Through my experience I learned a painful reality. Learning to accept ourselves when other people can’t or won’t can be very difficult.
Such a difficulty can leave us feeling stuck hiding behind invisible walls.
Background Information on my Living behind Invisible Walls
As you may know, I sustained a traumatic brain injury (open skull fracture with right frontal lobe damage, a severe brain bruise with brain stem involvement) in 1967. In 1967 traumatic brain injury was not on the “map” of consideration, nor was the concept of invisible disabilities.
Consequently, once my external wounds healed, the impact of my traumatic brain injury was never again factored into the difficulties that I experienced in life. As a result, I found myself stuck behind invisible walls. Invisible walls that led me to believe there was something wrong with me.
In 2013 I had the opportunity to give a keynote presentation at the Southwest Conference on Disability. To share some background information with those attending my keynote presentation, I wrote a detailed about page. To read more about my process and journey living behind invisible walls, you my click on this link: Detailed About Page
Behind the Invisible Walls
Behind the invisible walls, I felt flawed and defective for many years. I felt flawed and defective because I was unable to meet the expectations of many people — who could or would not accept the possibility that my life was being impacted by the traumatic brain injury that I experienced when I was 10 years old. In the process, and for many years, I turned my frustration (anger) inward, which led to my low grade chronic depression. In the process, I blamed and shamed myself and allowed other people to blame and shame me for not meeting expectations.
Reaching a Bottom
In my experience, when I reached a point in my life when the pain of denying my reality, exceeded my need to deny and defend my denial (so that I would not feel flawed and defective) I found myself angry, confused and depressed. In my anger, confusion and depression I reached an emotional and spiritual bottom. A bottom in which I could no longer deny the reality that I was stuck behind invisible walls. Invisible walls that were and had been getting in the way of my ability to accept myself.
The Impact of Shame
In May 2007 I wrote an article to share what I discovered, as I was able to stop denying my reality and defending the denial that family and friends wanted or needed to maintain. The article title is Whose Shame are you Carrying. I would invite you to read the article by clicking on this link: Whose Shame are You Carrying? The information that I share in this article has and continues to help me to understand why people may want and even need me to defend their denial. The information has also helped me to detach from what they need to believe.
In August of 2007 I wrote a 5 part article series to share what I learned through my struggle of living with an invisible disability. For individuals; who are, like myself living with an invisible disability I would like to share the article series with you.
In the article series I speak to the awareness’s that I gained through my interactions with 4 different types of mindsets.
Gaining these awareness’, has given me the ability to better understand and accept myself and the people I interact with as an individual living with an invisible disability. These awareness’s help me to detach from what other people may want, need or choose believe or think of me. These awareness’s have helped me to stop picking on myself.
Stop Fighting against Myself
These awareness’s helped me to stop fighting against myself. These awareness’ helped me to stop joining in with the chorus of voices that criticized and berated me. These awareness’s helped me to stop focusing on what I could not accomplish because of my invisible disability, so that I could learn how to use my gifts, talents and abilities in ways that work for me. These awareness’s helped me to learn how to respect who I am, given my limitations; although I may not understand my limitations.
This awareness’s helped and help me to realize that I am powerless over what people choose to think or believe about me. This awareness’s helped me to realize that I need to keep the focus on myself, stay committed to my own course and run my own race. This awareness’s helped me to stop being driven to live someone else’s dream for me and start living my own dream.
Below are links to the 5 part article series. as mentioned above. I divided the article into 5 parts because of the length of the article. I did so to make reading the article more manageable. If I may suggest, I would encourage you to read through each part of the article series (in order) to benefit from the entire article.
In April of 2014 I created a video presentation series; of the article series, to share the information with individuals who learn more effectively through watching and listening. I divided the video presentation series into 4 parts to make watching and listening to the video presentation series more manageable.
Video Presentation Series
Below are links to the video presentation series that have been uploaded to You Tube. If I may suggest, I would encourage you to watch each part of the video series (in order) to benefit from the entire video presentation series.
As you read, watch and listen to the series, and questions come to mind, please send those questions to me. All questions are good questions and welcomed.
You have my permission to share my articles and or video presentations with anyone you believe could benefit, however, I maintain ownership of the intellectual property AND my articles, video presentations and eBooks are not to be considered OPEN SOURCE. Please also provide a link back to Second Chance to Live. In the event that you have questions, please send those questions to me. All questions are good questions. I look forward to hearing from you. More Information: Copyright 2007 -2017.