Friday, July 30, 2010

TBI Stands for "The Born Identity": Rediscover Yourself

Good Thursday to all. Yeah, yeah!!! Does the title sounds funny? Did you ever think that TBI could hypothetically stand for The Bourne Identity? I got you thinking. Yeah, go ahead and say it: "this Victor guy is a smart dude". I'm just trying to be a little funny!!! Don't be upset, please!!!
Here we go. Why am I bringing this movie title into the Traumatic Brain Injury arena? As we suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury, we became in some way detached from that old us. We face new challenges even things that were easy in the past they just seemed not as easy now. Things we used to like we might not like them as much anymore. I used to be very good in putting things together without reading instructions, i.e. furniture.
Let me tell you a story. We bought a bookshelf last January, it took me 4 weekends to put it together. The first weekend I attempted to put it together and when I finished I realized that I had put the shelves backwards. The second weekend I had to take it apart and put it back together. This time I had put the top at the bottom and the bottom at the top. The third weekend I had to take it apart again. After putting it together I had put two shelves correctly and two backwards. And finally the fourth weekend I took it apart and this time when I finished it was correct. So imagine the level of frustration I felt for a whole month. And this was a basic bookshelf. Go ahead laugh!!! Now I look back and I think is funny.
As we change in the way we used to do things, the way we think changes too. It is like we have to get to know ourselves. I fought with the new me. I wanted to be like I was. That triggered many feelings inside of me. I felt angry, dissapointed, sad, uncomfortable, and many other emotions. The more we fight with the new us the longer it we'll take us to make progress emotionally. The longer rehabilitation will take.
Let me make a quick disclaimer. The ideas I express here are based on my own personal experiences. I'm not a doctor and I'm not pretending to be one. My articles are only to give some insights of what we go through.
There are emotional stages during the recovery. The feelings may involved the ones I mentioned before plus mourn, loss, anger, among others. It is not an easy task to accept the new us. Remember as I mentioned in a prior posting, education is empowerment. In the early stages of my injury I always pretended like nothing had happened. I looked like me. I couldn't see a physical injury. I tried to do some physical activities like the old me would do and at they end I would be messed up for days. It was painful. Roxana would tell me not to do the things I was doing but there I went and did them anyway. The price was pain. I would get headaches, tremors among other issues that wouldn't go away with anything. All I could feel for days was pain and sometimes I had just to lay in bed for a few days because I was in serious pain.
And finally the day my rehabilitation started came. I had been going to therapy for some time already but the day that Roxana started educating me with different videos and books was the day I can say my rehabilitation began. I couldn't read much at the time so Roxana would read me. After I heard the book and watched the videos it was like seeing myself in the mirror. I thought "that exactly what's happening to me". As soon as I recognized that I made peace with the new me and accepted him.
By accepting the new me I started a healing process of wholeness. Every part of me started to get healed, I picture it as if it was from the inside out. From that day on my life changed because I wasn't struggling with the old me. I was getting to know the new me. I couldn't have done that without Roxana. Always there guiding and supporting me.
As you can read the title is "born" instead of "Bourne" because this process is like being born again. It compares to the movie because throughout the Bourne Trilogy his trying to discover who he really is. (With the help of Marie). So, I see myself as Jason Bourne and Roxana as Marie. Nah just kidding. Bottom line is our journey is one of rediscovery, like Bourne, finding out who we are. By the way, did you know that Bourne suffered something like a Brain Injury? Be like Bourne and find out who is the new you. Now take out the fighting scenes, I don't want you to get hurt. I'm kidding again. I'm in a joker today.
It's not going to be easy but it has to happen. You have to get to know the new you, looking at new horizons and acknowledging your limitations.
Like I said is not going to be easy but IT WILL ALL GET BETTER.
See you tomorrow.


  1. Victor, great post. I could so relate to many of the things. It is so true that the first step in healing is accepting the new you just as you are. Then instead of putting energy into trying to act like nothing is wrong, an exhausting, unsuccessful ruse in my case, one can put energy into getting better.

    How lucky you are to have Roxana supporting you so strongly. I have had to do it on my own, but, even though it has really sucked at times, that too has been a great learning experience. Now, I have confidence like never before.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Found your blog through twitter, I am @SgtMacAttack & @Wounded_Warrior on twitter! I also have a blog about my experiences dealing w/ PTSD, Walter Reed, The Army MEB & PEB & other Combat Vets issues, feel free to check it out here I have a lot of friends that suffer from TBI & will refer them to ur blog, Keep up the great writing, I find it helps me to blog about it! Feel free to contact me at or v/r