Allow me to introduce myself.
My name is stigma.
S– T– I– G– M– A.
Of course, I don’t need an introduction. You know me, they know me.
Everyone knows me.
I eat at the fabric of your identity.
Sometimes I call you out on things beyond your control.
I am what members of society attach to you.
So when they look at you, all they see is me.
It is only natural for me to execute my job with severity.
So you were innocently convicted.
I’ll make sure the label ‘murderer’ hangs heavily over your head.
So that your truth does not matter, and all your potential employer sees is that image depicted.
Even when you’re clean and out of rehab, your sister will silently worry that you’re addicted.
I attach shame to your birth.
I know it’s not fair on you, no you shouldn’t suffer for your mother’s actions.
You and your putative father come to the realization simultaneously.
“Sir, I’m sorry to tell you that the DNA test we conducted reveals that this is not your son.”
Don’t tell anyone but the gardener contributed to your presence on earth.
As you walk down your neighborhood, their whispers form tendrils that wrap around you.
It is my doing, give me credit.
Don’t you see me on your lunch table?
That’s odd because I’m the only one there.
I feel bad for chasing your friends away so I keep you company.
JOKES. They’re tired of your ways.
“Is she the only one who loves God?” “It’s annoying how she always talks about the Bible.”
You’re on the right path.
But I don’t want them to know.
“I feel she will judge me because she probably thinks herself holier.”
It’s annoying how all my efforts don’t even faze you, you still show everyone love.
You stand the ugliest of my wrath.
When you enter a room, I make the colour of your skin more noticeable.
Gives people ample justification when their stereotypical views come out to play.
Normally, where you’re from should be irrelevant;
But that is exactly what I make significant.
Women hold their purses a little tighter, criminal is your label.
Terrorist is your middle name.
I know the media doesn’t even make things better.
Maybe you should hide the fact that you’re German,
Because I’ll automatically make them remember Hitler.
Don’t be surprised, I told you I am the master of this game.
You hide your cuts under your sleeve.
I really can’t say which hurts you more:
That those who should care don’t notice or that those who notice look at you with fear in their eyes.
You can’t blame them, it’s called ‘mental illness’ after all.
I blind their eyes, no one sees they are slowly depriving you of your will to live.
Yes, they would rather maintain a social distance.
And the existence of your bipolarity is either denied or it becomes a prayer point.
Even though there is Mental Awareness Week,
I make these labels stick.
Take ‘Crazy’, ‘Weird’ and ‘Sad’ for instance.
Your tale is a funny one.
You warmed Jake’s bed and Ore’s too.
Oh, wait! There was Tom’s and Tobi’s also.
Then the day came where you had to point out your baby’s daddy.
But when asked you couldn’t tell which one.
It didn’t really matter anyway since you killed that son.
You couldn’t bear the risk of infecting him you said.
The humiliation the news of your status brought your parents was sad to watch.
I, STIGMA stood through it all.
Your disgrace was fun.
I am angry.
My fame is dramatically reducing, society has begun to shun me.
Awareness this, awareness that. NO! NO! NO!
My presence in society is slowly diminishing, no one is feeding me. I AM HUNGRY.
People are accepting one another more these days.
Paying no mind to what should naturally cause them shame.
Everything is being portrayed in a better light.
Everyone has become a stigma fighter.
I guess society often changes its ways.