Today, I experienced my first encounter with someone who did not support SMILE #UWokeUp mission because of what she heard on the phone. My ask for an email address…? “I am too busy… we are gone a lot…. I’d rather not give you an email.. ect.” Automatically, my feelings were hurt. I, like anyone, do not like being told no. However, I get even more ambitious after I hear those words. Especially if it is for something bigger than just me.
Friends, this about SMILE #UWokeUp and our traumatic brain injury (TBI) family. When I asked if SMILE #UWokeUp could hold space at this particular pumpkin patch, educating our communities about TBI’s and safety precautions to avoid head injuries. It was almost as if she was scared to have survivors being drawn to the business. We are not different. We are still beings. Who do you think you are?
SPEAK THE TRUTH! So often, we are scared to hurt others feelings or to get in trouble, or worse, cause more drama than need be. However, people need to hear the hard, brutal, truth at times. I wanted to tell this woman so many nasty things, I didn’t and had major self control, but it is a catch 22. Growing up we were taught if we have nothing nice to say, to not say it at all, but people need to become aware of their behavior. Giving them an opportunity to change how they look at things or to stay in the same box.
This woman needed to hear that I am a person who is battling this thing called life with a disability, traumatic brain injury. The government does not agree that I have a disability. I think this is because I am fully functioning traumatic brain injury survivor. What people do not see is that I work my ass off to be this way. There is not a day that does by that I am not working on something to improve my brain health. What that woman heard was: TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY and HOSPITAL. Let me ask you this, do you even know what a traumatic brain injury entails? Our injuries do not define who we are, our TBI’s make us stronger and we are thrivers, not just survivors.
I thank this woman for opening my eyes to how people react when hearing about our cause and movement in a negative light. She did not want to give me the opportunity to educate her, but instead she shot it down before she heard anything but: traumatic brain injury and hospital. This lit a fire beneath me and I can promise you that I will never stop trying to educate those who are closed minded on head injuries and what they entail.
My name is Molly Cain and I am a traumatic brain injury THRIVER, with a goal and purpose.