Not knowing

18 Mar 2016

Each case of brain damage is unique to the individual who has the brain damage, one size doesn’t fit all. We can’t know how a damaged brain works, because a damaged brain will always function separately from another damaged brain.

If those of us with brain damage don’t know what the implications are neurologically, it stands to reason others will know even less. The hard part for those of us with brain damage is us having to function around our impairment, what we deal with. That part is never easy.

We think a certain way because we have no choice, particularly when our thought process and learning is impaired, therefore it’s not right for others to comment as if they know and judge us, as if they know and to comment. We hear it out there in the media and in our personal lives too.

It’s easy to think we know, but unless we know, having walked a mile in another person’s shoes, we won’t know at all. When it takes us a while to work these things out for ourselves, other people can never know. Perhaps there needs to be a little bit more empathy from the people who should know better.

It’s never up to others to pass comment or pass judgment. The world needs to be more tolerant towards those living with a disability.

8 Responses to “Not knowing”

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  1. Brad 18. Mar, 2016 at 6:31 pm #

    The only person who really hows how any brain damage affects them is the person themselves.

    Doctors can help to a point, but I agree with you that no two people will experience the same symptoms even if the same part of the brain has suffered damage.

    The only person we should listen to and learn from is the person concerned, without criticising or judging; as we are not in a place to do so.

    • Ilana 18. Mar, 2016 at 7:13 pm #

      Thanks, yes I agree. It’s what we should and need to do, but not what people do.

  2. Tim 18. Mar, 2016 at 6:43 pm #

    I know very little about the gravity of your challenges, but I do know that it requires a brilliant mind to imagine then author a place like this site. We are no longer talking to the wind because of you; a fact that in itself shows the nature of your capabilities and the vastness of your brain.

    This blog is a public display of your authenticity and genuine modesty, and we have evidence of how awesome your brain really is.

    • Ilana 18. Mar, 2016 at 7:08 pm #

      Thanks Tim. It’s funny but when I first started the Diary some nearly 6 years ago, I was asked what I was going to do with it when it went ‘live.’

      Working through ‘WordPress’ would go on to my biggest challenge. I had no idea what was coming after that let alone my capabilities.

      But I am humbled by your words. Thank you.

  3. Bonnie Strickland Johns 19. Mar, 2016 at 6:57 pm #

    O wow I love this Ilana! Up until my mid 20’s I really thought I was stupid. I would always ask myself, “why can’t I figure that maths problem out when everyone else can?” or “why can’t I think quickly like everyone else?”

    And if I’m not mentally retarded I must be stupid. It was then I got a different point of view and belief system and it completely wrapped up, when my neurologist told me he found brain damage, just this last summer.

    • Ilana 19. Mar, 2016 at 7:49 pm #

      Thanks Bonnie! Although I’m not sure that I thought I was ever stupid, it did cross my mind in school that I wasn’t connecting. I just didn’t get how to learn and I still had those close to me judge my abilities.

      Now that you’ve said it, I can understand how you would think you were stupid, but that is further from the truth. When we deal with brain damage, we don’t grasp things in the same way as someone without brain damage.

      I believe you’re very smart, but you probably have to find a different way to learn and that takes time.

  4. Bonnie Strickland Johns 20. Mar, 2016 at 1:36 am #

    Thank you Ilana. That makes me feel a lot better! These blogs help tremendously and all of us; every single one of us know we’re here to support each other.

    We’re the only ones that truly knows how this feels. And were all sensitive and not as judgmental as those without brain damage, from what I’ve noticed.

    • Ilana 20. Mar, 2016 at 8:46 am #

      I’m glad my blogs help you. Thanks Bonnie. I have noticed the same thing too.

      My own feeling is that when we’re tied into a condition like Cerebral Palsy, I think we become more consciously aware of how we feel. I know I do. I instinctively know from how I feel how other people will feel too and that removes all things like being judgmental and being insensitive out of the equation.

      Regardless of whether we have something that we deal with, such as a disability, we should ALL still think about how other people feel. I call it empathy.

      We could all have and use it if we wanted to, disability or not.

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