How Epilepsy Changed My Relationship With My Father

One day my dad and I decided to do something we haven’t done in a long time. We decided to go to the mall and just walk around and window shop. We got to the mall and began looking at everything. At almost everything we saw, one of us said “I really wish I could get that!” We spent about two hours walking around the mall until we decided we were hungry.

We went to the food court and started deciding what we wanted to eat. I got to about the third stand when suddenly I felt weird. I couldn’t walk anymore, my left side froze into the position it was already in, and I could only mutter words. I was about to have a seizure right there in the mall! My dad came running over and said, “Everything is going to be all right. I’m here, Mary.”

Then, it stopped! The shaking, not being able to talk, everything went back to normal. I couldn’t believe it! This had never happened before. Why now? Why was this time different than the rest? My dad looked at me and said, “Are you OK?” I answered,”Yeah.” He smiled at me and hugged me. Everyone in the food court was looking at me with either worry or concern.

I knew that my relationship with my dad had changed. It was never going to be the same again. That was a great thing, though. My disability had changed our relationship for the better. I realized that even though he didn’t completely understand epilepsy, he was always there for me. That it didn’t change his love for me. He was one person my disability didn’t matter to.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo by Shironosov.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Epilepsy

woman standing on a beach wrapped in a towel

Adjusting My Goals Based on My New Normal With Illness

I have been in physical therapy for years. Recently I have gotten a new therapist who I really like, but this Monday he asked me a question and I have been thinking about the answer I gave and what it means ever since. He asked me what were my ultimate goals for therapy? Without thinking [...]
illustration of a woman with her hair in a bun

Why I Don't Believe My Epilepsy Is Here to Teach Me a 'Life Lesson'

I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 24. I had a job I loved as a community organizer with faith congregations, but as my hours got longer, I started having panic attacks: an instantaneous feeling of overwhelming déjà vu and terror. Sometimes I would lose the strength to stand, dry-heave or struggle to think [...]
rear view of woman wearing hat and sweater, walking on beach on a cloudy day

Why I'm Going to Stop Apologizing for My Epilepsy

I look up into all the faces — the concerned, the horrified, and the ones rushing to lift the stretcher. “I’m sorry,” I mumble. And then I lose consciousness again. I’ve just had a tonic clonic seizure, and I’m embarrassed and overwhelmed because I feel like I’ve caused so much trouble. I know. I know. It’s not my [...]
Succulent plants photograhed by Valerie while in the hospital.

7 Lessons I Learned While in the Hospital Because of Epilepsy

Sometimes having a hidden disability can make you feel like someone has punched you in the gut, but nobody can see it but you. Needless to say, this sucks, but it’s not your fault. You just have to deal with it and somehow make it work. I was first diagnosed with epilepsy at age 13 [...]