First of all, the storm never came.
Second, today I read a very interesting article written by another brain injury survivor. In the article she talks about how she was caught off guard when a friend told her to “Quit using your brain injury as an excuse”. Her friend told her this after she asked her to repeat something.
Quit using your brain injury as an excuse
I get what she’s talking about because I also have to ask people to repeat stuff they just said. I have been made fun of for always asking que? (what?). The people who have made fun of me for that are not being mean, it’s just a joke, so I don’t take it personally because these are people who have been with me through the whole process. But it is difficult to deal with people who have not been there, who don’t know or understand what’s happening.
It takes more time to process things, especially if it’s too much information or if it’s too much information too fast, and sometimes the brain just needs a break or it just can’t process too much too fast. I miss a lot of stuff in conversations, but I don’t do it on purpose. I sometimes notice I just stopped listening, it’s not because I want to be rude or I’m not interested, my brain just needed a break and it just happens automatically . I try to pay attention, but sometimes I can’t pay attention anymore, I have to take a break and this even happens when I’m watching tv or a movie. It’s not that I’m not having fun or I’m not interested, I just can’t.
So I totally understand her and it’s good to know it’s not just me, apart from the TBI and epilepsy, there’s nothing wrong with my head.
I have come a long way in these last four years, and I can focus sometimes. I was able to pay attention in class on Tuesday, but there are other times when I just can’t. It’s not an excuse, it’s not that I don’t want to, it’s the new me that I’m dealing with. The old me could pay attention and listen, but the old me didn’t need Ritalin, the new me does. It helps but it can’t fix my damaged brain.
I have to do as much as I can to fix it, I think I’m on the right path but it may never be the same. I will take a long time.
2 thoughts on “Que? What? The brain injury is not an excuse”
Reblogged this on Broken Brain – Brilliant Mind and commented:
This is a great perspective. I can relate to a lot of things said here. I have to stop and deliberately focus my attention on what people are saying to me, before it makes sense. Sometimes that means I ask them to repeat what they said a number of times. I can get away with it by telling others that I’m busy thinking about other things and I need to change gears. That way, it doesn’t look as much like a deficit.
Most of us have a lot going on inside our heads, to begin with, so people tend to understand that.
Still, I’ve had to “retrain” my spouse to slow down and also not get angry at me when I seem like I’m not listening. I need time to shift my attention and really understand what’s going on. That’s preferable to not bothering to understand at all, and saying “Mmm-hmmm” without even trying.
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Yeah, when I just can’t keep up with the conversation I like saying it rather than acting like I’m up to speed. I like to know what’s going on and I don’t like people thinking I’m not listening.
And you’re right, I sometime have to remind my family to let me catch up too. They understand and I’d rather tell them than have them think I wasn’t paying attention.
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