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Traumatic Brain Injury

"Ugly-duckling"

#1

I saw the eye doctor this last week and I had extreme trouble reading the letters. I could not tell if it was my eyes or my brain was out of focus. I felt my mental connections going haywire and my stomach becoming upset, so I got my vomit bag. I felt I had lost my center, deteriorating into craziness, then creating this need to vomit and cuss. I needed to stop being tormented, so out the door I went, and then everything reminds me how I unconsciously cut myself from connection to anything. This simple experience of seeing the eye doctor is like I am splitting my consciousness into two parts: retreating as to feel safe and the other part is this need to defend myself. When I feel the need to defend myself I am living in denial. When I withdraw this creates this inner emptiness — from my ability to think, to feel, and to do.

The emptiness use to terrorize me — the empty house — now I accept the emptiness. I also feel the craziness is not charged with terrifying implications nor do I experience hallucinations, such as the eye doctor giving me brain cancer. I just sometimes I wonder if I am starting into dementia and other times I feel I am just being realistic with my mental limitations. It is just my body is alien, turning against me, just as the environment seems to turn against me. The mental exhaustion compounds the problem.

There is something perverse and dark here, something I am repulsed by possibly insecurity and powerlessness, yet in the moment my mind cannot sort it out. Does anyone have a method of keeping centered, when the brain just knows failure? Does anyone have a method when there is nothing left to which I can attach myself and is still allowed to be okay? Where is stillness when I feel this “ugly-duckling” in my mental, physical and social handicaps?

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#2

When I get to that point, I close my eyes and attach myself to the “part of me” that exists when I close off my five senses. “I” am still there. And I find that grounding. It is real. It is not my fantasy or imagination.

I start by breathing in and out through my nose. Focusing on the cool and warm sensation. And starting to relax.

Eventually… you know, I am still there. I am pretty happy with whoever that is, whoever I am, not tied to all of the ideas I have that are pretty unkind about myself. So, when those ideas go away, I start feeling pretty good again.

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#3

Occipital,

Wow, what an unfailing insight and I like the wholeness you experience when you close off the five senses. It seems when I experience this nagging feeling something is missing inside it creates this underlying emotional reaction. So it seems breaking this reaction is learning to center on this inner wholeness you are writing about. I will sure give it my best to use your recommendation and see if I cannot get my high-strung nervous system tuned down. Your recommendation is good for my sense of powerlessness, as this is where my nervous system erupts into my mind, which then fuels intense involvement into my perceptions and into my body. Thank you for your insight, a profound reorganization of this sense of self and where everything can hold its place.

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#4

woW, that’s ‘deep’

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#5

Non-attachment itself is the key to a “free” sense of self. My attachment to outcomes or expectations cause me the most “frozenness”, or difficulties trusting decision making. Now, I try to make best choice possible at moment and release outcome, having faith I can deal with whatever happens. Shit, we all made it this far. Aloha.

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