“What’s another word for Thesaurus?” ~ Steven Wright

So first, I want to say THANK YOU!! I now have 300 official followers and since I started this blawg in March, 2020 I’ve had almost 6,000 views and 3,700 visitors from 101 countries! That is amazing to me and you, my peeps, are so supportive and wonderful! Thank you for that! 😍

Anyhoot, after class today I was talking to the librarians and we started naming words that we hated to say…ones that make our skin crawl. We didn’t look at words that are offensive because we hate all of them and their meanings…instead, we looked at everyday words.

These coasters are available on Amazon! I want them!

What are mine? “Moist” is the first one and I must not be alone because one of the librarians said it as well. What is it about that word? Say it slowly: mmmmmoooooiiiiisssssttttt. Blech 🤢. I think it reminds me of when you spill something on yourself and you feel icky the rest of the day…or you are dripping sweat and feeling wet all over…or you touch something you THINK is dry, but it has a film of wetness over it. EWWWWW! When O was a little guy, I loved smelling his sweaty head after he played outside. And, I knew when he was growing up because the smell went from sweet to sour. That’s when I introduced him to the most wonderful product any home with a teenager can have: deodorant.

Another one? “Flap.” O knows I hate this word and uses it all the time: “Hey ma, I cut my finger and have a moist flap!” UGH! 🤢 I remember when his dad called me one day and told me: “Now don’t worry” (I wasn’t 😳), but I practically cut off my finger.” WHAT?? Go to the hospital! Get some care! But being the trooper he is, he wrapped it up and finished out his day. When he got home, I was ready with cotton balls, peroxide, and a bucket in case there was any blood that might make me puke (another word I hate saying!). I gently unwrapped his dozen layers of gauze and saw….get ready for it…..not much. It was a cut with a small flap and if he hadn’t told me about it, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed it. I’ve had bigger cuticle mishaps. And BTW, thankfully it was me that had O, B wouldn’t have been able to do it. 🙄

And how about this one: gristle (I usually spell it ‘grizzle’). Anyhoot, this one bothers me because there’s nothing I hate more than biting into a piece of this when I’m eating meat. UGH. So, my first ‘real’ date was going to this guy’s prom at his school when I was a dorky, awkward teen. They served a dinner with roast beef and with my first bite, I had a piece of grizzle. I didn’t know what to do! Spit it out on my napkin in front of his friends (he was a senior 😳) or swallow it (hmmm…spit or swallow…why does this sound dirty to me? 🤭)? I ended up hiding it under my tongue and mumbling something about having to go to the bathroom and that’s where I got rid of the damn thing. Ever since then, I’m scared to bite into meat unless I’ve inspected it for anything my teeth can’t handle.

One more? Curdle. When I was eating/drinking dairy, I would be so paranoid about whether or not it was fresh. I don’t want to point any fingers at who made me this way…but it was ma. The fam was eating dinner one night and I had my glass of milk that I started drinking and it was spoiled! I told ma and she said it was fine. I said: “Ma…it’s disgusting!” and pop finally tried a sip and grimaced. So, not eating dairy anymore alleviates some of this paranoia and my almond milk is always fresh. BTW, nothing makes ma madder than when I smell anything she feeds me. So…I smell everything she feeds me. Go figure. 😁

This book is available at Wal-Mart! And I had to block out the c-word…we don’t want ma to faint.

