Please read the Introduction to this article on Part 1 as I wrote Traumatic Brain Injury and Denial — My Perspective as a TBI Survivor 2 1/2 years ago. Thank you.
And now for Part 5.
Traumatic Brain Injury and Denial— My Perspective as a TBI Survivor Part 5
Over the next 3 months I was transitioned out of my job as a rehabilitation counselor into the role of a client or consumer of services. As you might imagine, this period of time in my life provided confusion and depression.
After being given my own rehabilitation counselor, I was scheduled to undergo another EEG. My counselor also arranged for me to undergo a neuro psyche evaluation. The results from the EEG confirmed that I had some brain damage. I then met with the neuro psychologist to complete the neuro psychological evaluation. Several weeks after I completed the evaluation, I received a detailed report of his findings. The long and the short of the findings showed that I was functioning at a level above my abilities. The second revelation that the neuro psychologist shared in his report raised a key question. He stated that I had somehow had been able to obtain both my undergraduate and graduate degrees despite my cognitive and psycho social deficits. The Dr. went on to say in his report that he attributed my success to sheer persistence and motivation.
When I said his report raised a key question, I was not making an understatement. How could I be able to obtain my undergraduate, graduate degree, as well as my national credentials as a certified rehabilitation counselor, but not be able to function at an undergraduate or master’s level in the work force. The conclusions drawn by the neuro psychologist seemed to be in direct contradiction with what I had been able to accomplish. His findings did not make any sense to me. I was both frustrated and bewildered after reading his report.
When I shared the results of the tests with my family they all thought the neuro psychologist did not know what he was talking about concerning my level of functioning. For the next 3 to 4 years I continued to work under the assumption that the neuro psychologist findings were rubbish. My parents and brother continued to concur with the assumption that the reason I was having difficulty maintaining employment was because I did not try hard enough. Nevertheless, I continued to get and lose jobs.
Even after I had been declared disabled, part of me continued to believe that my parents and my brother were right and the test results were bogus. What made matters worse for me was that I berated myself for my inability to maintain employment. My Dad also mercilessly criticized my inability to get along with people. His denial crushed my ability to love and accept who I was in the face of what I could not understand. My Dad wanted to believe that if he pushed me hard enough that I would straighten up.
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