Judgement and subsequent abuse are often realities faced during hard personal struggles. It comes from the perception of your struggle by other individuals and in a manner that hinders your recovery.
I wanted to talk about two areas where social stigma can have negative results.
Jordan and I suffered brain injuries in different ways. Brain Injury is a condition with one name, but it’s experienced and caused through an individual person’s story.
I fell off a building with a direct impact to my left frontal lobe. Jordan’s Brain Injury was caused after the complications of a heroin overdose.
Substance abuse is rarely spoken about when it comes to Brain Injury. A fall or a car crash is usually the first thought on the topic. Substance use occurs when a drug is used to overcome or silence life’s difficult realities. The attraction to the substance creates a vacuum where people feel they need to increase use to overcome life’s challenges. A Brain Injury occurs when too much of the substance is taken. This results in physical changes to the Brain.
Unique experiences create the individual characteristics of our recoveries.
Jordan and I grew up being homosexual and coming to terms with it. At puberty we started to learn our different realities from the majority, moving away from the male stereotype with an attraction to women.
This was a time of personal growth through an invisible self-development process. We had to accept ourselves, accepting abuse for it and learning what it all meant to achieve happily.
Confidence was something Jordan and I gained after having a Brain Injury. Part of it came from coming to terms with the natural occurrence of our homosexuality. No one felt this personal reality, but we connected and learnt from the broader world around us – we weren’t alone.
The journey was similar to go through our Brain Injuries and Homosexuality. As a younger man I lacked self confidence because of my sexuality. Jordan and I later felt the same feelings of social denial and stigma that came with the Brain Injuries we experienced.
Personal denial of an illness is common during Brain Injury because at first you feel little has changed. Homosexuality is experienced more during puberty but is developed personally throughout our lives from birth. In both experiences the individual denies something that alters outside perceptions about you. This is a feeling but doesn’t change who you are. It changes how you deal with the society around you.
We started the Brain Injury healing process as though it was not making changes that altered our minds. Along with this I personally saw there wasn’t any level of understanding in society to conceptualise the journey we were about to embark on. We learnt confidence by healing our abilities through experience.
In High School I was often abused because I was homosexual. Throughout my life this continues to occur.
Recently I had a job in a workplace where my homosexuality was targeted, belittled to make other men feel dominant as though my mistreatment could achieve their chauvinistic pride. It was at an age where I felt sorry for their need to abuse me. This had been something I have been excluded for my entire life. They achieved little but unnecessary abuse and sadness.
When I was talking with Jordan about this story he spoke truth I will look at in a later post about comparison, ‘I would say that one thing that I would tell an outsider is that everyone is different and comparing yourself to someone else is never good.’
Homosexuality and Brain Injury has been silently occurring throughout human history. I think speaking up about how these individual processes impact the lives of others will save many.
Try not to judge but learn. It’s a very simple task to undertake ❤