Thank you for your prayers and continued support.
Tonight we are sharing on a much deeper level. It is the unspoken truth many know, some can sense and a few have read between the lines. Tonight the unspoken has a voice that I hope will help transform us, awaken new possibilities and uncover hidden blessings so we continue to heal.
We have hit (what I hope) is…was our all time low. It has not been an easy road the last month (yes, still queen of the understatements)
Caregiving is all consuming. It swallows the person you were, the person you are and the person you hope to be. Adapting to a major life altering change forces you into a world of uncertainty. Brain Injury affects the entire family. Relationships change. Finances and employment can change. The familiar story changes, leaving us feeling isolated, fearful and in a constant state of anxiety waiting for the next seizure, appeal or outburst. The cuts to services and medical coverage adds to my personal burden to create care for Corey. Each day I feel more stressed and more vulnerable which leads to feelings of helplessness. Exhaustion is the enemy. It alters intellect, emotions and thought clarity.
A family goes through the grief stages as if there was a death; shock, pain, anger, bargaining, depression, reconstruction and acceptance. I’m not sure I’ve made it through most of these. In fact, I’m sure I haven’t and that is why I collapsed this month. I handled the shock…the anger was suppressed, bargaining became defiance. When someone said, “you can’t” or “it won’t happen” it just challenged me to make it happen and be more determined to accomplish what ever it was I needed to get for Corey.
Coming to terms emotionally with our changed life means I have to mourn the life we all lost. I’ve suppressed the anger, depression and masked the pain with every breath I had because I felt I had to stay focused and forward thinking not only to help Corey but for Caitlin and JohnPaul. We had to survive our new life.
As the saying goes, “you can run but you can’t hide”…the volcano has erupted and almost wiped out the village!
“the world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places” – Ernest Hemingway
Time for reconstruction; becoming stronger at our broken places.
Life after brain injury for the survivor, caregiver and family, takes courage. It requires learning many new skills and adjusting (often painfully) to the “new normal”. We want to run from the pain, deny this is happening and hope it all goes away (even though we know it won’t).
With life turned upside down, journaling gives us a voice releasing the fear, uncertainty and pain. The pages don’t judge, the words free us from imploding. The pages will not criticize because we are not adjusting or stop us because we repeat the same story over and over as we process our thoughts. Journaling patiently accepts our sadness and tears. It absorbs the pain, never complains as we speak in confused circles and it replaces the quicksand with solid ground to help our thoughts and words turn to action, launching us towards the future.
Corey and I have been working on “writing therapy”. She’s become accustomed to identifying her emotions using her named personalities, moving towards expanding her description using a journaling approach. Every day she begins her process with a few strokes of her pen, moves to her keyboard and gradually we work through her day, her thoughts, her story.
We are replacing ‘don’t’ and can’t with DO and CAN. We focus on her feeling safe, giving one direction, one question, limit choices, keep to a strict routine. We are rephrasing sentences so we don’t ask questions that challenge her short term memory such as “Do you remember”, “Did you forget”? She is finding her voice hidden behind her scream.
Today’s prompt; My brain injury will not prevent me from…
my brain injury will not prevent me from succeeding.
when i can not find the right way i don’t give up. i try and try again until it is found.
there are basicaly 100 rights to a wrong and you can always make sure your negative situation is positive. it is all in the way you look at it.
i think that brain injury is a nasty combination of words because no one wants to be thought of as the one with a brain injury or anything like it, when really there is so much more to a human.
We are learning acceptance and how to reconstruct our lives because we will NOT let brain injury keep us from succeeding, xoxo