You express, “I would prefer to just communicate via email as then this method would give me plenty of time before responding.” I agree as verbal communication humiliates me. If my communication becomes involved and complex I become high-strung. My nervous system turns into a high pitch, I start sweating, and then I cannot repress unconscious impulses. When nothing is clear or certain, my anxiety increases and also my aggression will increase. I become fearful to the degree I feel unsupported, which then triggers off unconscious impulses from childhood abuse. Also when I cannot maintain my identity in verbal conversation I become cynical about the value of relating to anyone.
Fear seems to make my mental connections go haywire, probably because it makes my mind delusional. When I feel this raw material it makes me feel I am missing out on many important aspects of life, especially relationships. This can make me feel utterly and permanently defective, which I will convince myself others regard me the same. So for me, I need to let go of my fear of failure and being humiliated. I am also letting go of feeling shameful and misunderstood, feeling people always let me down, and feeling inadequate and defective.
I have had to isolate, withdraw, which also turns my anger and aggression against myself. However, I have learned being “told” who I am not is learning to let go. I have had to learn to use this withdraw as an opening and to let go of my emotional issues. My letting go now feels like my failures are less a measure of my defectiveness than just pain crying out through the distorted mask of my rage. Letting go seems to be an opening and appears to allow something more essential touch this wounded self. Healing just becomes this place to begin, nothing more and nothing less, and the light of awareness unfolds, just like your meditation should be offering you.
Thank you for your presence Danielle and learning to observe yourself without judgement.
I do understand and can relate to this all too well in fact. I have a tendency to be ‘too honest’ or ‘too direct’ and I often offend without even trying. As a child I remember being told “Be honest” and yet when I was honest I would often be told “People don’t want to hear THAT” jeez that was so confusing. Often honesty was very candid and direct, so I had to learn a reserved honesty. Is that an oxymoron? Or is a reserved honesty more a respectful honesty. Either way, it’s still damn confusing.
Now, I ‘try’ to be a bit more reserved but I find I have to think about what I am saying before I say it. Some people get a bit annoyed with the time it takes me to think about my answers because if I say exactly what comes to mind in that instant moment I am guaranteed to offend. In my own mind often my initial answers are full of expletives, often along the lines of ‘WTF’ and on the occasions where I have not been given the time to analyse my answers ‘WTF’ has been said and not as an abbreviation but more in full blown astonishment. So yes, I can understand why you would like to communicate via email, but this is not always possible, especially in conversation and I know for myself this is a real struggle. Trying to balance my speech content verses my thoughts used to be easy, I had an inbuilt filter (well, sort of ) but now I really have to concentrate on my content, think about what I’m going to say. In some situations I now get tend to get a little overwhelmed and this has lead to my emotions taking over.
Others may not like the fact that I need time, hell, I don’t like it either. But this is now my reality, so others have to deal with it, just as I do.
What you said makes sense. My life got a lot more frustrating, but I won’t list all the things unless you want to get so bored that you fall asleep. It is normal, the brain injury is inherently frustrating: you want to do things that your brain may or may not cooperate at that moment. It is beyond frustrating sometimes.
Maybe write down “how you want things to be”. Things that would make life easier. And then look at everything you do and brainstorm ways to make it easier. Hope this doesn’t sound matter-of-fact. For me it wasn’t obvious. Imagine that it is a friend telling you “I want…” and then give them advice. It is always easier to give others advice.
It might not be realistic for others to understand. Despite their honestly best intentions, they probably cannot understand. And this leads to great frustration and stress. So, maybe sometimes keep it private. As much as it sucks not to share it with people who care, sometimes it causes more trouble then it is worth. That is one reason the fellowship is here: you don’t have to explain everything from scratch.
Unfortunately life does not exist only by email. If you have coverage I would suggest that you see a speech theripist. Yes I have myself but she could not come up with more coping techniques then I already have developed. Inspite of my TBI I was involved in student govennment in college on term as ASB Science Department rep, two terms as ASB Activities Director and one as ASB vise president. Now days I am involved with Fire Prevention services and two cabin tract boards. After you see the speech therapist I would suggest a public speaking course at your local community college. You will be surprised at how much better it will make you feel being able to better communicate.
I’m the same way. My speech is not good (an understatement) so my preferred method is instant message, but life does not operate on instant messaging, or e-mail, so oral communication is important in daily life. Telephones are often harder for me than face-to-face, so calls to peiople who aren’t familiar with my handicaps are handled by my guardian. E-mail is good, but not instant or even fast whereas verbal is.
WoW, I’ve just spent the last 45minutes reading all these responses about how to deal with frustration. I’ve been living mine (Tbi) for 40years, and I remember those times of getting frustrated and lashing out because I couldn’t function as I once did. And then one day I noticed a very small subtle improvement. I was again able to do something that I use to be able to do. All these outbursts and aggressive behavior that I’ve seen described here, are part of the healing as our brain continues to ReWire itself and function once again. I found myself resting when I needed to, and eating all kinds of veggies that are known to help the brain. After this many years I feel that I must’ve been correct about some of it