I Am Not Your Pejorative Label by Rebecca Donaldson

I wish you had tried to understand what had happened to me, but in the end, you lacked empathy.

I tried to convey to you where I come from, and how it feels to cry for 29 years wondering where is my mum.

But you scared me and often left me shaking.

You glared at me with disapproval, as if I were faking.

You yelled at me as I sat there crying silently.
That you couldn’t read my mind, as if these tears are nonsense rather than a silent plea.

You see, you labeled my distress
with some made-up personality test.

You read some nine criteria.
That sounded just like Hysteria.
From some book you called the DSM.
And said I can no longer email you because I am one of them.

You stopped smiling at me.
But continued to make sure I paid your fee
For your service you said was evidence-based.
And no longer explored what I had actually faced.

“You can heal,” you continued to proclaim.
As you etch your Scarlett letter into me to show that we are not the same.
That is me.
Borderline Personality Disorder, aka: crazy young B.

Just ignore what she says, they say because I can’t truly be in pain.
I must be Borderline because you say I am not sane.

Nobody normal cries this much, you write in my notes.
“Emotionally unstable,” you think, as you see me digging into my skin under my coat.

No discussion of adverse childhood experiences or where I come from.
You just send me a book on BPD and think that I am dumb.

I’m taking back my voice today, and as you say, I wish you, too, the best.
I would like to say my name is Rebecca again without being oppressed.

Hello world, my name is Rebecca: aka Rebecca.
I am not a pejorative label and am not taking part anymore in this fable.
I will soon have my PhD in this Psychology field and will fight this system with my lips unsealed.

To the Psychologist who harmed me,
soon you’ll call me doctor too.
I hope you read my book one day, as I’d love to read your review.


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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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