what's the worst thing you've ever been called?

weirdmama's picture

for some reason this morning i was thinking about some of the shitty things people have said to me throughout my life and whether they affected me or not, and i really started wondering what other people's *WORSTS* are. it's interesting to me how differently people are affected by words; i may not be too bothered by one mean-spirited thing someone could say to me, but someone else could be sent into a tizzy over that same thing, you know? or vice versa; an insult that someone else shrugs off could be something that would make me make me collapse in tears. and sometimes it's not that actual words that do/don't hurt; oftentimes it's the intent behind them.

i was once called a "white trash, welfare, amount-to-nothing, baby-trapping assfuck" by someone i had been friends with for years and had a falling out with. it didn't even upset me too much, but i'd still consider it one of the worst things anyone has ever said to me because the intention was so hateful and cruel. he said those words because he THOUGHT they would be incredibly hurtful, even thought the result was far less dramatic than what he had intended. (btw, this person is NOT a part of my life anymore! he was the kind of 'friend' who had been making me feel shitty for a long time, and that i was starting to realize wasn't a great person in general. at the point that he said this to me i had no intention of ever speaking to him again, anyway, so his classy remark just cemented my decision for me.)

anyway...coincidentally, after i was thinking about the way people 'label' us can affect us, i logged on here to check some of my old posts and see if there were any new comments i hadn't seen. and as it turns out, there was an *interesting* new comment after one of my posts from a couple months ago; it was about how noa's destructive toddler tendencies were grating on me and i was at my wits' end, and the comment that was left (by someone who it turns out has never posted at hip mama, ever, besides this ONE comment! wtf?!) accused me of being neglectful of noa and of (and i quote directly) "viewing her as merely an accessory or burden. well, unless you're willing to give her up for adoption, you'll need to face these challenges with a better attitude or you will lose. your. shit."

OUCH, right?! now, i know that this coming from a judgemental stranger who doens't know me, and i'm pretty sure that he/she hasn't read my other posts or i don't think they would have still come to that conclusion, but still...ouch. it caught me totally off guard and made me feel very unsure of myself for a minute; it made me wonder about the way i come off, and whether that comment was my own fault for the way i presented myself in my post. and then i remembered "whoa, dude, if you let everyone in the world's negative opinion of you as a person and parent actually bother you, you're going to be pretty fucking miserable! chill out, ame! it doesn't matter what strangers think of your parenting or feelings!" and then i felt better, and actually did chill out. so this is another example of one of those times that i think the INTENTION was much worse than the actual RESULT.

so why is it that sometimes we're able to let the mean-spirited things people say to us just roll right off our backs without so much as flinching, and other times we're wounded and extensively hurt by them? what's the *worst* thing anyone has ever said to you, and do you consider it to be the worst because of how it actually affected you, or because of the intention the person had when saying it? (ps- i posted this question on facebook earlier but nobody really took it seriously. i'd love some honest input from the mamas here, just for curiosity's sake! xoxo)


raspberrytoast's picture

I can't really remember the worst thing I have ever been called. Prolly some attack on my parenting. I asked Stephen and he said someone called him a conservative once.

I went back and read that comment and that was crazy weird. Like the whole who is she and where did she go bit? I hate stuff like that because it can kinda sting at first even if you don't even know the person.

I have gotten a lot better at not putting too much value in other people's opinion (about me) all the time. Sometimes I want opinions and I value the opinions of my loves ones, but I don't place them above my opinions of myself, kwim?


denessasma's picture
Submitted by denessasma on

hmm, i can't really recall. i've always kind of not cared what most people thought or said about me. in high school and younger years i cared a lot more as i got older i really don't care much at all. Now i just figure people who talk shit about me are jealous of me in some way. what an ego i have, ya? I would say though people judging my parenting iritates the hell out me or someone talkin bout my babies. I think i get more hurt by peoples actions than their words.

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind~~Dr.Seuss

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind~~Dr.Seuss

mamaneen's picture
Submitted by mamaneen on

but what your query made me think of was the times i've had "dirty jew" and "fuckin' dyke" and "bitch" screamed at me on the street by total strangers. i didn't internalize these insults insofar as i don't feel there's anything negative about being of jewish descent or being queer or being a woman. at the same time, what they represent has been completely internalized by me, and they just struck that chord - i am not safe in this culture because hatred of the Other is an integral part of the foundation of this culture, and i am Other in these and um, other ways.

