Friday, May 22, 2015

Names do hurt, even years later - Baby Huey





Growing up, I was a short, thin child, and no more naive than any other 10-year-old. 

My father took to calling me Baby Huey, 

Baby Huey was a gigantic, naive, and bumbling duckling cartoon character.  

I took this to mean that my father thought I was fat and stupid.

I don't know if that was his intention.  I challenged him on it when I was an adult and he denied ever saying it.

He couldn't remember calling me a name that scarred my self-esteem for years.

Years.

He also didn't remember telling me I would never be able to drive a car with a manual transmission "because you won't be able to shift in the corners".  I challenged him on this one when I started driving a semi-truck with 13 gears. "I never said that," he claimed.

I still drive a stick shift.  And I still occasionally think about his comment when I'm driving around a corner.

What's my point?    

Off-hand remarks can scar.  Maybe I was an overly sensitive child.  Or maybe I was just a child wanting validation from her father.

I was devastated for years by remarks that my father didn't even remember making.  It still bothers me that I don't know what his motivation was.  

Did he think he was being funny?

Did he truly think I was stupid or incapable? 

Or was he just drunk?  And does that excuse it?  

 And why, 50 years later, does it still, sometimes, bother me?

Wikipedia link to Baby Huey

2 comments :

  1. This post reminded me of my grandfather's nickname for me: dumb dumb. Unfortunately, he didn't live long enough for me to ask why he selected this as my nickname. I think it had to do with my size as a child.

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    Replies
    1. They don't realize how much their words hurt.

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