“What’s wrong with him?” #specialneeds #mentalhealth

As a mom to my son, Erik. Down thru the years I have encountered some very nice people, but sadly I have also encountered some very nasty and ugly people. I have been asked by people of all ages from his peers to adults, “WHATS WRONG WITH HIM?” Mostly when he wasn’t talking yet and he was only able to make sounds and body movements for expressing excitement. Back then he used sign language mostly.

I have also witnessed others like my son being mistreated, overlooked, stared upon with disgust, and it really takes me to a place that others rarely see I can go. YES, I have a button so don’t push it. I can turn into the incredible Hulk when you mistreat my child.

So here’s a challenge for life to the ones who are uneducated, uninformed, maybe willfully ignorant, or possibly just a mean spirited person.

When it comes to a negative perspective about individuals with special healthcare challenges, RATHER THAN ASKING YOURSELF “WHATS WRONG WITH HIM/HER?” How about you take a moment to get to know the person so you can learn everything that is right about them? Just because a person is nonverbal doesn’t mean they aren’t able to comprehend how you treat them or what your saying. Just because a person talks loudly doesn’t mean that they are angry or needs to be restrained. Just because a person is wheelchair bound doesn’t mean they don’t still have other abilities, some that may blow you away. Just because a person may appear to be “limited” doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t be able to break the “limits” you think can’t be broken. Just because a person may look very different, act very different, respond differently, or express themselves differently, doesn’t give another person the right to mistreat them, shun them, or say nasty things about them. After all, we’re all different already, no one is the same. So next time your out and you run into someone who’s living with obvious special challenges, take a moment to smile at them, say hello, or greet them. Instead of staring, bickering, and acting like their contagious and going to infect you with something.

And to the people who are so perfect and like to stigmatize families that have children or loved ones with special challenges. I would just like to say this, WE DON’T HAVE DEMONS, WE ARE NOT CURSED, WE DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG, AND WE ARE BEING PUNISHED BY GOD BECAUSE WE HAVE GIVEN BIRTH TO A CHILD WHO’S DEVELOPED CHALLENGES!!!!!!! I did everything that I know as right to take care of myself, my health and diet, and spiritual walk with God and yes my life still had to endure hardships, various trials and tribulations, go through GREAT suffering, but in spite of it ALL, all these have taught me, compassion, understanding, empathy, patience, faith, how to keep faith during hardships, and to have love for my enemies and ones who despitefully used me.

My son loves God and I believe he has a very special connection to our heavenly father that no one else on this earth has the same.

I’ll never forget when my son was so much younger and we were inside of Walgreens standing in line, and at that time he was probably 5 years old and really just began to talk and learned to say Hi to people and he absolutely loved to get a response and interaction from others. So he would say Hi more than just once and keep saying Hi until he got a reply back. So he said Hi to this lady standing in front of us because she made eye contact with us, and she just kept staring, but said nothing back, then I thought well maybe she doesn’t talk or she could be deaf or something, but NOPE, she heard him because he kept saying Hi, and she deliberately ignored him, and just stared at him like he had a disease, she finally turned and began talking to a person in line. So as Erik kept saying Hi, I turned to my son and said, You know what Erik, its okay if she doesn’t want to say Hi, some people are just rude and don’t realize just how special you are and who they are standing in line with. And he just got excited and at that time he would gesture his arms and make this whoofing sound to express his excitement.

You have to give people time to develop, grow and learn at their own pace sometimes. Sometimes its not always a ONE SIZE FITS ALL world for everyone.

And it’s not always a fair assessment to say a child or teen isn’t able to learn and fail them in your class, just because they are struggling. Have you considered that maybe just maybe it could be your teaching style that needs a different approach or a tweak? Sometimes people are good at doing their own job, but it doesn’t always mean they are good at teaching what they do. Sometimes people are good learners but not good teachers. I’ve witnessed this in college and when I worked an actual 9to5 and had to punch the clock.

I challenge you to make and take time to learn about others and get to know and understand the person you may have looked at “differently” & learn about their journey and maybe you can come to respect and accept who they are.

So it’s because of moments and memories like these that have made me continue to speak out and speak up on behalf of my own son and others who live the daily grind just like me and my family.

Thanks for listening. -EB

Share your story for God’s glory. #MentalHealth #Journey #Truths

This is a thought that came to me this evening. As a person who has been flawed, imperfect, of many mistakes and poor choices along the way and finally one day becoming to the knowledge of Christ, I am unashamed of my journey. Struggles and ALL, because there is power in my story when I can admit my flaws, share my struggles, and exemplify God’s compassion and righteousness through HIS grace.

