Less scary when it all gets broken down into pieces

Get it out of my head onto paper – it gets easier from there

So, last night I was at my very end. I’d had a long and very tiring week, and my spouse has been out of commission with their back out. They don’t take good care of themself, and they spend most of their day sitting around or lying down. I don’t see how anyone can even function on the lack of exercise they get. It’s like watching them disintegrate before my very eyes.

I work really hard to keep myself in good working order. I fall behind, of course, since I’m human. And there have been long stretches of time when I did not get the kind of exercise I needed. But I’ve never allowed myself to just “go to pot” like they have.

I don’t see how they can even live with themself.

But that’s them, not me. And that’s the toll that mental illness takes — unaddressed, untreated mental illness. Their dysfunction is so profound, they cannot even see how non-functional they are. Their answer to it all, is hiding their dysfunction from others, so they can continue to live that way. I know why that is — I know (pretty much) what they went through as a young kid that made them this way. Their father was a World War II vet, and the things it did to him, screwed up their whole family — all the kids, and beyond. One of the grandkids was a convicted felon before the age of 16, and the offense was pretty horrifying. That’s what can happen, when dysfunction is allowed to fester, everyone is in denial, and you hide your issues from everyone.

The fallout from WWII that I’ve lived with for the last 25 years, is one of the big reasons that I am a major supporter of veterans. I don’t do nearly as much writing directly about vets here, as I should. My hope is that I can write things that will help vets in a way that reaches them / you as people. I’m not a vet, and I wasn’t raised in a military family, and I don’t want to take liberties, writing about that kind of world that I don’t know, myself. I want to be respectful. But maybe I need to do more writing specifically for vets. It’s unconscionable to me, how my country sends folks off to fight for us, then abandons them when they come home.

Anyway, I’m going off on a tangent. What I started out saying, was that last night, I was done. I had a long week, and my spouse was needing a lot of attention and help. It was one thing after another, and I was so wiped out, I had to just go to bed early, which I did.

Last night, the weekend seemed like too much for me to handle. I have a number of things I need to take care of – some that are left over from last weekend. I had a number of time-consuming things to take care of, which ate up a lot of my spare time, and then I ran out of steam. So, this weekend I’m filling in the blanks.And last night, it seemed like way too much for me to handle. It was just overwhelming, the variety of things I had to get done.

This morning, though, I spent some time writing everything down in my notebook, and breaking it out to see what I would do.. and when. As it turns out, there is not so terribly much to do. And it will even leave me time to do some things I have been wanting to do, but didn’t think I could, last night.

Turns out, I can do them. If I stick to my plan today, I can get a lot of things done, so I can do the one thing I really want to do in the morning.

I just have to get it all down on paper. Get it out of my head. My head gets spinning, and then I get confused and tired and more confused and more tired. And then everything looks like hell.

That was how it was in my head, last night – not a fun place to be. I just wanted to blow up. Or throw up. Or both. But I kept it together and was just very quiet, all evening. I was really working at keeping myself from going off the deep end, and I drew the line, when my spouse urged me to eat something sugary and stay up later, watching t.v.

That’s about the last thing I needed. So I declined. And I got about 9 hours of sleep, which is exactly what I needed.

So, lesson learned. Again.

Tonight, after I mow my lawn, I think I’ll watch some martial arts movies. That will put the icing on the cake of what’s starting out as a beautiful day.

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.

4 thoughts on “Less scary when it all gets broken down into pieces”

  1. Reading your post, I felt like the person who has given up and has let his body even go to pot. I have an infection of the skin that is recurring and I’m not taking care of it. Hospitals doctors, I feel done with them. I’m almost content on just withering away. I don’t like this part of me. It is mostly depression and PTSD speaking. I’ve been beaten-up too many times. I do not feel the resiliency that I had 25-30 years. They say you lose hope, you lose everything. They also say hope is one of the last things to go. I feel my hope slipping away. You’re blog motivates me somehow. I think it is your no nonsense style, coupled with a brave look at the essence of things. There is a ferocity in your blog that gets a little contagious. It makes Rocky want to get up again even though he will get beaten down again. Even though you are not into direct blows to the head in contact sports. Yes, you make me want to stand when my infection is high and my mind all played out and battered brain. I feel no shame in saying “I lost”. I lost in a fight that I shouldn’t have been in to begin with. A fight I never asked for. But I lost. I don’t know exactly “what” or “how” but I lost. I feel it deep inside me. I also feel that humanity “lost” with me.
    I feel the medical field let the whole field down and do time and time again with TBI people.
    Or that I won an important lesson “humanity” doesn’t care enough and kindness will always be seen as weakness, and if you’re brain injured get an advocate and/or mentor. I think that since TBI affects veterans so much. That it is only right that you write more directly about them at times. Maybe you could find a friend who can share his service experience w/TBI. Paece! Luka

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can understand that point of view. I feel that way at times, too. Like tonight, when I am both elated and exhausted… fine with how everything is, and resigned to things never getting as great as I tend to hope they will. I am spent. And this is one of those nights when I just want to open the windows, let the cool breeze in, and forget anything else exists.

    The medical field… what a wounded bunch of people they are. The products of a system that destroys their souls, and makes them think they should be happy about it. Stockholm Syndrome at its finest.

    And veterans… yes, I should write more frequently about them. I married into a military family, 25 years ago, and I have seen what TBI and PTSD does to the generations.


  3. There just seems to be no worldy answers anymore.
    My friend who used to bring me bologna and bread when times were rough.
    He would say to me “no good deed goes unpunished” I’m not sure what
    he meant or referring to. But I used to believe in looking out for your neighbor etcetera.
    I still believe it, but how practical is it? I never looked for it to be returned. But the guy is right, many times it gets punished. Like a sign of weakness. All this pushy stuff, don’t people see that we don’t have to destroy our fellow traveler to get ahead. Competition taken real real far. ?


  4. The buddy I spent Sunday with is living with someone who doesn’t have a steady job, and doesn’t want to find one. My buddy has taxes to pay and needs to keep money out of sight of the IRS, so they asked their significant other to deposit the check in their bank. Then the “other” went and spent it — a couple thousand dollars — to pay past debts and bills they owed.

    People who take like that, I believe, are wounded in a way that tells them the world owes them something for their suffering. A grand compensation plan, if you will.

    Good deeds sometimes go unpunished, but we often pay for them. Like the favor I did to my buddy and other friends over the weekend – I am still too tired to be good for anything.


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