Several days ago I received a comment in response to my article, Discovering Our Super Power after a Traumatic Brain Injury.
The individual shared that they were frustrated with being shamed and blamed by someone close to them after their brain injury.
Someone who is close to them who shames and blames them. Shames and blames them for what they are unable to accept.
In response, I shared what I have learned through my own experience. After sharing my response I felt that the information could benefit anyone.
Anyone who is living with a brain injury and has someone close to them. Close to them who shames and blames them. Shames and blames them because of what they are unable to accept because of their brain injury.
I have also created a video presentation of this article. To watch and listen to the video presentation of the article, click on this link: Being Mistreated by Someone Close to Us after a Brain Injury Video Presentation
Response to their Comment
“You are welcome. For many years I tried to convince someone close to me about my brain injury and how it affected me. Doing so made this individual angry and frustrated. He thought I was making excuses. When I finally got sick and tired of trying to convince them, I let go. I let them believe what he needed to believe and I continued to do my best to accept my own reality. In the past 4-5 years, this individual and I have had a much better relationship, as I do not try to convince them of anything.
As I have let go, this individual is growing in their awareness of my reality. Awareness of how my brain injury affects my life and relationships.
What I Discovered
I have discovered several things. Several things when interacting with people who are close to me. For people to accept that I am doing the best I can (just for today) they would need to feel feelings and make changes. However, not everyone is willing or able to process their feelings or make changes. Grieve what happened to me and subsequently make changes in the way that they interact with me. Grieving is a process of confronting one’s denial, being angry, bargaining, experiencing sadness and depression.
Denial initially minimizes and even ignores reality. Anger then evolves as the cloud parts to reveal what has occurred. Bargaining then elicits the, “what if, the should of, would of, and could of” messages in an attempt to change what has happened. When the individual realizes this “debating” will not change what has occurred (the finality of the loss), a sense of helplessness evolves into depression. With time and support, this depression begins to lift and a degree of acceptance is gained.
Acceptance that empowers the individual to make peace in the face of that loss. Acceptance that gives the individual the ability to feel feelings and make changes. Changes to empower their lives and their relationships.
If they are Unable to Grieve and Accept
Instead, they may use blame, shame, and anger as they interact with us, Blame, shame and being angry at us because of their fear. Fear because of what they do not understand. Fear because of what they do not know how to feel and change. Fear that they may not even be aware of, because anger is about fear. By recognizing what is going on because of a lack of acceptance I am able to have compassion. Compassion for both for myself (in my reality) and for how people interact with me because of their lack of acceptance.
As I am able to Let Go of My Need to Convince Them
As I let go of things that I can not change (whether they accept my reality or they choose to not accept my reality) I have more peace in my life. I am able to practice the principle of “live, and let live”. Some people may never be able to accept my reality, for whatever reason. That is more about them than it is about me. As I remember this, I have an easier time living life on life’s terms. As I live life on life’s terms I am able to let people believe what they need to believe. Believe what they need to believe to get on with my life.
What Helped me to Grow in Acceptance
I wrote an article several years ago. I also made a video and slideshow presentation of the article, which you may also find helpful. The information helps me to have awareness so that I can grow in acceptance. Growing in acceptance helps me to realize that I do not have to feel or stay stuck. Stay stuck because other people are unable to accept me in my reality. By growing in the acceptance of my reality, I am able to realize that I have choices. Choices that empower my ability to have healthy relationships, with people and myself.