As a nineteen year old survivor of Shaken Baby Syndrome, I have always felt like I have had a different view on life than my friends.
I have always felt a little different from my friends. After all, none of them have to go to the hospital every year to undergo tests to see if I have to have another brain surgery.
I have always been able to talk to my mum about it and although she doesn’t truly understand my point of view on the situation, she is always there to listen. My dad, on the other hand, is a different story. When ever the topic is brought up, he quickly shoots it down saying that it is “something we don’t talk about.”
The truth is, I have always felt very unwanted. I honestly feel that since some crazy lady thought that my life at four months old was worthless, then I must be worthless. This mindset is obviously not a healthy or correct one, but it’s one I cannot seem to get rid of.
I constantly feel alone. I have actively searched for people, like me, who are survivors and are seemingly “unharmed.” Unfortunately, all I have ever found were stories from parents of the children who have become severely mentally and/or physically disabled. Since I am neither, I have never related to their stories. I started to give up on my search. Maybe I was the only one who felt this way? Then, I realized, maybe someone else was out there and searching for someone, like me, and wanted to know that someone else was going through the same pain.
So, I decided to write something myself. Why not, right?
So here I am. I sincerly hope that someone reads this and finds comfort in it.
It took me three years to finally realize that if I wanted to see some change in my life, I needed to actively go out and get it. And to change my life and my outlook on life, I needed to share my story in the hopes that a survivor will read it and know that they are not alone. Or for a parent, who doesn’t know what to say to their child, to read this and start to have an understanding of the torment of what it is to be a survivor.
It took me over five years to sit my dad down and tell him that I wanted him to listen to me so he could see where I am coming from. I proudly can say that he was very open to hearing me out and started to ask me questions about growing up knowing the evils that were done to me. Finally, it has taken me all this time to truly see that I did NOTHING to deserve being abused. I was four months old, there wasn’t anything I could have done to protect myself. All I can do now is tell my story. Maybe, one day Shaken Baby Syndrome will just be a sad thing that used to happen.
I consider myself not only lucky, but blessed, to have survived and I thank God every day for still being here. I went through a long period where I was so mad, so furrious, that I blamed God. It took me years to get to a place where I became okay with everything that happened.
I have kind of created my own motto. I think that it is the hardships that we face that are the very things that make life so beautiful.
For every bad thing, there is an equally good thing.
I have started to share my story to people who would otherwise not know what SBS is or why you absolutely CANNOT shake a baby. I have also decided to share my story to sites that have focused on ending SBS to let other survivors like myself know that they aren’t alone like I once thought I was.
Every life is so precious and we are all on this Earth for a reason… and I think I may have just discovered mine.