Living with a Traumatic Brain Injury and the Grieving Process — Part 1 and Part 2 Revisited
Posted by Second Chance to Live on December 3, 2013
Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I hope you had a pleasant Thanksgiving weekend. Several years ago I wrote an article series to share information that helped me. I would like to share the information with you at this time through this series. The information that I share in this series helped me to grow in awareness and self-acceptance.
This article series was originally posted by Second Chance to Live on May 25, 2008
Hi and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I am so happy that you decided to stop by and visit with me. I am honored by your presence. Today I want to begin talking about the process of acceptance. Through my process of acceptance I came to a life changing awareness. I found that I could not begin to accept myself and move on with life until I first made peace with the losses that I experienced because of my traumatic brain injury. In my quest to make peace with those losses I needed to address my sadness. In my experience I could not just “get over it” with out first doing the necessary work.
I needed help to be able to identify and address my sadness and frustration so that I could move beyond my sadness and frustration. I needed to identify what I was experiencing so that I could move beyond what could not be changed.
In my experience I needed to stop avoiding my reality. In Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s book On Death and Dying Elizabeth elaborates on the stages of grieving. In her book she introduces the 5 stages that people go through as they grieve their loss (s). The first of these 5 stages is denial. Denial is a defense mechanism that protects the individual from having to confront the shock of their loss. Denial manifests itself in various ways. I have heard denial explained as a warm blanket that insulates and shields the individual from having to face their reality. Denial can also be used as a door to shut out, that which is just too painful to address.
Denial can also be used to ignore and avoid what we do not want to confront. Denial can be used to erect a dam to hold back unwanted memories and emotional pain. Denial can be used to suppress body memories. Denial can be used as a disconnect, so that our heart’s won’t let our head’s know what is or what has happened. Denial can also be used to defend, answer and explain away behaviors that undermine our well beings. Denial can also be used to dismiss or invalidate another person’s pain or reality in order to avoid having to interpret or address uncomfortable feelings.
Before I began my grief work, I saw denial as an ally. When anguish motivated me to begin my grieving process I began to see denial as an active adversary. As my eyes slowly opened I saw that denial was seeking to keep me trapped in a system that would or could not allow me to realize or accept my reality. In collusion with my fear (s), denial shamed me for not being enough even though I sought to do my very best. Denial also sought to keep me distracted so that I could not see a way to my destiny. Denial led me to believe that I was my disability, deficits and limitations.
Denial minimized my passion and discounted my gifts, talents and abilities. Denial — in practice — sought to silence my voice. Denial kept me shrouded by a societal stigma that devalued my worth because of my traumatic brain injury. Denial kept me subservient to what other people thought of me. Denial undermined my self-worth and self-esteem. Denial kept me crouched in the shadows of isolation. Denial told me that what I thought and felt were of no accord. Denial sought to keep me distracted so that I could not see the truth. Denial sought to disparage my value and worth because I did not live up to denial’s expectations.
As my awareness grew and I saw how my denial was limiting my life. Consequently, I made the decision to confront my denial.
Through the process of confronting my denial I have learned some valuable lessons. I will share some of those lessons through out this series. In my experience I discovered that as I confronted my denial I needed to keep the focus on my self. I needed to be accountable to and for how I was choosing to respond my loss (s). I needed to own my sadness because of my loss (s) instead of detaching from my reality. I needed to feel my feelings. I needed to sit with my discomfort. I needed to determine why I was reacting to people, places and situations. I needed to determine why I thought that I needed to maintain my denial.
I needed to love myself through the process of confronting my denial. Consequently, I could no longer blame anyone for my loss (s) or for how I was choosing to react to my loss (s), including myself.
Through my experience of confronting my denial I became more accountable to myself. As I continued and continue to be accountable to and for myself I have been able to own my process. As I have been able to own my process, I have been empowered to move beyond my denial. In the process, I have slowly been able to brake free of a denial system that sought to justify its position by denying my reality. By confronting my denial I have been able to open the door that denial sought to keep shut. Therefore I have been able to move on with my journey towards the acceptance of my loss (s) and myself.
In the process, I gave and give myself the permission to be present for myself.
The article continues in Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 and Part 7. To read each Part, please click on the following highlighted links: Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 and the conclusion in Part 7. By clicking on the links, the article part will open on Second Chance to Live. Thank you.
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This entry was posted on December 3, 2013 at 10:00 am and is filed under 12 Step Recovery, Acquired Brain Injury, acquired brain injury and feeling alienated, Acquired Brain Injury and Suicide, Adult Children of Alcoholics, adult children of alcoholics and traumatic brain injuries, Adult Children of Alcoholics living with traumatic / acquired brain injuries, Awareness Acceptance Action, brain injured soldiers, Brain Injury Education, Brain Injury Education Video Presentation, Brain Injury Recovery Video Presentation, Caregivers for people with traumatic / acquired brain injuries, celebrities with brain injuries, combating brain injury isolation, Empowerment and Inspirational Speaker, Empowerment Speaker, Families impacted by brain injuries, fear of failure, Finding practical hope as a tbi survivor, finding your bliss, Finding Your Significance, Fulfilling your Destiny, goal setting, Harnish Your Adveristy, Healthy Self-Care, How to Make Peace with God, How to make peace with yourself, Improving Self-Esteem, Improving Self-Worth, Keynote Speaker, learning disabilities, Learning to Accept Yourself as a brain injury survivor, Learning to Love Yourself as a brain injury survior, life challenging experiences, living life on life's terms, living my destiny, living with a brain injury, Living with a Disability, Living with a disability and overcoming being bullied, 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 meaning and purpose, Meaning and Purpose, messages of hope, messages of hope and inspiration, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, military families affected by traumatic brain injuries, Military Personell impacted by Traumatic Brain Injuries, Military Traumatic Brain Injury Support Meetings, Motivaional Speaker, Motivational / Inspirational Speaker, No Longer a Victim, Overcome Being Bullied, Overcoming a Fear of Failure, Overcoming Adversity, Overcoming being Bullied, Overcoming Societal Stigmatization, Parents of children living with a brain injury, Parents of children with Acquired brain injuries, Personal empowerment, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Suicide, Post Traumatic Syndrome and Suicide, Revealing your Destiny, Self-Respect, Self-Respect and Significance, Soldiers and Marines who sustained traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injury, Spiritual Principles, stroke, Suicide and Hope, tbi adults, tbi children, tbi families, tbi veterans, The Grieving Process, traumatic / acquired brain injury, Traumatic / Acquired Brain Injury and Anger, Traumatic Brain Injury and being Bullied, Traumatic Brain Injury and Comfort, traumatic brain injury and frustration, Traumatic Brain Injury and Hope, Traumatic Brain Injury and Learning, Traumatic Brain Injury and Significance, Traumatic Brain Injury and Suicide, 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 Motivational Speaker, Traumatic Brain Injury Research and Resources, Traumatic Brain Injury Self-Esteem and Self-Worth, Traumatic Brain Injury Support Groups / Meetings, traumatic brain injury treatment, Veterans Living with Brain Injuries, What is my Destiny?, Workshop Leader. Tagged: 5 Stage's of Grieving, address my sadness and frustration, answer and explain away behaviors, Denial can also be used to defend, denial can be used to suppress body memories, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, I needed to address my losses, make peace with my losses. growing in self-acceptance as a traumatic brain injury survivor. 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.