“Am I Gone Believe What Them Fools Say About Me Today?”: A Lesson I Got From the Movie “The Help”

17 Aug

Promotion poster for "The Help"

I went to see the movie “The Help”  with my closest girl friend last night and am sad to report that it wasn’t really good, in my humble opinion. I didn’t read the book of the same name by Kathryn Stockett beforehand, though – maybe that had something to do with my disappointment? Anyway, my review doesn’t have much to do with what I’d like to say today. But if you’re interested in chatting about the movie, feel free to send me an e-mail or message  and we’ll definitely talk!

“Every morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make a decision. You gone have to ask yourself, ‘Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?’ “

After the movie ended, this was the one quote I remembered that stuck with me on the way home. (Without spoiling the movie for you if you haven’t seen it already), it was said by one of the housemaid characters, Constantine, who spent a large part of her life raising the main character, a plucky privileged character named Eugenia/”Skeeter”. 13-year-old Skeeter is feeling sorry for herself after another boy her age tells her that she’s ugly. Constantine sees her crying, sits down with her, and gives her the quoted line of advice that Skeeter never forgets. The “fools” Constantine was talking about were white racists. I think the line is powerful, because it can be applied to anybody.

As a victim of any kind of abuse – not just rape – you’re going to come across a handful of people who will try to put you down for being in a weaker position … that is, if you haven’t or aren’t already dealing with those kind of people.

“You’re not good enough for __ in life.”

“No one will ever love you.”

“You’re fat/dumb/ugly/worthless, and you need to know your place.”

“Don’t nobody give a damn about you! What, you think you got problems, so you’re special, huh?”

“That’s what you get for being fat/dumb/ugly/worthless.”

“You deserved it.”

“Get over it, for God’s sake.”

It hurts like hell to feel like the bottom of the world’s shoe – so don’t allow yourself to feel that way. I know it’s easier said than done, trust me. Every day it’s a struggle for me after years of receiving messages that I allowed to weigh my spirit down. But take notice of the word I used in that last sentence: allow. Take a look at the quote from the movie again, and notice that it says: make a decision. Whether you find it difficult to believe or not, you have complete and total control over your self-image. Anybody can have any opinion about you, but no one has enough power over you to make their opinion fact.

It’s impossible to fix everything all at once, so like the quote says, try taking your feelings one day at a time. Just one for day at a time, try not to absorb anyone’s opinion about yourself but your own. If you want to believe that you’re strong enough to get out of poverty, or leave an abusive partner, or make friends who value you the way you deserve to be valued as a human being, then believe it just for today and see what happens. Ignore the fools who say or do anything that doesn’t agree with you.

The American Civil Rights movement began when a few people decided to reject the idea that they were inferior to anyone. Will you do the same for your future?

5 Responses to ““Am I Gone Believe What Them Fools Say About Me Today?”: A Lesson I Got From the Movie “The Help””

  1. laurathetrue August 31, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    Thanks for posting this. That quote from The Help and another one, “Ain’t you tired?” really stuck with me after the movie. (I’ve read the book as well.) And I agree with what you’ve written about it, how it can be applied. It’s not easy. Though I can gather already from spending a couple days reading through your blog, that you know it’s not. When you’ve heard those kinds of things, they tend to stick with you. Mine have been things like “You’re just a troubled girl”, “I don’t believe you”, “I’ve never believed you”, “I blame you”, “It was all in your head”, “Why are you living in the past? Get over it already” …etc. And even if you don’t have someone saying such things to you today, it’s like the track of these things will sometimes play in your head. That’s why good friends are so good to have. Friends who will come close and whisper the truth in your ear and remind you not to believe what fools have tried to convince you of.

    • E. A. August 31, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

      Thank you so much for commenting, LauratheTrue! You summarized what I was hoping to get across so much better, I think 🙂 . I’m so sorry for the trauma you’ve lived through, and I know it won’t be easy, but you sound like you have a few good friends around you to help. I think that being told “I don’t / never believed you” is probably the worst of all you listed.

      • laurathetrue September 1, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

        Yeah, they messed me up pretty good. All of those things did. For years such things and more kept me & the truth of my abuse locked in a proverbial closet; placed there by church leadership, members, “friends”… etc. Nowadays, I do finally have some true friends who have come alongside me on my journey toward healing (my journey is a relatively recent undertaking) after years of stuffing it all down and pretending I was fine. They pray for me, they remind me of God’s truth, and they make sure I know they’re here for me. I’m also blessed to have an amazing husband who has shown himself to be incredibly supportive. And I’ve started seeing a therapist. I’m trying to unlearn a lot of bad habits (coping/defense mechanisms), and sometimes the lie track that plays all that bad stuff in my head is easier to believe, but these precious people, they whisper the truth over and over to me anyways until I hear it and believe it.

      • E. A. September 2, 2011 at 11:41 am #

        Wow, you are an inspiration to me! You’ve decided to start the healing process, you’ve recruited the right type of friends and husband for support, and it sounds like the idiots who tried to keep you silent and repressed are out of your life. Their influence is bound to fade with time and enough of the right message pushing the wrong kind out of its space in your head and heart. This is the stage I hope to get to next!

  2. laurathetrue September 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    I’ll be honest with you, I fought that decision to start “the healing process” pretty hard. Because I knew it would be a shredding first. And I didn’t want to be shredded. I’d done a pretty good job of convincing myself I was fine. Also I reasoned it just wasn’t a good time. But God…well…let’s just say He set up some things for me that made it pretty clear to me and a few close others that I was not fine. And He also set up the support I was going to need. I was still dragging my feet seeing all this. Still thinking to myself and saying to others, “It’s not a good time”. But God said, “Oh, it’s time”. So, scared yet trusting just barely enough to follow the leading, I started taking those steps back in April. Met with a therapist. Let go of connections with folks who were nothing more than a painful reminder of all that bad stuff and whose voices were on that “track” I’ve mentioned. Let in a few friends who God seemed to be saying were okay to let in. And found He was right. And just recently I’ve let my husband in more. I had been hiding how truly hurt I’d been over it all. I hadn’t wanted it to mess up our marriage by revealing what a mess I was inside over it all. And this last Sunday, every secret was finally revealed. My wise & caring friends had encouraged it, and God, like He has had a habit of doing lately, set it all up so it would happen. And I must admit, I’m breathing much easier now. Your blog is a recent find for me. Read that book “The Help” and saw the movie just a few weeks ago. Several messages in them were great take-aways for me that I could strongly relate to. That one quote in particular struck so home with me that I went looking online for it and it brought me to your blog. I’m so glad it did. And I don’t believe it was an accident at all. So be encouraged E.A. It can get better. It’s okay to be scared and unsure and yet trust just enough to follow God’s leading toward healing. You can trust Him to set up that next “stage” and all those crucial little steps toward it. And He’ll provide for you every step of the way. He will. He will. And I’ll pray for that for you.

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