A STRIPPER’S THOUGHTS ON THERAPY AND MEDICATION

Whether you are awkward, socially inept, rude, selfish, never on time, or you have difficulties focusing, reading, finishing a project etc. … now a days, there is a medical term for every condition, therapy will be available as well as medication provided. I am torn between acceptance of being different and being pissed about using a medical term to find excuses for being a lazy, selfish motherfucker. Looking back at my childhood, I would’ve probably been diagnosed with a learning disability (I really had difficulties reading out loud, focusing, and finishing projects), as well as with ADD, Dyslexia, possibly even ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome. However, my parents didn’t make a big deal out of me being different, slower, lazier than other kids … instead they taught me to work harder, study more, and pursue the things that were difficult for me to learn till I caught up with the other kids. For example, every night, my mom would dictate me a story, and I would learn to write without twisting letters and words around as well as asking me to read one paragraph of a story out loud. Did I like it? No. Could I stay focused? No, I threw a fit many nights in a row, walked away from my desk, and I wanted to scratch my mother’s eyes out for forcing me to do something I couldn’t do. But my mom stayed patient, demanded for me to sit back down and focus while it was expected from me to complete the project. And it worked. I got better at reading and writing … I guess it really work, because me out of all people, the little girl who couldn’t read or write as well as the other kids is now writing books, poems, and daily blog posts in her third language, while, back then, it seemed  impossible for me to even learn to read and write in my first language. But back then, there was no diagnosis. I was just a rebellious, lazy kid that couldn’t focus on boring shit and would’ve rather ridden her bicycle, rode horses very much focused for hours at a time, played with her cat, or wondered off secretly to the city to fake my parents signature to buy me a pet hamster my parents didn’t allow me to have. I did by the hamster, and rode horses and bicycles, but I also learned to write and read in four languages — even though it might’ve taken more practice and time than it took some other kid who didn’t know how to fake signatures or ride horses. But I wonder, how things would’ve turned out if my parents would’ve had a medical condition for my divergent behavior, and how I would’ve developed if it would’ve been an excuse for me not to be able to do certain things that came easily to other kids. I wonder, how it would’ve made me feel if I would’ve been sent to go to therapy for being different. I think I would’ve felt like a freak. Meanwhile, I can only recognize that I was different looking back. Back then, I thought all kids have to practice hard to learn to read and write. I thought, all kids throw a fit when they are asked to complete a project that they are not interested in anymore. I thought, I was just like everybody and never felt different. I think my parent’s way of dealing with my possible learning disability made me not have one. My parents never loved me less than my sister (she could read out loud perfectly, I thought it was because she was four years older than me), held me less because I was lazy and didn’t do the dishes or iron on free will (my sister was great at house work), they never told me they would only kiss me as much as my sister if I would finish drawing the picture, building the sand castle, or making my bed … they loved me, although, I was different. They said, I was more rebellious, but I think they saw the power in my stubbornness. It was my character and what made me, not a medical diagnosis that limited me.

Like I said before, I am torn. It seems everybody is diagnosed and medicated with something in these days. But do we really need therapy and medication for every condition or is it just an excuse, a cop out, or even a way to numb who we truly are? I don’t have the answers … I just wonder, how things would be if different wouldn’t mean sick?

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