Shynon Barnayha

I am a mother of 3 children; 2 boys and a daughter. In 2007 I was diagnosed with epilepsy. I never wanted to believe it. I was trying to figure out how this happened. I had never had a seizure as a child. My family doesn’t have any signs of having seizures. I called my heart out and I remember looking at my kids thinking I’m going to die before they are even grown up. I was depressed and a million thoughts were running in my head. I was trying to reflect “Why me and how?”

Then I remembered my ex-husband (kid’s dad). He and I were always fighting. He was very abusive; verbally, emotionally, physically; an alcoholic and on drugs. When I had my major first seizure, it was on my birthday. I remember riding in an ambulance dripping in blood and my face burning. When I was able to check my face, I looked in the mirror once I had arrived to the hospital. It was burnt up on one side of my face from scraping against the carpet, blood everywhere, couches, puddles of blood on the floor. It had taken me 3-6 months to heal from all the injuries. I knew my face and my life would never be the same again. I couldn’t help but feel ugly and useless. My kids wouldn’t see me raise them.

Living with epilepsy has only made me get stronger and gain strength. I had learned to stop feeling sorry for the mistakes I had made when it came to my past. I had to learn how to concentrate on my future. I hated feeling like I wasn’t going to accomplish what I wanted to do within my life. All I had pictured my whole life was having a strong family, actually getting married to someone that will NOT abuse me or my children. I wanted to live in peace and happiness.

I have to thank my family and friends who have supported me in making sure that I don’t let this get me down and that I still grow as a person; by telling me that I will always have their support. To my kids Pharrel, Asiah and Jarell, they had supported me through thick and thin. They had seen me have epileptic seizures and they took care of me. I love my children for that. I thank God every day that I am still alive.


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*November is Epilepsy Awareness Month. For more information visit:

**October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. For 24/7 help & more information visit:

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Photo Credit: Shynon Barnayha. No copyright infringement intended.


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