An interview I had with my brother turned out to be very unusual that is to my surprise it was, for me, a new revelation of his inner self. The whole session became personal and sensitive. I came to know a new person, whom I did not know earlier, in him. That is about his condition and experiences of having muscular dystrophy. His perils and his optimistic views, in spite of struggling with the disabilities. It was astonishing to learn that after my thoughts of how I know him so well because he is my brother, there are still a lot of things that I do not know about him. This interview has definitely introduced me to a new person in my brother.
The life history anthropological perspective
At the age of 6, he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. The diagnosing of this situation in him was a hard one for mother to accept. She had always kept this factor to her heart and made sure he never even feel that he was sick. She tried and the rhythm of his routine was as normal as anyone else of the same age. At the same time the frustration of not being able to do whatever he wanted made him angry at everything in the beginning. He slowly began to realize that he could still have nice feelings. And that is where he could still try to do everything what the other kids did. The dramatic end they had was often embarrassing but he found them to be great fun.
This concept of having fun in the awesome and dramatic eventualities of an other ways routine for a kid of his age seems to me as the first step of his finding the life meaning full.
The perils of his condition took deeply toll of him. Its true that I have seen most of him in my life, this interview gave me a new perspective of him. The high school, like any other kid, was interesting to him. The presence of his brother was a solace. Brother had to live two years earlier than he did. That was the time he felt bad about the saying “Oh, yet defend me, friends; I am but hurt”. (Alexander, p 1071)
He even thought at the end of his high school that the high school was waste of time. I have a strong feeling that the lack of friends, after having to sit with older kids when his brother was there, made him lonelier than one could ever feel. A pretty librarian’s company was too limited an entertainment for boy of that age. His mindset, by the time he left the high school, might have greatly been influenced by the fact that he was a disabled, unlike other kids. It can be termed as the greatest disaster that happened in his life with the unhealthy
Physical condition he suffered from. Having met death face to face with pneumonia at the age of 23, he realizes the need of living life to the fullest. However this realization seems to be the positive out put completely derived from the life threatening situations he went through.
I would say it was a therapeutic experience for the both of us because somehow after that interview, he felt good having to share all his thoughts and feelings to someone who he can trust and depend on. In addition, for me I felt as if something good and special came out of it – within my self as a person and between the both of us and our relationship as family. From the first question alone, I was really dazed that he was willing to open up like that with regards to his diagnosis and learning from the doctors that he would not be able to live to see his twentieth year. His courage and strength really shows up by how he handles and is still handling his condition.
His openness to me, freely sharing the inner most feelings of his struggles, was really to be considered as an advantage to me because we had an intimacy of being the same family. My brother was open to the entire experience. It was not difficult to convince him to go through with a personal interview with me. He actually enjoyed it because he knew he was helping me out and he really liked the idea of reflecting on past events and experiences that he had in his life.
He prides me with joy knowing that he is not the kind of person who gives up. He was able to defeat his worries and fears and still made great efforts to do what most children did at his age from very early in his life. The interview has greatly changed our relationship as siblings. First, we know we have gotten closer because now I feel like I have evaded the person in him that I did not know all these years. My brother has opened up as new person himself. The moral of the Story is that it has developed in me a sense of self-acceptance. The conversation with him has taught me to accept and take things as they come. Brushing aside all the limitations, he has the confidence to tell me that that there are a lot of things to do and that he wanted to live his life to the fullest makes me look at myself and rethink what my problems are and what my mindset was.
The world we live in has a lot more problems for its people. A lot of people complain about things, just like the poor boy complaining that ‘I have no shoes, I have no shoes.’ Until, he saw a man with no legs. If we as normal people complain about our lives and not having to succeed in situations where we want to accomplish many tasks, I guess we should think about those who unwillingly have disabilities, such as muscular dystrophy.
My brother’s out look towards life was one of great self-esteem and acceptance but the conversation gave me great cultural insight as compassionate side, in me sparked off like a matchstick. Everything that he said I took note off and from them I draw my inspiration in reinventing my life, and am compassionate in my society. I took note of his words as he said you’d never be able to make anyone else happy if you can’t look at yourself in the mirror and be happy at what you see.
Alexander, Peter (1985) A book on complete works of Shakespeare. English language book society.