Poisonous words or poisonous talk in my definition are words that are deliberately said not to target behavior of a child but attacking his emotional well-being. Words like: "You are stupid".. "You are so slow".. "爱哭鬼 (aka cry baby)" and many other vicious words said to a child that I would not elaborate.
Theis was how I was brought up in my family. I was brought up listening to all sorts of negative remarks made by my own mother whenever I tag miserably behind in my academic studies. If my mother was dead worried for my future because of my poor academic results, she sure didn't express her concern for me in the form of patience and love. As a child, all I know was she was really angry with my poor effort to pick up mathematics skills and not being able to ace through my studies like my elder sister. I will never forget the sessions of smacking me with the cane and using of her knuckle to hit me on my head each time I am unable to get it right. I fondly remember my father talking to my mother for caning me badly because I fared badly for spelling. Neither did I forget her telling me that I'm so stupid I might as well die.. resulting in me swallowing two panadol in an lousy attempt to die when I was in primary school oblivious to the fact that it's not fatal! I told no one about this until now on this blog. Sure I can laugh it off now. But now that I look back, I see it as a desperate attempt of a child who is hurt and upset with the words thrown at her and believing that she is better off dying.
My own mother even confided to me that she had wanted to go for an abortion when she was pregnant with me when I was in my primary school. But she changed her mind when she saw a patient before her came out of the surgery room walking unsteadily with wobbly legs. I guess I had to thank that stranger who "saved" my life. I was too stunned to talk or even afraid to ask why didn't she wanted me. afraid of hearing the answer. I bet she has forgotten she ever told me this. I bet she didn't know I remember this till now. I
If my mother is anxious and worry for me, she showed it through her harsh approach with poisonous talk. No. I do not blame my mother for saying those nasty hurting poisonous talk to me when I was young. You can't choose your parent and afterall she did take care of me well and good till I become an adult.. Well only thing I became an adult with low-self esteem, feels stupid and forever feels that I was an unwanted child.
Since I can't change my childhood. I make sure my children don't suffer the same fate as me. Now that I become a mother, I find that I have to fiercely protect them from any poisonous talk especially from the ones made by my mother. As a mother, I have the right to decide how I want my children to be brought up. Even if it means I have to quarrel with my mother and kneel down on the floor and begged her to leave the house to stop her from screaming and shouting all sorts of poisonous words at me in the presence of my children. Yes that was what had happened few days ago. What triggered off that event was when I told her to stop scolding bb JX (who was crying at that time) 爱哭鬼. Previously I had tolerated her and kept quiet whenever I hear her poison talk to my children. She would scold JH when he was crying non-stop after she created an apportunity for him to throw tantrum (taking his shoe out from the shoe cabinet in the evening knowing JH would think its time to go out and play and he throws a tantrum when realise its not). She blamed his crying on that fact that he loves to cry and even viciously said "你爱哭，婆婆不喜欢你!" (You love to cry so much po po don't like you!). More ugly and hurtful words came out of her mouth that day. Better not to elaborate and forget as much as possible if I can. All I can say is if I can turn back to the time and react again on that eventful day... I would still react the same way as I did and still have no regret.
Perhaps I should thank her for her method of upbringing. Again I must emphasize I did not say she is not a good mother. We just have different method of upbringing children. To my mother, using her kinda old-fashion harsh talking and threatening them emotionally is her way of making them obedient. To me, I am against using this kinda harsh talking and emotional blackmail for I feel it will affect them emotionally leaving them insecure and telling them that they are not being loved. It like what I tell my sister: my mother and I just have different way of upbringing our children. Just like a dish of vegetables: you can either steam it or stir fry them and eat it but you can't say the latter is better than the former or vise verse.. both method produce edible dishes.