The Danger of ' L A B E LS'

By Jenny Benham

I see things that – you do not see
I hear things that – you do not hear
My world – does not fit your rules
my thoughts, my ideas, my reality – does not fit your reality
does that – make me – any less than you ?
Do – you have the right to cut me down and caste me off as
dead wood?
Do – you not know that I too am of value, of worth
I too – have the right to be.
I came to you because I believed I had to be – like you to
you – pointed out my weakness
you – caste me out – you pushed me down the rabbit hole
You called me schizophrenic and this soon became my name
you put me in a box painting a label for all to see
this label of Schizophrenia filled my heart with shame
I was no longer me, I was no longer whole.
This label of schizophrenic stripped me of my soul.
No diagnosis should do more damage than good
I was labeled 40 years ago and it is only now with the
recognition of the strength and power of sharing life
experiences that I actually slowly claiming my right , my worth
not so much in the eyes of others but in my heart , my soul.
I have lived my life constantly on the edge of my rabbit hole
and 40 years ago that one word and all its baggage bought that
rabbit hole cascading around me burring me in darkness,
depression and loneliness. I still get lost in this darkness but
now I know there is more, there is life to be lived and I claim this
life through words, through pictures, through photos.

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