It has been a while since I last wrote something...I mean something this meaningful. A couple of weeks ago, I read your blog and you describe yourself as a person who is rediscovering your abilities and understanding who you have become. You identified yourself as “The Born Identity”, because after your experience you consider yourself as reborn again. Same with “David Webb” who now is “Jason Borne” because he does not associate with Webb’s past. You had a point and a very good one, so it made me thought about it a little more…
T-B-I… for most of the population are just initials, some letters, or speculation of what it might be…To Be Identified, True But Intriguing, Total Body Irradiation, True Body Injury, The Big Idea, Those Bearing Imbalance, The Burden Insufferable, The Breaching Interrupted, and it is ultimately Terrible But Insightful...I can go on and on, but they all have some suitability to it and no matter how you see it they all spell Traumatic Brain Injury. Everybody have a name for it, you called it The Born Identity, but I decide that for me it is Tough But Inspirational…
Most of you feel hopeless, but the reality is that you are stronger than you think; you are alive to account it and willing to surpass it, if that doesn’t say STRONG, then what does? I have read so many stories about the struggle, about the endurance, that I believe we should give a medal to the ARMY wives for their sacrifice and service to this Nation as well.
Traumatic Brain Injury is in fact an injury, whether it can be seen or not. It takes a toll on everyone involved in the process of recovery. I hear your struggle, I see your endurance, and I witnessed the pain from afar, and I can honestly tell you that if I admired you before because of the sacrifice you decided to make, now I am very proud of what you have become. Most of the people that now follow you have not seen you before the incident, did not know you before this battle, and can see what we have seen from the beginning…a honest, fighting, and relentless person. You are true to what you are, you love being a soldier.
Even if the injury cannot be seen, it is real and it affects more than the others. I believe that if you have an amputated arm or leg, you do not have to constantly prove it or convinced everyone that it has affected your life; you don’t need to struggle for everyone to understand that your leg is no longer there and that your state of mind is not about depression, because you are physically missing something, and that everyone understands. But for TBI patients, what I can see is that they have to prove it beyond the reasonable doubt that all their symptoms (which are many and different case by case) are related to this incident, that all the struggle is not a mere fake, and that every frustration is not related to depression.
I can honestly say that there is much more to learn about this monster and we as family need to stick together in this. Be aware that even if as a family you were alone for that period of time, that your soldier was too and in worst circumstances to surpass. When he/she returns home, be able to adapt and overcome the new perspective in life, be able to restart and reboot. This is only possible in a joint effort, be able to understand in that first year because most of the problems that I see is because they do not have a healthy support group coming back home, sometimes they are not able to process or behave the way they want or the way they were, it is a struggle for all to fit in, but with perseverance, love, and prayers God makes it all worthwhile.
I am not a soldier, I am not an army-wife, I am not a mother of a soldier, I am as close as a sister-in-law can get to a soldier and very far away from you to be able to personally support you. But I can tell you this…as long as I live, you will be family, I will be supporting you, and join you in the effort for this to be known, considered, and overcome.
I leave you with a quote which I love and think it fits you…
Good timber does
not grow with ease;
The stronger the wind,
The stronger the trees.
With love, Melissa =)