Monday, May 22, 2006

shattering glass 5/22/06

This is my brain during the accident. Like shattering glass, it spun pieces at high velocity away from the apex.

I used to attempt to pick up all of the shattered pieces of my life and re-assemble them. That was impossible. Finally, I began to build a new life incorporating some of the fractured glass into new patterns springing from the old.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Oh My Gods! : May 1st, 2006

Oh My Gods! : May 1st, 2006<---check this out. Shivian Montar Balaris is writing a very funny pagan comic strip. One can sign up to have a daily or almost daily delivered to one's e-box. Additionally, Shivian is creating rituals for the eight esbats based on the journey of Alice in Wonderland! At long last, some funnies that I can relate to with a gut-level belly laugh. Remember, a day without a belly laugh is like a sandwitch without a pail and shovel. Don't be left out of the denizens of broom-flyers who are jetting over to . Go there now or miss out totally on one of the most talented among our paganfolk!

~rofl sapphoq

If laughter is healing, then I must be good to go for several more lifetimes.

Monday, May 01, 2006


Click here for the-----> Article Reprints<---- page from the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Neuropsychology Service TBI Model System newsletter called TBI Today. I have a sneaking suspicion that New York State VESID [Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities; formerly called OVR] took a page or two from this newsletter when ideas were needed for proper employment for their customers who have survived a traumatic brain injury.

The article in question is the one titled, "Challenges to working after Brain Injury and How to Overcome Them." It was originally printed in the Fall 2003 issue of TBI Today. The author claims that research demonstrates that the following jobs are ones that we tbi-ers can succeed in:

[directly lifted from the article]: "computer data entry, typing and word processing, food preparation, phone answering, filing, collating and stapling documents, light cleaning, photocopying, pricing, packaging and unpacking materials, microfilming, mail preparation, light assembly, delivery." My gut reaction is a big BLEAH! Some of those things I can't do and others I won't do. That is what I say to myself.

Bad enough that our neurological condition causes a great many medical and other professionals to pigeonhole us into their conscribed notions of what "an individual with traumatic brain injury" is like. Now there is a formal list of mundane repetitive jobs-- the kind that many sheltered workshop environments specialize in-- that we are destined to be successful in. How convenient for the neurotypicals to dis-remember some wisdom from The Brain Injury Association of the United States of America! EVERY BRAIN INJURY IS DIFFERENT.

STOP! I have indeed superimposed an emotional overlay of my own prejuidices upon this matter. It is more comfortable for me to stew than it is to do the real work of discarding the film that wraps me in my inertia. I'm used to it. Risk-taking is risky.

When I associate with other people with traumatic brain injury, I feel a gnawing fear. I am afraid I will not return to work or only be able to work part-time at a job designed to keep me in poverty. My negativisitic thinking keeps me stuck. Irrationally I suppose, I want to accuse VESID of lacking the vision to strive toward a future that rejects the equation disability=poverty. And yet, I recognize in my self a certain apathy that is fraying at the edges. Is it VESID that lacks the vision or is it something within me?

If I am the one who lacks the vision to create a meaningful future for myself, then I am the one who is responsible to continue to wrestle with my self. Suddenly, my anger at VESID becomes an inward glimpse into my own true character. I have the staying power to face this uncomfortable truth. And so, I must begin again.

I have to flush my own preconceived notions about what it means to live with a disability. I shift through the folks I know with TBI. I need better role models. TBI-ers who have a measure of success at work are who I must find. One sews bibs of her own creation and sells them. Another has done the craft show circuit. A third has his own silk-screen tee-shirt business. A fourth has gotten a Masters' and written a book. There are also a few medical doctors who were able to return to doctoring, a head of an employment program for folks with TBI, a woodcarver, some sort of financial advisor, and a sprinkling of survivors on the talk circuit. I look through this list and a small gleam of hope begins to take shape.

Most of the folks on my list are self-employed and most of them are involved in creative endeavors. Some returned to things they knew before their brain injuries and some found new careers. I long to shed my own limited thinking like a peeling frog's skin. Like the frog who eagerly awaits to eat its' own old skin, I too begin to stretch from the center of my being.