New video – the Confabulation Kid

I’ve recently discovered some websites online that let you make animations. So, I made a little animation called The Confabulation Kid Gets It Wrong

I wrote a post about this subject a couple of years ago: Growing up with TBI – The Confabulation Kid, and confabulation has been an issue for me, as long as I can remember. One of my siblings’ kid has some neurological issues from an injury when they were little, and they are still having some trouble. I can see a lot of myself in them, and I really feel for the kid. I’m not sure what to do or how best to relate to them and their parents… if I should say anything to them about their kid’s issues. My TBI is not common knowledge in my family, because people just don’t get it, and the discussions I’ve had with people have been so hard when I have had them. So, I quit discussing it. The last thing I need, is for my family to think I’m even more of a problem than they already do. My parents got really upset and bent out of shape when I told them about what I knew about my injuries. They’ve treated me differently, ever since I told them. My one sibling I told, too, has been more distant from me, ever since I told them. Having the rest of my family back off from me, just when we’re starting to get along much better than ever, is not something I want to do.

But being around my family and seeing the next generation of brain injury survivors coming up reminds me so much of when I was a kid. I was always getting things turned around when I was younger… mixing up stories, mixing up facts, mixing up things I’d read in different books and magazines… generally making a mess of things  I tried to do, much to the consternation of people around me. They all thought I could do so much better. And I could. But the results often were very different from what my true potential was.

And nobody knew how to help me.

Folks didn’t try to help me — they didn’t know how. Instead, they used to really get upset with me. Upset… angry… frustrated… afraid.

I hate when that happens!

The afraid reactions were the worst. I felt like I had done something to harm my loved ones, and it pained me terribly. It pissed me off, too. Because I felt like I was being wrongly accused of stuff I had not done intentionally. It made me so angry, when people assumed that my confusion was a deliberate attempt to deceive and confuse others. I wasn’t gong out of my way to make life difficult for others, but they treated me like I was. And I got such an attitude after a while. Years and years of being treated like a liar and a cheat and a faker will do that to you, I suppose.I’m not excusing my crappy attitude (which I have since overcome), but there was a pretty good reason for it.

I still think of this often – especially this past weekend, when I had more time to spend with my other BI family member. They also tend to forget things and get them turned around, and they have the same mis-pronunciation issues that I had when I was a kid — probably because they spend most of their life locked inside the safety of their own books, their own ideas, their own world which they’ve created. It’s much easier to create your own world, when the world outside your head is not only confusing to you, but nearly impossible to interact with.

I’ve been thinking about confabulation a lot, lately, because it’s still a problem — even after all these years. When I’m tired or stressed, I tend to get my facts turned around. I tend to get nervous and rush, which is the worst thing I can possibly do. I really mess up. It’s not that I do that much worse than everyone else when I’m “off”, but I definitely do worse than I feel like I should do. So, even if others don’t notice (though they sometimes do), I notice. And it’s kind of rough to handle.

The one thing I have in my favor is that I’m aware of the issues, so I can manage them. I can keep an eye out for them and make sure I don’t get myself into situations that are sketchy for me and my confabulatory tendencies. That helps. It helps a whole lot.

And I wonder if I should maybe reach out to my siblings and see if they need help. Hell, if they’ve been living with a kid who’s had a brain injury for the past 12 years, I’m sure they’ve seen it all, already. So, maybe they’re exactly the folks I should talk to… I’ll have to think about that.

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.

6 thoughts on “New video – the Confabulation Kid”

  1. I didn’t know that you weren’t even able to be open with your close family members. I’m sorry that they didn’t grasp what you tried to share. Sometimes things take sometime to sink in. However, I am sorry that not everyone can comprehend things even if you plainly explain them. As a child, it must have been horrible to have people think you were doing things on purpose. I know a mother who felt bad that she would get mad at her daughter for not listening when she didn’t know that she only processed part of the language due to an impairment. Well, I am looking forward to going to the cartoon.


  2. The cartoon told the story of what it is like to jumble stories together very well. It wasn’t a feel good cartoon but I appreciate the message.


  3. I have been thinking a lot about this post. Before I start, I hope you aren’t feeling any pain as I haven’t had a chance to read your most recent post and probably won’t get a chance tonight. You have added so much since I was here so recently. I struggle to write a portion of what you right and am impressed you manage all of this. Your writing as touched me, which brings me to what I wanted to say.

    I know you want to keep your identity private here and that is important. I was wondering if you have ever done a blog for family and close friends. That way they can see your amazing talent as a writer. You don’t have to reveal online about your condition and that might be a risk even it were password protected. Yet, they could see how well your mind works. Then, in a private email or letter, you could after a period of time write to them about your condition. Of course, we can never control how a person may react. Parents can really be in denial. My telling you to write about it may also make it harder for people to believe your impairment because you write so well. I was so surprised when I first learned how much problems you have with receptive speech and just following a conversation. I don’t want you to get hurt. I do think it would be good for you to have the respect of your family for your writing ability even if you haven’t already let them see your work. And I do think the best way to explain your position to defensive people might be through writing. It is something that you might want to consider.


  4. I appreciate the sentiment, and thank you for your complimentary words. But the point of doing this blog would be gone, if I discussed everything with my family. Sometimes, the best way to speak your mind is to do it anonymously.


  5. BB, you misunderstood. I don’t want you to tell your family everything on your blog. I wanted you to show your talent for writing about whatever you like to write about whether it be past family times, nature, other interests. Then, you may send a personal letter to family members at some time relating something about TBI if you want. Or maybe you don’t even want to mention TBI with them. I think it is a way to gain respect as they may not see the side of you that comes out when you write.


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