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Traumatic Brain Injury

Powerlessness

#1

I wanted to address this feeling of powerlessness that I have seen throughout the posts. I wanted to say that we are not powerless but limited. we don’t have zero power we have limitations that fit our own bodies and personalities and disabilities. We have power over what our actions and reactions are. If you feel powerless then you are. Your thoughts about your power will cause your reactions. The brain is extremely powerful the fact that ours are all still working with limitations is incredible. Please know that each and every one of you are powerful kind compassionate caring people.

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#2

Adilyn,

This is good and your writing is saying it truthfully. It seems I personally get caught into powerlessness because I feel cut off from life, yet as you are expressing there is an emotional reaction here that is still my choice. I will admit I have over identified with my woundedness and my sense of inner deficiency, which I then I made a lifestyle out of it. I sustained a self by identifying with feeling my inner lack and I have my stories about its origin. Naturally this creates depression and despair, more hopelessness, and then the crushing negative self-consciousness floods into my mind. I can feel defeated by life and see no way of coming back to life, or, as you are saying I can make a choice to drop the emotional reactions. This is both grand and subtle, which needs no more emotional reaction from me to reinforce my powerlessness.

I feel like a leaf falling off a tree and this leaf can still partake of the whole of life, as the part is still a part of the universe. The fall into a river even offers this creative flow and just as you are saying it cannot be otherwise. I delight in your words, allowing me to learn from you, and to simply rest. Thank you for saying it as it is, as nothing else is more satisfying because it allows me to still feel connected to life — a leaf floating on a river and there needs to be no inflated notion of myself here.

Thanks again for your gift of hope and you presence is significant!

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#3

I need to sort out more of what you are saying Adilyn because I can still feel this sharp split between powerlessness and hope. My mind wants to set up my ideas into strict dualism: hope or hopelessness, power or powerlessness, the known or the unknown, the safe or the unsafe, and so forth. This dualism seems to be caught in what is threatening and dangerous in my powerlessness. As a result my mind becomes hyper-alert to this threat and then my mental world becomes filled with anxiety. My mental world needs “danger” on my mind to feel safe. Yet, from experience, this literally turns my mind against myself. I scare myself out of my mind and then I become defensive. The real catch for me is my defensive mind will turn against me and I will not turn to anyone for help. I become paranoid and this mental style allows me few ways to get back in touch with life.

Okay, I defined the problem, splitting myself off from life and in my powerlessness I feel horror. You are saying it is not powerlessness but limitations. You are expressing we have “power” or choices to our actions and reactions. Turning this around in my mind, I have to admit your insight provides a key for me. The key is not seeing my disability as a tragic end or as some horrible dead end. The dead end mind always creates hopelessness and then more powerlessness, as you appear to be saying. Also I naturally want to defend my powerlessness, but this creates a struggle between various pairs of polar opposites.

These polar opposites, from my experience, is between thinking and doing, between fascination of the world and my fear of the world, between identification with others and my rejection of people, between love and hate. I have spun my mind around this circle for years and the whole splits into parts. Gradually I then need to defend myself from potential threats and usually becomes powerlessness in my environment. Ah but you appear to be telling me this mental process is creating more insecurity and powerlessness, rather than finding security and power.

It truly is hard to face the fact how I made my mental connections go haywire, mainly because of my mental terror of powerlessness. I want to cling to my ideas of splitting things apart, but as you appear to be saying this will only split my mental process apart, then I feel powerless. In my observing my mental patterns I feel this as game, “the games people play” and yet moving into insane paranoid delusions is no game. Boy, I hate this kind of truthfulness because I am experiencing myself directly in the moment. There is no game and there is no inflated notion of myself here — no powerlessness.

I am having trouble getting any more clarification for my mind, so it seems now learning to let go of this clinging mind ---- clinging to my powerlessness, as it always creates hopelessness. I also need to say thank you again for your perception, your confidence, and your hope. In a direct way your realness and your truthfulness made me realize I need to stop this mental activity of defining and dividing my experience into different categories. There is hope in your words and this takes my breath away. From you I have this clear breath of my immediate experience. This breath is like a refreshing breeze — the wholeness of hope. Truly you are a powerful gift and HOPE is your precious gift.

