Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. In the past several days, I have been thinking about the topic of societal stigmatization. Societal stigmatization and discrimination can occur in many ways and appear in different forms. In effect, societal stigmatization undermines by minimizing, marginalizing and manipulating the individual into believing that who they are and what they have to give is of little or no value. Such messages dismiss and discount. A little under a year ago I wrote an 7 part article series surrounding the impact of societal stigmatization Living with a brain injury and being Misunderstood, Maligned and Manipulated.
During much of my lifetime, I found myself experiencing the impact and effects of societal stigmatization while living with a brain injury and an invisible disability. Among my experience, I found myself being misunderstood, maligned, scoffed at, excluded, shunned, snubbed, reviled, ostracized, minimized, marginalized, dismissed, discounted, hindered, blackballed, scorned, spurned, disparaged, chastised, reprimanded, berated, criticized, threatened, reproached, denigrated, rejected and abandoned both personally and professionally. In the process, I bought into the belief system that conveyed to me that I didn’t just make mistakes, but that I was a mistake.
Consequently – and because of my experience and ongoing reinforcement – I bought into the notion that who I was as an individual was of little worth and value as a human being. But I am so glad that I reached a place in my life where I began to realize that what I had been experiencing was based on ignorance. In my experience, I began to realize that there were matters out of my control and that I needed to make peace with those matters. In my experience, I found that I needed to begin to accept my reality – as a person living with a brain injury and an invisible disability – regardless of whether anyone else could accept or understand the impact of my reality.
To read Part 2 of this article please click here.
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