John- another special survivor

 

This is the story of John.

I am grateful everyday that I encounter extraordinary individuals like john…

Here is John’s story in his own words….

I can relate to Joe. My name is John. I am 41 years old. I was injured in a car accident 4 years ago.

Before my injury, I loved my job in law enforcement and was engaged to a wonderful partner. I felt fulfilled, appreciated and  happy.

After my accident, my whole world fell apart. I could not return to my previous life.  My police background was no longer second nature to me.  I went from someone who represented authority and safety to being fearful, lost and alone.

As the years go by,  I seem to get even worse.  I have no motivation and am no longer inspired by anything.

I experience  constant headaches and neurofatigue that restrain me like a prisoner.

I am frequently disoriented and overwhelmed.

No one hears me anymore.

Like Joe, I look normal.  I can laugh with you.  I feel like a stranger when I am with my “old” friends and family.  I play along with them, ignoring my invisible head injury, pretending to be what everyone else expects.  I find myself hiding my true feelings of being ashamed and weak. I can play along in this “denial game” for about 2 hours.  Then, I retreat back to my cave to isolate, recharge and recover.

I was an independent man once.

Now, I hide. The isolation keeps me safe, yet it also seems to fuel anger and depression.

One day this injury will be acknowledged.

Keep moving ahead!

 

6 thoughts on “John- another special survivor

  1. Ni Hao. It’s OK to be a survivor, life is repeating. No one knows what maybe happened in the life. Some people might become disable or homeless after the accident, you are a luck one to be a survivor. That’s just life experience who knows what might happen even if you were not in the accident. It’s not the accident changes your life, it’s your mind changes your life. So what you need to do is mind set. Let the past stays in the past, move ahead to the future.

    Secondly, many people are actually living on a moment. (day to day) I am not 100% agreed, but that’s not a bad idea. It takes time to know a person or see things more clear, live and enjoy the daily life is kind of important step in the long run.

    • Hello; Crystal in the purple shirt. I have changed my mind to a positive outlook and my body is following, despite the headaches on and off, I am enjoying day to day and am more clear of my new life, I do not recall much of my past living with TBI is like living in the Twilight Zone, now that I can write again, I find myself repeating the same story today, a story that was torn yesterday,and most likely to write it with joy as if new tomorrow ,the irony. Thank you Crystal .John

  2. Oh dear John has lost so much as many with TBI. I’m assuming he lost his true love that held all his dreams before the injury. Losing his career as a police officer and becoming a vulnerable individual is significant. As his fear fades over time he will become the strong man he once was with a different appreciation of life. He most likely won’t return to the same career, but he is a valuable person. We need more John’s in the world!

    I hope John knows as his brain heals, he needs to keep his body in good shape … this will help his brain heal. What I find so true is people with TBI “fake smile”, “fake conversations”, “fake as though they understand” … because they want all that and that is the only way they can feel, “normal”. Besides since TBI recovery is so long, others don’t understand and expect one to be back to “normal”. Now that is the dream of every TBI survivor. How easy life use to be! We’d all give anything to have that back. The struggle to get back whatever we can is exhausting in and of itself.

    There really isn’t anything “lucky” about being a survivor of TBI. It’s the hardest job in the world! When you master one task, another problem crops up. It’s a vicious cycle. John has it within himself to continue this long journey of rehabilitation and recovery. The sad truth is our society shuns TBI survivors as though we’re “damaged goods”. In fact, we know everything that is happening around us … we have a clear mental picture when our information processors are working.

    I say to those who are emotionally abusing vulnerable TBI survivors, they are all aware … every TBI survivor knows much more than they are given credit for. I was wondering if the police officers help John out at all? I was hoping since they appear to be a profession that all stick together, I was hoping they would be helping. Is this the case, or am I wrong? If they are helping, in what ways?

    • Hi, Edith ;Help is available for those who seek, However; if Superman suddenly could not fly anymore would he want to put his colors to the side and hang around his super friends? No, is not pride, is TBI. I do not want to be reminded of that man, I still do not want to see the uniform buried in my closet representing a strong confident man of justice, a Superman. Who am I now?, I am not eager nor have interest to be social I just want to fly away. A few days ago I remembered the Doctors name sure enough I started to read stories and I can relate to Joe’s story and John’s story I did not remember because I am the same man who wrote it tree years ago, this is TBI my solitary confinement ,one day you forget an appointment , a friend or a written post three years later you recall it as if it were yesterday. I just called Max a friend whom I forgot along with this post whom after a couple of tough words hang up on me because he did not remember me, this is the irony of TBI , I have no feelings about it because living with TBI I am not even connected to my own feelings yet alone someone else’s emotions, touche, Thank you Edith stay strong.

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