Based on my personal experience with traumatic brain injury (TBI), this list is unbelievably accurate so I wanted to share it with you on my blog. I am not sharing it simply for sympathy, but so people who know or love someone with a traumatic brain injury may better understand what that person may be going through. I know there are many times where I have trouble explaining how I am feeling, so sometimes I need someone else to do it for me. That is exactly what the list in this article did for me. The list was taken from www.puckermob.com and the link to the full article is:
1) We have problems with our short term memory.
This means you have are going to tell us things a thousand times and we'll probably still forget. Sometimes, you can tell us something once and it'll stick. I am sure this is frustrating for you; imagine how it feels to be us.
2) We obsessively keep track of events and memos.
This isn't something that is a sick desire, rather it is something that we have to do. Writing things down is a necessity for us. It is how we live our life, how we survive, it is our lifeline. Post-its, calendars, planners and our phone, but we will still forget something. It's not that we are overloaded with life, not any more than we were before, but it doesn't feel that way to us. This is why if we don't write it down, put it in our phone, whatever our system is, we are going to forget about it.
I mean we have to write down EVERYTHING. The four things we need to pick up from the grocery store, yeah if we don't do that, we'll forget. We have to make a list of errands we have to run that day so we don't leave one out. That's our new reality.
3) We try to stay super organized.
I don't like living in clutter or disorganization, it makes me uncomfortable. More than that though, it makes my life a lot more difficult than it needs to be.
When you have problems with your short-term memory it's a good idea to have a designated location for your phone, keys, purse and/or wallet. You don't need to be searching for them the next time you are supposed to be on your way somewhere. Besides being super organized helps us keep up with all those lists we have to make.
4) We are easily distracted.
Staying focused on a task when you have suffered a severe brain injury is unbelievably challenging, and it is a learned skill.
5) Multitasking is a thing of the past.
You can't talk to us while we are trying to do something else; we can't do that. We seriously can't. It's not that we don't want to, we just are not able to focus on two things at once. It is hard enough for us to stay focused on one task at a time, throw in a second one for us to do with it, and we are somewhere between lost and confused.
6) We are easily overstimulated.
Being overstimulated is a system overload, but instead of a computer, it's your brain. Everyone has a point, where everything becomes too much- to much noise, too much going on, too many people, just too much of everything. When you have a brain injury it's no different. Our breaking point just comes a lot sooner.
7) Emotions aren't easy for us to control or manage anymore.
As a general statement, people who suffered a TBI struggle with anxiety, depression, and anger.
8) We feel disconnected from people.
Not being able to do all day events, play sports, etc. shuts us out from our peers. They either feel weird about inviting us knowing we can't fully participate, or they choose not to knowing we won't/can't go.
9) We occasionally throw pity-parties.
We get the anatomy of what happened to us but it is still a struggle to wrap our mind around it. A lot of us tried to deny it for a long time until we realized we couldn't. Our world was flipped upside down and we had to figure out who we are post-trauma, and let go of the person we were before everything happened. You have to understand that's not an easy thing to do. We had to let go of certain dreams we had. We are going to have moments, even days, several even, where we aren't okay.
10) We often need you to pick because we can't.
We don't like to make decisions and especially not under pressure. It puts unnecessary stress on us. It causes us to freak out. You want us to help pick out where to eat? Before we ever leave to go to dinner, give us like three choices. Don't ever take us to a place that has 108 items on the menu. We would be there for days. Rushing us doesn't help anything either.
In life, deciding where to eat is a small decision compared to where to buy a house, or how many children to have. If we can't make small decisions how should you expect us to make the big decisions? The answer is simple: You can't. We need help. .
11) We grew up way too fast.
We have a special kind of outlook on the world. One that ages us years. We are nowhere near our age group. We almost died. We learned to simply be, again.
We value family, life, and love. We know what matters to us now and we have a clearer idea of what we want out of life.
12) We need you to respect our independence.
This just might be the biggest one. We are still capable of doing a lot of things on our own and you need to treat us as such. For the most part, we are thriving young people, who are trying to regain their independence. If you love us, help us do that.
Check out the full article by clicking on the following link.