Socially Acceptable Phrases I Cannot Utter

In brief explanation, it’s not that I don’t think these things, it’s just that experience has taught me that these words might be unknowing lies that can hurt you. So I will never say them.

Song lyrics from Hawk Nelson’s “Everything That You Ever Wanted.”

I tried to be perfect, tried to be honest
Tried to be everything that you ever wanted

I cannot say about your mother, “She’s a great mom.” Because I simply do not know. Your mother might have broke toys over your head when you were a child, she might have told that God had created you for a life of complete and utter loneliness when you were a suicidal teenager, she might have told you and your fiancee the night before you wedding that if he ever left you everyone would know it was your fault.

I tried to be stronger, tried to be smarter
Tried to be everything but you

I cannot say about you, “You’re a good mom.” Because you might be like me when I was a younger mom. You might be unable to channel your anger in correct ways and scream at your kids all the time and always be looking for what they are doing wrong. (Ask Farmer Boy and Spock, they could tell you stories.)

Its been so long
Since you’ve been home
I used to wait up forever
I used to say a prayer
Wishing you were there
And I’m still waiting

I can’t say about your dad, “He’s a great dad.” Because he might have abandoned you when you needed him. He might have been a sick, twisted guy who liked to expose you to pornography, and encourage you to be promiscuous and to share your stories of interludes while he shared his with you.

It took the seasons going by
To know its not my fault

Finally, and I suppose this is the big reveal to most people since I’ve talked to so few about it, ever…

I cannot say about your husband, “He’s a great guy.” Because he might have rejected you on your wedding night and rejected you every day since. Those five children you have, you might have had to beg for. Maybe you thought like Leah in the bible that now that you gave your husband a child, he would love you, but if you know your bible, you know how that went for her. You might be reading every Christian marriage book out there in a desperate attempt to find out what it is you are doing wrong that makes him hate you so. And maybe you finally came to the breaking point after years and years of lifting him up while he tore you down and you say to him that you can’t take another minute with him and he refuses to leave because he says leaving is such a worse sin than all the vows to you he broke, all the pain he caused you, all the dreams of yours he destroyed, all the lies he’s told you. And maybe, when you walked into the abused women’s center, a place you don’t think you deserve to be because “It”s not like he’s hitting you or anything” they hand you a paper that tells all the things an abuser will do and say to get you to stay and you realize that he’s been doing these, just enough to string you along, for years. Maybe, for twenty-one years you have suffered alone and in silence because you were convinced the people in the church would just tell you to suck it up, be a better wife, and pray harder because that’s what you’ve seen them do to your friends who were abused.

I don’t know. I can’t say. But I don’t think it’s just me. So I will never tell you these things, because I do not wish to add to your secret sufferings.


2 thoughts on “Socially Acceptable Phrases I Cannot Utter

  1. Amy says:

    I’m sorry. Sending prayers up for you. You are one of the strongest people I’ve ever met…but I know that strength is earned.

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