Excerpts from Brain Injury Talk Radio

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If you haven’t seen Brain Injury Talk Radio on my other site, storyminders.com yet, go check it out now!

This is a peer-run, peer-led, peer-planned internet talk show. They have different hosts who each come up with a topic for the show. Listen online. Converse in the Chat. Call in with your stories and questions!

Brain Injury Radio Network image with phone number and show times

On February 4th, I got to be on the show for the second time, talking about my films. Very exciting. Thank you, Craig Silicia!

Please consider listening to the entire show by clicking here or visiting www.blogtalkradio/braininjuryradio and searching for Craig’s show on February 4th. My section starts around 1 hour, 32 minutes into the program. It comes directly after a beautiful song that Craig wrote, which you should listen to.

If you’re in a hurry, like I always seem to be, then you can hear a couple excerpts from the show where I talk about film and advocacy by clicking on the “Listen to this post” Soundcloud icon at the top of this post.

Here is a transcript from the talk show excerpts in case you’re reading instead of listening:

“It’s really more about getting back to life and being satisfied by life and being excited with your life, whether you still have impairments or not. So when you just go into this medical setting, and all they want to do is fix little isolated parts of you but not do it in a way that makes any sense to you or is enjoyable to you, they don’t get very far. And then they blame it on us. Well, she’s non-compliant….

What I’ve started doing even before I was really fully, I don’t know, staying awake or doing much of anything, I started making films. I was on one of the shows on this Blog Talk Radio. And I don’t remember when it is or who the host was! But I talked about my films there. And at the time, I was making comedy films about my own experiences, showing the reality of what’s really, really hard but doing it through humor. Because otherwise people are not gonna listen. They don’t want to hear it. “Oh, you’re just an angry disabled person.” But if you do it through humor, they want to watch, and they want to talk.

But it was about me. It was still The Cheryl Show. So because I have received so much from my mentors and so much from my community, I have decided again to make another change and turn it around.

So I’m doing two things right now. One is, I’m making a documentary. And it is about artists with brain injury in the Pacific Northwest. Because this filmmaking and this art brought me back to life. It also did strengthen some of my deficits. I did get better at planning. I did get better at learning how to be polite to people and not cuss so much and say rude things and how to use a clock. It helped me with impairments. But more than anything, it gave me a community. And it gave me a way to interact with people outside the brain injury community. So my documentary: I’m interviewing these other folks with brain injuries. Well, why do you make art? What does it do for you? How do you make art? What do you do if you’re having a seizure while you’re trying to make art? So we’ve done a bunch of interviews….

This is what people do: When they don’t see someone with a disability because people with disabilities are hidden away either stuck at home or stuck in some kind of supported living facility, non-disabled community doesn’t see them. So they just assume they’re not there or assume that they don’t have anything to say. And the reason I make films is because I have access to the resources to do that. I have training in this kind of stuff, and I have good networking. And I write grants, and I get money. And I also get support from people in my family who just give me financial support until I’m back up and fully running.

The reason other people with brain injuries don’t make films is because: either they don’t care and they don’t want to, or they don’t have access to the resources that I have. And so when you say, ‘Oh Cheryl, you speak for the people who can’t speak,’ that hurts me. Because it’s not that people can’t speak for themselves. And it’s not that people don’t have something to say. They do. Everybody who’s ever called this show has an amazing story. Everybody who writes in the chat has an amazing story. And all my friends here in the Portland area with all levels of impairment and all levels of injury have amazing stories to share. And nobody ever hears them, or people don’t know how to hear them.”