Relationships & disability

Anyone like me with a brain impairment means we are disabled, however small. There’s no getting away from that. It stands to reason therefore, that my life would turn out differently, when I eventually got to find out, because I’m tied to a brain injury that has led to impairment. That through my impairment, I would struggle and all relationships would need a different understanding.

Knowing I had Cerebral Palsy as a child would have meant that I could talk about my symptoms and issues with those who needed to know. With any relationship, it’s important to start off level pegging, on the right footing, knowing everything there is to know about what that person might deal with. Sadly, for anyone finding out about a disability later, means the person before the diagnosis isn’t the same person after.

Having to work things out for ourselves and having to find out new things about ourselves, makes it so. We grow through change, we mature, we will begin to see ourselves and our lives differently. Knowing means I have become less frustrated, less agitated, more calm, but knowing can change the way others see us too.

That shouldn’t matter though, because everyone should work and grow together, it shouldn’t matter the start point. But for those of us who deal with a disability our priorities and challenges will always be different and that changes us. Dealing with a disability can be difficult, particularly as we have different challenges to meet, but frustrating for the people we share our lives with.

Dealing with any disability has its ups and downs. Even more frustrating for me when there was little to no understanding of what my challenges were. Although the life I’ve had isn’t the one I would have wanted, I still have many challenges, that present around my Sensory Processing Disorder, but at least now I know more about the disorder.

Even with all of those things I’ve had to deal with, I still choose to strive to see my life more positively. A different kind of knowing with a different life around my disability has brought about a different thought process from me. But we all must have a different thought process, particularly as dealing with a disability can unbalance the equation in any relationship and often does.

Whether a disability is mild or moderate is immaterial. Everyone involved needs to have a different perception on disability, around what that person deals with and run with it, for those relationships to work.

17 Jul, 2017

4 thoughts on “Relationships & disability

  1. Unless someone has been with you through everything and knows you fairly well, I don’t think people understand about the disabilities we have or face daily. You want to say, ‘walk in my shoes for a day and see for yourself,’ especially with the invisible disabilities.

    Like my son, he acts like a normal little boy most of the time and when you look at him you may see what looks like a normal kid, most of his disabilities are brain related.

    1. Thanks Lisa. I think you’re right, but no one can never know unless they walk in our shoes as you say.

      Not knowing what I had or how my disability presented made it impossible for me to know, which meant others could never know. I like your son, will have things that aren’t understandable to the naked eye, or even book related. It will also be hard for your son too, as he grows and goes on to form his own relationships.

      Sadly, no two brain injuries are the same. Any brain injury will present differently. They are not comparable, but can interfere with our relationships.

      That said, it’s important we have people who want to support and stay and act as a support, where they need to. Who want to help and who understand.

  2. I agree with Lisa. There are some people that choose to understand, particularly family that have lived with us and close friends that have known us and don’t crticise and see us for who we are, not what we have.

    Then there are those that just don’t care and look at us as an inconvenience. Those people can go far away and stay far away.

    1. Thanks Bonnie. Yes, I agree with both you and Lisa.

      There may be family and close friends who choose to understand, but I still think that when it comes to disability there will be people in different camps. We haven’t quite come far enough for disability to just fit into people’s lives.

      There will still be those who are opinionated and thinking they know what we deal with, but support may sometimes come in from the most unlikely of places too, usually from those we least expect support from.

      For those who don’t care and look at us as an inconvenience, perhaps they’re no different and would have been like that anyway. Like you Bonnie, I would also choose not to be around those people.

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