After a traumatic brain injury when you hit a down spiral it seems that things are brought to light quicker and the reaction that you have can be a little more painful. I use the word painful because the other word I want to use has slipped my mind temporarily. Tonight I was at work for our yearly CPR training and I heard a minimum of three comments about things taking longer to sink in for me. I know that they were done in with the guys not knowing that I have been in a spiral. It really makes you feel like an outcast when injury to the degree that I had becomes the joke of the day. I can definitely handle a smart remark or two but it was beyond that in my mind. Then came a couple of hearing jokes. I had to ask for something to be repeated once or twice because I could hear someone talking and with the instructor talking I could not focus on the topic. I did not take kindly to that and I almost let the filter slip which would have certainly been bad. Finally one of my co workers asked “do you need counseling?”
He is a very good friend of mine but that statement in conjunction with the others was pushing me over the edge. I had to get up and leave the room for a minute. A couple of minutes by myself and I was able to continue on. I have been trying to put myself out there when it comes to trusting people better. Don’t get me wrong, I would trust these guys with my life, and I do in our profession, but when do you pull yourself back and how do you make your mind quit wondering what they say when you are not around? In every day life I don’t much worry about what people think of me. I am who I am and if you don’t like it then you are missing out on a great person. With that being said when it comes to work, I have to know that they trust me and I definitely care what they think. Being in a leadership role I am a firm believer that trust and respect is earned and I don’t think there is an issue with trust and the guys do work well with me. After tonight I am second guessing myself which should never happen. I have worked hard to get where I am and this injury has been a set back but I don’t think it was a deal breaker. I have a little soul searching to do there.
Away from work I have noticed a few things that I need to or want to change. Change is not always easy, especially when you are having doubts with yourself. I do not doubt myself hardly ever, before or after the accident. Well now I am doubting myself more frequently but I can explain why. This is not a good time to question me about how I fee,l I know that for sure.
Don’t ask me if I need counseling, don’t say “are you sure this from the injury?” Don’t say “well that comes with age.” I am not stupid and I know what my own body and mind are going through. Someone who has never been there will never understand and should not pretend that they do. I just want people to understand that even after two years, there are still things that this injury control about me. It controls my taste, my smell, a part of my hearing, and a part of my mind. Either help me deal with these things or keep your mouth shut while I deal with them. I hate to be so blunt, but I have to draw a line in the sand somewhere and I have now taken my stand. I don’t know where “My Fall to Life ” is going.