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#4

Syd,
I just wanted to take some time to clear a few things up. I believe that dividing up your experiences into categories is your coping mechanism. Although it isn’t the best way to cope. By doing this your brain is finding a way around the truths that it doesn’t want to face. I’m not saying that you are mentally unstable. For you in power you find that it is powerless and in hope you find that it is hopeless. this makes sense. your brain is struggling to push through the nitty gritty bad feelings and the hurt anger and frustration. It happens to all of us. your mind doesn’t want to cling but that is the only thing it knows. its not a change that you can make overnight. its going to take time a lot of time. but you still have a chance to let go of what you want to hold on to. you maybe want to make the change happen but I have found that my brain has a mind of its own. it wants to think and wants to remember and wants to change when it wants to not when I want it to. your brain is the most powerful thing ever. the fact that you have lived through a traumatic brain injury is amazing. most people’s brains don’t have to do that. your not moving into “insane paranoid delusions”. you are showing that you are human. nothing can change that. we were all born human with human instinct. without that instinct you wouldn’t be here today. you are an incredible person. You are strong! You are Powerful! you have hope! You have peace! you have kindness! You are the best you that you can be! No one can make you different! BE YOU!!!
~Adilyn~

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#5

Adilyn,

Thank you and I agree much of my mind is survival around this being a misfit in life. I also agree I need to be just myself, rather than trying to sustain a particular identity. You also speak of “human instinct” or what you mean to be survival and you communicate I am miles apart from insane paranoid delusions. Again I agree and it feels like on this website I am learning to drop my beliefs and concepts about myself in the world. I feel from this website I cannot do anything to be myself, which is also being communicated by you. This hope, peace, kindness, and being Powerful you write about appears to be no particular image or concept and feels more simply just resting.

Resting in no agenda is rather strange, as I compensated for my disability by driving myself hard in work. I made mistakes after mistakes and corrected my mistakes by doing it over and over again till I got it right. This place in resting in who I am, there is “no doing” and no doing it over. What makes this strange is because of my agriculture background “doing” was the dark side of power. In other words, “get the job done” became the extent of my power. Pride and arrogance naturally entered in and I became extremely macho, a man’s man. It now feels like entering into this place of rest where I no longer need to prove my superiority in my inferiority. In a way you are telling me I no longer need to be the master of my castle and there is power in being myself.

Adilyn, this being myself and resting is shaking off feeling inadequate and defective, unimportant and undesirable, self-hatred and self-contempt. The recovery makes my body feel exhausted, as my cells have never been given much value. It is even rather mysterious receiving value from you, yet it appears taking in love others give you is no problem for you. I personally do not have this special quality fully developed. I am just now beginning to identify with others, which allows solid values to take root and then maybe my cells can receive love’s value. In other words, a traumatic brain injury creates overwhelming chaos and learning to drop this takes time, as you say. Now learning to rest is a new consciousness and learning to love what this chaos did to me draws on qualities I still do not have.

I just want you to know I appreciate you learning to love yourself and letting love transform you, because what could be more powerful than your life-enhancing love. I also want you to know your love appears to melt down barriers, as you want people to be themselves. Your love also communicates a deep compassion and this nobility in your heart is powerful. This nobility in your heart is dissolving a sense of separation, disability or not, and truly is nourishment to my spirit. Again your love value takes my breath away and your ability to love is a dynamic force. Thank you!

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#6

Adilyn,

How did you learn to rest in your disability? How did you learn to love your chaos or live within your limitations? Is it really learning to love again or is peace, harmony, and an awareness just learning to surrender? My heart does not understand this healing - ?

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#7

Syd,
It isn’t necessarily resting within your disability as much as being at peace with your disability. Living within my limitations isn’t always loveable. I struggle with the pain and the angry emotions a lot. It is about embracing the good times and using those to make the bad times more bearable. It isn’t about learning to love again. It is finding the peace in the chaos. It is finding the harmony in the confusion. It is learning to surrender to the difficulties. Healing is difficult and is hard to understand.

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#8

Thanks Adilyn and from this discussion I can feel this place of letting everything pass through and where nothing “sticks” in my consciousness. This consciousness does offer a certain peace and stillness. This peace is even a wholeness within and being incomplete without. What is striking about this place is everything is arising and disappearing into a stage of stillness and peace. This is even happening in my “nothingness” or this place of no value and it is okay. Grasping this healing will take time, as I never knew peace in being nobody or nothing. This peace is hope and this hope is a healing because I am learning to not be caught in being “told” who I am not.

We might have different ways of saying the same thing and hope in being incomplete is a meaning beyond my conscious control. This act itself, though, is a healing for my hope because from you I am learning to not be caught in my web of illusions and self-defeating patterns.

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