“In a 2011 study funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, Researchers found that, As far as the brain is concerned, physical pain and intense experiences of social rejection hurt in the same way. So when I define shame as an intensely “painful” experience, I’m not kidding.”Brene Brown – Daring Greatly, pg 71
The saying “Sticks and Stones may break my bones but names will never harm me.” is first to have appeared in March 1862, ever since then our parents of their parents of their parents have said this to us when others have used hurtful, deceitful or shameful words to bring us down and make them feel superior. A bullying tactic of condescending nature to have power over us or to demean us into thinking we are lesser than. I’m 37 years old and far from prefect so I know and am willing to say that I have bullied before, I’ve also bullied unintentionally and have been bullied. I’m not perfect and I find solitude when I say that cause not everyone will own up to that.
So seeing from above that this type of shaming actually hurts the same as physically hitting someone can be surprising to most of us. To the rest we know it all to well and after such a thing we might resort to doing what we do best, We go find our addiction of choice and try to forget what we just went through. It breaks us little by little and deadens our senses of ever really growing, it actually stops us dead in our tracks of growing by drinking and using. By doing that, we stop growing emotionally because we numb by self medicating to get away from the hurt. We don’t learn from what happened, we look the other way and we stay the same age mentally while becoming child minded adults. Have you ever seen someone elderly who drank a lot act like a teenager when they react to situations? That’s what happens and knowing that now, it saddens me that, that had to happen in the first place. If only we knew then what we know now, no one would be saying that old saying from such a long time ago and we wouldn’t be saying it to our kids.
Growing up and being indigenous myself wasn’t all that far fetched from what others went through in ways. My little town that I grew up in was very split and you couldn’t get away from the fact that we were diverse, so racism wasn’t a huge deal, not to say that it didn’t pop now and then. I’ve been through it and I’ve done it to others. Again not proud of that and again not down playing my part in it either cause looked at what happened to Don Cherry (I will not be getting into that one, too big) it was an example.
Growing up I lived 5-6 hours away from my band or my reserve where most of my moms side of the family came from. It wasn’t to say that there were 2 reserves near by but I grew up off reserve and didn’t know much about the idea of living on a reserve and so my ideals were far different than that of say someone that lived on a reserve. I always seen myself as normal, like everyone else I grew up with, I didn’t see that being a little native boy was different than any other child around me, all I knew was that they were my friends and that’s all that mattered. One friend in particular that lived across town I could tell by thinking back, he thought the same thing however every time I went over to his place his mom treated me really different. I wasn’t allowed to spend the night, I was only allowed to come in as little as possible and even the way she spoke to me was different. (again no names cause It really doesn’t affect me anymore, never to say it ever did in the first place) Later I would find out that they thought they were upper class compared to who I was and where I lived but that never deterred my buddy and I from going out and having fun on adventures in our little town. I was young and didn’t know that was what people did to others and it wasn’t because I was naive, it was cause I was innocent and grew up thinking that everyone was the same. Its society and parents, influences like the news, the papers, people we think are outstanding citizens of the world that drill it over and over in our heads, they make us think that people that are different are bad. It happens so often now a days that we do it without realizing. That’s when we start condescending over people and call them names – shame them, belittle them, make them think lesser than who they really are. If you stuck a bunch of babies in a big enough crib who were innocent minded with different babies from all over the world, they wouldn’t know the difference, they would be happier than a pig in a play pen because of all the interaction they would receive from each other. We learn this “difference” from a young age from adults and influences around us and as we get older we are reiterated with it all around us from Facebook, Pictures, Schools, Work etc…
Learning that what we say hurts others in the same way as physically hitting them and that we learn differences from such a young age, we need to be vigilant about others in a way that it won’t shame them. Being mindful of how we interact with others around us in a healthy way is how I’m learning by living here in this recovery house I’m at. I constantly have to be self aware of the words I choose to use around others and I don’t have to coddle them because we all know how hard the world can be already but I can have some consideration for what I say and to whom. I still validate their feelings and get my point across. We can still be our own authentic selves because each one of us bring something unique to the world that only we, ourselves can offer to one another. I’m gonna end this with a quote from a movie because I loved it!! Gods of Egypt, don’t mistake the word “afterlife” by death but by just “life” and by being a good person with good intentions. <link below>
Horus, King of All Egypt: “From this moment on, the afterlife must be earned, not with gold, but by good deeds, compassion, and generosity. What we do– how we act– in this life matters.”Gods of Egypt (2016) – Horus