Having an Invisible Disability – The Consequence of Denying Reality—Part 2
Posted by Second Chance to Live on August 21, 2007
Welcome back to Second Chance to Live. Yesterday I introduced the concept of consequences for denying my reality. Today I am going to share what I have learned. For many years I was encouraged to buy into a belief system that would not or could not consider the possibility that the injury to my brain contributed to the difficulties I encountered when interacting with some people and social situations. Consequently I was frequently criticized for my inability to “get along” with people without factoring in the damage to my brain.
The sad reality created by a lack of acceptance — concerning my invisible disability — resulted in my being blamed, shamed and in many instances made to be the scapegoat for matters that were out of my control.
Because I believed that I created my sad reality for many years, I lived in a state of guilt and shame. I did not believe that I merely made mistakes, but that I was a mistake. I had an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and spent much of my time saying I am sorry. My 6th grade English teacher had me write out I am sorry 500 times in his attempt to get me to stop saying I was sorry. My exercise in writing those words did not help to rid me of my sense of shame.
Consequently, I continued to assume the position of a scapegoat because I was led to believe that I was responsible for the restlessness, irritability and discontent in my world.
I continued to believe that I was responsible for people, places and things even though they were out of my control until I reached an emotional bottom when the relationship with my fiancée ended in 1991. In response to the break up I started to look for solutions. As I looked for solutions precious answers were revealed to me. I found that when I became sick and tired of being sick and tired I was willing to be honest with myself.
I had no idea — at the time — how much good would come from the ashes of my pain.
As I was honest with myself my ability to change the way I related to myself changed forever. My ability to love and respect myself began when I was able to come out of hiding. (Please read my post, Who am I) Although shame and guilt left me accusing or defending myself for many years, as I began to accept the child that God loved unconditionally, I was been able to find and integrate parts of myself that I previously discarded in the process of protecting my wounded child.
Over time I have grown in my ability to accept myself and live an empowered life as a man with an invisible disability. My circumstances are not meant to keep me down, but to build me up. Because I know that with everything there is a learning curve I have determined to live life on life’s terms.
Please read my post, The Art of Change
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This entry was posted on August 21, 2007 at 11:32 pm and is filed under 12 Step Recovery, ABI: Acquired Brain Injury, abuse and neglect, Acquired Brain Injury, acquired brain injury and feeling alienated, Adult Children of Alcoholics, adult children of alcoholics and traumatic brain injuries, Adult Children of Alcoholics living with traumatic / acquired brain injuries, Being Healed, Bob Woodruff, brain injured soldiers, Brain Injury Associations, Brain Injury Concussions and Sports, Brain Injury Education, Caregivers for people with traumatic / acquired brain injuries, celebrities with brain injuries, Children of Trauma, Closed Head Injury, Codependency, combating brain injury isolation, Desert Storm Veterans, Families impacted by brain injuries, family, Friends, Fulfilling your Destiny, Gulf War Veterans, head injury, Invisible Disability, Iraq veterans, Iraq War Veterans, Life, living with a brain injury, Living with a Disability, Living with a Invisible Disability and feeling shame, living with a traumatic / acquired brain injury, Living with a traumatic brain injury and feeling shame, Living with an Invisible Disability, living with meaning and purpose, messages of hope, messages of hope and inspiration, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, Military Personell impacted by Traumatic Brain Injuries, Military Traumatic Brain Injury Support Meetings, Ophra Winfrey, Overcome Being Bullied, Overcoming Societal Stigmatization, Parents of children with Acquired brain injuries, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Post Traumatic Syndrome and Suicide, Practical Faith, relationships, Religion, Revealing your Destiny, Serving humanity, Soldiers and Marines who sustained traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injury, stroke, Subdural Hematoma, Suicide and Hope, tbi adults, tbi children, tbi families, tbi veterans, traumatic / acquired brain injury, Traumatic / Acquired Brain Injury and Anger, Traumatic Brain and Comfort, Traumatic Brain Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury and being Bullied, traumatic brain injury and frustration, Traumatic Brain Injury and Hope, Traumatic Brain Injury and Significance, Traumatic Brain Injury and What is my Destiny?, Traumatic Brain Injury and You, traumatic brain injury feeling alienated isolated, traumatic brain Injury in adults, Traumatic Brain Injury in children, traumatic brain injury in schools, traumatic brain injury Iraq, Traumatic Brain Injury Self-Esteem and Self-Worth, Traumatic Brain Injury Support Groups / Meetings, traumatic brain injury treatment, Veterans Living with Brain Injuries, Veterans of the Iraq War, Vietnam Veterans, Virginia Tech Shootings. Tagged: ashes of pain, debilitating guilt, debilitatingshame, Determination, Faith, Health, mental health, succeeding. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.