As always reflecting on the world around me and one of the awful headlines regularly raised at the moment is about discrimination and the very real and negative impact. I have no idea the amount of pain people are suffering from losing loved ones right now or the level of fear some people face from just stepping outside their door.
When reflecting on my journey with discrimination there are times in in my life I have felt marginalised. I have experienced these types of feelings as a women, a working mum, someone with tattoos, someone with a learning disorder but never before I have experienced them more sharply than as a foster child.
As a foster child I experienced both positive and negative discrimination. So of the most consistent discrimination I faced was based on an assumption as a foster child I was trouble or difficult. I recall clearly overhead conversations of adults and children alike often suggesting I should be given a wide birth, my achievements would be limited or I would be considered the wrong crowd. It was of course not all bad there were those friends and teachers that gave me a shot and when I proved myself worthy they continued to invest in me. For those that got to know me before they learnt I was fostered there was often statements of surprise that I could be someone who I was and be in those circumstances.
Of course discrimination can have a very real impact on our mental health and wellbeing, I recall feelings of isolation, confusion and helplessness.
What I have learnt from experiences of discrimination includes:
It’s your story – Don’t let other peoples narrative become your story. It is so easy to fall into the trap of this is what they say so this what I am or what I can do. You can absolutely do what ever you want to do and be who ever you want to be.
Challenge – Don’t stand by and accept discrimination. Constructively and firmly face into it. Discrimination against yourself or others around you should not be tolerated and you should not let it idly slip by. Just be careful that in standing up for what is right you are not applying your own bias or discrimination to those that dish it out. Have a clear view of what you hope to achieve by facing into it and seek advice. Discrimination is often a difficult issue to over come. Sometimes those discriminating against others don’t even realise they are doing it and those that do know what they are doing will have lots of deep seated filters on the world that will need to be overcome.
Own your Narrative – Don’t shy away from make you different, don’t try to hide it, own it. When you own your differences you control the power they have to influence your direction in life.
Some of the things we are discriminated against can be seen on the surface some are hidden from sight. No reason to discriminate though is right.
Youtube Vlog Discrimination https://youtu.be/suVqderWWmg