Below is the second part of the article that I wrote approximately one and a half years ago. My motivation in reprinting the article is to illustrate a lesson that learned through my struggle living with an invisible disability. Hopefully my experience will be of benefit to you my friend. Have a pleasant day. Craig
For context please read Part 1. Thank you.
Several nights later I attempted to process what I experienced during my negotiation process while attending a support group meeting. After the meeting ended, while talking with a friend he pointed out that I was focusing on the other person’s behavior. At first I found myself experiencing shame over wanting to be heard. Reality became apparent as I thought about what my friend had told me. In my attempt to be heard I lost my focus. I forgot to remember that the person with whom I attempted to negotiate continues to believe that I am making excuses and using my traumatic brain injury as a tool of convenience. In essence, I am being given the message that I should not be limited by the injury to my brain.
Through the course of attempting to negotiate the win-win outcome I re-learned several valuable lessons. I am powerless over people’s perceptions. I do not have the power to change anyone’s perspectives. What other people say or think about me does not make it so. I am not responsible for fixing another person so that we can have a better relationship. I can not help open eyes that chose to remain closed. I need to accept people for who they are, rather than who I want them to be.
Because I have the power to make healthy choices, I am able to avoid being placed in a double bind. I no longer need to stay stuck in shame and guilt for not being able to measure up to the expectations of people within groups 2 and 3. I am an empowered individual because I choose to practice live and let live. I am responsible to people, but not for them or their choices. In the event that people, like the individual that I discussed above, choose to deny my reality then I need to practice healthy self care and limit the amount of time that I subject myself to their criticism. In my choice I do not judge people in groups 2 and 3 as bad or wrong, I merely recognize that I am unable to create a win-win outcome through our interactions.
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