I recently saw a youtube video from Beckie Jane Brown about why she doesn’t swear or curse, and it made me think about my own interactions with these four-letter words.
NOTE! This was never intended to mock or shame someone for their swearing habits or lack thereof. Everyone has their completely valid reasons, and I would never want to disrespect anyone. ❤
Swearing is not okay in my household. I legitimately did not know any swear words until I was…thirteen, I think? I was homeschooled through seventh grade, and then after that I went to a private Christian school, so I had never even heard any bad words until then. I knew that there were words that “we don’t say”, but at the time those only consisted of what every good Christian knows are just substitutes for the real thing. I was sixteen when I found out that no one outside of my church circles knew what a Smart Alec was.
Anyways, I was in Christian school for two years before I started high school in a big, scary Public School (BSPS). Suddenly, I was hearing all these words I barely recognized from what seemed like everyone. (Thank goodness I had the sense to refrain from repeating those words at home!) Once I realized what they were, it bothered me to hear them. I thought it was a sign of a bad reputation and–even worse–a poor vocabulary. I thought I was so morally astute, standing strong against the evil peer pressure I’d always been told was rampant in big, scary Public Schools like mine. (Of course, this is not in any way meant to demean people who don’t like swearing! I’m just sharing what I personally thought when swearing still bothered me.)
Fast forward about a year and a half, and my time in public school had chipped away at my black-and-white Southern Baptist morality. I never was rebellious, but like any sheltered kid turned loose in an unsupervised environment, I thought I was cool. I tested the water by saying mild swear words, like, maybe twice in front of my friends (which, by then, included swearers and non-swearers alike). They were both disastrous, each ending in shocked reactions and “that is so weird hearing that come out of your mouth!”, et cetera. Not exactly the nonchalance a Good Christian Kid Gone Bad craves. Not to mention the fact that through those excursions heading down the slippery slope of evil, I discovered that I actually hated swearing, at least in front of people. For one, probably because I’m irrationally worried about my parents somehow hearing me, it never comes out right. The affect is never quite appropriate, much to my sixteen-year-old chagrin.
And then came homeschooling…again. I was homeschooled again for my junior year (a total disaster, btw), and by its end, even though I wasn’t opposed to swearing, it just didn’t feel like it was a part of my vocabulary anymore. I was still hearing it from YouTube videos and just generally seeing it around the internet, but because I almost literally never left the house, and swearing is completely verboten here, those words just stopped popping up in my thoughts. If you don’t use it, you lose it, I guess.
Last summer, however, I started noticing an alarming trend; I would swear quietly to myself. If I, say, stubbed my toe, or forgot something important, and no one else was around, I would just let it rip. It scared me because I was worried about stubbing my toe or something and accidentally cursing when someone was around. I was sure I’d be “punished til the end of the century”, to quote The Parent Trap (I still would be). At the same time, I just couldn’t manage to stop. It felt like a way of regaining control–over what, I don’t know. It completely went against everything I’d ever been taught, but I was liking it.
And that brings us to today, almost a year later. I would like to say I’ve kicked the habit, that a strong faith and moral integrity have won out. But, to be honest, I’m still figuring out the whole faith thing, and I like swearing–privately, that is. Maybe in the future, I’ll feel differently, maybe I’ll be the loudest swearer in my friend group. Or, maybe I’ll be quiet and soft and diametrically opposed to such crudity, like my mother. Even when I write these posts, I always edit myself if I let a curse slip, because a) this is still a little too close to publicly swearing, for me, and b) I don’t want to let a habit start, because if I ever want to break it in the future, it becomes more difficult. Just my preference.
I doubt anyone is really that interested in my ventures into moral apathy, but if you’re really still reading, I’m…honestly, terrified. Please seek help immediately.
(Just kidding! 😛)
Thanks for reading.