I read an article today that inspired me and I want to follow the write’s example. maybe my take on his message may seem a little bit angrier but maybe I was sort of venting while I wrote this:
As my emotions have gotten more stable during these seven years after my brain injury there are still feelings that all brain injury survivors have, like anger when people make false assumptions about what we are going through, feeling and even what we can achieve. Sometimes I just want to scream when I hear a negative comment or assumption about my abilities, feelings or what I’m capable of after a brain injury. Sometimes I actually do scream and loose my temper when I hear someone doubting me or making erroneous assumptions about my feelings. But I’ve come to learn that by lashing out when people say those things I’m only reinforcing their statement and making myself look weaker.
I want to show people that even though our lives have changed forever, we are not lost and incapable of living life like anybody else. Yes, we get confused, make mistakes and are wrong sometimes, just like anybody else but that does not mean we are weak. If anything, surviving a brain injury shows strength, determination and desire to keep living.
I don’t want to be treated any differently than others, like I am weaker or not able to do something just because of my brain injury, but that needs to start with me. I need to show others how I want to be treated. Having a tantrum about wanting to be treated equally will not make anyone treat me like the adult I tell them I am.
But I hadn’t thought about how I needed to modify how I react to what people say to make my point more convincing, to help them realize that their judgment is wrong and that I am not defined by what happened seven years ago, but by everything I have learned and done since then. Besides I don’t need to prove anything, I have gotten this far, with people thinking I can’t do it, so I don’t need to prove anything or show anybody, none of us do. We all have our story to tell and it’s not over yet so let’s keep making the story and don’t let anyone tell us we can’t.