But I’m not afraid…

Well, it looks like I’m going to be dropping my current psychotherapist. After working with them for 6+ months, I’m seeing a regular pattern that I’m not comfortable with — every new piece of information I reveal about my past injuries and difficulties, and my present challenges, increases their trepidation about my present activities and my future prospects.

How many times can you sit in a room and have someone tell you that your hopes and dreams are unrealistic, given your neurological profile?

How many more weeks am I supposed to spend making room in my schedule for someone who actively discourages me from living my life — and paying them to do it?

Okay, granted, I do have a lot of difficulties and challenges, and no, it’s not easy. But the thing is, I flatly refuse to give in to the lot of it. I just refuse. I am not afraid to live my life, I am not afraid to stumble and fall. I am not afraid to take on new challenges and see what I’m capable of doing. I’m more afraid of never trying something, never taking a risk, never finding out just what I’m made of.

I have been injured, this I know. I have my challenges and difficulties. That much is clear. But I’m not afraid to step out and do what I need to do, to move myself along my life’s path. I have one life, and one chance to live it. If I sit by the sidelines, like this therapist apparently expects me to, I just don’t think I can live with myself. That’s not living — that’s surviving. Subsisting. And I’m built of better stuff than that.

I also have excellent resources on hand to help me along — namely, information and promising stories from Give Back Orlando and other sources — that provide me tools and orientation to get my life back in order. The vast majority of the issues I have are logistical, and if I just modify how I do things, tweak the execution a bit, I can get myself on the right track, and keep myself there.

There’s no mystery to it, no matter how mystifying the brain is. Bottom line is, my mind is what runs things, not just my brain. And when I devote more attention to being mindful, well, that solves a ton of problems out of the gate.

It’s when I’m not mindful — when my broken brain gets the upper hand and convinces the rest of me that it’s just fine, going it alone — that I get into trouble.

Real trouble.

So, my problems are by and large fixable. And the ones that aren’t, I just avoid like the plague. I delegate things to others who know better how to do them. I solicit help from people who are just dying to lend a hand. And I richly reward people with ample thanks and a ton of praise. I feed them, and they help me. And vice versa. It’s all good.

The one major problem I have, is I’ve got a psychotherapist who seems to be afraid of their own shadow. I dunno — I think within a certain context, they’re perfectly fine. At least, they were, three months ago. Maybe I’ve just grown a bit. Maybe I’ve just evolved. And their orientation is no longer helpful to me. That could be. I have been known to shift very quickly, and it wouldn’t surprise me if I were advancing in a sudden burst along my recovery.

But they don’t seem to recognize that, and they keep cautioning me against doing things like taking on responsibility and following down a career path that leads to more money. Just yesterday, they were telling me (as though I don’t know it) that more financially rewarding jobs entail more sacrifices from those who hold them. Uh, excuse me? Is that something they think I don’t know? I’m not so sure they realize who I am and what I’ve done with my life. I’m not sure they realize that it’s possible to live productively and radically well, even after a bunch of concussions. But even with me sitting right in front of them, telling them about how well I’ve been doing lately, they can’t seem to see it. Or they distrust it. Or they distrust me.

This makes me nervous. It makes me very nervous, indeed. And I woke up last night from a nightmare about a wildfire sweeping through my neighborhood, driving all these wild animals ahead of it. (Not sure how the lizards and wildcats and wildfowl got into the suburban neighborhood in my dream, but I’m sure that symbolism is all about me and the less “civilized” aspects of my personality.)

Warning bells are going off, and it looks like I’m going to be shopping for a new psychotherapist again… Fortunately, I’m seeing my neuropsych this afternoon, so I can ask them if they know anyone who specializes in therapy within a brain injury recovery context. They’re on the same page as me — totally devoted to realizing all the amazing possibilities of life, and refusing to settle for less — so I have more faith in the resources they might recommend.

The bummer is, the current therapist I have is listed as someone the Brain Injury Association in my state recommends. I’m not sure if I should mention my experience to them, as I don’t want to trash them. But if they’re running this head trip on me, what might they be doing to others?

I have to wonder.

Anyway, it actually feels good to be coming to this decision. I’ll talk it over wiht my neuropsych and see what they have to say about it, and then I’ll move from there.

{ Sigh }  This rehabilitation process can be a tiresome road at times. But it sure beats the alternative!

Onward.

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

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