There are also ‘dirty’ words that completely gross me out and one of them is the c___ word which is a lovely moniker for a woman’s genitalia. It’s such a harsh word…like a bullet when you say it. There’s no way this word can ever sound ‘nice’ and when I hear someone use it, I shiver. And what about bitch? This word depends on who’s saying it. Ma, sis and I will joke around and use it in a funny way, but when it’s said to a woman in a derogatory way, I shudder. A bitch is actually a female dog and the word is used to demean and degrade the woman. When I’ve been called it in the past, it stings. And the f-word (it’s fuck ma, but I know you don’t like me to say it)? OK, I obviously use this fucker more times than I should but sometimes nothing else works. When my step-daughter was a teen, she said ‘fuck!’ while we were riding around in the car and R said: “C…don’t say that!” which is a bit hypocritical since she no doubtedly learned it from him. Anyhoot, she replied with: “Fuckety fuckety fuck fuck fuck!” which is now my go to at least once every time I’m at ma’s. 😎

From Time

But as the Grand Poobah and I were talking about while I started writing this, some words that shouldn’t be said are important to be said for one reason: it shows us who the person really is. J’s brother was visiting us one day and we were sitting in the kitchen (the only room I allowed him to be in…and this was all happening while his pitbulls – and yes, I love all dogs – were tearing up my flower/fern garden) with the window over my sink open. My next door neighbor is a sweet black woman who has her grandson living with her and while she was in her backyard, brother used the n-word in a fairly loud tone of voice. I was horrified and J was too. I was so worried that my neighbor heard this and would think I had any connection to this guy. We got brother out and I told J he was never allowed in my house again. But here’s the thing: him using that word showed me the kind of person he is and the lack of value he has for people who aren’t like him (side note: this dumbass is a felon for something pretty bad…I don’t think he should be judging anyone). I’ve had people use other derogatory words in front of me and with only 1 word spoken, I can lost respect for that person and see them differently from then on out. Know what I mean?

I can’t even! From History Daily.

Finally, what are words I love to say? Gobsmacked is my fave as is using the word ‘trolley’ instead of grocery cart. I just love British words and calling my phone a ‘mobile’ instead of a cell phone just sounds classy to me. I also love how ‘row’ is used in place of argument and saying ‘knickers’ instead of underwear makes me laugh. Other ones are ‘knackered’, ‘quid’ (I substitute this for the word dollar) and dodgy when I describe something that just doesn’t seem right. I can’t wait to take a trip to England someday and use my anglo vocab.

Anyhoot, words are interesting in terms of how we react to them and what different meanings can be put upon them. I try to be careful in choosing my words…I’m not always successful. However, I promise you’ll never hear this sentence from my mouth: “The moist flap was full of grizzle.” Just sayin’.

Kristi xoxo

“You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth” ~ Meatloaf

selective photo of gray shark
Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS on Pexels.com

So, first of all I used the title of one of my all time favorite songs; in fact, this was my go to song in High School for making out at parties (sorry, ma).😳 For some reason, just thought you’d like to know that.🙄

Anyhoot, I was visiting with a couple of neighbors down the street last evening and we were yacking about lawn mowers (yes, grasshoppers…single life is exciting) and then progressed into other things.  The wife was talking about her physical ailments and I said a few things about being bipolar.  THEN she said this (and I’m quoting her word for word):  “Yes…I know exactly what that is.  My cousin has it and she’s crazy crazy crazy too.”  She continued telling me how nuts this gal was and used the word loony as well.  Granted she’s 63 (which I only say because not much was known about some of these things when she was younger and that might account for her bad choice of words) but I was gobsmacked by her indifference and view of what I happen to have.

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Museums Victoria

Why the fuck is it OK to use such degrading words when it comes to describing mental illness?  And believe me peeps…she ain’t the only one.  Take a look at these:  deranged, psycho, cray-cray, mental, delusional, wacko, mad, insane, schizo, freak, needs a straitjacket, screw loose, etc.  How many of us who have a mental illness have heard at least a handful of these in our lives?  I have a feeling all of you are raising your hands.  Or, how many of us have used these?  I’m sorry to say that number is pretty high too.

In this time of political correctness when using one word or posting one tweet can literally destroy a decades old career, why is it OK to use damaging words against people like me?  I understand that using the ‘n-word’ is abhorrent and there’s no excuse for it. Likewise, I know that the ‘f-word’ (an epithet for a gay man) is also extremely derogatory.  I also know that both of these populations are born with inherent biological  characteristics be it race or homosexuality.

