By Angela


1. The Feather

2. Changed Brains and Labels

3. Goose Necks and Short Cuts

4. Changes & Recovery

5. The Sage Within

As I begin to write about Writing, I realize that I’ve hit both a funny bone and something very sad within me at the same. Something that reminds me of the very nature of brain injury and its invisible nature. My writing has been both a blessing and a curse.

In the early stages when I had such horrible difficulty with my speech, which I now know was because I had suffered a stroke, I could type out my thoughts much easier than speaking them. The stuttering was so bad that I couldn’t get out everything I was thinking and wanted to say. I also couldn’t organize my thoughts very well when I spoke, something that is still a challenge.

When I type out my thoughts, however, I can see the progression of my thinking. With a few clicks I can change things around until they seem to be logical. On good days, I can do this in a reasonable amount of time. When I start becoming fatigued, it can take me an entire day just to write three paragraphs.

The blessing is that I can write well. The curse is that people only see an end product. They do not see or understand what happens to my body in order to get to the end product. They simply look at the end product and think there is nothing wrong with me. The ones who have power and control over my life, declare that I am not disabled and simply need to go back to work.

Another aspect of the invisible nature of a brain injury that I am reminded of is emotional lability. This means that a person quickly cycle through emotions – s/he can go from laughing about something to finding him/herself in the depths of despair in a matter of minutes. Like many others with TBI, I find myself in the depths of despair frequently. I have had depressed periods in my life before – growing up in an alcoholic family, moving 2400 miles away from friends, and surviving a divorce.

It’s different this time. I don’t have the same control over my life and options to support myself. I wonder if I’ll eventually become one of the TBI and suicide statistics. This is a hard battle. I pour myself into writing as a way to do something constructive with my feelings. To bring more awareness and understanding about traumatic brain injury. To offer support to others when I can, and to ask for help when I am in need.

The following stories are a hodgepodge of my writings. I hope to add more stories about growing up on a farm and the life lessons I learned from that part of my life.

© Angela Cramer, 2008


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