Staunching The Wound

Posted on | February 9, 2010 | 12 Comments |

I like words. I like them a whole lot – whether they’re spoken or written, they hold a deep appeal to me. I like to to read, to write, to talk and to listen. To learn from the knowledge words impart. For me, words are intense, powerful, strong and moving.

But when it comes to believing someone? When it comes to truth or lies? Then, it’s more than words, because words – no matter how intense and powerful – are only a part of the story. When it comes to truth, lies, perceptions and beliefs, then actions must be counted.  And when the two don’t match up? Then I’m far more likely to place stock in actions, and what those actions say.

You see, one of the the neat thing about words is how flexible they are. You can be genuine, but you can also twist them, mould them, flip their meanings inside out. You can say one thing and mean another, and no one can prove you meant any different. So much comes down to the intent of the speaker or writer, and the perceptions of the reader or listener. What did they really mean? Depends on who you ask.

But actions. Ah, actions. It’s hard to twist those – although you can try. Non-verbal cues, expressions, and posture will tell you a lot. As does when someone chooses to speak, who they choose to speak to, and how they choose to approach a situation. Are they aggressive? Do they perceive everything entirely as how it relates to themselves? Do they only bother communicating when they want something?

For the last few weeks, ever since my breakup with Adonis, I’ve been pondering perceptions, words, and actions (truth to tell, I muse on them a lot – there’s a reason I have a degree in communication: this stuff fascinates me). Knowing that things broke  down so badly between myself and a metamour that I chose to end a relationship because of it?  That gives me lots to consider. For example:

As much as I’m reassured that I did all I could, I continue to second-guess myself, double-check, rethink. Did I do everything? Did I really make enough effort? Should I have been satisfied with only going halfway – and expecting them to meet me in the middle? Should I have tried harder? Was something wrong with my communication?

As much as I believe that I really did try … they say that they did absolutely nothing wrong (I don’t know if they believe it – but they say it. Words, y’see.). Our perceptions don’t mesh.  Their words say one thing. Their actions, consistently, for months, have said another. I made my choice based on the latter.

I may have made a mistake. But I have to trust what I perceive. Do I live in my ‘own, hateful little world,’ as I’ve been informed? No. Those are words, and I disbelieve them – although that doesn’t stop me hurting like hell.

Because words, amongst other things, can cut. Combined with actions, they can slice you open. And I’m still staunching this wound.

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12 Responses to “Staunching The Wound”

  1. Luka
    February 9th, 2010 @ 9:15 pm

    Big love and empathy coming your way.

    I have recently gone through a situation which has certain parallels with yours, with words and actions not matching. It hurts, undeniably, especially when it is someone you would have once bet your life was the definition of integrity.

    I know it is hard but try not to keep going over it all in an endless loop. You did what you did and it sounds to me like there really wasn’t much else you could have done. Other people’s minds and motivations are a foreign country. You might get a few things right but much will be a mystery.

    I’m sorry you’re hurting. Hang on in there x

  2. Aurore
    February 9th, 2010 @ 11:29 pm


    When things breakdown there is often an exchange of words and sadly it tends to cut like a knife. I think we’ve all been there – sadly.

    I hope that you find a way to heal; knowing that those words are nothing but bitterness.

  3. SteelHorseman
    February 10th, 2010 @ 9:34 am

    Taking a look at your own words and actions is always interesting.

    I know there is one whose words will never have any meaning for me. Not matter what is spoken.

  4. Volunteer Head
    February 11th, 2010 @ 12:12 am

    Great post. It is clear You have a great deal of unused capacity, which you have not turned to your advantage.

    The way you write shows you have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself.

    It seems to me that while While you have some personal weaknesses you are generally able to compensate for them.

  5. dhenry
    February 11th, 2010 @ 11:07 am

    There are wonderful words about the power of words. Being married for 33 years to my wife, I’m so often amazed at how important it is to be careful with what I say, how easy it is to bruise and hurt another, to, say, “act out” on less than conscious impulses, underlying angers and reflexive hurts of one’s own. So thank you for what you have written so well, so thoughtfully.

  6. mina
    February 11th, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

    oh sweetie, I live day in and day out believing actions speak louder than words. Best piece of advice i have ever given myself. It’s helped me get rid of “the yuck” in my life. *hugs*

  7. james
    February 11th, 2010 @ 8:18 pm


    The “own, hateful little world” says nothing about you and everything about whoever said it. I hope, no I know, that you can see that.

    But it still hurts.

  8. sweettart
    February 13th, 2010 @ 8:25 am

    Oh Dee. I thought I had commented the other day but it must have gotten lost in my compy crash….

    Perception is everything. For me intent is everything as well. When I realise intent is not to hurt I can forgive more easily but, yes, it still hurts. Pile some intent on top of that and I gush, in a bad way.

    I know you are one of the most positive people. Like me you graciously allow people room to make errors in their actions based on intent so I have do doubt that you have likely been staunching this wound for some time.

    It was needed. Not only are you staunching your wound but protecting yourself from more and deeper. xxx

  9. Dee
    February 14th, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

    Luka – Thank you, lovely barbed one. Isn’t it interesting how some words and actions (yours, for example) are definitely in jest, and much appreciated – and yet others are just downright mean? Thank you so much for commenting, and for thinking of me.

    Aurore – It’s hard to remember, sometimes, the reason for the bitter words were spoken. Thank you for the reminder that I’m not alone in this though!

    Horseman – I’m glad you’ve recognised that they’re not worth giving meaning too, hon. And you’re right: looking at my own actions and words is interesting.

    Volunteer – I think we all have unused capacity. Recognising that, and areas for improvement, is how we grow.

    dhenry – You’re most welcome! It’s really easy to hurt without intending to – and hurt even worse when one is trying actively to do so!

    mina – Getting rid of ‘the yuck’ is definitely important! Looks like I’ve gotten rid of some myself …

    james – It certainly does, doesn’t it? *hugs back*

    sweettart – I didn’t talk much about intent, but it definitely makes a difference, I agree. And thank you for the positive compliment – I much appreciated it!

    xx Dee

  10. Dana
    February 17th, 2010 @ 7:41 am

    Ahh, I hate it when words and actions do not mesh. I put a lot of energy into being completely honest with myself and I am strangely bemused and hurt by people who deal with me dishonestly because they are less willing to self-examine.

    I am quite sure you did the right thing. As for living in your “hateful little world”, words like that only come from that exact place.


  11. Dee
    February 17th, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

    *hugs you back* I gotta say, I do like you, Dana. You say nice things!

    xx Dee

  12. Dana
    February 18th, 2010 @ 7:33 am

    😀 I try! And I like you too – but you’re pretty likeable.

    I’m much better at saying the nice things online, somehow. 😛


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