Someone just insulted you

March 6 to 8 ’16 ~QofDay~ Someone Just Insulted You

Someone Just Insulted You.
How does that Feel?
How do You Internally Handle It?
How do You react?

I don’t like insults, don’t know anyone who does, and they usually say far more about the person speaking than the person being spoken to.

Sometimes I take an emotional hit.
Sometimes I react, but not often these days.

I get that most people are doing the best they can in the situations they find themselves in. And our situations are almost always intensely personal and largely invisible to anyone else.
So, as with most things involving people, its complicated.
The more I trust someone, the more impact insults are likely to have, and no insult is entirely without impact – I do make the effort to be open to what anyone says, which means necessarily exposing myself to a certain level of emotional vulnerability, and usually that “pain” lasts only some fraction of a second, and sometimes it can go on for a few seconds.

I had ten years of schooling where I was the “retard”, the “goof”, and a lot of less kind names, and the last person picked for any sports team. And almost all of that stemming from a tiny flap of skin under my tongue, that prevented me making an R sound until I was about 7, and it took me quite a few years after that to learn how to roll an “R”. So I have a lot of practice at dealing with insult – 10 years of 5 days a week, most weeks. Now I have damage to facial nerves from surgery again making speech and facial expression difficult at times, plus missing most of the muscles on the left side of my face, neck and shoulder, and I have learned some useful coping strategies.

So these days, while I definitely feel emotional pain from insults, the dominant feeling is usually one of empathy for the situation of the person delivering the insult, that they have had such a rough experience of life that they feel the need to say what they said. If it seems possible in a reasonable time, I usually try to find some way to communicate understanding, if not, I just move on, and give it as little thought as possible.

[followed by]


That was all part of the major 6.5 hour operation 6 years ago, that took out the left SCM complex, and most of my left salivary gland, and most other stuff left of the bone of my head. Surgeon’s approach to cancer treatment.

It was a week after that operation that they decided that there was a lot more there than they had thought, and sent me home terminal.

That and a subsequent operation on the left side of my face left lots of nerve damage that makes swallowing difficult at times, and means left side of face doesn’t obey instructions from time to time. Minor compared to death, and something I’ve had to adjust to.
And sometimes it makes me slur my words, if I am not particularly conscious.
Played hell with my golf swing for a couple of years, until I adapted and learned new ways.

Compared to the many people I’ve seen buried with cancer in the last 6 years, I’m in good shape.

[followed by]

It doesn’t bother me all the time, and there are few days that I don’t have some incident directly traceable to impaired functionality as the result of surgery. Might average about 5 minutes a day. Minor in the big scheme. And in the early days after the operations it was much more invasive. After one surgery I lost the ability to blink with my left eye. I could close the eye by using all the surrounding muscles, but the eyelid alone wouldn’t do it. So I made a little mp3 file with seven seconds of silence, and the word “Blink” – and had that running in my left ear for two months until that particular nerve started working again.

Took over a year to retrain my golf swing to work something like it used to.

And now most things are OK. Just sometimes the left side of my face does something all by itself, like start sweating, or droop, or refuse to swallow (on the left side only) – so two or three times a day I have these little choking fits for a few seconds, when something gets through the gap.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see
This entry was posted in Question of the Day and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comment and critique welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s