But so was I.  I didn’t bring this bipolar crap on myself.  I didn’t ask for it…didn’t want it.  Certainly didn’t create it out of a need for attention (as some people think those of us with mental illness do.  Yes, it’s fun to ‘pretend’ to be someone perceived by others as deranged 🙄).

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Whoever dates this winner is some lucky girl.

I have a feeling normal people (what ever the hell that is…I don’t know if I’ve ever met one) just don’t know what hurt these words do to us ‘crazies’, and I’d be happy to tell you.  They make us feel even worse about ourselves than we already do.  They can deepen our depression by making us believe we are less than.  They make us feel guilty about having an illness that’s obviously perceived as defective.  They often make us less likely to see help since many of us don’t want to admit we are part of a stigmatized group (me…for a lot of years peeps).  These words make us feel shame.  Feel inferior…bad…inadequate.

Go to Pinterest and look up ‘funny’ mental illness memes…a vast majority of these are derogatory to sufferers.  And then twitter?  Take a look at some of these gems:

  • Andrew Tate @ Cobratate:  Then they pretend they caught some disease to absolve all responsibility.  ITS (sic) NOT MY FAULT IM (sic again 🙄) SAD.  Yes it is. {Note to Andrew…revisit your grammar texts from grade school and learn about apostrophes once again.}
  • Andrew Tate again (unfortunately): “Feeling temporarily depressed is real.  Being uncontrollably depressed without reason and requiring anything other than a new mindset is BS {Another suggestion…use punctuation.}
  • Jake Paul @jakepaul:  remember anxiety is created by you sometimes you gotta let life play out and remind yourself to be happy and the answers will come chill your mind out go for a walk talk to a friend {Seriously?  Are we not teaching writing skills in schools?}
  • Katie Hopkins @KTHopkins: People with depression do not need a doctor and a bottle of pills that rattles.  They need a pair of running shoes and fresh air.  {Super…why didn’t I think of that?}
  • Katie Hopkins again:  Sympathy for the co-pilot is making me angry.  If you are suicidal, for goodness sake top yourself in private.  Attention seeking b✷stards.
  • So, I think you get my point.  Reading these actually made me choke up and the biggest lesson I learned from these is if I attempt suicide again, I’ll be sure to do it alone.  Thanks for that advice, Katie.

    OK…now do me a favor:  imagine similar tweets with race being the focal point of the negative tirade.  Nope.  Not going to happen (and I very obviously don’t want it too…I’m just trying to show an analogy) and if it does, bye bye career, account, and any respect you might have once had.

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    I believe in God and those of you with diabetes or heart disease, please heed these suggestions too.  Right?

    Even friends of mine will resort to using inappropriate words at times, without even realizing the impact on me.  The other day someone was yapping to me about ‘Rocketman’ (and for the love of all that is holy, watch it if you haven’t) and said:  “I never knew Elton was so troubled…I just thought he was crazy.”  Hmmmm.  OK.  Gee…imagine a neglectful upbringing, being introduced to drugs early on his career, and having an eating disorder.  Who would’ve thought there were ‘real issues’ behind his ‘craziness’?

    And yes, I’ve been guilty too.  I used to really like the phrase ‘Bitches be Trippin’ (until literally a couple of days ago when I started researching all of this…I just thought it was funny) until I read what the meaning is (from Slang Define):

    Used primarily by heterosexual males to justify the irrational behaviors of women.

    Paul:  I can’t understand why my girlfriend cried just because I forgot our nine week anniversary.

    Jason:  Don’t worry about it, dude.  What can you do?  Bitches be trippin’!

    In other words, crying because of something important to you (CRYING) which is probably the culmination of other things going on in the relationship means the woman is irrational (synonyms – crazy, insane, etc.).  Okey Dokey.  No more tears, ladies.

