My thoughts

A Victim Shaming Society

cib and I before injury
WXYZ-TV Channel 7 (Detroit) ran this story tonight about Concussions and Brain Injuries. It brought up some pent up emotions and thoughts that I have to let out.  Because for months I have been victim shamed into feeling guilty for wanting justice and compensation for an injury caused by someone else’s bad decision. 
Concussions and TBI’s are nothing to play around with. Believe me, I have learned this first hand. My original concussion/TBI injury happened in August of 2017 yet I am still suffering from its effects on my brain and body 8 months later. I have since had 2 consecutive concussions on top of the original now just intensifying these effects. The 2 post-concussion, concussions never would have happened from minor falls; had I not sustained the first and original concussion. I suffer from DAILY migraines, dizziness, vertigo, weakness, fatigue, sensitivity to sound and light. It prevents me from living normal daily life as I once did.
 
I should be continuing with follow up speech, physical and occupational therapies as well as migraine treatments however my insurance now refuses to pay because the common myth is that concussions are minor medical issues.
 
Therefore, I am left with an injury that does not look like it will heal any time soon and no way to receive medical care. I cannot find an attorney to represent me because the ones that wanted the case have discovered a conflict of interest as they had represented the venue in the past. So my case was dropped pending finding a new attorney.
 
I feel like I am fighting a losing battle and because of the injury and the strain it puts on my brain (it literally hurts to think), I cry myself to sleep wondering if I will ever be able to stay at one of my daughter’s singing activities for more than a half hour to an hour. If I will ever be able to attend one of my son’s concerts again? If I will ever walk into a grocery store with all of the ambient background noise and NOT get dizzy or have a massive migraine before I am done shopping, or if I will ever be able to drive long distances again without having to pull over when my brain is overwhelmed at all that is going on. When I can once again go to a movie theater to enjoy a movie without having to watch it in silence at home with subtitles on. Will I ever be able to bend over without the feeling like I am going to pass out? Conversations are short and muddled together as I cannot think properly to maintain any sort of real interaction. I cannot even begin to describe how it affects a person to feel so alone and isolated when not being able to communicate your thoughts to another human being. Or when losing your temper because of the pain you are in causes a short fuse and frustration at not being able to compose those thoughts in verbal form. Forget having any sort of short-term memory after sustaining a concussion or TBI, it is just not going to happen.  Life now consists of post-it note reminders and cell phone alarms set to not forget things. Family holiday gatherings have turned into short ventures of showing my face and a quick exit with some made up excuse so others won’t know how bad I am truly suffering. These are just a few of the things that I deal with on a daily basis ever since this injury.
 
I feel like I am frozen in time as I sit back and just let it tick ever so slowly suffering in pain every day. I put on a brave face and take the mentality that fake it until I make it will work to get me by. I live in shame that I am still suffering and wonder when I will heal. The knowledge that society looks at concussions as minor annoyances that are no big deal just depresses me to no end. I don’t want others to know how bad it is because I don’t seek pity and asking for help is hard. I should have healed by now! Why am I not healing? Oh the shame, I hate my body.
 
Meanwhile, the BAND in which the guitarist that jumped on my head belongs to now has an opening spot on a national tour with another very famous band. They will be playing in huge stadiums in front of huge crowds and be having the time of their lives while I cannot even live daily life or get the medical treatment I need caused by an injury they are responsible for. Do they even remember me? Do they even remember what happened or care that the split-second decision to jump off the stage into the crowd changed my life forever? 
 
WXYZ-TV Channel 7 (Detroit) originally aired my story back in August 2017. It made national news with lots of band forums and magazines picking up the story. Lots of people made comments about how I was just money hungry and looking for a way to sue and get rich. People blamed me and said I should have known what happens at concerts or what this particular band was like. They victim shamed me into an even bigger depression now adding guilt at wanting any sort of compensation for an injury that I should never have suffered from. Why is society like this? Why do we blame the victim of tragedy? Kick me while I am down, make me feel like scum. A low-life with nothing better to do than sue. I guess they are happy my attorney had to drop the case because of the conflict of interest. 
 
I say to those people … live a day in my life with this pain and without medical treatment. Walk down my path take a seat on the bench of my reality and see how long you stay to visit. You may not be able to physically see my injury, but that does not mean it is not there. You cannot see cancer, can you? If I was young and vibrant how would your opinions change in this situation? 
To clarify some truths of what happened that night, NO I did not know who the opening acts were for the band I took my daughter to see. I did not care, I was not there for them. I did not look up the concert or the tour. I did not watch videos or make any effort to find out what a general admission concert was like. I had no knowledge of this band in question or their history. I am guilty of that ignorance is bliss mentality where concerts are concerned. Never really thought of or knew what dangers lay in wait. What I did know was that my daughter’s favorite band was coming to play at a town near me and I wanted to make her dream of meeting them and seeing them in concert come true.
What was supposed to be the best day of her life, turned into a complete misery that changed not only my life but hers as well since I can no longer do those types of things for her. TRUTH: NO, I NEVER EVER claimed to have a broken neck. I have no clue how, where, or who put that information out there. TRUTH: I did have a severe concussion, TBI and neck injury (neck injury does not automatically mean broken neck). People hear something and automatically assume it is truth without fact checking, the rumor then spreads like wildfire. TRUTH: I am currently still dealing with the aftermath of these injuries and have no clue how long they will last. TRUTH: I can no longer receive medical attention for these injuries because the insurance refuses to continue to pay for it.
TRUTH: 
The moral of my story here and honestly, what I really want is not money for the sake of having money, but to just to be able to get the medical treatment needed in order to begin to heal properly or at least get the tests to find out why I am not healing. I want to be able to live life without pain and migraines on a daily basis. I want to be able to live without feeling guilty or shamed for being injured by someone else no matter how famous that person is. I want everyone to be aware of the dangers of crowd surfing at concerts. Or what stage diving can lead too. I want musicians to put their fans safety first and not be part of the problem. I want this man to remember landing on my head and have the knowledge that he permanently changed my life when he injured me and hope and pray he never feels the desire to jump off a stage into the crowd again. I want him to know I forgive him and hold no ill will against him. I do not seek revenge nor do I wish to end his career. I just want medical treatment and I want stage diving and crowd surfing to be banned at concerts and people to know that they don’t have to go hog wild to have fun and enjoy a concert.
This would be a perfect world. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. People act without thinking of the consequences. They choose to victim shame or shift blame. They don’t learn from their mistakes or those they witness out of others. They continue to live walking the same paths they always have with blinders on because ignorance is bliss. Out of sight, out of mind as they say. It is way too easy to pass the buck and avoid taking ownership of your actions in today’s world and get away it because you are not held accountable.
One thing I am so thankful has not changed in me and how I live is my integrity. Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. I have molded my life on living with integrity and no one will ever take that away from me. I have had that as my tagline on this blog since the day I started it in 2015 and it will remain there. I don’t just say it, I live it. I wish more people in this world would choose to live with integrity as well. We would all be much better off.
I will end with a song reference quote from Paramore’s song titled: What a Shame
My pain and all the trouble caused, no matter how long
I believe that there’s hope
Buried beneath it all and
Hiding beneath it all and
Growing beneath it all
 
I believe buried beneath the pain and trouble caused, there is HOPE for medical treatment and healing. I believe integrity will prevail and this man will do the right thing by me without me having to sue him. I am also gullible enough to believe that this story and situation can change the outlook for some other innocent bystander at a concert so they will not get injured by a split-second bad decision.
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