I have a habit of exposing reality to people’s faces, aka, pushing their buttons, even when I’m trying not to. “Oh,” I say breezily to one person with a long-standing brain injury, “your speech is like mine used to be.” “What do you mean?” comes the astonished, slightly angry reply. “Oh you know,” I continue trippily, having not processed yet that the person is in denial or has no insight, “that stuttering and stumbling you do. It’s how I used to speak before I had brain biofeedback and took Udo’s Ultimate Oil. Every time I’d restart that omega-3 and -6 oil, my speech would improve.” Long pause as the person absorbs that their speech ain’t normal and I finally absorb the fact that they didn’t know that. Hoo boy. I stepped in it.
But then how would they know their speech is mucked up when they have no insight? Everyone used to say to me, “oh, there’s nothing wrong with your speech. You’re so articulate.” If I had had no insight, no self-awareness, I would’ve accepted their positive statement too. But I did have insight, and from inside my cotton-wool-bound head, I’d say silently, are you deaf or stupid? Of course, my speech is fucked up. Out loud, I’d go, “I-I-I . . . my sp-sp-speech is not fucking normal.” I guess it was me using swear words that would confuse them into thinking I spoke normally.
Anywhoo, as I become more cognitively controlled, I think: I’m doing better; then wham, my PTSD gets triggered. And the next thing I know I’m in trouble for shoving their reality in someone’s face. Sigh.
This is when having an objective health care professional who has no trouble speaking compassionately truth to you helps. In addition to receiving brain biofeedback during my sessions at the ADD Centre, I also get to vent and to receive perspective. The perspective this time is: “you fought for your support.” I screamed and yelled and jumped up and down for years and years to get the health care I needed, defying the people who told me to get on with my life and not seek treatment. I gather those who don’t do that can get a bit pissed off when you have what they don’t. Just gotta think: water off duck’s back, water off duck’s back.
But the bigger perspective for me is: relationships don’t end because you had a fight. Gotta remember that.