I’ve been hearing a lot of what my mother would call “crass language” around lately. I find myself using it as well and I’m not happy with it overall. It feels like I’m becoming more unprofessional or somehow less than myself when I use words like “crappy”. I am not really happy with this deterioration of my vocabulary.
But I am reminded of a dear client from many years ago who was dealing with the reality of her philandering husband running off with a much younger woman and abandoning the marriage, children and grandchildren, all so his 70 year old self could feel young again. The disgrace of it all was profound. She had honored the marriage, forgiven the indiscretions (of which there were many) and continued to pray for grace, tolerance and transcendence.
Finally it was too much indignity and disrespect and she suddenly called him a fucking asshole in the middle of a sentence, punctuated by hurt and rage and the injustice of 40 years of dedication being discarded for vanity and ego.
She slapped her hand over her mouth and said “I am so sorry, I can’t believe I said that.”
I was shocked but not as shocked as she was!
But what was abundantly clear to me at that moment in time was that she expressed herself in words she didn’t use….ever!
It was, quite simply, the language of wrong.
There were no other words powerful enough to describe the depth and breadth of disappointment, betrayal and broken heartedness.
But she uttered them and she felt some relief, some cathartic release of all she had kept inside for all the years when he danced around their vows and flaunted them, telling her she was crazy for her suspicions, wrong in her accusations and ridiculous in her refusal to let him off the hook when he denied it all and yet, she knew better. She had kept up appearances, raised the children, kept the home, and done her duty….for what? To be discarded for a younger, sexier version.
She called him what he was, perhaps for the first time in such blunt and decisive way.
She was briefly mortified but I just leaned forward and said “It’s the language of wrong. Use the words that fit the situation.”
She thought about it and then said, “It is. It is so wrong. I cannot describe him any differently.”
And in the words of the biblical psalmists, when they finished writing their psalms for the Glory of God, I say “Selah” which means to “pause and think about it.”