Those sticks and stones….

Wow….Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop came up with a good one this week in a list of writing prompt ideas….The last time someone called you a name.


I laughed to myself and thought it would be more difficult to write about when someone didn’t call me a name! 

Let me expand on that.

First, a little self name-calling here…I tend to be a bitch.  Fairly well educated, accomplished, decent dresser, great cook but…terribly bitchy.  Hey, I’m the first to acknowledge what I am and I do it well.  I’ve earned this title!

But, harsh words coming from another direction well, that’s something else entirely.  Whether in a moment of heated discussion or any other situation, being the recipient of a nasty name can cut into your soul like a knife.  I’m guessing what hurts the most is your realization that others see you in some type of tarnished light, depending on whatever confrontation is involved.  Then again, there are people who thrive on name-calling in some effort to hold power over another.

What this brings me to are words that have stayed embedded in a corner of my mind since childhood and more than any derisive comment which has been thrown at me over the years.  Growing-up and frequently hearing “you’re just a dumb, stupid kid” from my late father have left their impact.  To this day, if I fudge some task I’m working on or make a big mistake (which happens often), his jabbing words come back like ghosts that haunt me.  Depending on the circumstance,  I’ll mutter to myself how dumb and stupid I’ve been.

Whether ignorance along with some willful bad parenting is the culprit,  calling names, in any form, leaves a lifelong hurt.   We yell at our children or call them names wrapped in negative connotations to try to get them to stop doing things we don’t like.  We make them feel bad about themselves or with whatever situation they are involved in.  And yes, I’m guilty of doing the same to my children during their formative years.  Children learn what they live and there is absolutely no excuse for perpetuating the unacceptable behaviors of one’s past.

So, the last time someone called me a name?   I did.  Just now.  Don’t ask.









  1. Trudy says:

    Good post. Thankfully, my parents never name-called, but unfortunately others in my family did. It hurts.

    • Patty says:

      So many things happen to us in life that we can easily brush-off, many things are never forgotten. Yes, the hurt never really goes away.

      Thanks, Trudy!

  2. Abby says:

    Oooh, OUCH. Called “dumb” and “stupid” by your own father? That would definitely burn into the brain. Any bad name calling hurts, but coming from a parent’s gotta be the worst.

    • Patty says:

      I grew up in different times where children didn’t have rights and there was no room to ever question authority. And yes, when the nastiness comes from a parental unit, the scars run deep. I often think that my late father must have experienced some similar treatment in his younger years and just passed it along to me. We often hear similar stories from others who live and have lived in similar situations.

      Thanks for stopping-by!

  3. carol says:

    Anyone that calls you names does so much harm. The emotional scars of name calling can never be erased from your mind. I am thankful to have never had a parent call me a name. To me that would have betrayed any trust with that parent. So sad you had to go through this. I remember saying the same verse… sticks and stones… from friends who called me names. No one should call anyone a name, unless it’s a good one!

    • Patty says:

      All these years later, I take great pride in knowing that I’ve been anything but…dumb and stupid; it’s just that damn expression that stays in my mind like a Post-It note that actually stays put!

      I’m not a martyr, not by any means. So many others have had far worse experiences in life. And yes, the hurt from name-calling hurled by friends can be forgotten, in time, but a parental insult never seems to go away.

      Thank you, Carol!

Speak Your Mind


Designed By: Wacky Jacquis Designs · Built on Genesis Framework