Words Are Like Weapons
I had the pleasure of seeing Cher perform live this past weekend. As a special surprise, my best friend got us seats in the third row. I was captivated and star-struck as I watched her come out and perform hit after hit, from decade after decade. She is, after all of these years, still amazing. I wasn’t surprised at how many songs I recognized, how many words I knew, and how I found myself singing along with her and having a great time.
Be careful what you say
She sings words that resonate with so many of us, and her career has spanned generations. I remember her songs from when I was in my twenties. I remember her songs from when I was in my thirties. I remember her songs from when I was in my forties. All these years she had hit songs, all these years I was suffering as a victim of domestic abuse.
You never know who is an abuser
Then, she came to this one song, and this one line, and my world stood still: “…words are like weapons, they wound sometimes.” I froze in my seat and heard that line over and over in my head while she continued to dance and sing on stage with her crew, and shine in the beautiful colored lights in her gorgeous sparkly outfit. Words are like weapons…they wound sometimes. Yes. Yes, I thought to myself. Of course, she just threw it out there so easily, but to so many of us, 1 in 4 to be exact, she threw our truth out on the stage for everyone else to hear.
Break the silence
I looked around at that moment. What were others doing? Were they reacting? Were they hearing this line over and over? What an incredible statement. I’ve contemplated this so many times in my life, just how badly words can wound us, can torture us, can threaten us, can torment us, can scare us to the point of total and complete incapacitation. Words are like weapons…they wound sometimes. Yes. She was singing my truth. And yours. And theirs. And ours. It was right there on the stage in front of me. If 1 in 4 of us will suffer from domestic abuse or violence in our lifetimes, how many other victims and survivors were there with me this night? How many others were struck at the same time, with the same thought? And how many were sitting there, hearing that and thinking about how scared they were to go home that night? How they may have done something wrong right before they left that would bring them home to a night of terror? Just how many? I looked around the arena at the thousands of cheering fans and realized how many 1 in 4 would add up to. Chills went down my spine. Just how many.