The stigma and shame behind “labels” can create enormous havoc in an already broken and fragile state of mind. The struggle to cope and understand is greatly affected by once upbringing and the prevailing mindset of those around you.
I grew up in an environment where the mindset was that you fended for yourself and vigilantly hid any sign of weakness. Talking about “it” was a resounding NO…not an option. Going to the doctor was not an option, either, let alone a mental health specialist. Finances were slim to nothing. Any monies had would go to feeding the many mouths that begged for a piece of tortilla to appease their growling stomachs.
Any reference to a psychiatrist or psychologist was in disgust or disdain saying, “that person must be totally crazy to go to that! That’s not needed. They are good for nothing.”
There was an auntie who dared to venture into that forbidden territory. Oh, the things that were whispered about her. Those words cut to the heart. No one else dare venture out. They did not want to be part of those cutting conversations and side glances.
Do to extreme circumstances, another family member saw herself in need of venturing out. She did, however, in the strictest most hidden way. No one must know. Eventually, she stopped going. Maybe it was too difficult to keep up the front…we will never know. In her ultimate darkest moment, the “help” needed was denied and with no power to keep fighting, she ultimately succumbed to it all.
Many months have ensued, the memory of accepting my medical doctor’s advice comes to mind. The initial phone call. The first appointment. All the voices within and without. The fight to not get up from that chair. The fight to not flee that office…to run out. Each session, a struggle to accept.
I think I’m starting to accept…I think I’m starting to give my therapist a chance…I think this is NOT weakness, but strength…I think this is not shameful, but a necessity.
~ ~ ~ AND…it is…OK ~ ~ ~