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Traumatic Brain Injury

How have you dealt with letting go of who you were before your brain injury?

Well I was a victim also of domestic violence. Beaten to the core and had my brain smashed in where I fell unconsciousness but I don’t talk about that brain injury. Neither do I want to talk about it. I divorced that man and I have moved on trying to repair the damage that was done. As an adult I had another brain injury due to living in domestic violence. I don’t trust very many people. I sure don’t want nobody feel sorry for me either it was my choice and after a few beatings I done something about it. I finally got enough courage up to divorce him. If you all really know the whole story, just maybe you could understand. It something I placed behind me and trying to move on.

To the day, only fragmented memories of my old self remain. Everything has been slowly coming back to me as the years have gone on and after six years of recovering from a bike on car collision the mind still has some catching up to do. In the beginning of my recovery, I had a persistent view of trying to let my old self go, but had much difficulty with it. I would try to be on that level of normality like everyone else, but one day it just occurred to me… I’ve gotta stop hiding. Whenever that may have been, I still had the nerve to decide there an then to stop trying to control who I was and just face it as it comes.

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Well it is not the first time my brain got injured. See, after I grew older in my Adult years I married a man who when I met and dated…became a total different man after we were married and he beaten me up pretty bad to where it landed me in the emergency room. I lived in domestic violence…he busted my head open where my head had to be stapled. I lost conscious when he strucked me on top of the head causing severe injured to my brain. In the year of 1985. That time I laid in a medical coma to reduce the swelling on the brain. I now have divorced that man and haven’t spoken to him for years. I had a few brain injuries to my brain…before that, in my teenage years when I was being bullied…one of the bullies name Judy, she was a black American girl hit me on top of the head with a foreign object that landed me in the hospital transfer by ambulance because It cause me to have a grandma seizure. It is what it is. I pray for the girls that ganged me…Placed them in God’s care…I don’t trust people…God was only one I could trust. I don’t why things happen to good people but I do know I don’t want my heart become harden because of the trials I had to experience over the course of the years of my life. I also don’t want to waste my energy on being angry, unforgiving, or my past what happen…I just don’t no longer associate with negative people…I am looking for what God has in-store for me in my future. People has betrayed me, mocked me, abused me, I don’t have to many friends…and it is hard for me to make friends too. I sure don’t want my experiences to rob me of my peace, my joy and living my life.

I thank God for that I am able to do that. When it comes to remembering relatives that my sister I have in conversations or my childhood memories of the good times and remembering faces It makes me frustrated and I tell my sister straight out I don’t remember of the person she is talking about. Her replied back, "Oh, sis you should remember her or him…I try to think hard…I end up with a headache. I just tell her I don’t remember. My memory of some relatives she does mention in having a conversation with her is a blur and child activities…example: I’ll give you…sis, remember the time that dad and grandma taken us to Washington, D.C…it is little things like that I don’t remember…remember sis, Blackie, grandma’s chihuahua, I know you remember the camping trip…it is all a blur to me…I am trying hard to remember…just to please her…so not to cause any conflicts or hard feelings, I just become quiet and change the subject.

I do the exact same thing with friends and family who think I should remember certain things we did together and they almost act like they cant believe I don’t remember. I was with some old friends last week and this guy was there that I thought I met bout 10 years ago but apparently we spent a lot of time together 30 years ago and went places that I have no memory of. I know that you know this but theres nothing that can be done so I guess it comes down how we deal with friends and family and how we internalize these things.

I agree. I do however exercise my brain by remembering bible verses so my brain don’t come lazy. I may not can’t remember many things but I can remember bible verses. For me to remember bible verses I have to say them over and over and over many times till it sinks in my mind…It may take me a month before I can recite the memory verse I study hard to remember. After a month or two all I can remember of the bible verse is the first or second line.

You (dparwaugh55) have not had a easy life hats off to your for staying strong!

A post was split to a new topic: Trust in God

wow, I was in a coma for a few weeks and now that I’m older and my father has passed I too think about what that must have been like for him. I too made mistakes when I was young and I turned me life around bout 5 years before I got hurt. But it was after my injury that I started dating my now wife and we have a son. I know I was to arrogant and extreme about work and fun to have settled down. I am frustrated but I have a better life then most of my friends. Married a Angel and after reading your post about your relationship with God think its time to go back to church and spend more time being thankful!

That is good news to hear. Remember it wasn’t God who left you down, it was the sin of the world. Although I don’t understand why bad things happen to good people in the long run I listen to others testimonies and hear what they have gone through it is inspiring and makes you think that my life experiences is not as extreme as what the person sharing their life experiences is all as bad what we all went through. Just have to focus on the positive things instead of the negative and prayer because there are people out living on this earth that has it worst than I do. Attending church weekly I found people who understands and accepts me who I am. I use to tell my children growing up that nobody can take your dreams unless you let them. They are blessings and special in how God sees them. God knows what we been through. I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME! I wish you the best and Fight On!

I didn’t cope with accepting my circumstances. I think that I might as well do the best I can with what I have got.

The other option is to battle with myself on a daily basis,I have accepted I get depressed some times but mostly positive. We are over comers, we can do this. :slight_smile:

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I have trouble coping and accepting my circumstances too. Living with TBI has been living Hell for me. I have anxiety, mood swings, people become frustrated with me because I am deaf so I have to ask them to repeat themselves. I feel so alone fighting this battle alone. Makes me angry at my brother who caused my TBI, although he explained to me it was an accident. Every time I go to the beautician to get a haircut they noticed the long scar on my scalp they ask questions which I prefer not to talk about it. The brother that caused my TBI, we haven’t spoken since the accident and that is over forty years. I try so hard to be normal but I feel like a failure…Since the accident I have trouble making choices, decisions. it hurts when friends and family walks out of your life that you thought they be there and support you. I am different now…I am not the seven year old girl anymore. TBI is part of my life now and I have been trying so hard to accept my circumstances, Believe Me!, it hasn’t been easy. Even it wasn’t for my faith, my trust in God I would gave up years ago but it takes all the strength I have to fight On!

