brain injuryI came across this picture while cruising through my social media this morning, and it stopped me cold. I don’t know who this picture belongs to, but they captured what I and many others have felt from dealing with a brain injury.

Don’t be afraid to talk to a person who has had brain trauma. We sometimes feel like we’re invisible. Some of our feelings may seem legitimate at the time, but that may be because we’ve had someone digging around in our head. Legitimate today might not be factual tomorrow. It takes time for everything to settle back to “normal”.

Don’t be afraid to ask us how we’re doing. That tells us you see us. If we don’t want to talk about it we’ll let you know. But by being honest with us, it promotes honesty back.  I know I’m speaking for a large group of people, but we sometimes feel that if we don’t have a cast, stitches or bandages, our pain is not legitimate.

There’s that word again. Legitimate.

Talk to us. Don’t be afraid of us. We don’t break easily. Our recovery proves that. We see you, please see us back.

8 thoughts on “Knowing Someone with a Brain Injury

  1. It’s funny how a badge of courage is a double edged sword. Sometimes the badge acts like a buffer, then other times an attractor, new word. I went through breast surgery for cancer removal, see how I didn’t call the cancer my own. I’ll claim the surgery, but not the culprit. So I don’t know if I can wear that badge of courage on my lapel as an attractor. The breast cancer was found days before going into surgery to remove thick, pre-cancerous, cells in my cervix. These surgeries were the not the first of my life. But most doctors saw it as such, since having my tonsils removed at age five was 55 years ago. By comparison to brain surgery, I would call myself lucky, but I would have to counter that with saying that I went into a serious “Cheerful” mode during my hospital stays. I attribute that and early discovery as other reasons why I don’t see my self as having earned a badge of courage. For me it wasn’t hard to go through the surgeries. What’s hard is going through eating habit and life style changes for other maladies that have crept into my life.

    I’ve met other people who have had brain surgeries. And yes I do see the “hiding” that you go through. But I also see the “coming out” of the shell, that happens when my cheerfulness meets their shyness. You have more access to love because of what happened to you. You became more sensitive to the human condition. And I do mean spiritually too. If I were in your shoes, I would practice being cheerful. I consider cheerfulness to be the sidekick to sensitivity, And Cheerfulness is a better armor than shyness.

    Here’s a hug from my heart to yours,

    1. Thanks, Linda, for writing such an extensive comment! And thanks for giving input on such a complicated situation. Brain surgery can jar the brain to the point that complete recovery may not happen for five years. Treatment and reactions are so diverse, certainly cheerfulness is always a good thing. I look forward to reading more comments from you again.
      Blessings and Hugs

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