It doesn’t matter what it is.
Whether it is your sexuality.
Your love life.
You have to be your biggest self advocate. No one is going to stand up for yourself better than you. Even if you have a living will and a medical power of attorney with specific instructions to your care takers to abide by your wishes. YOU HAVE TO BE THE BIGGEST SELF ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF.
I’ve had to learn how to do this for several years of my life. For the last six years I have been fighting and battling an unknown medical mystery until recently. And I’ve had to advocate for myself for several years and it became a battle. Listening to medical professionals (mostly old white men; not making this racial but you’ll see my point in a second) tell me what it is I do and do not have to worry about.
Being an African American woman in a world where most medical professionals are made up of older white males. Or even just white males to begin with. It’s really hard to identify with someone whom is male and isn’t from your culture and are often times made to believe that women are making things up. Or even just being a WOMAN in a Amalie dominated field telling women what they need or don’t need. That they only want a pharmaceutical response. Or that they want/need a therapist.
I have had to advocate for myself. I have seen over 25 medical professionals in the last six years. And only two of them have taken my health seriously. My current Primary Care Physician and my Urologist are the only two medical physicians who have taken my range of symptoms seriously.
When it comes to be a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, parental abuse, and childhood abuse it is really difficult trying to find a way to be a self advocate in a world where abuse is looked at as the victims fault. But I am advocating for myself. Even the times I’ve had to speak with the authorities as well as when I had to testify in court against my rapist. I had to find a way to advocate for myself and my needs.
I’ve been demanding mental health care of survivors for a very long time and now I’m a huge advocate for anyone seeking mental health professionals for their emotional and psychological ailments. PTSD, depression, and anxiety are often looked at as an “outlet” and not an actual diagnosis. It’s looked at as an excuse for their behavior instead of having actual demons that have been chasing the mind for as long as the victim/survivor can look back.
I’ve sought out at least 7 different therapist to finally find 2 that fit my needs with my mental diagnosis.
It can be scary. Standing up for yourself. Especially when it comes to health is hard. Being seen as overly emotional or emotionally unstable is something that comes with this territory because you get fed up not being treated the way that you deserve to be treated. You get fed up with not having the proper care that you deserve. It gets hard and it gets frustrating, but it is something that I will never give them the power to have over me.
When it comes to my health I become and expert in every single diagnosis they give me until they give me the correct diagnosis. Which I finally found, it just so happens that it is a rare diagnosis that not many neurosurgeons know about.
When it comes to my relationships I have to learn to speak to people in a way that explains to them how I need to be cared for and loved. I have to be a teacher of my own needs and desires without being afraid of there being repercussions.
Self advocacy is something that we have to learn how to engrave within us and ignite a flame to grow so strong so that we are able to speak up for ourselves.
Instead of being silenced.
I won’t let any of this silence me.
I won’t let any of this stop me from getting the care that I need from any situation in my life.
Not from love.
Not from friendships.
Not from doctors.
Not from family.
I am my own self advocate.
And you bet your ass I am going to be the loudest I can be so I can survive it all. 💜