hold over people.

fluffybaka, i'm sorry to hear that. i had hoped that with all the recent attention to bullying, schools would be emphasizing the power of words more.

and thanks kittykill. another reason i think we tend to see emotional abuse in a lesser light is just basic human nature. if we can't SEE the damage, we don't know how to help, we feel useless, and it gets pushed under the carpet, so to say. i see the same thing with invisible dis/abilities as well. if someone has a broken arm or something, we know how to provide medical care for it, so we feel like we can help in some way, but if someone has emotional scars, it's much harder to know what to do. that's why people such as yourself are so important, the people who DO know what to do to help!   

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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2009 09:54:53 AM »

Very powerful in it's simplicity and very well stitched.  Thank you for your courage in sharing and moving on.

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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2009 10:03:46 AM »


Thank You.

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