#BrainQA, Question 8: If you’ve told strangers, how did they react?

#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!

If you’ve told strangers, how did they react?

With me, mainly strangers have been curious and asked all about it. I think because it is interesting and it’s not every day you hear “brain surgery” or “brain injury” I remember going to a new hairdresser and she said “Do you mind if I asked what happened to your head?” (She must have felt all the bumps) I really liked that she asked and I told her all about it, she went on to ask more questions and it was a great conversation. I don’t like when people know but don’t say anything then act differently around me…those are the people that make me feel very uncomfortable and awkward.

‘ tell people, I feel I have to explain myself. Then when they say “you look fine” I wished I hadn’t said anything. I will then go on to say ‘yes, I look ok, because I can put makeup on, do my hair, get dressed, but there’s a madness going on inside, everything effects me, blah blah blah blah’. Unless someone says, ‘I have a brain injury, I know just what you mean’ (and that’s rare), I regret ever opening my mouth and revealing my vulnerability, the filter of whether to tell or not has gone, so sometimes I regret how I respond to others, people are kind and give sympathy. It’s my insecurity, I’ve just gotta get used to saying I’m brave because I am adapting to a new way of being me.’

‘A lot of people have responded “You don’t look like you have one” -honestly it is hard to respond – what preconceived image of brain injury do people have? I have asked “what do you think I should look it?”usually I get a blank look after asking. Somedays I can laugh about it other days it brings me to tears.’

‘People usually ask about the tape on my glasses, and I tell them about my double vision, which was caused by my brain injury, and that starts up a whole new conversation between us. First they are usually sorry for me, and I tell them not to be, it was my fault for riding motorcycles to begin with. I try to educate about how fragile our brains are and we have to appreciate everything we have, because it can be taken away in a heart beat.’

‘I just tell people the moment I start hesitating with speech & quickly explain. Seems to open the door for conversation.’


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

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