    Having bipolar is fucking hard enough, grasshoppers.  And when insult is added to injury and then used as the basis for jokes and laughter, the pain is worse.  When I’m around people that don’t know I’m mentally ill and they use such words, it cuts me to the core because words are weapons.  I feel my face flush…I get self-conscious…I feel shame.  Look, when bombs are used against you, it means you’re in a war.  And how well can we fight back when we’re the ones who are already beaten down by stigmatization?  By misinformation?  By myths?  By our mental illnesses?  Our anxiety…depression…personality disorders…addictions?  Simply stated:  we can’t without help.  But in this culture, which still allows mental illness to be an acceptable prejudice, that help is pretty hard to find.  How sad that is.

    Kristi xoxo

    Let ’em Say It.

    So, my sister and I were yacking yesterday (have you noticed that I’m usually talking with someone?) and we started discussing words that people are very apprehensive to say.  Let’s take a look-see:

    • suicide
    • domestic violence
    • cutting
    • depression
    • abuse
    • rape
    • molestation

    And the list could go on.

    The reason we got on this subject was that we were talking about the Netflix series “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez.”  This little 8 year old boy was brutally murdered by his mother and her boyfriend and suffered horrific abuse all of his life.  The most heart-breaking thing about this poor child was how social services and law enforcement let him down time after time after time, allowing this abuse to continue.  Once, a social worker actually told little Gabriel to quit lying about being hurt by his mom.  Wow.

    As my sis (T) and I were talking about this, I told her how incredibly hard this documentary is to watch and how, at that point, I hadn’t finished the last couple of episodes.  So we had this conversation:

    “Are you going to finish watching it?”
    “Yes, T. But it’s hard to get through…it’s upsetting me so much.”
    “Well guess what? What he went through is harder than what you’re watching.”
    “I know. You’re right.”
    “Kristi, how are we going to stop things like this from happening if we can’t face it or talk about it?”

    And she is absolutely right (she loves hearing that from me).  There are so many issues we need to acknowledge, learn to talk about, learn to ask about, but for some reason we turn away from them.  Maybe hoping they’ll go away?

    In my classes, I talk about a LOT of ‘icky’ stuff;  after all, I teach Psych and Socio so it’s part of the job.  We talk about everything I listed above, and I know how uncomfortable that makes some of my students.  Many of them have never heard the words being used so freely.  And to be honest with you, some of them are still new to me.

    Those of y’all that know me have already heard my mom’s story.  She married her 2nd husband (the fucking asshole…sorry, that’s what I say EVERY TIME I think of him.) when I was in high school and they were married for 28 years.  During those 28 years, he beat her, strangled her, slammed her head against the ceramic tile in the bathtub more times than she can count, and mentally tortured her until she turned to alcohol to dull some of the pain.  It took so much to do so that she developed cirrhosis of the liver and has esophageal varices.  She finally came to me at 5:00 a.m. on Aug. 13th, 2011 (yep, I remember it to the minute) and said this:  “You said you would help me and I can’t take it anymore.  He’s going to kill me if I stay.”  Hubby 3 and I called the police, got a restraining order, got his stuff out, installed an alarm system, etc.  You know, T and I spent 28 years trying our best to help her, but like many of you know, until the person is ready, all you can do is be there the best you can.

    adult alone black and white blur
    Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

    To this day, there are still people in our family that won’t use the words domestic violence in regards to what mom went through.  They won’t say that R beat the shit out of her, once to the point where she was throwing up blood in the ER with her back looking like someone water colored it purple (I will never forget that sight as long as I live).   They don’t want to admit that mom had black eyes more times they can remember (but chose to ignore), because talking about DV just isn’t OK.  In fact, some of them are actually friends with this monster on social media (Yes, he is a monster.  His 3rd wife died of a stroke she suffered after R threw her against a wall).  Well…I guess ignoring it makes it go away right?  (By the way, mom has been sober now for over a decade…T and I are so proud of her!).

