Many know that in 2014 I fell off a building, 15 metres down onto the concrete ground below.
After years of healing and hard work I am currently in Barcelona, Spain to complete a master degree in urban and regional planning.
To get here wasn’t easy. It took a lot of determination to get through the unexpected hard times due to having a Brain Injury. My impact caused a head injury that was cumbersome emotionally and practically during some moments. It was an amazing recovery, but also a challenging one with minor attention to detail issues and a bit of short term memory loss.
I could do so so so much and yet any tiny flaw was magnified by many people. I was not deemed disabled or supported in any form after 9 months. In fact I should say after 6 months when I left hospital, as all I received in following months was government sickness support pensions for the full 9 months without any special treatment or therapy.
One thing I found at the worst times was the number of friends and outsiders who would advise how I should see a situation. An example may have been someone abusing me at work or a friend yelling at me in anger. Outside anger was another emotional element that I could not handle while having a brain injury.
Many friends or outsiders were there immediately to say the situation was caused by me, because of my brain injury. I became very isolated during those times.
At the worst times it felt like I was going insane because I knew others were incorrect to treat me horrifically. Yet they were lonely feelings and people continued advising how I should act, never how others could improve their behaviour. The time was horrible.
As I healed I noticed my own emotional limitations leaving and grew from my experiences.
While the healing progressed, one thing I noticed was my apologetic nature. It was not incorrect for me to acknowledge how I had acted during my worst brain injury periods with huge elements of internal frustration, and yet no one ever apologised to me for yelling, abusing or belittling me. It was their normal manner. That hurt before, but now I realise that a good 99.9% of people will never apologise for instances where they acted incorrectly. Apologies are often only an expectation and many people rarely self assess their emotional manner.
I was the one in the middle of a traumatic life period and yet I had to apologise without a reciprocal sentiment??????
Yes. Yes I had to accept that reality. Some people use anger as a general sentiment or in times of quick frustration and as an individual I will never change external emotions, I can only try to be a good person from within.
Some friends have done good things in place of an apology and that is often how people act. I need to accept that quality as part of my own mental healing journey. Other people just blankly looked at me or ignored me after yelling and abuse, a simple reality and it’s an acceptable time for me to acknowledge that they’ll never play a valued part in my life. Doing good things in place of an apology is great, doing nothing but staring or giving further abuse ensures an outsider will be left far away from me in future.
That’s ok, because I feel like the healing process brought me to the first time in my life where I don’t wish for everyone to like me. I remember when I was younger, always being anxious like I wasn’t good enough and in need of external self esteem boosters.
Now I am good enough for me and anyone who dislikes me for tiny moments they hated will remain far where possible if they never try to learn more (I can think of work colleagues as one group of people we cannot just eliminate from our lives, acceptance of some peoples abusive nature is also part of the journey). Many people won’t like me and will be abusive. I need to accept that reality and an absense of apologies in their abuse. I wish people could feel what brain injury was like as my emotions have changed now, but at my worst stages I felt trapped inside people’s abuse. I describe it like my mental state was encased when people weren’t calm, abuse fueled intense struggle internally.
So I say sorry to anyone I have been frustrated with during healing or just generally.
Live with a smile and try to be good where possible. Apologies, good deeds, understanding. They are the elements of life I need after mental healing.
Let’s all find some sunshine 🙂