This report talks about substance use
“When I meet new people after successfully getting my daughter out of the care system I mention nothing about my past as I don’t want to be a negative label and if I do have a label stamped on me, I’m hoping it says MOTHER”
I have an example of two different groups of people and what the outcome would be because of labelling them.
You have a group of people who are experiencing homelessness sitting in a park drinking ,eating and chatting. Passers by would label them as alcoholics and most probably the police would be called and they would all receive a disposal order to leave the area straight away.
In the same park you have a group of ‘ordinary ‘ people sitting and drinking but they are looked upon as having a nice picnic and would gain respect from passer by.
We live in a society which gives us labels we don’t want and I have found even when your life situation has changed you still have that label stamped on your forehead .
In my case as a women who have experienced homelessness, substance misuse and loneliness which has lead to very poor judgement and choices in my life this label is permanently stamped on my forehead.
This society is very judgemental and makes assumptions about you ,it is a lot of hard work trying to persuade professional people who I have to include in my life for a short while to get the positive result I wanted.
I had to see a (physiatrist) to be able to get my baby out of the care system. I had told him I had been abstinent for 13 months and I’m going to continue living a life of abstinence. But when I received the report back I had been labelled as a dry drunk who would benefit from AA and my past chaotic lifestyle meant that I would relapse within 12 months.
I’m pleased to say I’m coming on nearly four years of abstinence . This psychiatrist had no qualifications in drug and alcohol recovery, he had only spoken to me for fifteen minutes and his knowledge of me and my situation came from reading a report on what other people had written about me. He had also referred me to another doctor, known as a neuropsychologist, whose work is to specialise in the brain. He implied my brain wasn’t functioning like other people’s because due to years of substance misuse . This neuropsychologist tested me for 8 hours, disagreed with the diagnosis of me being a dry-drunk and decided that my brain is functioning well. Apparently my IQ is below average and I am showing symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. To be honest I would rather have common sense than a high IQ but it didn’t matter anyway, because by this point I wasn’t listening to any of their crap. I was just pleased to know that my brain was functioning ok.
It is unbelievable how many labels you get given because of a past you cannot change but I have learnt through this challenging process you can change your future.
When I meet new people after successfully getting my daughter out of the care system I mention nothing about my past as I don’t want to be a negative label and if I do have a label stamped on me, I’m hoping it says MOTHER
Photo by Mat Amp Instagram @matamp67