Hard Shell, Soft Shell

It doesn’t matter how many years have past.  I am still left flabbergasted when someone says something mean.  I internalize it and the damage seeps through my body like a vicious cancer.  I’ve tried to put a wall, deflect and even to retreat but to no avail.  In each instance I am left with a dumbfounded look on my face and a whole lotta damage to repair.

From an early age I was considered a “sensitive soul”, artistic, creative and a big heart.  When I read lyrics I am emotionally affected by the words coming alive on the page and in the same way when someone in my life; family, co-workers, friends, bosses, exes and even strangers utter something mean I am left picking up the pieces of my wounded heart.

It makes me wish I was a turtle who can retreat within a hard shell to avoid the inevitable tragedy.

As a child the words and actions of my family started the ball rolling.  My mother spent many years grooming me on the outside but emotionally I had little work done.  I spent many days daydreaming as a way to escape.

Through the years I’ve heard that I am a failure, not good enough, incompetent, dumb and so many more nasty statements that I could write story after story about it.

The truth is that it hasn’t changed no matter what I’ve done and without sounding like a broken record it never will so how do I cope with these word knives that are tossed at me so erratically?

By writing and talking about it with people who don’t feel the need to throw these daggers my way.

Folks can take a big chunk out of you with words but only if you let them, I refuse to allow anyone to alter my “sensitive” personality because it makes me who I am (A caring individual who doesn’t feel the need to take anyone down to feel better about myself).  I guess in some ways that does make me better.  This type of condemnation is a form abuse that stems from a need to feel superior to another human being.

A few weeks ago someone uttered the words “It’s not brain science” after I inefficiently performed a task to their liking.  Brain Science involves problem-solving, memory, attention, speed and flexibility.  All qualities I possess.  When this comment came my way I was shocked and took it negatively but I wonder if it was a compliment?  Just joking I know it was an insult on my abilities.

Let’s face it not everyone grew up with the need and desire to love and respect others.  Some bullies left the playground and they are still out there.  Until I’m sure it’s safe to play on the swing I think I will borrow a turtle shell to cover my little heart.  I won’t change who I am just to make others feel better about bullying.

If you are a sensitive soul tell yourself this every day “I have a heart and I’m not afraid to use it”.


  1. You know everything that I have been through. I have also been told that I am a loser and a failure in terms of making money or having a great job. That I am a "career failure"! (We know why I was forced from mine)! I am very sensitve but more in terms of compassion for others. My answer, when someone is nasty to me is quite simple. Pull your judgemental head out of your ass then f**K yourself! Never dwell on anything that anyone says to you. Most mean people do it as that is the only way that they have to make themselves look better! YOU are a sweetheart. Don't let these losers ever make you forget that!


  2. Gail, I love this post. It takes people of all characters, personalities, good traits and bad traits to make this world work. We all learn from our mistakes, we also learn from our successes. Can you imagine a world where we were all the same? it would be pretty boring. You can always fix the 'broken record syndrome' by jogging it a bit, in my opinion. As I have said recently, you can always 'turn a negative into a positive'. Nice post.


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