Recently I began studying a Graduate Certificate in Change Management. I took the initiative because one of our greatest challenges is the change process, both instigating it and succeeding in it. This started 4.5 years after I fell 15 metres or 3.5 floors off a building with numerous initially obvious injuries and a Brain Injury.
After my accident I realised that people judge you externally. I saw this before but I couldn’t emotionally handle judgement targeted at me, witnessed during my Brain Injury healing.
Be it attractiveness, education, race, sex, age or emotional presentation. We’re governed externally and quick-minded moments will ONLY contemplate your external side. A gift you gave to someone or a smile you shared doesn’t draw on someone’s narrow-mindedness. That is why they attack and belittle to ensure your inner self pays for your external existence, where jealousy can run deep during their emotional journey.
I admit at times it’s not only their journey, but instead felt by a group they assume would also hate your external side. Racism is the clearest and stupidest example of such abuse.
My own accident was a lucky one because my injuries were internal and externally I seemed fine. This helped me obtain work, find love and give the perception that I was the same person starting this journey.
I wasn’t. I’m not. I’ve changed.
I suffered many minor Brain Injury challenges that I didn’t fathom would exist in the beginning. I passed a neuropsychological test for returning to work 6 months after my accident and felt determined as before it. Another example is that I’m also finishing a master degree with all coursework done, I’m simply awaiting my final study period, being where the Graduate Certificate came into play.
As you can see, education was a somewhat self-focused exercise that paid off for me.
I learnt Psychology acted as a dichotomy in my example;
- I should’ve done nothing and stopped achieving, because I was incapable or
- Paul’s fine, he always complains, he always acts this way, everyone goes through stuff, he has a self focused obsession with his trauma, his accident was years ago.
I found myself in a webbed chaos and I needed a change to contemplate success again. My healing process wasn’t as simple as I suspected. What I learnt is not new, but it was an intriguing way to watch people’s everyday belittlement and demonisation of others, reflecting against their supposed self-perception during a time when I couldn’t handle external judgement due to my internal emotionally based neurological challenges. I say this perception as many thought they were doing good by strengthening hate against me.
Like I said, a webbed chaos, this means that so much was similar when I woke from my accident and this is why it is a chaotic web – complicated and undefinable. I wasn’t incapable. I needed assistance with tiny issues that I found didn’t exist with small challenges continuing but by proving I could do so much, people then ignored any need.
This video offers one example of some challenges –
I thank time for allowing me to learn, heal and change.
There is a perception that you go from zero to hero, incapacitated to normal. This my friends is an incorrect look at Brain Injury healing or indeed any healing in this world.
I speak of Brain Injury because I experienced this, but as I healed I realised how I became too self focused with my situation and this distanced me from others. I became too internalised. Past friends saw I’d changed, spoke how I’d changed, told others how I’d changed, but rarely called to say, ‘Paul, are you OK?’
When going through independent trauma, external people will sometimes judge. I want to say everyone will assist and understand where you are at a given time, but sadly they may not.
This is where you have to stay positive and focused. Tell others what is needed and if they don’t listen then your ignorance is just as easy to call upon as is theirs. Ignore being ignored and try your best to avoid sadness by following your passions and interests to fill in the old friendly times you knew.
One thing I found with Brain Injury was the gigantic out of this world unbearable outsider’s mental health a sufferer collides with. Yelling, hate, judgement, intensifying trauma and others’ self focused attention will exist during recovery. This is normal in our world, emotionally experienced by all.
I don’t want to scare people going through Brain Injury but I want to give them a heads up, to understand how the world continues without a focus on your emotions alone.
It’s rare for people to apologise if they emotionally attack. Hate is an easy emotion to draw from and attacking doesn’t mean they then open themselves to say sorry. Humans don’t do this and you must change to accept, remember that those with a Brain Injury will be blamed during instances of hate because anger and frustration are a common side effect of the illness. I say this sometimes reflects people’s inability to perceive their own emotional effect on others.
I was always the guy acting calmly during past hate. I’m happy to say that he has somewhat returned in a more thoughtful way. Avoid hate where possible BUT sometimes hate is unavoidable, so let it go…
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