Mind games would be a more appropriate term to describe how my disability played out over the years, particularly as there were times I had intimated that I wanted to talk about it. That I wanted to know what was wrong with me.
For years, manipulative behaviour was used back and forth intended to gain an advantage over me. My disability was something that needed to be emotionally addressed. And where my life and my disability were ignored, my thoughts kept me sane. It wasn’t just me not knowing what my diagnosis was, it was me not being able to work through my neurological issues and spending too many years trying to talk to about my disability and it was clear no one was listening.
I became angry. I wanted to understand my life and my disability. I wanted to understand why I couldn’t function in the same way as my siblings. I didn’t understand why no matter hard I tried, I continued to struggle in school. I also desperately wanted to understand why I had one foot that looked different to the other, why when I walked I would drag my leg, or understand why my shoes didn’t wear down in the same way.
Where any parent uses a smokescreen to live their lives in such a manner that provokes a response from their child, it’s easy to see why that child may become unbalanced or crazy. Sadly, when it comes to any parent, the smokescreen they use takes the attention away from them and instead puts the onus and the focus back on the child.
Mind games are passive-aggressive and take many forms. They include pretending not to understand someone, or simply pretending not to hear. Those games may also include keeping family members divided, so that they don’t get to figure out the truth of what is really happening. Turning siblings against each other other is also very common.
But like any form of aggression, mind games damage a person’s confidence, mental and physical health and relationships, and which is why on our part, it’s important we stop enabling, or allow it to continue.