By Angela

How Could Anyone?

One of the most difficult things about living with brain injury is that it is an invisible disability. So many people, sadly to say even family members, don’t understand the complexities of TBI. They do not understand you have a real, physiological problem; many just think you’re a jerk or a bitch.

A friend called me in tears, telling me what an awful day she had and how she just didn’t feel like living any more. While she was outside, she noticed a neighbor throwing large rocks at some Canadian geese which were swimming on the pond which is shared by some of the property owner’s in her neighborhood; he was clearly trying to injure them. Another neighbor had recently condoned her son’s behavior of taking a baseball bat to the geese. My friend loves animals and hates to see any animal hurt, but most especially when done intentionally and violently. She also has a brain injury and difficulty with anger and impulse control.

She has been trying so hard to work on these issues. One strategy she’s been using for anger, is to think of the person with whom she is angry as a 9-year-old child. She has a little more tolerance and is slower to react by saying something like, “I’m confused….” or “I don’t understand….” So she tried it out on her 68-year-old neighbor saying, “I don’t understand why you’re trying to hurt those geese.” His reply was, “I am on my property and I can do anything I want to those geese.”

Still trying to have a calm dialog, she said, “But I don’t understand why you would own property with the pond on it, if geese bother you so much. Isn’t there a more humane way of getting rid of the geese?”

He walked up to her, glaring at her and seethingly said, “Look, lady, don’t you get it? Nobody in this subdivision likes you. In fact, everyone hates you! Thank God you weren’t able to have any children, because you would have been a horrible mother and would have really screwed them up. You’re nothing but poor white trailer trash and you don’t belong in this neighborhood!”

She called me, crying uncontrollably. “What should I do? Should I send an email to everyone in the subdivision and explain to them about my brain injury? Should I just move somewhere else and just get away from these kind of people? I wish I were dead! I just can’t stand living like this with people angry at me and hating me so much.”

It’s hard to get these kinds of words out of your head. They leave a deep scar on your soul. The only way I know to heal the hurt is to do some self-nurturing and self-programming. I find songs to often be very helpful and soothing. Sensing that my friend really needed a message that would nurture and comfort her, I immediately thought of a song called How Could Anyone from Shaina Noll’s CD titled Songs for the Inner Child. I typed the words to the song and told her to read them over and over again when she had problems getting her angry neighbor’s words out of her mind.

© Angela Cramer, 2008

Clipart is the property of Jupiterimages made available through subscription:
© Jupiterimages Corporation, 2008

How Could Anyone?

by Libby Roderick

How could anyone ever tell you

You were anything less than beautiful?

How could anyone ever tell you

You were less than whole?

How could anyone fail to notice

That your loving is a miracle?

How deeply you’re connected to my soul?

– Songs for the Inner Child, by Shaina Noll

Click here to see a youtube video of some incredible artwork put to this amazingly healing song. How Could Anyone?

Tags: TBI, traumatic brain injury, acquired brain injury, post concussion syndrome, inspirational songs, disabled, handicapped, how could anyone, libby roderick, songs for the inner child, shaina noll, anger, impulse control, self-acceptance


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