Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. In August 2007 I wrote and published this article on Second Chance to Live. I feel led to republish the article on Second Chance to Live at this time. As an individual who is living with an invisible disability I need to accept myself in my reality. In my experience, I need to remember the consequences of denying my reality so that I do not start fighting against myself. I need to be aware and accept my reality so that I do not practice limiting behaviors.
If you have not already read Part 1 of this article, please do so and then read Part 2. Here is a link to Part 1 of the article Living with an Invisible Disability — The Consequence of Denying My Reality — Part 1 Revisited. Click on the title and Part 1 of the article will open for you. Thank you.
Having an Invisible Disability – The Consequence of Denying Reality—Part 2
Welcome back to Second Chance to Live. Yesterday I introduced the concept of consequences for denying my reality. Today I am going to share what I have learned. For many years I was encouraged to buy into a belief system that would not or could not consider the possibility that the injury to my brain contributed to the difficulties I encountered when interacting with some people and social situations. Consequently I was frequently criticized for my inability to “get along” with people without factoring in the damage to my brain.
The sad reality created by a lack of acceptance — concerning my invisible disability — resulted in my being blamed, shamed and in many instances made to be the scapegoat for matters that were out of my control.
Because I believed that I created my sad reality for many years, I lived in a state of guilt and shame. I did not believe that I merely made mistakes, but that I was a mistake. I had an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and spent much of my time saying I am sorry. My 6th grade English teacher had me write out I am sorry 500 times in his attempt to get me to stop saying I was sorry. My exercise in writing those words did not help to rid me of my sense of shame.
Consequently, I continued to assume the position of a scapegoat, because I was led to believe that I was responsible for the restlessness, irritability and discontent in my world.
I continued to believe that I was responsible for people, places and things even though they were out of my control until I reached an emotional bottom when the relationship with my fiancée ended in 1991. In response to the break up I started to look for solutions. As I looked for solutions precious answers were revealed to me. I found that when I became sick and tired of being sick and tired I was willing to be honest with myself.
I had no idea — at the time — how much good would come from the ashes of my pain.
As I was honest with myself my ability to change the way I related to myself changed forever. My ability to love and respect myself began when I was able to come out of hiding. (Please read my post, Who am I) Although shame and guilt left me accusing or defending myself for many years, as I began to accept the child that God loved unconditionally, I was been able to find and integrate parts of myself that I previously discarded in the process of protecting my wounded child.
Over time I have grown in my ability to accept myself and live an empowered life as a man with an invisible disability. My circumstances are not meant to keep me down, but to build me up. Because I know that with everything there is a learning curve I have determined to live life on life’s terms.
Please read my post, The Art of Change
In the event that you would like to be in touch with me, please use my Contact Page. I look forward to hearing from you. All questions are good questions.
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