Recently, I received a question that I feel led to address in the article, Surviving a Brain Injury — Will I ever Feel Normal Again?. The question is one that many brain injury survivors ask, ““I am just wondering…will I ever really feel normal again. I still struggle with depression….and not feeling like myself. It has been x amount of years…?”
When the individual asked that question I thought about a statement that I do not particularly like, but in respect to living with a brain injury, it pertains — “a new normal”.
Below is an excerpt from the article in which I shared my answer.
“In my experience and for many years, I had no idea what normal looked like, much less; what a new normal would look like for my life. I spent a lot of time guessing at what was normal. I lived in several denial systems for many years, trying to not be impacted by whatever was impacting my life. Once I came out of the 3 week coma, my external wounds healed — the impact of my open skull fracture, right frontal lobe damaged, severe brain bruise with brain stem involvement — and I learned how to walk, talk, etc and looked normal, the impact of the injury to my brain was never again factored into the difficulties that I experienced as I lived my life.
Instead of understanding and learning to compensate for ( but who knew in 1967) the difficulties that I experienced, related to my brain injury, unbeknownst to me, I was blamed, shamed and made a scape goat. In response, I joined in with the chorus; of blaming and shaming myself for not being enough. In the process, I internalized the difficulties that I encountered as there was some thing wrong with me. As I repeatedly internalized my difficulties, I turned my anger in ward — at myself. In my experience, I denied my reality, and defended the denial system that could not accept my reality, in an attempt to not feel less than, for the difficulties that I experienced, for not meeting expectations.
In my experience, I denied my reality, and defended the denial (systems) that could not accept my reality. I defended these denial systems in an attempt to not feel less than in an attempt to not be blamed and shamed for not being enough. Not only did I defend the denial, but I strove all the more, until I reached a threshold in time, when the pain of denying my reality, superseded my need to defend and deny my reality. But I am glad that I did not give up, because of the pain. To read more about what led up to my reaching this threshold, you may click on the following link: Traumatic Brain Injury and Facing Denial).”
By facing my denial and grieving my reality I began to heal.
To listen to and watch the presentation of the complete article, you may click on this link: Surviving a Brain Injury — Will I ever Feel Normal Again? Video Presentation
To read the article from which this video presentation is made, you may click on this link: Surviving a Brain Injury — Will I ever Feel Normal Again?
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