Does Language Matter?

Does Language Matter?

In 2013 Rai Waddingham wrote an article Does Language Matter? and her answer was as unequivocal YES.

She discusses how the experiences we relate in our stories would sit unconnected. But, telling our stories helps us weave connections between events in our lives linking them together with different threads to create a tapestry full of meaning.

“My voices, visions and beliefs are not symptoms of a mental illness, they are meaningful reactions to the trauma survived as a child!”

They were metaphors when the content (the trauma and meaning concealed inside the metaphor) is too painful to speak directly.

The metaphors we use hide the pain (or joy) in plain sight.

“Given my experience, I am acutely aware of the power of  language and the importance of providing space for people to tell their own stories.”

“The language of illness was the language used by the thief who first stole a person’s experience and replaced it with ‘schizophrenia’.”

What if we did away with labels and spoke of confusion, voices, visions, loss, sadness, elation, fear and disconnection?

What if we left space for people to find their own stories and saw our role as a ‘sounding board’, guide or fellow traveler’?






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