Family Party

Hi all I have a fam party coming up and at every party everyone asks me if i'm in school. And then I get all embarrassed and say "no" and then they wonder what my issue is for not being in school. I get a really strange look and then a lecture about how important school is. One time one of my cousins asked me at a party and I just told her "I have brain damage and right now I don't feel like I can handle school" and she didn't talk to me for the rest of the night. So honesty didn't work for me. Tomorrow is another party and I don't know what to do.

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  • Can you perhaps plan a few exit strategies for if the conversation gets too uncomfortable.

    Having some ready can help "please excuse me I must just..... speak to/attend to..... its lovely to see you we 'll catch up later" ...said with a smile before you simply walk away....or say you need to get a drink or offer to get them one (but get someone else to take it to them) and make your escape.

    Have another family member you trust rescue you from the inquisitive ones - siblings are usually a good bet for this and of course you will owe them and will have to repay the favour whenever they need an escape ;)

    Setting a couple of alarms and alerts on your phone or setting up a self call or two so you can say excuse me and get away is always a good idea..you can dismiss them (alerts) or move them to later if things are going well. With a phone alert you can simply say excuse before you attend to the alert and no need for excuses.

    you can always start the conversation with your inquisitors with " I'm not feeling so great...I think I may be coming down with something..." and of course a fake bout of coughing or sneezing will usually make people move away from you so its worth keeping in reserve...

    I can't be the only one who plots social escapes before an event... I sound awfully devious and I am really positively angelic LOL

  • Having read all of that advice, I think I'd rather avoid the occasion altogether! Wait, that's what I do anyway...

  • Me too as a rule but there are some times when you just can;t get out of it...like when it takes place in your own home.

    In an ideal world we wouldn't need to explain ourselves to anyone...but its not ideal but at least we should be able to explain once and have something accepted for what it is...

    It seems that often strangers are more accepting than family, but family are invested and sometimes that can make people feel the social pressure more.

    When avoidance isn't an option there are strategies ;)

  • Well, there's always the brute-force approach ;). But seriously, that wouldn't be fun, whilst everyone else is genuinely having a good time being together you're effectively evading contact to not have a bad time.

    Explaining myself would be demoralising and shattering, besides once the "ahhs" and "ohs" have past those neurotypicals would still expect you to like being around them, they certainly wouldn't treat you any differently and besides you wouldn't want that, that'd be patronising and pathetic. I'm still hoping there's someone out there who'll find that sweet spot.

  • That's a tough situation indeed. The problem is that you accept that people have certain expectations of you that must be met in order for you to be accepted/respected. But you need to reject that mantra, that internal dialogue thats telling you that you're just not good enough for yourself and for others. That sounds like psychobabble but it's the truth.

  • I can't skip the party it's my brother's...

  • I do feel for you. Iforget I personally agree we her thoughts. I avoided a party last year my auntie 70th. I was too unwell. I sent my apologies. She deleted me from her Facebook friends. I was really upset at the time, and yes why should we have to explain in great details the effect BI has. I guess what I am trying to say explaining in great detail people do not understand (and why would they as do not have the condition). I have tried this many of a time and now I give up trying to explain, it is so draining . I would perhaps keep a trusted friend/sibling with you. if they ask, perhaps say I am taking a gap year, and as Iforget states my an excuse to get a drink etc. if it gets too much go upstairs for a bit for some quiet and deep breathes. My neuropsychologist says deep breathing gives oxygen to the brain, which helps to calm a stressful situation.

    I think well personally for me there is this expectation to be the old me, but we are not and cannot be expect to be the old us. I guess this is why they call it the invisible illness, we look ok, so we must perform! Other than I limp a bit people often think I have a bad back. I know it is hard but I wish you luck, and earplugs help your brain, and rest the day before so your energy levels are good. Good luck xx

  • Hi Negeen,

    I'm sure if you really can't face the party and explained to your brother the problems you have facing up to the meeting people that he would understand if you wanted to either opt out or keep a low profile.

    If on the other hand the only thing worrying you is the reaction of others to your BI then you could (depending on your age) answer "I've finished school already. I'm just. taking some time now to decide if I should go to Oxford or Cambridge. Excuse me I need to go spend time with the other guests." Note you haven't mentioned that you've actually had any exam passes or that you are going to any universities, just mentioned the city's of Oxford and Cambridge so you're not lying, just giving an impression that will probably make THEM feel inferior and look for an escape route themselves.

    I recently ducked a birthday bash for my elderly Mum by explaining how crowds and anxiety affect my epilepsy and other brain tumour symptoms I have and then making some special time to spend with her alone, without the crowds and at my own pace to suite my time scale. A win, win, situation I reckon.

    What ever you decide remember it is YOUR life, YOUR health, and YOUR emotions. Be true to yourself and let the others go ponder!

  • Hi Negeen, I do like the idea about saying your phone is ringing, as just a way to leave the situation.

    Also doesn't your brother already know that youv'e had an injury, and informed your family, I mean especially considering how bad it was. Sometimes my brother doesn't tell his friends, that I had an injury, but everyone in my family knows. T

    That is except for my very smart & curious 3 year old niece. She asked me over the holidays, "Uncle Jamie, why do talk different?" I gave her a quick explanation, about getting hurt in an accident. She understood, and accepted this answer, and went back to playing wt her stuffed black toy :)

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