Part of the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada’s mission is to help individuals affected by TS through programs of self-help. That is why our posts this week will focus on self-understanding, self-knowledge and self-awareness. Today’s post is from Tina T.
Because I have it.
My name is Tina, and this is part one in a three-part series about my TS and my story.
As many readers of this blog know, Tourette Syndrome or TS is a complex neurological disorder, characterized by phonetic and motor tics. “Tics” can present themselves as a combination of both phonetic and motor or simply as one or the other.
I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at 8 years of age.
Hearing that I had TS was a source of panic for me; my childhood, a time that should be care free, became filled with situations that a child should not have to deal with. It was one of the hardest times in my life.
My Tourette Syndrome diagnosis didn’t just affect me, it impacted everyone around me.
Being the first born, my parents’ expectations were for me to be the one who sets the example for my younger siblings. This was not only a big responsibility, but also was a difficult role to take on considering that I had enough to handle already.
The biggest challenge I faced when I was young, along with the variety of tics I possessed and demonstrated, was the mere fact of knowing I had a disorder but having no understanding of what the disorder was or the challenges that were ahead. I constantly asked myself, how could I be an example for three younger siblings?
Back then, I figured I couldn’t be because I knew I was different from them, but now that question has finally been answered. I may be different neurologically, but in reality, I’m not different from them. The biggest example I’ve set for my younger siblings is the example of courage and strength that I demonstrate every day when I go out into the world. Strength and courage were acquired because of the struggle brought on by my tics.
Looking back, I like to think that getting the diagnosis at an early age prevented me from facing a more difficult struggle later on in life.
About Tina T.: Tina T. is a young adult with Tourette Syndrome and a volunteer with the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada. She currently lives in Ontario, where she is a full time post-secondary student. If you would like to contact Tina about her blog series “My TS, My Story” please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment.
** The opinions expressed in this blog entry are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the TSFC, TSParentsOnline or NJCTS.**