I been living with TBI since I was seven yrs old. That is over forty years ago. I can share from my experiences from my Adult yrs that living with TBI sucks. It seems appear that when you share with someone that you have TBI they shy away from you. Due to my Traumatic Brain Injuries it made me feel so alone. Due to the brain injuries I am slow learner…I have racing thought and deafness in both ears. I do wear hearing aids but it hard to live with TBI when one don’e have the support behind them. Every time I go to the hair-dressers the hair salon and as the lady cuts my hair she notices the long scar on the top of my head so she gets curious and ask questions. My answer I share with my hair dresser I had brain surgery due to a blow to my head and today I live with TBI, What’s TBI she asked. It stands for Traumatic Brain Injuries. I said injuries because I had a few blows ti my head due to abuse as a child. I am not one who opens up about my past abuse of my childhood memories. I learned to live with it through the years…It is what it is. When I try to explain something the words just don’t come out right so I get fluster and frustrated when I get nervous I stutter. Living with TBI it also makes me feel lonely…Nobody understands me.
Real powerful message you have. And I thought my TBI having occurred almost THIRTY YEARS ago was a long time …
I have found that I use the “don’t ask - don’t tell” method with new friends or acquaintances. My short term memory is terrible, so I use a lot of strategies to deal with them. But some people will just always be curious - and others will just always be intrusive and nosey. They do not understand. Rem - TBI survivors are called the “Walking wounded”. We NEVER really overcome ALL of our acquired challenges - - but we often “LOOK” just fine … It is not until someone spends quality time that they see or hear our challenges. I am 53 and my injury occured when I was 25.
I felt bad when I heard of the abuse … I had a father that abused my mother. I was fortunate that they divorced when I was like 3 and I was shielded from his alcoholism and anger issues…
May God grant you peace …
So i went through mine 1 year and 9 months ago. I am working again and all that it took a long time to even be able to do basic stuff again and process things “properly” I’m still wondering how hard it is handle things like emotions properly though
You’re working again? Congratulations, that can be a BIG/HUGE step. One you should be proud of.
“…I’m still wondering how hard it is handle things like emotions properly though…”
I think that’s something that takes time to grasp. For me, some triggers can cause a wave of emotion, where some are just a ripple. The problem I had was the triggers, a trigger could just be a ripple but that same trigger could cause a tidal wave and I can remember having to physically, within myself, having to calm that quell.
I think it’s similar to the fight or flight reflex we all have, where we either fight the situation or run away from the situation, only this is an emotional reflex. But over time we can relearn those ‘emotional skills’ and the appropriate emotional responses.
Initially my responses were extreme. It was either rage or tears (often the wrong response for the wrong situation) some of this was a frustration with pain and rather than focusing it on me, I put it on everybody else. Not nice. Part of it was being emotional but showing the wrong emotion, and part of it was also self protection and trying to find that ‘Happy Median’.
Eventually things did even out for me and I did relearn. I still, even years later, find some triggers are still there but I have a better control of them now, but it certainly was not a quick process, it takes time.
I to have been living with a Tbi for over 19 years now, and I totally understand where you’re coming from. All of it: The “relieve” of tbi, the lack of support, and the feeling alone. It does suck, but now that I’ve Felt the vibe change from people when I tell them about my Tbi. They somehow all of a sudden don’t have time for me or value me…etc. etc.
Because of the change of peoples behavior towards me, I have decided to stop telling people about my condition. I only tell people when it’s getting out of control, and I have too. So I still tell people who can’t comprehend my way of communicating or my physical deficits like memory and such. I guess for my protection, and theirs. So living with tbi sucks and is lonely, but we should try to think of other ways to bring love and light into our lives. Idk, maybe church or a tbi support group. I’ve tried those avenues when I feel alone. I will pray for you if that’s ok.