Be a person and not an adjective!Me
labels can be damaging; so can we get rid of them?
People will label you no matter what you do. I remember many times when I was younger when I was the head “cook and bottle washer”, in giving unflattering names to my numerous victims and afterward go about my business content with my lot in life. Today, I realize that I hate labels. I dislike intensely when persons view me in a particular way and expect me to be that way for the rest of my life – this from a girl who is indecisive about what I want to eat, wear, be and the list is endless. The irony is, I accept their typecasting because unlike when I was younger, what people thinks matter to me. So, we assume the labels given to us because we suddenly realize that people don’t want you to be yourself, they want you to be what they want you to be, no matter if you like it, yes or no.
So what can we do?
I really don’t have THE ANSWER.
All I have is the belief that we need to unlearn some of the most damaging things we have learned and practice as we get older since; one those things is our acceptance of being labelled.
I realized today that I was thinking one week behind the actual date!
I had always told myself that I can’t concentrate and really cannot focus on anything for long and I believe that this is catching up with me. So when the end of December came I did not register that it was not the last week of November even though I had seen the calendar; my mind did not catch up to the fact. I have also said for many years, that I have a problem remembering names, and guess what this has gotten worse over the years! Another case involves my hearing. Since high school I have been telling all who would listen that I have a hearing problem and you guessed it, it has gotten worse!
The labels that others give us can be damaging – even those that seem good too – but that is not makes them stick. When we belief we are those labels then they become true. So do I have a hearing problem? No but my ears have gotten lazy – I guess it was tired of me always putting it down. Do I lack the ability to focus? No, but I have taught myself to be that way.
I heard and then read a story of a trans man, Lee Harris, who wanted to reverse the procedure, after being on an 11 years journey to becoming what he thought he wanted to be. The story appeared on the Metro website in 2018 and again on the BBC website, in November 2019. The point is that Lee/Debbie saw a new identity,a new label, as a savior from years of trauma as a result of being sexually abused as a child. However, gender reassignment did not provide the new lease on life sought. Instead it resulted years later in a desperate cry for help to change back into what he was trying to run from; the true self.
For us labels can seem good. they may elevate us in the eyes of others and we may have a sense of belonging; but, if we decide to change in anyway, those same labels may imprison us and create more problems than we can deal with.
It’s easy to assume labels: we fail at doing one thing out of everything we did right and suddenly we are failures, or incompetent or stupid and it becomes impossible. We need to learn not to be a part of the hype in order not to be destroyed by it.
If you don’t want to be stuck, limited or misrepresented forget about the label and show up as yourself. All of you. Be a person and not an adjective!