As I shared in the 3rd installment of this series, the injury to my right frontal lobe (executive center functioning) limits my ability to read many subtleties and social nuances in “real time”. The more time I have to spend interacting with the second and third groups of people that I talked about in, My Struggle living with an Invisible Disability – Part 1 my stress level increases. When I am stressed beyond my limits my ability to monitor and manage external stimuli decreases.
Mental and emotional fatigue decreases my ability to read and interpret ongoing social interactions in real time, which can in turn lead to my being misunderstood.
With continued and ongoing interactions my relationships can come under strain, especially as I become fatigued and stressed. In the event that people do not understand or want to accept that I have limitations and deficits because of the damage to my brain, they can become confused. Their confusion can lead to various scenarios. In some instances people will avoid interacting with me, because to do so sometimes requires more energy.
In other instances, I am either overtly or covertly criticized for my inability to interact in real time. Both scenarios prove to be uncomfortable because they lead me to believe there is something inherently wrong with me. Both scenarios do not factor in the significance of my invisible disability. Therefore, I have learned that I need limit both my interactions and the amount of time that I spend with some people, especially with individuals who insist on denying and minimizing my reality.
In these scenario’s I seek to be kind and considerate, however I have learned to limit the time I spend with those individuals.
My desire to bring about win-win outcomes teaches me to honor my limitations. When I honor my limitations I honor my relationships. Consequently, I have come to respect my limitations and value the abilities I possess. Because I have experienced the consequences of not respecting my limitations I made the decision to not place myself in a situation that would invariably produce a lose-lose outcome. In my attempt to provide a win-win outcome I decided to spend 2-3 weeks at the second location.
Through making the decision to spend my time at the second location, I was told that I never wanted to help the parties move in the first place. In reality, because I needed to respect my limitations, and because of previous information I received from the parties who will be moving, I made the decision to spend my time at the second location. The second location quickly became my priority because of love.
My prayer is that the matter I have shared throughout this 4 part series will be resolved in peace. Your prayers would also be highly valued. My struggle living with an invisible disability certainly has and continues to be a tool for instruction. I am grateful for the opportunities that my unique set of circumstances provides, because my circumstances are not meant to keep me down but they are provided to build me up.
As an empowered individual, I can live life on life’s terms because I know that more will be revealed.
I have since visited and learned a needed lesson. I need to limit the duration of my visits to 3-5 days. No one is to blame as it is as it is. By accepting this reality, I can practice live and let live. I have also learned that when I do not respect my limitations — regardless of whether other people do — I set myself up for a lose-lose scenario.
Since the writing of this 4 part series, my relationships with the different groups of individuals has improved significantly. As I have accepted my reality — instead of trying to convince them of my reality — I have been able to minimize conflicts. I have also found that by keeping the focus on me, I have been able to keep my expectations in check. I also found that by continuing to limit the amount of time that I spend with individuals, who want or need me to deny my reality, I am less frustrated. I am less frustrated with both myself and with those individuals. I also have found that as I practice the principle of live, and let live I am able to have more serenity in my life. I have also come to realize that the less I try to change what other people believe about me, the better able I am to get on with living my own life.
I have also come to realize that the less I try to change what other people believe about me, the better able I am to get on with living my own life. I have also come to realize that as I respect myself and own my reality — the impact of living with an invisible disability — I am able to respect what other people want or need to believe about me. I have also come to realize that the only one who I can change is me. As I remember that reality, I am able to keep the focus on myself and continue to use what I have in ways that work for me. I am better able to live my own life, run my race and stay committed to my course.
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