I was labeled cute
I was labeled sweet
I was labeled shy
My anxiety and depression went unrecognized, intentionally overlooked by those with the power to help me when I was a child. My social anxiety drove me to act as anyone but myself.
My parents had not accepted and confronted their own anxiety and depression, and they trained me to follow their approach to life: suppress your feelings, be only what others want you to be.
I was labeled smart.
I was labeled hard working.
I was responsible.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve carried the weight of the world on my shoulders. I took responsibility for everyone else’s feelings. I took care of other children when I was still a child myself.
I was labeled a slut and a tramp by teenage girls.
I was labeled a tease by teenage boys.
I didn’t know how to say no, I didn’t know how to not lose myself in the desires of others.
Sometimes I was glad for the non-verbal language of physical affection, although I was just as incompetent at saying ‘no’ physically as I was verbally.
I was labeled an escort, a call girl, though I was just trying to make ends meet, girl.
I was labeled a graduate, with latin honors.
Though I worked as a prostitute, survived unnumbered abusive relationships, including the abusive relationship with myself, now they call me doctor.
What my patients don’t know is how much I’m still learning everyday- learning how to take care of myself as I ask them to take care of themselves.
In my daily practice of being my best self, I practice un-labeling through non-judgement.
Labels limit our minds.
Labels snap a stagnant picture from the moving scene, robbing us of the limitless possibilities of the present.