Doing an interview with my brother was really a new and unusual experience for the both of us, especially because the purpose of the interview was to ask him about something that is personal and is deemed to be a sensitive topic – that is about his condition and experiences having muscular dystrophy. Everything that I learned from this interview took me by surprise because the stories that he told me were about the other side of him that I did not knew. 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.
Going through an interview with someone who you have a personal and intimate relationship with is more nerve wracking than actually interviewing someone that you totally do not know. Perhaps I felt afraid of what might transpire during the interview because knowing that we have a close relationship as family, I was afraid that I might discover something moving or emotional that would affect how I go about with the interview. Whereas interviewing someone who is a total stranger would not leave profound impressions on me because we are not related personally to begin with.
Although I have seen most of him in my life, have seen, and understood the conditions of people with muscular dystrophy, this interview re-acquainted me to the worldviews and personal experiences of those who are experiencing that condition. I gained a lot of personal insight that made me acquire a deeper and clearer understanding of how it is to have limitations outside our family circle and of course, I get to catch up on how my brother is doing at present and how he handles his life despite his shortcomings.
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.
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. What got me the most was that growing up for him was a struggle.
Imagine having to experience the fact that most children his age were doing all the things that they wanted and succeeding in them, and he felt like he was stuck in a rut and he had no other choice but to deal with his disabilities. He handled his situation really well because at a young age, he was able to defeat his worries and fears and still made great efforts to do what most children do.
He never gave up, and for me it takes great effort because not all people can do what he did. Some people dwell in their misery that hinders them to accomplish success even with limitations in their life. He prides me with joy knowing that he is not that kind of person. This interview proves how strong a person he is because he let down his guard, opened himself up, and accepted this interview and me doing the interview with positivity.
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. From his experiences of being left out in high school, not having any friends at all, no being able to do what others can do, seeing people you know die of the same condition, etc. and still have the confidence say to me 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.
From what he said, I know there are a lot more problems in this world, including his that requires more time and attention. Knowing that there are a thousand more people out there with the same condition make me think that there is more to life than all the superficial things in this world. Most people who do not have any disabilities whatsoever complain a lot about several things about their life. What they do not realize is that there are a lot people who were unlucky enough to have limitations and boundaries in their lives, and that includes my brother. 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.
Aside from the fact that we have grown closer with every question that I asked him during the interview, I was also inspired and my compassionate side sparked off like a matchstick. By knowing how he dealt with his difficult past I have grown to know him more. Everything that he said I took note off and from them I draw my inspiration in reinventing my life now.