"if i pass for other than what i am, do you feel safer?" ~ lani ka'ahumanu

dragon knows dragon

"if i pass for other than what i am, do you feel safer?" ~ lani ka'ahumanu

dragon knows dragon

Enelesn's picture
Submitted by Enelesn on

a slut - many times, mostly before I had even had sex! I was very flirty in HS, but hadn't really done much but kiss and sit on some laps.
Bitch, but so what.
Whore. That usually came from a girl that had wanted a boyfriend of mine and he'd denied her...
My ex had called me pathetic several times, he also used to refer to me as his "big girl" as I was the heaviest of all of his other girlfriends (I weighed 130 lbs at the time). I have to admit, that hurt and helped me along with an eating disorder for a few years.
I've been called a spic... Am I even spelling that right?
Either way, that doesn't bother me either.
Gosh, I've been called lots of stuff without it ever really bothering me. But two things that have stuck with me - in terms of holding onto being upset about it - my mother once called me a quitter, in a slightly nicer way ("You never stick with anything! You ALWAYS give up, so no, you may not have ballet classes because I don't know that you will actaully do it). And when people have accused me of lying - that irks the shit out of me because I really take to heart that I hate being lied to and therefore do my best to not lie to anyone else.

turtle's picture
Submitted by turtle on

I was trying to remember anything bad I've been called and couldn't until your list sparked some memories...

I was called a liar and dishonest by a dean at my graduate school (I was the president of our graduate student/teaching assistants union and he did NOT like us). He accused me of lying and not looking him in the eye at the gym. I was really angry about this because I never lied. Okay, I probably didn't look him in the eye at the gym but that's a GYM thing, not something about HIM. I don't look at anyone in the gym! I was mad cos it kinda hurt our organization, that he felt this way. But he was a total whacko anyway so I got over it. Then a couple of years later I found out that one of his grad students faked all the data for her dissertation. He apparently can't tell a real liar when there's one right in front of him! I felt redeemed by karma.

In high school a guy called me a cunt. I hit him, kinda punched him in the face. I like to think I'm more of a pacifist that this. But calling me a cunt is not acceptable! Especially when I was in high school. It would bother me less now.

On a lighter note-- I have often been called a communist/commie or part of the Mob (as in, organized crime). Both because of my union activities. I think both are hilarious insults. And being called a communist is not *much* of an insult, in my book.

Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough. -- Emily Dickinson

You want to do what you think is right and what matters to you, and if other people don't like it, as my father would have said, they can go fuck themselves. -- Amy Bloom

dahlia's picture
Submitted by dahlia on

In general, it wasn't even valid so it didn't bother me! I've been called:

whore (but I've only been called a slut by friends, in jest! Figure that one out)
jew-bitch (I'm not jewish, but someone thought I looked like it)
nigger-lover (yup. Guilty. I fucking hate that word, but I took this one as a compliment.)
quadroon (I'm actually not, so I don't really get that one. Still I was offended by the sentiment.)
baby-killer (and I've never even had an abortion! lol This person was referring to my stillborn daughter)
white-trash, welfare sucking dummy

Most of the insults I've received were more creative than one hurled word. Where I come from, insults are basically a communication style. A form of affection. Bitch is a term of endearment. You take the piss out of someone because you love them and you want them to do better.

summer mama's picture

called me a bad person, and that all of her friends thought so. I was to negative for her. I said thanks for your feedback! What a waste of time I just spent on our friendship! My dad once told me it was my fault, since I was such a horrible daughter, that he was a heroin user. Yup

weirdmama's picture
Submitted by weirdmama on

i've been called that a good number of times, mostly by adam to tell the truth. the word itself doesn't invoke much of a reaction in me--like, you just called me a VAGINA? as an insult?!-- but knowing the intention behind it is what really used to set me off. it was the *worst* word he could think of so he'd fling it out there whenever he felt cornered or powerless. and there were many occasions where i'd hiss "don't you EVER talk to me like that!" and he'd repeat it just because he knew he was getting to me. ugh. so fucked up.