Although I had friends and family members told me that they ” were not buying it” the reality that I could not maintain employment — despite my hard work and diligence — confused me. As a result, I started asking questions — in my mind. Had the traumatic brain injury that I experienced when I was 10 years old now be impacting my inability to maintain employment?
Although I was discouraged by my Dad — who told me that I would never be approved — I applied for Social Security Disability. Although I was denied 2 times, on my 3rd application I was approved. Sadly enough, even after being approved to receive SSDI I remained in denial — because of the invisible nature of my disability.
I continued to struggle to accept the reality — for another 4 – 5 years even after being found disabled — that I was disabled because of the injuries to my brain. Consequently, I internalized an ongoing sense of shame because I was told that “if I just tried harder” I could overcome my brain injury and thus not be disabled. In my striving to be more, I found that I was not enough.
The consequence of my striving brought me to a place of despair and anguish. In my despair and anguish I began to question both my denial and the denial of family and friends. Because I hurt enough mentally, emotionally and spiritually I realized that I could no longer deny my truth, at the expense of accepting a lie.
Please read Part 4 for context. Thank you.
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