#BrainQA, Question 20: What hurtful comments have you heard?

#BrainQA: Q&A to bring brain injury survivors together and to raise brain injury awareness. Every Monday at 8pm (UK time) on facebook, twitter and instagram

The following answers are users from facebook, twitter and instagram, thank you everyone for answering!

What hurtful comments have you heard?

Here are some of my answers, I’ve had more things than this happen. I’ve also had people look at me differently and made me feel uncomfortable, we live with these comments and the ones below everyday.

‘”You have a brain injury, does that mean you’re a “retard?”‘

‘”You are worthless”‘

‘Get over what happened and move on’

‘But you don’t look like you struggle’

‘You just need to harden up and get on with it, everyone forgets things and gets headaches’

‘It wasn’t that bad. Like, look at you.’

‘You take too long to talk and are wasting everyone’s time’

‘Stop putting it on and just talk normally’

‘It wasn’t that bad though’

‘You had brain surgery, you should be better’

‘It’s just an excuse to be lazy now’

‘There’s nothing wrong you’re just in shock’

‘Oh my memory is just as bad’

‘But you look so well. (To that I feel like screaming oh you can see my brain can you?!)’

“Are you taking the p*** out of me? You’ve asked me the same question 4 times”

‘You’re just depressed and stressed about the accident and all the symptoms are related to that – concussion only lasts a couple of days’

‘I wish I could fake being sick so I don’t have to do things.’

‘Too many to list! One of my favorites include: “You can’t even take care of yourself on your own.” Even better, they were upset with me for getting offended because “It was mostly a joke”’

“You are young there’s no reason you can’t handle that”

“Don’t call it a stroke because you don’t look bad and people will look down on you if you tell them you had a stroke.”

‘”You look fine”

‘There’s nothing wrong you look fine/normal/ok’

‘You’re imagining it’

“You’re so lucky not to have to work. You can do what you when you want. My reply “You get 25 days holiday a year, I never get a holiday from TBI, do you wish to trade places?”

‘You’re alive you should be grateful’

“You don’t look disabled”

‘General laughing and making fun of my symptoms’

“Concussion isn’t a brain injury”

“Oh you just had a mild TBI it was not serious”

‘”Here, let me do it. There’s just a bunch of one handed people here.”’

‘While riding in the backseat of a car, the passenger says to the driver: “Slow down! There’s a disabled person in the car. You don’t want to scare her!”’

‘An ex co-worker claimed I was “putting it on” when I needed time off work after my brain injury. That was 2 weeks in of a 4 month absence’

‘You’re faking it. Cut the fantasy act. No really, what happened?’

‘What can you do since you are a brain injury’

‘You just had an infection..get over it. You look fine’

‘From a kid- I’m sorry u can’t walk. SMH (shaking my head) I was at therapy with my rollator cause I need stability. But parts of my house carpeted I don’t use it. I tend to hold on to kitchen island to hold if I should get tired. I just ignored the kid cause I was in middle of walking, I have to concentrate on one thing at a time now or I sure would gave the kid a life lesson on Strokes real quick’

‘Stop milking it! You’re not that hurt’
“You’re drunk. “
“It’s very unlikely you can ever be able to do that..”
“Aren’t you over it yet ?”
“Why isn’t this or that better yet?”
‘… Saying things super slow and thinking I can’t understand them otherwise.’
‘If I would have known you could be like this, I never would have married you.’
‘The worst came from my ex-spouse, “Too bad you don’t even have half a brain left in that head of yours.”‘
‘That I wanted attention’
‘I can’t exactly remember comments, but I hear expectations from my spouse. He is exasperated and angry. For 2 years he has waited for me to “remove the shackles” so to speak, and suddenly be a witty wonder woman who has a full time job and clean house. I am ultimately coming to terms with this new permanent normal. I have bad days, emotional days, and need more support days. He just gets more mean.’
‘You just haven’t tried hard enough – try harder and you”ll be fine.’
‘Why are you like this? What’s wrong with you? Oh, I know how you feel, I feel that way too sometimes.’
‘I’ve been accused of faking my TBI and seizures. I’ve been laughed at because I have memory problems, my ‘friends’ made comments where they act like a retarded by saying da da da da dum (maybe you get it?). I’ve actually been called a retard. As well as other things.’
‘I was told by someone I haven’t seen for awhile “Oh you’re the damaged one”‘
‘A typical one: “Hey, you look so much better!”’
‘It could be worse.’
‘Over and over again by the same people “when can you return to work?” Closer family members I ask if I can go places as well. They huff and complain about me going with them. Most people say “wow you don’t look like you have a brain injury.”‘
‘That I am lazy!’
‘It’s just a bump’
‘Try harder’
‘That I just wanted attention’
‘An ex co-worker claimed I was “putting it on” when I needed time off work after my brain injury. That was 2 weeks in of a 4 month absence’
‘Somebody asked why I was parked in a disabled parking bay and that there was obviously no need for me to be there. I was in the passenger seat and unable to walk so was just waiting for my wife who was in the shop! I had been there for 15 mins so we weren’t fighting for a space!’
‘Mentally disabled. No insurance for a brain aneurysm survivor. Welcome to the real world’
‘”Are you stupid? Are you slow? Why are you so quiet now?”… Iv’e heard so much crap since it happened that I can’t keep track of it all’
‘Being compared to a bed ridden patient by family ” see how lucky you’re not like that, that’s a real battle” They had no idea or understanding of how hard I was fighting to stay alive’
‘At the supermarket, one middle-aged lady looked at me in my wheelchair and said to her friends “if I’m ever like her, kill me”. I rolled past and said “I’d kill myself if I was a judgemental b!$ch like you”. There was another couple who witnessed the whole thing and said how I should have run into them, I said I was tempted to run over her toes but didn’t want to stoop to her level. I get sassy when I’ve got brain fatigue haha.’
‘How long have you got? haha A so called friend of mine hurt me time without number. When she dismissed that the vertigo which I developed some time after the accident was because of the head injury, she said “granted, you have a head injury!” GRANTED??????? grrrrrr’
‘You are faking it you are stupid you have no idea what you are talking about no one will ever love a retard….’
“Get over it!” “Oh, we forget words too, it is called getting old.” Being taken advantage of when buying a car (eventually lost $5k on that mistake). And just being ignored or belittled by snorts, body language, tone of voice, etc. I am one of the lucky ones… I haven’t had anyone (that I remember) make rude comments directed towards me personally.’
‘At the local Funland where my son likes to drive go carts. “Is he able to drive?” Do they ask everybody or just the differently abled?’
“Will he need a menu too?” Of course he will. Doesn’t everybody need a menu to view the choices?

You can take part in #BrainQA on facebook, twitter or instagram every Monday at 8pm (UK time)


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