Today, I would like to share something with you that I learned through my recovery process. What I learned helped me to break free from the shackles of limitation, despite living with limitations. What I learned gave me the stamina to pursue my dreams, despite being discouraged by “well-meaning” individuals. What I learned helped me to find a way, when no one else could show me the way. What I learned helped me to find freedom.
What I learned helped me to stop giving people the power to “turn off” my creativity.
What I learned helped me to access once depleted sources of energy. What I learned helped me open the door to having a relationship with myself, despite being misunderstood and shunned. What I learned helped me to trust the process, a loving God and myself. What I learned helped me to realize that possibilities exist, if I look for them. What I learned helped me to realize that I could actively be involved in the process of creating hope in my life.
What I learned helped me to stop believing that I was a mistake because of my deficits and limitations.
What I learned helped me to stop “turning off” my creativity.
When a brain injury occurs everyone’s life changes. Changes in the individual living with the impact of a brain injury, as well as, changes in family and friends. Over time each of the parties involved, experience a myriad of feelings. In the event that these feelings are not owned and processed, by each individual; these uncomfortable feelings may be blamed on the individual living with a brain injury. The individual living with the impact of the brain injury may, in turn, blame themselves. Blame themselves, for not being able to do and be like they were before their brain injury occurred.
As feelings of blame for not being able to do or be more are internalized, the individual may believe that they don’t just make mistakes, but that they are a mistake. As they continue to be blamed, they may feel a sense of shame (which may be unconscious). Such a sense of shame can lead the brain injury survivor to believe their lives no longer matter. As shame is internalized through ongoing external (from other people) and internal (from themselves) blame, the individual may feel helpless. Helplessness may keep them focused on what they can not accomplish with their lives.
In response to a diagnosis, having a brain injury, the individual may find themselves labeled. Being labeled brings a stereotype. A stereotype brings about a societal stigmatization. The impact of the stigmatization results in the individual being minimized, marginalized, dismissed and discounted. Such a label, a stereotype, and stigmatization keeps the individual focused on their deficits and limitations. The label, stereotype, and stigmatization also serves to reinforce a sense of shame and blame for being impacted by a brain injury. The individual is then left to suffer in silence.
Suffering in Silence
The individual, living with the impact of a brain injury, is left to suffer in silence because of a stereotype and a stigmatization. They are left to suffer in silence out of a fear of being blamed and shamed for their deficits and limitations. Because of a fear of being blamed and shamed for their deficits and limitations, individuals living with the impact of a brain injury may deny the impact of their brain injury. Because of a fear of being blamed and shamed for their deficits and limitations, individuals living with the impact of brain injuries may isolate themselves from other people.
Because of a fear of being blamed and shamed for their deficits and limitations, individuals living with the impact of brain injuries may live their lives in quiet desperation — not realizing that they have the power to create.
To read Part 2 of Living with a Brain Injury, Parents, Creativity, Hope and Freedom, click on this link: Brain Injury, Parents, Awareness, Creativity, Freedom and Hope Part 2
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