People have revealed how cruel comments directed at them during their childhood and teenage years still haunt them decades on.
British parents revealed the things people said to them when they were young that they have never forgotten in a thread on the parenting forum Mumsnet.
Some detailed how being repeatedly fat-shamed by their own parents or teachers shattered their confidence and sparked eating disorders in some.
Others said that being told they’d ‘never amount to anything’ as children influenced their adult careers – with the memory of being labelled ‘thick’ still vivid.
British parents have shared the things they heard when they were children that still haunt them to this day, stock pictued
While some said these sentences affected them in a positive, motivating way, others said the haunting phrases had been damaging.
Last month, a woman sparked the conversation the forum by saying she was was very conscious of the impact her words could have on children and others.
‘Two things that have stuck out to me from my teen years are when I was going out with a boy I really loved as a teenager and he told me his friend asked him: “What are you DOING with her? She’s scum she’s not good enough for you”‘, she wrote.
She continued: ‘Always made me very insecure and wondered what was so WRONG with me, and I still sometimes get paranoid that I’m somehow not as good as other people which is mad now I’m an adult!
‘The impact of words on young minds is so strong I want to teach my kids to be very mindful of things they say as they have no idea the amount of damage it can do,’ she added.
A woman said she is aware of the impact her words could have because she is haunted by things that were said to her as a child
Others shared similar stories of being fat-shamed as children and how it affects them decades on.
‘My father telling me I would never get a boyfriend unless I lost 4 stone, I was 14 years old and a 12/14 – never had a problem getting one thanks Dad,’ one said.
‘I went for a medical for a job at 16 years old. I was overweight, lacking in confidence and self conscious. A middle aged, male Doctor conducted the examination. He commented that I had the body of a 40 year old. I have never forgotten. It was over 40 years ago,’ another said.
‘At a swimming lesson in primary school, late 80s. The teacher looked me up and down, focused on my thighs and said “not that skinny then”. I must’ve been between 6-8?,’ another said.
Other people have shared examples, from those who said they were told they had ‘the body of 40 year old’ to being told they were not photogenic
And other person said her step-mother told her: ‘We were worried how you were going to turn out, but as you’ve grown you’ve gotten a bit prettier’.
‘When I was asked out on a date and I turned him down, he responded “It’s ok I only like skinny girls anyway” I was 16yrs old and a size 8. it triggered an eating disorder (thankfully not long term),’ another wrote.
‘“Well, I suppose she has a nice personality at least much laughter,” when my first boyfriend asked his unpleasant friends what they thought of me,’ one wrote.
‘It was 20 years ago and after being bullied all through my senior school for being an ugly duckling, that just about put the tin lid on my total lack of self esteem, which unfortunately persists despite “growing into my looks” in the main,’ they added.
It was not just comments about looks that have remained painful, as some revealed they also were told they would never be successful.
A lot of people said they are still being haunted by comments made about their looks when they were younger
‘A teacher in my first year of primary school: “Echt will never be any good at arithmetic”. I struggled for years, a disrupted childhood and numerous schools didn’t help, but I’ve never forgotten it. I’m perfectly competent as an adult, but never forgot that crass comment,’ one said.
One said: ‘The reported comment by a friend’s parent about a boyfriend when I was about 17: “echt is doing well for herself; a doctor’s son”. He wasn’t, his dad was an HT, but that’s not the point. My family were manual workers. I boiled over inside with righteous class anger.
‘Not a serious as those above but my Geography A Level teacher said to me “You’re not doing ask well as we thought you would”,’ one said.
One person said their mother told them she’d ‘never forgive [them] for doing better than [her]’ and another said they were told they were ‘not that skinny’ age eight
‘My step-mum constantly telling people my parents divorce hadn’t affected me at all. So in my head my mother leaving had caused me great distress but I was supposed to act as if nothing had happened to me,’ another wrote.
‘It was so confusing and made me cover up all my feelings and wants/wishes,’ they added.
Some shared the insensitive comment their mother made after they had been through a miscarriage.
‘When i told my mum about my miscarriage and the first thing she said was “I told you, you were doing too much”,’ they wrote.
Another person said her mother did not want her to be more successful than her.
‘My mom “I won’t forgive you for doing better than me.” Never left me. Why would you not want your child to do well,’ they said.
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