Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) You only know it if you live it
I come before you as one who's injury cannot be seen by your other children.While others see me, they know not that my wounds are invisible.I come before you as a brain injury survivor. You know the depth of my pain, of my despair, of my confusion. Of my aloneness, and of my overwhelming sense of loss. Humbly I ask you When exhaustion strikes, please grant me the strength I need to continue. When others leave my life, help me to remember that you are always with me. When unsteadiness causes me to stumble, please take my hand and lead me forward to safety. When my memory so often fails me, help me to never what is really important. God, so many of your children walk daily with challenges that Dwarf my own. By understanding this, I can see my own life in better perspective. Help me for today to accept my fate in this life. Knowing that if I trust in you, all will be well. Amen Brain injury.. Its so invisible that.. "I wish I had a big scar so that people would understand that something is wrong." Another big problem I encountered after my brain injury.. Was that family members could not really understand the depth of what happened to me. TBIlifecoach/Facebook As a bleeding stroke, brain anyurism and brain surgery survivor I often refer to this quote from TBI life coach. Nobody can understand the depths of what I, or any other survivor was going through. Aren't those the loneliest words you have ever heard? They rocked me down to the core. They made me realize how alone I really was. " No one can see my pain." "You only know it if you live it." A quote and T-shirt creator a good friend and survivor of mine came up with.. The fist time I saw his t-shirt I felt that empty feeling of isolation and loneliness creep up.. Running like ice through my veins. All those months of banging my head up against the wall.. Begging my family to please try and understand.. To please educate themselves.. Was all a waste of my time and energy. Did anyone else experience such crushing sadness when they heard that line? "Sometimes my behaviour confuses people (And confuses me to.") This is so true for me. I didn't know anything about cognitive(thinking) problems after brain injury.. Let alone know what " Filters" were. Some of the most outrageous, non-censored stuff was coming out of my mouth! It's bad enough embarrassing yourself with the things you say and do, but when you laugh a little to loud, curse in front of your six year old neice, or act inappropriately in public.. No one can see those broken filters.. No one can see cognitive issues, they only see you "Acting out" or "being rude." " no one knows who I am." The second loneliest words I have heard. How can anyone know who we arewhen We don't even know who we are? Brain injury and or stroke stole out identities and who we used to be. Survivors are starting over as newborns, but still look like our old selves on the outside.. When inside we are beaten and battered. Battered by our injuries, beaten by our invisible suffering. The strongest people are those who win battles we know nothing about. Their truly is only one way you can know the physical and mental torture of a brain injury.. And that is if you live it. I must admit that as unfair as it is that no one can see our suffering.. I wouldn't wish a brain injury on my worst enemy. Not that that helps the pain and loneliness go away, I would never want anyone else to go through this. My Facebook groups, Strokefocus groups, and blogging all keep my head above water, that and the survivors prayer I shared at the beginning of this blog. In these groups and the friends I have made from them, I don't feel quite so alone. It was a Facebook group that welcomed me and accepted me for who I am, I highly reccomend a support group or even some group counseling for survivors.. Its where deep inside a sigh of relief comes from within.. Knowing that you are not alone. That while I struggle with my filters and big mouth.. Someone else is also. I hope that you can find comfort in knowing that while you are feeling invisible, I and so many others are also.You are not alone. I would like to thank my good friend John Barry for giving me permission to use his slogan and banner.