Words scar us


Emily Corona

The power one word has can cause someone else to view themselves in a negative way.

Everyone is broken in some way because of the wounds some words may leave. 

“Why do you exist? You’re useless. You’re a mistake.”“It’s your fault this is happening.”

“Look at you. Who would want you. You’re ugly.”

“Just give up. You’ll never be good at anything.”

These are real words MCHS students have heard throughout their lives.

Junior Zury Villa was willing to share her story about the most painful words said to her.

“What’s wrong with you? Why do you dress like that? Why do you look like that?” Villa said.

Sometimes we don’t think about the consequences our words have on others. It sticks with them and although they may move past their experience, they’ll still remember the pain they went through. 

“It made me more conscious about the way other people see or think about me because I was different from everyone else,” said Villa. 

There’s only so much we can handle before it negatively affects students.

“It depends if you let it get to you. If you’re constantly being told, ‘what’s wrong with you?’ and ‘Why are you like that?’ can make you feel self-conscious about everything you do. And when you’re younger, then it has a big impact on you because you’re still growing up and becoming who you are as a person, and if people are constantly telling you there’s something wrong with you, then it can give you self-esteem issues and make you feel bad about yourself,” said Villa.

What’s even more devastating is that those closest to us are most likely to lash out and say something cruel which takes a toll on our self esteem, making us insecure and socially isolated. 

A senior who would like to remain anonymous recalls a time when her mother’s words stung. 

“I was in the bathroom and I heard my mom yell. I eavesdropped and she was talking to my sister about her necklace. She really liked it and told her how pretty it was. But then she looked at mine and said it was ugly; she didn’t appreciate it. I liked it so I thought maybe she might like it too, but I guess she didn’t. I felt sad so I started crying in the bathroom the whole day,” said the anonymous senior.

The anonymous senior described how these words coming from their mother affected them.

“Once I started doing more arts and crafts I just had that memory. Now I just make things into patterns instead of throwing it randomly in the thread. I’m not really emotional about it, but it’s still in my head. It’s always been there,” said the anonymous senior.

Anonymous senior has grown from this experience and shares their advice.

“It’s okay. Just do what you want to do. If you want to make something that’s brown and pink, who cares. Just do what you want. It’s creativity, there’s no law for it,” they said.

Eventually, over time we will get past them and reflect on what really matters now. 

“Just tell them to buzz off,” said Villa.

No one can just ignore the hurtful spoken words because after repetition, these victims start to believe by internalizing it and dehumanizing themselves. Oftentimes, these victims end up hating themselves in order to satisfy others.

Thank you to all the MCHS students who shared their experiences with us. It is very painful to recall such stories. But no matter what, make sure to continue on with your life; and if you need a break, then go ahead and take it, but don’t let those words stop you from pursuing your own happiness. And for those who have said something cruel, please think about what you’re going to say twice so you don’t regret it later. 

Final word from senior: “Be careful with what you say because it hurts. It messes with people’s minds.”