What I did with the story of my TBI

So people want to kill themselves. For reasons, mainly, because of bullies, and other mean things in this world. And I understand that. I would kill myself. So I am not going to tell you not to. But give this story a chance, to change your mind.

(Ironic that I would start a story off with Have you ever ….. Most of my sentences begin as such. )

Have you ever seen someone in a wheel chair, and looked down on them? Maybe gave them a look of disgust? Ever seen someone stumbling to take a step, laughed at them? Ever seen someone that had bright red scars all over one side of thier face? Well i have been this person. This is my story. October 14th, 2003.

Riding in the car with my mom, on the way to school. The road is under construction, and its dangerous. Turning into the school, my mom turned back to give me something. The car went off the road, went down into a ditch, and hit a tree. Which just happens to be, where i was sitting, in the car. The metal bar of the convertable penetrated the right side of my skull. Damaging my brain.

They had to shut down the road. I was lifted from the scene, to Farifax hospital. Where they rushed me into brain surgery. Removed the skull around my forehead. As well as the large portion of damaged brain. Put what was left of my skull into my right abdomen.

(I have a scar, it has faded, but remains a scar.)

I woke up, looked around.

(I didn know where i was or who was around me.)

I couldn move, or speak. They sent me to Kenedy Kregger in Baltimore. Where i was in a canopy bed, that zipped up.

(I would lay there, in my diaper. Unable to move, or anything other than look around.)

The first time i looked into a mirror, I did not see me.

(The fear of what i had become. No long blonde hair. A zig zag scar reaching from ear to ear. Scars across the entire right side of my face. I was not the pretty little girl i used to see, when i looked into the mirror.)

The first time that I was weighed, I was 134 pounds.

(Such a drastic change from having only weighed 98.)

The cereal casts on my legs prevented me from being able to move them. Which i later unraveled, all the way off.

There was always somebody there with me. Because i has to always be watched.

Therapy started. I would wake up and start my day learning how to get dressed and how to brush my hair, teeth, etc. I would have to have someone shower me, because i wasn't strong enough.

(I didn have the mental capacity to understand feeling exposed.)

I would do therapy all day long. Physical, Occupational, Speech, Recreational. Breaks in between, of course.

The first step that i took hurt so much. Just to stand was more painful than anyone would be able to imagine. Not only that, i had to climb stairs. The stairs of the hospital. I would have to talk, try to push out words. They didn sound like words very much in the beginning.

(More like grunts of anger and pain.)

And there was this big room, in which i would do crafts, and watch movies. Talk to other people who were recovering also. I was always agitated. Everything would always bother me.

(The stitches in my head. How much my muscles would always hurt. The scar on my abdomen. The way i looked. How people would talk to me. Hold my hand and cry. Nothing felt right. Ever. As i recovered, i got stronger. My dad took me to the movie theatre. We were going to see brother bear. I couldn figure out why everyone was staring at me, and giving me weird looks. My dad had to explain to me that it was because i was different. Hunched over in a wheelchair, wearing a helmet. Red scars all over my face.)

Before i got to go home, they had to take what was left of my skull, out of my abdomen, and make a new skull out of it. Using paste and other medical compensations.

Laying on the bed there, i remember squshing something and hearing liquid.

(I couldn figure out what it was. I also remember seeing my dad sleeping in a chair across the room.)

When i looked up, i saw that it was a tube, and connected to my head.

(Still not having the mental capacity to piece things together.)

When they sent me home, i still wasn recovered all of the way.

I had to do years and years of out patient therapy. Every rehabilitation therapy you can think of. Also i had to return to school. After homeschooling for a while. Up until then, i was just fighting and trying to get better.

(It hadn dawned on me what exactly had happened.)

The day i went back to school, is the day that i first remember wanting to kill myself. Everyone was so happy and smiling, and pretty. I was not. Barely able to walk, scarred face. Unable to speak well still.

(The only time people would look at me, was in disgust. No one would talk to me. The faces I did remember, had moved on, and made new friends. Looked at me, the same way. Such pain in knowing that all of your friends hated you now.)

Over the years, I recovered. I got many facial surgeries to fix the damage done. My hair grew out. But i had gained alot of weight. And everyone still did not like me. I noticed that i had problems, that other kids didn have. Alot of them.

(I distanced myself, withdrew from reality. Every time i would think about someone, i would think about the pain of knowing that i was a monster. People would bully me in school, call me names. Pick on me, for something that i didn make happen. And couldn do anything about, other than stay strong.)

For years and years, i was suicidal. Had become numb. The medications i had to take to deal with life, was too much. I would cut, wanting to feel something.

(When i did, the pain would go away. And i could relax.)

This stopped after a few years. And i tried other ways to help myself feel better. Nothing helped.

I have grown so bitter, and hateful to the world. Through all of this, i have leaned to understand that everyone has a reason for being the way that they are. And they aren going to change unless they want to. And I accept that.

(I look at people for who they are, not what they look like. Cause inside of that broken, scarred body of mine, there was a girl. Struggling to get stronger. Tortured by being looked at as a monster. The girl that use to be everyones friend. And everyone used to love her. Now heart broken. Everything i have been through, has made me into a very strong person.)

(And i wouldn have it any other way.)

There were alot of things that i did not add. Merely because people wouldn be able to handle it.

But there were good times also.

I would be able to poke my forehead, and feel my brain. Really cool stuff like that. Which now, i can just see it throbbing when i pull my hair back.

A bad thing that came from all this. My brother doesn like me. Solely because of this. And it tares my heart to pieces, knowing that i cant change that.

People think that their lives are so bad.

Of course, everyone has bad things they go through. But not to the degree that I have. And people don see that, want to see that.

No one would know, either. If I hadn said anything.

I think my purpose for surviving this, and coming out so strong, is to help others become strong. No matter how weak you are, or feel, you can always get stronger.

Also another big thing this story teaches is that thing CAN always get worse; at the same time, they WILL always get better.

Hi Anna, Every TBI is Traumatic, all of us TBI’S here suffered our own personal hell that
really only ourselves will fully understand. In this community sharing out story is a big step in recovery and by sharing we help others and our selves heal. Thank you for posting and keep reaching out.