Relearning how to read comes in fits and starts when you have PTSD in addition to brain injury. Reading is probably more vulnerable to being sidetracked than other aspects of recovery because it is so difficult cognitively and, for me, fraught with issues of loss and identity and being part of mainstream society.
One of the goals of relearning how to read is to be able to escape into a book or magazine and so de-stress. Yet until I reach my reading goal, when I’m stressed, reading has and will have the opposite effect.
Reading makes situations that suddenly knock me over emotionally even more overwhelming, more draining.
Right now, reading remains a mixed bag of anxiety, frustration, positive feelings of doing something for myself, and seeing flickers of hope from the small improvements my neurodoc points out. I want to do my reading homework to assure myself I’m not being sidetracked by others co-opting my energies with their resentments and obsessive stalking needs and causing havoc in my brain; yet my neurodoc is concerned reading before I recover from these emotionally-charged situations can worsen me. Sigh.
I’ve barely begun my reading rehab take umpteen, and others decide their needs and emotions take precedence over my recovery and asking me how best to support me. I’m too tired to be pissed at the sidetracking of a goal that is crucial to my well being because it isn’t by any means the first time this has happened. And it won’t be the last. But now I have a neurodoc who has the skill to right my listing ship and get me sailing again toward being able to escape into a novel and ultimately even more than that. I just need patience and to keep my eyes on my own goals, on what my neurodoc is teaching me, not on those who want me to centre myself on themselves to the detriment of my health.
On that note, I take a baby step back to my reading homework.