I am looking for validation. That's the most honest thing I can say.
I know you are aware of head injury statistics. The throw away line is always about the number of undiagnosed head injuries every year.
I'm one of those. I couldn't be more certain.
I'm OK, but for a long time I wasn't anywhere near OK and I didn't know why.
Before the accident, life was difficult for other reasons. I had social anxiety since I was a child, desperately wanting to belong, clinging to relationships even if they were bad-never knowing what to say-agonizing over every interaction-crying myself to sleep- feeling like an alien. I so didn't want to be alone.
That was before the head injury.
I'm OK. My brained healed. I don't remember 1977 though I apparently put one foot in front of the other. I remember part of 1978. I dropped away from friends. I went into a tailspin of drugs and alcohol and one night stands. I became and remain a loner- my fall-back position. Now I realize I was just trying to survive when everything else was too hard.
The accident happened December 29, 1976. I remembered the impact in 2007. You don't have to tell me I'm full of it. I've already had family and friends and physicians tell me. I don't buy it. They don't know.
I'm OK, but the remaining pain is the realization. The realization of 'going in one end and coming out the other'- a changed human being, for better or worse. There will never be any validation of my experience.
The kindest words ever spoken to me regarding this were "SO WHAT?" I've begun to consider it a gift. At least it was acknowledgement: it happened- move on.
I just retired from Nursing. I have two wonderful kids and a guy who all think I'm weird and solitary.
I'm grateful. I'm happy. It could have been worse.