In my experience and because of the difficulties that I had in my undergraduate and graduate schools, I sought to find the reasons why I had difficulties interacting with supervisors, peers and clinical placements. In my pursuit, I was led to begin attending support group meetings. My journey with these support group meetings started some 25 years ago.
As part of my journey I have had the opportunity to grow in my awareness. Although I was still in denial concerning my traumatic brain injury, I discovered that there were factors that contributed to the difficulties that I had been experiencing. Among these awareness’s, I have come to realize that I can not “fix” people. I can not make people “OK” with themselves, no more than they can make me “OK”.
With my awareness, I discovered that I was the only one who could make me OK with myself. I discovered that I no longer needed to make people OK with me to be OK with myself. With my awareness, I discovered that I need to keep my side of the street clean, while allowing and giving other people the dignity to keep there side of the street clean.
I discovered that I can be a channel of God’s kindness and mercy as I allow Him to work through me, but ultimately only God can “fix” each one of us as we allow Him to work in and through our lives. I can be a “channel” or “conduit” that brings about healing in other peoples live, but I am not the source of that healing. I can only give what I have been given and God is the only One who can change hearts.
For many years of my life I bought into a denial system that did not allow me to accept my reality – being a traumatic brain injury survivor living with an invisible disability. Not only did I buy into that system, but I sought to justify and defend the denial system. In the process, I had no idea that I was living with limitations and deficits that impeded my ability to be successful in the traditional sense.
Because I was unable to maintain employment – because of my unknown deficits and limitations – I experienced a tremendous amount of financial insecurity. Nevertheless, I attempted to gain and maintain employment in a variety of settings and positions. Although I was unable to maintain these positions and stay gainfully employed, these varied positions gave me insight into a holistic awareness of human need.
In practical application, I have worked as a mental health aide/counselor within a 28 day residential chemical dependency treatment center for dually diagnosed individuals. I have worked with in a day treatment and partial hospitalization program to assist adults living with various kinds of diagnosed mental health issues.
I have assisted families and individuals while working within the field of nursing – certified nursing assistant and didactic / clinical training on the licensed practical nurse level. I have assisted individuals and families in pre-need planning while working with in both the cemetery and funeral industries. I have worked with in the ministry before and while I attended seminary.
As a masters level rehabilitation counselor and a certified rehabilitation counselor I have assisted individuals living with disabilities in both the private and public sectors – for Insurance Companies and for the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. In these positions, I sought to match the individuals gifts, talents, abilities and aptitudes in ways that would work for them in employment and vocational placement.
During the past 25 years I have been proactively involved in my own recovery process.
Because I had a long history of getting and losing both non-professional and professional jobs I experienced a tremendous amount of financial insecurity.
Please read the next part of this series by clicking on the following link Part 4. Thank you.
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