Have you ever walked into a room and forgot what you came in there for?
Or you are in the middle of a conversation and you forget what you are talking about because you have gotten off track?
Now imagine that is your life EVERY DAY, 24/7.
The first year after my brain injury was the hardest thing I have ever dealt with in my life. I have dealt with some hard shit.
Learning how to adjust my life to my new “Swiss cheese” brain is not something I expected do at my age. It is not something anyone should have to do at any age to be honest.
However, because Joe decided that my head was something that should be his point of contact with his fist and something to bash against the wall, the floor and any hard surface he could possibly manage, it affected my brain severely.
Multiple concussions can lead to brain injury. Throw in the attack in August 2015 which was grade II TBI, it compounded the brain injury further.
I tried returning to my career field. That was a feat within itself. I ended up being declared legally disabled due the amount of injuries sustained at the hands of Joe.
My life as I knew it STOPPED! He literally stole it!
Sadly enough he has zero remorse; no regrets; no sorrow; denies any wrong doing; blames me; and, despite all the evidence and his felony conviction for multiple times of beating and raping me, he will call me a liar and say I am the crazy one.
It has changed the way I meet and socialize with people. I get fatigued much quicker and cannot handle being in crowds. I have anxiety attacks and go into an extreme panic in crowds.
This means no more enjoying the things I love like theme parks, sporting events, firework shows, rodeos, Burning Man, fairs and festivals.
It has affected the way I view myself on some days. I have days where I let the littlest things about myself bother me that before the last attack would have never bothered me.
I weigh 122 lbs. I gained 6 lbs and started to fit a bit tighter in my jeans. I literally started to starve myself. I have a science background. I know better than that. However, this is an element of the TBI and the abuse. Because he used to call me fat when I was going through my cancer treatments, and still refers to me as fat in his messaged to my friends and family, I have an altered mindset at times where the slightest weight gain sends me into panic. For my height, I could go up to 150 lbs and still not be over weight. I know this. However, this is literally what he has done to me.
I have challenges that are very bothersome and interrupt my way of living. It can present challenges in a relationship I foresee.
It is VERY overwhelming at times. I get confused and frustrated. I have a hard time explaining things. I still have not come to full grip with the fact that I may never return to my “normal” self.
I have days where I honestly think I am superwomen and can still tackle the world. However, then for the next five days I am out for the count. I am exhausted physically and mentally. This is when I get cranky and moody.
This is when the onset of depression and anger comes into play. I get pissed off that ONE person did this to me. It is not like I was in a car accident. It is not like I went into combat fighting terrorist. It is not like I fell off a 10th story balcony.
ONE PERSON, JOE, MY HUSBAND, THE MAN I MARRIED WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO LOVE ME AND CARE FOR ME, DID THIS TO ME.
The only things I am guilty of is staying and supporting him to go to rehab and naturally getting off drugs after the nurse at the VA told me he was on drugs, loving him, taking his words as truth and loving him. I didn’t deserve this!
I have managed to finish up my third PhD. It was NOT an easy feat. It was a very hard challenge and VERY frustrating. Coffee fueled at that. As well, have learned new coping skills as I learn to accept that my brain injury is here to stay. I have learned to incorporate my TBI into my life rather than try to push it away.
Unfortunately, the doctors have said due to the severity of the brain injury it may never properly heal and will most likely present a lifetime of challenges for me.
I have learned to live in them moment instead of planning ahead. I can’t stick to one thing. Planning and organizing is not something I can do anymore.
This is something I sit here and smirk about. I used to be a stickler about sticking to a set schedule and planning everything. Now, I still have a schedule. However, it is more a “if it happens, it happens. If doesn’t, well that is okay too.”
Since disability denied my claim, even in the appeals process, because of my educational level, I have managed in it all to open several online businesses that have turned out to be very lucrative. I am thankful for my friend who helps me with everything because without him I wouldn’t be able to do it due to the ratio of good to bad days.
And for those shaking their head on the disability claim being denied. They acknowledged my disability. However, they stated due to the high level of education, they feel I am able to do work in another field. I shook my head and smiled laughing at it. I have a brain injury. I have to use my brain in EVERY field in various manners and methods.
Maybe I should get a job at the Social Security Administration. It appears you don’t need to use your brain there. 😉
So thank you Joe, the woman beating, meth using, lying, stealing, non-child support paying, cheating, convicted felon who used my head as his outlet for his aggression and anger Thank you for traumatic brain injury. It was so NOT on my to do list of life.
But hey, I am still more intelligent than all of his family combined. Figure that one out. 🙂