Recently some people did some shitty stuff to me. Some of it was because I told them that I have a brain injury. I told them this in the spirit of friendship and openness, in an attempt to strengthen the relationship we all shared. I did it because I wanted them to like me and understand me. WRONG! It didn’t make them understand me, it didn’t cause them to like me, in fact, they never had, and they used the story I told them, my personal story, my traumatic story, to serve purposes I will never understand. Basically, they were big ol’ meanies, people who these days I like to refer to with a word starting with the letting “C” followed by three letters, one of them a “U”, another “N” and another “T” and when there’s more than one of these types of people, the last letter is “S”.
The stuff with the big ol’ meanies made me revisit for the first time in a long time how hard it can be to live with a brain injury. It immediately made me aware that other people must struggle with exactly what I was experiencing and that really sucks because it’s not bloody fair.
I was inspired to write a Soapbox Warrior talk about it and I presented it to my friends in my brain injury support group in Bundaberg yesterday. I love this group of people. We “get” each other in a way that can only arise from a connection borne of shared adversity and courage. Some of us in the group are carers for those who are living with the challenge of being brain injured, some of us have lost those close to us and others are reassembling our lives after something random and unexpected sideswiped us on some average Tuesday: stroke, car accident, brain cancer, hit-and-run, aneurysm or workplace injury. Some of us struggle with speech, some with mobility, most of us with memory, but none of us deserve to be treated with discrimination. Many of us feel “invisible” because that’s what brain injury is: the invisible disability. That’s what my talk is about. My awesome friend Leeanne took this video and because I don’t have a sound system, it’s hard to hear. Click here for transcript.
Don’t let your voice be silent.
Be vulnerable and you can change the world.