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dparwaugh55,

Thank you for your kinship with us and thank you for expressing your sense of failure. My brain injury was at the age of eighteen, which made me feel lost and suddenly cut off from myself. Your injury was at a very young age and because of your young age this appears to have made you guarded and openly defensive, especially with your brother. How you communicate about your “long scar” on your scalp also appears as an expression of you being guarded and defensive. Our head injury makes our feelings confused and contradictory, from my experience. For me, when my feelings are tense I react aggressively, though I do not feel this from you. I will fluctuate between compliant and aggressive impulses, feeling that others like me and then do not. Or I like others then I do not.

In a certain sense, because of our brain injury, we are dealing with extreme anxiety. For me I can be extremely anxious about myself and anxious about others, sometimes even reacting aggressively toward others. Anxiety creates tension and for me creates aggression. Being passive may apply more to you, as I do not feel deep aggression in you or being edgy or living on a sarcastic note. So with this said and because of your trust in God it seems right to turn a page for you and to look at what is right within you.

You appear to have deep faith within you and this has nothing to do with beliefs or even convincing oneself certain beliefs are true. The faith I am touching within you is this actual support of presence you appear to express from within. Your faith appears like the sun and appears part of who you are. It cannot be lost. So to me, your faith does not need to make support happen because it is with you already. It does not matter if you were injured by your brother or not and it does not matter if you do not feel support from family and friends. What matters is your faith, it is felt within you like the sun, and this is your support.

I am going to go a little further to touch this realistic faith within you. There is a Divine Plan for you and it is happening right now. Sure you may wish to have had a better direction than what life has offered you, yet in this moment your experience of your faith is for your soul. From what I feel, from your simple consent to your faith, you are consciously participating in this unfolding of life for you. This offers great satisfaction. So I believe because of our head injury we need to learn the satisfaction is not in a particular experience, but is this presence to our faith that gives any experience it its satisfying quality.

Knowing this, faith appears to be what touches the soul and allows us to be part of a plan. It appears to me, rather than fighting on with all your strength, your faith communicates to me you have already arrived. There is no anxiety here, is a great peace, and appears to help us draw on a Deeper Source. Yet what is unique about you is I do not believe you even need to draw on this Deeper Source, as it is something implanted in your identity, like the sun from within you. You communicate the heart of faith and to me your realistic faith is your guide, shinning as the sun.

Thank you for your simple faith and this sun within you, which is something involved and complex for me. It is people like you who help me learn to surrender rather than react from my aggressive mind. What a gift, your faith that is nourishing and supportive.

My TBI was 41yrs ago at the age of 17. At that time I barely even knew who I was. I knew that everything would be knew so it was like starting over when I woke up from the 32day coma

I cannot remember that much about my personality prior the accident as I was very young.

My TBI happened 12 years ago when I was 27 years old. There were times during my recovery that I felt that I was another person in this body. Perhaps the biggest challenge in my life since the accident has been saying goodbye to my past. I’ve read articles about “what if” thoughts in our own minds. What if my TBI never happened? What would my life be like? I’ve walked down that road, and trust me, I wish I hadn’t. We just have a way of thinking of our past as if it was a paradise when in reality we always have had challenges and issues. Through about 5 years now I treat my life as if it is a fiction novel. My past was couple of chapters that I read through and now I’m actually writing new ones. I still have challenges that I face daily. But who said that life is fair? That goes for those without TBI. It’s what you do with it that counts.

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Great question and I will bet all have a different way?..Im close to 13 years, lost job, family, my sanity first 3 to 4 years.

I always say its the acceptance is the goal…Much therapy, yoga, meditation, being able to tell people or strangers what happened, or the odd side effects of accident…( and not be upset, cry,ect)

My latest acceptance is I will be alone the rest of my life…I tried hard, no woman wants a disabled guy…A guy with a service dog, now I have many friends many drop dead gorges women friends, but everyone keeps you at a distance…Thats ok, I have my peace and focus day to day to accomplish the little things…

When we accept ourselves, the other things are easier to deal and coup with.

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I agree DavOD, acceptance is the goal. We may have very little issue accepting some things, but other aspects can be a MASSIVE struggle and the judgement of others can be one of those MASSIVES.

Merl

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HeeeeY Merl, yup it’s me again, checking in, and you are still here. Hope you are getting along ok. How have things been going? Maybe someday things will work well again, or perhaps they already are and I don’t know how to do it. Let me know, take care, drop me a line

Hey Johnbarry,
Yea, I’m still here. It’s good to hear from you. I’m a bit like that bad smell you just can’t get rid of :grin::grin::grin:
“…perhaps they already are and I don’t know how to do it.” Ohh, I can assure you, you are not the only one who doesn’t “know how to do it”, me too. I have followed every direction, suggestion or clue given and I’m still in the same place I was 5-7yrs ago. For me, if I had a set starting point I might be able to progress. Today might be a good day at the start but 1/2 way through the day I become symptomatic, but then tomorrow I can wake up symptomatic and that just screws up my whole day. I quite simply can never tell. I believe it was you who wrote ‘Brain injury - You don’t know it until you have to live it’. I formerly used to work in the disability sector and, to be honest, thought I knew all about it. Ohh boy did I get an education. What I knew was all of the theory, all of the A+B=C stuff. The reality is far more complex more like A+B-CxD/E√Fx100… then subtract the number you started with??? What a mess.
If you ever find out how to do it, please tell me how.

Merl