When people ignorantly say things that hurt, what do you do?

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Good day (or night-depending) reader

This post isn’t about dogs for once.  Any regular readers may sigh but the world is bigger than the love for and rescuing of our four legged friends.

This post is about me.. people like me.. and because of people who are ignorant and careless of what they say.  I can write this as I am not afraid of ghosts in my cupboard, but many people are. I will write this for myself and for those people who are not brave enough.  And I write it because I doubt I am the only one on earth to be subjected daily to hurtful or uncomfortable comments because of some people’s ignorance and lack of respect for others.  We’re all often surrounded by people locked in their own private bubble happily spurting words of the kind that if one though before one spoke one might just consider not saying such a thing.

What am I babbling on about? BANTER.. what is BANTER?  It’s a”laugh”, a “crack” and a “joke” but usually at someone else’s expense.  We all (or majority) do it, most comedians joke about accents or tall versus short – it’s “funny” as long as it’s light, not direct and not offensive.  Over the years I try to keep banter to a very mild level having been subjected to banter myself from hoards or testosterone filled bodies calling themselves men – me being female and all that.

But what do you do when you hear the banter and it’s not directed towards you or anyone else in particular but it hurts?  Let me explain more……

I have always worked in a predominantly male environment, engineering, transport, now fish merchants/fishermen.  The latter being the most disgusting has made me raise the point.  I was abused throughout my childhood, physically, emotionally and sexually by my father (that’s the ghost in the cupboard) and bullied at school because I had no self esteem and felt no self worth. Over the years I’ve learned to deal with it, not hide from it or be ashamed, but head on deal with it.  That said I don’t walk into a new situation and greet people with “Hi I’m Suzan and I was abused” like in an AA group.  In fact, as one would expect, unless the subject seems appropriate I don’t mention it.  Why would I?  Why would anyone share their personal bad experiences of any sort to just any old body they are in the vicinity of?  I would think most people who have suffered or still are suffering from abuse of any kind tend to keep quiet as it’s a sore wound to keep opening. Mostly people who have suffered at the hands of others like me, or in other ways, don’t want sympathy either and once the words are spoken that is the only emotion many can offer as they sit awkwardly thinking “Oh crap, now what do I say?”

Well, the thing is, these filthy-mouthed, disgusting bags of testosterone think it’s hilarious at times to say stuff – Comments like “Ah he went out last night and was looking at the sexy teenage chicks, he’s a right Paedophile” – guffaws of laughter from the rest, followed by ten minutes of sexual abuse ‘jokes’ and comments…Or “My sister and my mum got shagged last night…Fxxx my cock hurts today”….rolling around laughing and pats on the back for such ‘funny’ remarks.  OH AND SO MUCH MORE.

Inappropriate? – well I think that’s an absolute understatement.

Hurtful? – sadly yes.

But as one woman working with 11 men how awkward will it be to just stand and say “Don’t say that, I suffered at the hands of a Paedophile, my own father, so shut up”?…..

As I said I have always worked in a male environment, and I quite possibly always will.  I can’t change the world and I can’t change mentalities and attitudes but one day I will speak out, and my current colleagues will all tippy toe around me and isolate me, all awkward and distant, and I’ll struggle to work in such isolation and leave…. I know it. I’ve been there before.

So people – MEN… whilst folk like me, more often than not, have learned to deal with a torturous childhood in our own often unique way, just be careful with banter.  BANTER OF ANY KIND.  You never know the heartache of the person standing next to you.

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