If we lived in a world where mental illnesses weren’t feared, the prison system would diminish. The next time I see a man tied down by twelve police officers for schizophrenia, will be the time I sit with him and call a psychiatrist. For police officers are no doctors although they believe so.
The next time one looks me in the eyes as if I am a killer, I will plant flowers instead. For I make life exist. And when they laugh and call me crazy, I will take them to my garden, watch them pick a flower and say, “who’s a killer now?”
The next time a man calls me a panic pixie dream girl made in a movie for a man, I will place a hex in his name for he shall never misjudge a magical being.
The next time one says they are scared of me for what I am labeled as, will be time I tape a “kick me” sign on the back of their shirt. How scary and confusing it must be to be hurting with no understanding.
The next time “attention seeker” seems to be embellished on the back of my jacket, will be the time I start my own flashmob on the busiest street in Chicago. If you thought I wanted attention then, just wait for the big show.
The next time I am left alone from being told I am “too much to handle,” “I will ask, which part is too much? Is it my tiny body taking up so little space, yet my heart being the size of their own ego? Or the way I can still give love to someone who has so little to give back?
The next time I will not cry. I will not listen. The next time I am not seen as Skyla, I will make sure to be. Negative stigmas are stigmas for a reason. They are just not true. And if anyone decides to see you as them, tell them they are wrong.
We can only fight these stigmas by fighting them together. Educate. Be vulnerable. Share your story to help end what the world holds onto so tightly, hate.