I have found that the top reason why others either lose faith or won’t even come to Christ is because somewhere along the way, they have been hurt, or mislead by someone who claimed to be “perfect” in Him.

We can strive for perfection but we aren’t without sin. (1 John 1:8)

Instead, just being fair with my soul and keeping my flaws before the throne of grace has helped me to become a more effective witness and better at forgiving my own self. I don’t condone sin, but I’m also not without it, but I also don’t wilfully practice it either. And it’s only because of Gods grace and mercy that I can continue to share with you all.

Be blessed.

Aiming High, Striving for Perfection, Seeking God daily.

-Erika Brooks

It’s only temporary. #Inspiration #Hope

If there’s one thing I have learned along my journey with life and God, its this. Sometimes God put me in temporary inconvenient places because He was preparing me for a permanent position with promotion. So when your dealing with hardship, just know it’s only temporary. All that stressing is just a pathway to your blessing.

I’m talking about what I know, not what I heard. I’m speaking from my own experience and not that of someone else’s.

I’m hoping to give others some inspiration and encouragement this evening.

Thanks for being here. Hang in there! It’s only temporary.

Just a little piece of advice #MentalHealthMatters

This is just some advice from my own walk of life.

Oftentimes I think we need to do more of these very exact statements. Instead we set ourselves up for disappointment, because we treat our friends like our therapists, and we go in way too deep instead of keeping things on the surface. Which can ruin the friendship for a variety of reasons. Breaking confidentiality being the main reason.

And instead of sharing our story for inspiration, we either don’t tell it at all, or we focus on the negative pieces ONLY, which just blocks us from reaching our own potential to do amazing things. Stop allowing people or bad memories to steal your happy moments.

Lastly for those fellow believers, keep the important things between you and God. Especially, your dreams, aspirations, goals, because people can kill your dreams, persuading you that your aspirations are ridiculous, or do everything in their power to block you from reaching your goal.

Keep hope alive, operate in faith, continue moving in YOUR purpose and allow God to give the increase! Write your vision, and make it plain.

That’s all for this article.  Thanks for being here again.

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From my heart to your purpose. A poem… #MentalHealth #YOUmatter

I just wanna hug that person who people shunned away,

I just wanna love that person who was abused all day.

I just wanna show that person how much I care,

I just want them to know I’m here, I’m aware.

I just wanna give them acceptance they may have never received,

I really want them to know how much their believed.

Others have hurt them time and time again,

No wonder they trust no one, not even a friend.

It’s hard to explain the pain that they bear,

But I just want that person to know someone cares.

-Stigmasnomore / Erika

Thanks Again for being here!

This is from my heart to your purpose. You have purpose, you have meaning, you have a friend in me.

 

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Tonight’s encouragement & prayer for other warriors. #MentalHealth

This is what I want writers to know.

As I scroll the feed, I read

All the stories where others have chosen to pour their heart out,

As if it’s an open journal entry for everyone to read some of their most intimate thoughts.

I read mostly ones that are tagged within the mental health or special needs titles, only because I take to heart what these individuals are battling. I read because I want to know what areas to focus my nightly prayers upon and what requests I need to make known to my Lord and Savior. I pray for others whom I do not even know on a personal level, because oftentimes, their stories are very relatable from standing in my position as a loving mom and advocate.

I hope for others to have a better moment as the time continues to pass. I want the best outcome for others who feel trapped, alone, isolated, and lifeless. I want others to know they are valued so much more than their life might feel worth in those darkest moments.

In a perfect world, there would be a cure for mental health challenges, to completely heal from these brain disorders that cause a variety of negative life-impacting symptoms that spiral out of control.

In a perfect world, mental healthcare would be a higher priority instead of dismissing it like its the scum of the earth.

In a perfect world, we would have perfect people that are free from sickness, disease, ailments, cancers, illnesses.

In a perfect world, my son wouldn’t have died twice suffering from cardiac arrhytmia, ventricular tachycardia, suffer from seizures or developmental disabilities.

In a perfect world, my other son wouldn’t have suffered from a mental health disorder and become diagnosed with bipolar or have to battle everyday with the symptoms.

In a perfect world, my daughter wouldn’t have suffered from a mental health break, and seizures or have a seizure disorder.

In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have been adopted only to be verbally abused my entire childhood and made to feel worthless and depressed. Only to find my voice many years later.

However, this world is imperfect with imperfect people. As a matter of fact we are all DIFFERENT, no two 100% alike. We ALL have flaws, we all have something good within ourselves, we all have that 1 thing we would like to change.

