still don’t like da shouting

collage photo of woman
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Sticks and stones my break my bones

And shouting hurts me just as much.

They say I need to toughen up

But every time the volume rises up a notch

I feel my spine is curling up, protecting me

From too much damage as the letters

Puncture through my skin so paper thin.

There was a situation today when all of us trainee teachers came together for our central training. Everyone is feeling a little bit tetchy and there was a bit of an argument between one of the students and the director.

It wasn’t a screaming match, but you could feel the tension, despite the fact that it was through a screen. And as it happened, I felt myself curl up a little bit, as if to protect myself from any harm.

Of course, these are civilised adults so even if we were in a normal setting, there wouldn’t have been any punches being thrown. And yet I still felt as though I needed to run away. There is something so embedded in my psyche that I fear harm from words.

To me, shouting, or even stern words, are painful and I really can’t explain why. I wish that I had thicker skin but I really do hate it when people tell me that I just need to toughen up. Like how, exactly?

On the other hand, this ‘disability’ of mine, makes me really empathetic. So perhaps it’s actually a super power. I could see that the director was trying not to bite back but I could also see that she looked really hurt, and that made me hurt a bit.

I guess we all have things that we think are weaknesses, but could in fact be a real strength and this is definitely one of mine. I just wish that I could toughen up my skin and still feel for people, but we can’t have everything.

Much Love

Rachel xx