The Power of Words

Here and on lots of other blogs, I see reference to the potential hurtfulness of words.  HG sufferes can get upset about how others treat their condition, or try to suggest crackers and gingerale to us.  It’s annoying, I’ll admit. But it’s more than that sometimes, it’s also hurtful, because it invalidates an HG woman’s/family’s experience. 

I experienced a lot of that.  Before I knew of HG personally, I’m sure, in an attempt to be helpful, I would have suggested the same, so I understand it. When people offer those suggestions (medical people, friends, well-meaning co workers) I realize they do not understand HG, and it is an opportunity to explain it and spread the word. I always tell them, they should Google HG and Helpher, and that I don’t have morning sickness, it’s a disease. I like to use that word. It gets people thinking more.  I do also explain that its pretty rare (don’t want to scare anyone from getting pregnant) That way if the “ginger promoters” ever meet someone with HG again, they might remember my quick explination and perhaps direct them to solid resources.

And there are a lot of thoughts and posts and articles about insensitive words when it comes to pregnancy loss. I have been mostly fortunate that I havn’t experienced that too much.  And if I have, it hasn’t really hurt me, because I am just emphatic about what I believe and the pain I feel and the loss I experienced and I feel secure in it, I guess. 

I do sometimes just tell people that I experienced a pregnancy loss, which is true, but sometimes feels like half truth.  Most of the time,  I will say to most people that I made a choice, for what I believed to be health reasons at the time, to terminate a pregnancy. Right after I say, nice to meet you, of course 🙂 I think I like to be that blunt. It’s very in your face, deal with it. Maybe I like shock value too much, or to see people a little uncomfortable. That’s sort of my style, I guess.  But I do it, not to be mean, but because there is value in it.  It effectuates change, it calls people to respond and to action, or at least plants the seed for new thought. It sparks dialogue and debate and maybe growth. It changes how we order and see our world. Perspective. (Can you tell I was a communication and theology major?)

We should all choose every word we speak with purpose, either when informing others about our struggles, explaining HG, or comforting each other- just daily. It’s a good reminder for every aspect of our lives. Sometimes I have been quick to use hurtful words lately, and to snap at others, who don’t get it. And I justify it because I am hurting and angry and sad. But it is not justifiable. Words have the power to change our experience and the experience of others. To hurt, help and/or heal.  That’s a great responsibility, and I must strive to use mine to serve our world. I hope that I am.  I am working on becoming more concious of it, at the very least.

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One Response to The Power of Words

  1. Susan says:

    I am glad you are blunt and tell people. During my last pregnancy when even the hospital staff thought that I just needed to eat and then I would be okay and when people were telling me what helped them with their morning sickness I wanted to shout and yell that it is so bad that people have abortions because of it. I think people need to know that to appreciate how bad it is.

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