In reality, I would like God to change things even within my own family. I would love if I could wake up tomorrow and have some chapters just been a dream and not my reality. But instead I realize these traumatic events that have caused so much pain, heartache and long-suffering, are the very same events that have taught me to trust, taught me to endure, shown me what it is to lean and depend on God, proved to myself just how strong I didn’t know I was, and now in hindsight I can look back and draw from strength of those trying times and testimonies to give me inspiration to appreciate the moments when things are good.

And most of all, it’s helped me to see others differently, but in a light hearted way. It’s pushed away the unimportant things in my life and brought me closer to the very things that are significant. It’s helped me to lay aside every weight, which were people who I didn’t need to keep around. It’s pushed me into my purpose of advocacy.

Lastly, it’s brought me here to build this website to be a voice for others who don’t feel their heard, or maybe they prefer to share through me, or they simply feel often misunderstood. My journey has brought me here to pray for others who walked a similar path, battled a similar war, struggle with similar issues, and hope for change.

I used to say this all the time, at previous church on Friday night’s, “I thank and praise God for ALL the little things, because I know bigger and better things are yet to come”. And I’ve found this to be true.

So I’ll end it here. Whether a believer of the Holy Bible or not, or believe or don’t believe in Jesus as the son of the living God, just at least know this, I am here and I have prayed for strategically for others because afterall the ONE AND ONLY reason why I am still here TODAY, is because somebody somewhere prayed for me, and God heard and kept me when I couldn’t keep myself.

Thanks for reading, and blessings to everybody.

My miracle, God’s gift, Erik. (Edited w/video)

Today I just wanted to share some short video clips of my youngest son, Erik. 17 years ago, while he was fighting for his life in the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit) doctors told us that he would likely not survive and I’m so very glad I wasn’t convinced by their prognosis. I leaned on my faith in God and stood on my beliefs that my son shall not die, but live! He is my heart, he makes me smile everyday, and he has taught me so much about life, just by observing his character and how he treats others with kindness.

Here is a clip of him while playing basketball with his skills team at Regionals for special Olympics basketball, making his first basket! His reaction is priceless. Volume up.

This was another memorable moment from earlier this school year at his high school homecoming. He is a senior this year. The student body nominated him and his classmate as “Lord and Lady of the day” for Homecoming Royalty. Again his reaction was so appropriate as he does his celebration dance. Be sure to turn up your volume.

I seldom wonder, what if I had allowed all those physicians and specialists, test results to convince me to pull the plug on my child, or persuade me from my faith?

I have been blessed to experience of God’s mercy. I look back over my life and I can truly see how God’s love has always been there. Erik might have challenges while compared to others, but to us and for himself, he doesn’t see himself the ways that others may view him. He is just Erik! He Will shake your hand, dap you up, hug you or ask how your day is? He is my living miracle. I would NOT change anything about his journey. Because had it not been for the great suffering and tribulation, we wouldn’t have been able to witness God’s glory.

And this is just one of many, many testimonials and experiences that helps me remain in Christ. I have truly learned what it is to be patient in tribulation, remain steadfast and immovable, pray without ceasing, standing on God’s word when my back was against the wall with nothing but death and darkness around me. So when others ask why do I believe in a God that I cannot see? It’s because faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. I might not be able to see my Savior but I know he’s there because of the evidence. God made me strong when I was weak. When everyone else walked away and left me, God never left or forsaken me. And as some would say, “Can’t nobody do me like Jesus!”

Blessings to everyone.

Me and my son.

From the paths of nothing to the journey of something. #MentalHealth

If I can be very candid, this used to be ME!! ➡UNTOUCHED, UNINFORMED, UNAWARE, UNEDUCATED 💯💯💯! UNTIL the paths I once walked “untouched” “uninformed” “unaware” “uneducated” have now become the paths which lead me into being “touched” informed” “aware” and “educated”. Which further pushed me into finding my purpose and I’ve become passionate about advocating for people with mental health disorders and developmental disabilities.  Why? Because I understand the struggle, daily battles.  Because I see the stigma, the false representations, assumptions, speculations, infiltrated by the media.  They edit, crop, filter out to show what they want uninformed people to see as “mentally ill” or “disabled”.  Which not only places the idea of limitations on people but also we are somewhat forced to use some of the same terms when writing articles such as this one, just to grab the attention of the uninformed.

This is a quick sketch for a visual.

sketching on my daughters surface pro. I’m not quite the artist, but this creation hopefully gives you a visual.

Thank you for being here. I don’t take lightly the support you’ve given me by your comments, follows and shares. Again, this is my own journey. Every person has their own path, journey, and story to tell. This just happens to be mine, For now……until God says otherwise.

Blessings to you ALL!

You can donate here to help me, help others.

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