    NO!  Things like abuse, rape, suicide, and molestation thrive in secrecy.  And for years, my sis and I kept the ‘secret’ too.  We didn’t want to face what R was doing to mom and mom wouldn’t admit to anything;  but we knew we finally had too.  We HAD too.  We had to let the secret out so mom would know we were there for her, that we knew what was happening.  Mom talks about it now and is open with her experiences.  It’s no longer just ‘something in C’s marriage’, or ‘R is just crazy’, etc.; it was ABUSE.  Serious abuse that could have killed her, but by the grace of God, didn’t.

    Mom’s guilty of sugar-coating things too though.  After my formal diagnosis of bipolar, she would tell her friends about “Kristi’s problem” , “Kristi’s condition.”  Finally, I said this to her (and I wish you could hear my screechy voice to get the full effect), “MA. I have bipolar.  I’m fucking mentally ill.  Get it?” She laughed…and yes, she got it.

    Take suicide.  Sometimes people will ask me, “What was it like when you tried to hurt yourself?”  And I say, “You mean when I attempted suicide?”  Say what it is, man!  It’s OK to use the word.  I didn’t try to hurt myself.  I tried to KILL myself.  There’s a difference, isn’t there?

    Yep.  I’ve also cut.  A lot.  In fact, if I EVER get a new partner (that’s a slim chance, peeps), I’m going to be most worried about him seeing the scars.  Anyhoot, I’m not going to lie about the scars people see.  “Oh my God…were you in an accident?”  “No.  I cut myself.  I’m bipolar, I was going through a terrible breakdown, and I used a razor blade and cut myself numerous times.  Luckily, I’m doing better now…thanks for asking.”  People look gobsmacked when I say that, but hey, it’s the truth.

    How is it a little boy can be fatally abused while scores of people obviously turned their heads?  How can molestation go on for years in a household when there are obvious signs to what’s happening?  Why is it we say “How ya doing?” as we walk by someone who is looking down, instead of saying “Hey, you look really depressed.  Is something going on with you?  Would you like to talk?”

    black and white black and white depressed depression
    Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

    One of my students came to me a few months ago, and I knew she was trying to tell me something, but just couldn’t get it out.  Knowing she’d been depressed, I said this:  “Are you thinking about suicide?”  She literally gasped and started crying.  She said: “You said it.  You said suicide.  You SEE me.”  And yes, I did.

    I know these words…these issues…these horrible problems are hard to discuss.  Uncomfortable to talk about.  Not ‘polite’ conversation.  And here’s what I say about that (in me and my sister’s words):  “Who fucking cares?!”

    If we don’t ask a friend about her bruise, how will she know we are there to help and support her (or him) if it is abuse?  If we don’t look in the eyes of a child who is exhibiting signs of sexual abuse and ask them if anyone is touching them inappropriately, how will they find the strength to share their ‘secret?’  If we don’t use the words rape when a drunk girl is assaulted at a party while passed out, how can we ever punish the offenders and make sure they can’t hurt another girl again for a long time?  If we see a teen (or an old lady of 53) with multiple bandaids in odd areas and never ask if they are cutting themselves, how will they know others are suffering that same compulsion too?

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    Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com

    My God…think about this.  We can’t use these uncomfortable words, so the consequence is to keep our heads buried while people continue to be hurt?  Really?  I’m sure when mom hears the words Domestic Violence, it isn’t as bad as when R had her on the floor with his hands around her neck, squeezing until she couldn’t breathe.  Right?

    For fucks sake (I only use that word to make ma cringe and my sis laugh every time they read my blog), we have to address these issues head on.  Not use the vocabulary that tiptoes around the problem, but words that lay it out there bare.  Naked.  For all of us to see.  Because until we do that, grasshoppers, little sweet Gabriel isn’t going to be the only victim to be let down by us all.

    Kristi xoxo

     

     

     

     

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