Wednesday, March 21, 2018

March is Epilepsy Awareness Month

I seem to have missed a year but that’s okay because our guy is doing well. He is growing up into a lovely, compassionate young man with a fabulous, quirky sense of humour. He swims like a fish, holds his own in school, has friends, and now likes many more foods other than just pizza. For the most part, he is happy with his life.

I hate it though, when people take advantage of him. He has a soft heart and doesn’t like to make waves. He’s not a crowd pleaser – he speaks his own mind and stands by his convictions, but sometimes even those who should be supportive take advantage of his gentle nature and willingness to agree to take on someone else’s dirty work.

I often wonder why this is so. As for the takers, it’s easy for them to get someone else to do the things they don’t want to do and if they can find a mark, they take advantage. It’s the way the world works.

But I wonder why logical, strong-minded our guy ends up with the dirty jobs. This often happens to children who face a challenge. I think it’s because their expectations for themselves have been worn away by years of standing in the background and, consciously or not, being treated as “less than.”

It happens in school – who is chosen last for the team, who sits on the outside of the group and isn’t allowed input, who is never chosen for the “good” jobs, who gets the eye-rolls and the shoulder shrugs when someone is confused over directions? Who is overlooked at awards time and special privilege time? It wears on these kids. They don’t say anything, they may not even feel anything, but inside that attitude of “less than” seeps in and sticks.

It happens with friends and family too. Our guy is familiar with the phrase, “oh well, it’s just the way our guy is.” His mom has fought for almost 12 years to make sure this doesn’t happen in her presence, but she’s not always there. There’s a fine line between giving and giving in.

Our guy has been taught, sometimes subliminally sometimes blatantly and cruelly, to see himself as “oh well, it’s just him.” The “oh well” and the “just” speak volumes toward his internalized attitude although sometimes it works in his favour. He reads people very well and knows almost instantly whether he needs to be a “regular guy” or “poor our guy.”

The thing is, he knows he’s a good guy. He knows he is kind and he knows he is loved. He knows he’s a good swimmer, he knows he can read well and he is proud of good marks he gets on his school work. But when it comes to doing something unpleasant, something that no one else wants to do, the task is often given to our guy. His internal messenger tells him that the good jobs go elsewhere and the crap falls on him. He gives in.

I wish there was a way to change the internal messaging into something more positive. Of course, he should do his share of the bad jobs along with everyone else but not always. He needs to share in the fun jobs too.

Sometimes I wish our guy was more of a rebel.

March is Epilepsy Awareness Month in Canada. Go to to learn more about seizure disorders. Education is the key to understanding.
March 26 is purple day.