Talking about it I referred to it as the thing that threw me down. Though it being a mental disorder I suffered from physical pain as well. This wasn’t just about the coordination of my brain activities being irritated but my body was out of control too. At times all I could think about was the pain and I never knew when it would happen again. Then – turning 20 years a young girl has the greatest expectations of life. Dreams and aspirations – the beginning of a bright future awaiting her. Yet my story was different. It was when I turned 20 when things began to change for me. Nothing was as I expected it to be… It was then when I was diagnosed with epilepsy. Due to that people were caused to think that I was cursed and even obsessed. I’ve been treated as an outcast since then. Epilepsy – a disease that makes carriers lonely in society.
“See how she is behaving like a mad person”, they would yell at me. And all of it due to something I didn’t understand nor had control over myself. At times when it happened because people think it’s because I haven’t eaten they get me koko (porridge) and force me to eat. But whiles forcing me to eat they didn’t understand that I’ve lost conscious and there’s nothing I could do about it…
But what troubled and still troubles me the most is not the disorder itself but that due to that people don’t regard me as a valuable person anymore. I hear them laughing at me. And even my own family members are looking down on me. And all I want is to be just like them.
I am one of eight testimonials sharing my story. And in sharing this I am not only reflecting on my past and the hurt but still gazing at my future. As I am speaking up I am still hoping for changes to come my way.
My name is Patience Womegbeameo – thank you for listening to my story!
Patience Womegbeameo was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2012. Within the collection we reflect the stories of eight individuals who have been diagnosed with mental disorders and share their experiences of stigmatisation and rejection. The collection is dedicated to them.
A collaboration with On The Move e.V. A charity that furthers brain awareness activities all over the world and opened the first holistic Center for Mental Health, including vocational skills training and rehabilitation programs, in Ghana. Patience participated in a six-months vocational training in tailoring.
Proceeds of our collections are furthered into a fund to support their vocational training.