The darkness this unknown brought scared both of my parents a lot

April 9, 2024

My brother was born on a hot day in August of 2005. When he was born, my grandad named him, and he was a healthy boy. Almost two years have passed, and I came to the world to meet with him. My parents were happy to have two healthy kids, not expecting anything unfortunate to happen. My brother did not have any health problems at the age of 2, or nothing my parents noticed. As time passed, his speaking went back and my parents assumed that he was copying me, his baby sister. But as I grew older, my brother’s speaking didn’t improve, and my parents were getting slightly concerned.

One day, a family friend pointed out that something might be “wrong” with my brother, offending both of my parents. They were not educated, and at the time it was an insult to suggest that someone’s kid might have neurological problems. My mom still tears up whenever she tells how they figured out that my brother was epileptic, and had one of the severe kinds. As suspicions came into my mom’s heart, she went to a neurologist and learned the truth. She didn’t know how to feel or what to do. She didn’t know what epilepsy was or how it would affect my brother. She didn’t know how my brother would not talk, use a diaper for years and struggle to fit in a society full of ruthless people.

The darkness this unknown brought scared both of my parents a lot. They spent years and years going to doctors as we all learned what to do when he had seizures. I remember how I would yell at kids who wouldn’t play with my brother because he was not able to speak, I would tell them how I understood him. He became my best friend, we couldn’t even sleep in different rooms.

As I am writing his story, I wish that I could tell that he is doing better now. He passed away at the age of 7, drowning in a pool because of a seizure he had. It was nighttime and we had just arrived at a hotel. As we were walking into the hotel, my brother ran away in a split second. We would always hold his hand, but he had a hyperactivity disorder and had a chance to leave us. We searched for him the whole night, praying for him to be okay. He drowned in a shallow pool, a pool he would never drown in if he didn’t have a seizure, leaving me behind.

Words are not enough to say how heartbroken I am, words are useless to explain my feelings as my tears fall to the ground. I am seventeen years old now, and the majority of my life was spent questioning the reason for people’s inconsideracy. For some reason, we see neurological disorders as something that must be hidden, as a form of flaw in one. I believe that it all has to do with the lack of knowledge we have about neurological disorders as a society, and how we love to make stories about what is going on in the darkness. I can’t go back in time, and educate people who wouldn’t play with my brother. I can’t go back in time to tell everyone how cruel they were. However, we all have the power to educate people today, we have the power to change the unacceptable titles people get because of having epilepsy.

Life is already hard for all of us, and it is meaningless to make it even harder for those who only want acceptance.

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