Disclaimer: The words in the following post are the words of Frank Lane and do not necessarily express the views of any Beyond Adversity board member, employee, intern, donor, supporter, consultant, or adviser.
By Frank Lane
“I don’t see disability, I see you walking and talking,” said the judge denying disability rights for me and all those who suffer from brain injury. It reveals a major issue of injustice for the cognitively impaired to function and to be treated fairly in the court system.
Missing a cognitive function can’t be seen as a missing leg, but regardless we cannot run.
It was such an affront to have worked so hard after years of full-time daily rehabilitation, learning compensation strategies to live with my cognitive deficits, and then be told my deficits don’t exist. The judge and I wish my disability not to be true, but not so. The judge’s opinion was contrary to expert opinion, and my life-long daily nightmare of cognitive dysfunction. Minute by minute I work around my disabilities with fear that I will be found out for my incompetence.
My disability rights were completely ignored by the court. In nature, the weak and disabled are attacked, and only the fittest survive. I see it was no different in the court system. Ever since my stroke, I have been attacked by a greedy hostile take-over group that has great resources which are used to influence the court. I could only pray for justice. There is a missing gap in court justice because of its lack of understanding of brain injury. It reminds me of the many stories I hear from PTSD individuals who say because they can walk and talk they are perceived as able.
But there is no peace, only bigger fish eating the smaller ones.
So now I am again at the crossroads where I can continue to fight this caravan of robbers or walk a different path along a river in the shade, but broke and barefoot. But that disheveled character is beckoning my addiction like a drug pusher to fight for justice!
When a person is released from prison, his body is set free but the damage from living like caged animals never fully heals and needs major reform. But with a brain injury, it is a life sentence that scars deeply like any incarceration of the mind and body.
I was given the opportunity to walk away from this smokescreen lawsuit, but I wanted justice and stayed in the fight as any warrior for principle. Only a person with a brain injury would stay in this emotional turmoil of a lawsuit for the illusion of justice.
It took me a few hours to write this after a hundred edits, but at least I can write. Every composition starts as a distorted puzzle of therapy. Now I know how Victor Frankl felt in his search for meaning.
I always wanted to live in the forever present moment; I just didn’t know it would be accompanied by brain injury. Be careful what you wish for!
Thanks to Frank Lane, author of Be In Heaven Now, for sharing his story; Viktor Frankl, for sharing his thoughts and feelings in the book, Man’s Search for Meaning, which is referenced in this post; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible to include the picture, text, and links in this post.