On November 15, 2011 an article appeared on Open Salon Why Gabby Gifford’s Frustrates Me. The article was chosen to be the Editor’s Pick. I read the article and left the below comment. I have never posted one of my comments on Second Chance to Live, however in this instance I believe doing so is appropriate. I before, however I believe posting the below is needed. Please share your responses to my comment. I look forward to hearing from you.
My Comment in response to Why Gabby Gifford’s Frustrates Me.
Hope is a good thing. Reality is also a good thing. In my experience, I tried to deny that I was not impacted by a traumatic brain injury. I devoted huge amounts of time and energy attempting to disprove that I was impacted by an invisible disability — a traumatic brain injury. I bought into denial systems that would not allow me to celebrate who I was as a traumatic brain injury survivor with deficits and limitations. As a result I attempted to not be a person with a brain injury — to avoid societal stigmatization and unemployment. I attempted to deny my reality for over nearly 39 years, however I was unable to fight my way out of the proverbial brown paper bag. What I needed to do was to accept who I was as a traumatic brain injury survivor who was living with an invisible disability and stop fighting against myself. You can read about my process and what brought me to the above conclusion by reading my 7 part series My Journey thus Far http://wp.me/p3atD-e
In my experience, I had to grieve my reality so that I could begin to accept my reality. In my experience — to grieve my reality — I needed to confront my denial and the denial that my family and friends maintained. In my experience, I had to grieve my reality, before I was able to stop fighting against myself. In my experience, I had to grieve my reality, before I could begin to accept myself. In my experience, I had to grieve my reality, before I could stop trying to fit into a box that society had for me.
I am happy for Gabby and her husband/ family. In my experience, I had to come to a place of acceptance through grieving my reality before I could begin to accept what I could not do — because of the effects of my traumatic brain injury which I sustained in a motor vehicle accident in 1967 when I was 10 years old — before I could begin to accept what I could do through using my gifts, talents and abilities. Although I am unable to maintain gainful employment due to my invisible disability, I have learned how to use my gifts, talents and abilities in ways that work for me through Second Chance to Live http://secondchancetolive.org/.
My hope is that Gabby — when she is able to and her family supports her — will look for ways to use her gifts, talents and abilities in ways that work for her. We do not have to be more than, because we are enough. We don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Instead, we can celebrate who we are — as traumatic brain injury survivors — and what we are able to bring to the table of life. I am in your corner Gabby. If I can help in any way, please let me know. I am available to be of service to you.
In my experience, I have found that more will be revealed with time. That is what hope is all about — we do the footwork and trust a loving God with the outcomes — because I have learned that I can trust the process, a loving God and my ability to learn from my circumstances. I have come to realize that my circumstances are not meant to keep me down, but they are meant to build me up.
I will say so long for now. Have a pleasant and rewarding day and God bless all of us.
Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA
Second Chance to Live
Our circumstances are not meant to keep us down, but to build us up!
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