This is my favourite phrase at the moment. It seems to vent my frustrations perfectly. I quite like it as it is a seemingly inoffensive way to say something that would probably sit higher on the offensive scale.
To get back to the issue in hand, I have this week had to deal with confrontation in a very public way. Normally (before said brain injury) I took no prisoners and was an obvious taurian. The events on Tuesday afternoon however showed how a brain injury can leave you not knowing how to or being able to react.
In a nutshell an extremely aggressive woman wrongly accused my car of blocking teachers trying to leave the school playground. At the time I was in a parent -teacher conference meeting my daughter’s new teacher. Normally I would have fought my corner and stood my ground but I didn’t. I apologised and went to try and resolve the situation. When I got to the car park after a very slow amble, no one was blocked in and the car park was virtually empty. No dramas occurring. I will at this point set the scene that I was walking to the carpark like I had all the time in the world. Objectively this may have been perseverd as if I couldn’t give a monkeys. I look normal so no one would automatically suspect I had any difficulties.
My ‘seriously’ was pushing to explode but instead when talking to our amazing caretaker I broke down in full, loud, wailing tears. The poor man must have thought the world had ended but in reality someone had been rude to me and I was literally having a breakdown on the spot.
On reflection of this experience everyone around me was really angry about the situation. I however found it incredibly hard to wonder why I had felt vulnerable and not demonstrated that I was furious that my meeting had been cut short and I had been treated unjustly.
This has shown me the complexities of having a brain injury. The fight or flight idea has merged into a under or over react situation and issues such as mobility, communication and cognitive factors do often overshadow the person hidden beneath that brain injury.
As a person with a brain injury I am exploring my new personality traits and so I just need to go with it and listen to what now works for me. I will probably get it wrong some of the time.
For carers of those with a brain injury you will probably not be able to predict how the cared for person will react in hostile situations. They are learning about themselves as much as you are learning about them. Just be prepared for that perception to occasionly have a bit of a wobble.