Tag Archives: PTSD

A Personal Light Bulb Moment

I finally admitted to myself something that I’ve known for pretty much my whole life but never had the courage to say out loud – especially not to myself.

I’m a perfectionist with an enfeebling fear of failure.

I fear failure so much that quite often I don’t even begin a project because I’m too terrified it will go wrong or I’ll make a mistake of some kind.

I reached a clear understanding of my “condition” with my recent fevered work search.

I’ve applied for many, many jobs – all within my wheelhouse, or at least expertise-adjacent – and while I have received about 90% of the “thank you, but we’re not hiring” or “thank you, but you’re not what we’re looking for” and (my favourite) “thank you, but we want US citizens only” responses, the other 10% have responded with “You sound perfect for this! Please complete our short entrance test/exam and we’ll see where you stand and where we can use you!”

I’ve completed two so far. Two.

I’m the queen of excuses; the duchess of rationalization; the empress of reasons to dilly-dally.

I’ve started another test; “set up” (by downloading the files and filling in the forms) for 3 others, but whenever I find the time my brain starts to look for excuses: I have no space on this tiny desk to work properly (the movers took our nice big table away, so husband and I are sharing this tiny rickety desk and we barely fit, even sitting on opposite sides of it); the glare on my screen is too much for me to accurately see what I’m typing; I’m tired; I’m restless and the dogs need me to… do something; the laundry needs folding; the kitchen needs cleaning; I can’t use my pedal correctly and it makes my legs or my back ache sitting at such a strange angle.

And the excuses just roll on in.

The thing that REALLY pisses me off is that once I START on something and get rolling and into it I’m just fine! I can churn out a great deal of excellent work when I focus!

I enjoy my work! I studied hard; I worked hard; I learned a great deal; I actually ENJOY the subjects I’ve trained for, and the other work is interesting as well because I CHOSE them specifically because it was something I knew about or was interesting in! It’s just getting over that “Well, what if I make a mistake? What if they don’t like my work? What if I do it wrong?” initial emotional mental blast, that’s what’s driving me nuts.

I even put off doing another entrance test today so I could write this blog post.


I can honestly partially blame this self-doubt on my head injury – because of the nature of head injuries, there was a long (YEARS) period where I couldn’t trust my eyes/ears/understanding. I would hear words that were not there, or not hear words that were. I would forget the meaning of the most basic, daily words. I would forget what I was saying AS I WAS SAYING IT. I would start something and completely forget what it was for. I couldn’t read because I would lose the story after about 3 lines.

I called the bank once to check on some strange activity on my account (which was not strange at all, but stuff _I_ had purchased) and about 1 minute after the lady started speaking to me, I forgot why I called. I could NOT remember.

As soon as I hung up… it came back to me.

But it’s been 14 years (end of this month) since my accident and I have made incredible progress in my recovery – built new neural pathways and discovered new ways of looking at things and doing things that I didn’t think I’d ever master again. I CANNOT hold the excuse up anymore. I am stronger than that; I am MORE than just a “survivor” of TBI.


The time has come to move on; to get over it, under it, or through it – whichever works.

Tomorrow is a new day and I must embrace it.

Counter the excuses, the ill-formed reasoning.

I must stop being afraid of making a mistake; stop being afraid of failure.


I can still strive for perfection, but not at the cost of efficiency or progress.




Silence is not always bad

Doing this #100happydays thing with a few friends – where you try and find at least one good thing about your day.

It’s been… interesting. I will admit that I skipped a day, or two. Not because I couldn’t find anything to feel happy about, but simply because my brain has enough trouble remembering things that help keep me moving each day and I just forgot completely to “take a shot” of something good.

I wanted to take a shot of my dog’s poop – that’s when I realised that I needed to think again. Reason being – my dogs have been so sick for so long, that seeing a “good” poop from them made me happy beyond words. Seeing it consistently for the last few days has really kept a lightness to my heart. Also, seeing Gina’s new energy level and playfulness (like when we first got her!) and Azzie calmness and happiness, makes me feel bad for them that they were sick for so long.

It’s still slow going – taking it a day at a time with this – but they are definitely getting better and this makes me HAPPY!

A happy fur mom.

Azzie has another issue that we now need to deal with – but it’s not making her sick and it doesn’t affect her in any way other than it embarrasses her and makes a little mess. Doesn’t happen all the time, of course – almost random, really – so it’s hard to sort out. Going to try something natural first, before we hit the drugs. Just waiting for it to arrive in the mail.

Husband has been gone “on mission” for a little bit and will be gone for a little while longer. I miss him, of course, and the house is silent without him – especially in the evenings and on the weekends when we let our hair down and listen to music, watch movies, laugh about things or he plays his games and gets loud and silly and has fun with his friends online.

But sometimes, it’s alright, the silence. I focus on things that I would normally ignore – me, for instance, and how I am doing.

Some people find it hard to understand that I really don’t mind being on my own. I’m never “alone” – just, not in the company of people. This is fine with me – I like my own company. I can say/think what I want when I am with me – no filter necessary to either tone it down or make it understandable to other humans. My husband gets me better than most, I will admit, but even for him, some of the things that come out of my mouth, from the depths of my dark mind, even he doesn’t always understand it.


I’ve had more memories return, as well, from my youth. It seems 10 years is long enough to keep them locked away and now they are starting, slowly, to resurface. I’ve “dreamed” a few – but I know they are _real_ not just my usual vivid dreams. I “remember” them when I wake up. Things come back to me. I have been a little… saddened I guess is the word, by some of them. Because I could not (cannot) remember most of what happened to me before the accident, when things come back and I can understand them better, see them from an older and wiser perspective – I see things now that I was completely oblivious to when they happened.

One of the memories nearly woke me screaming the other night. I woke up with jaw clenched, hands clenched so hard my nails dug into my palms. I was sweating profusely and my heart was beating so hard I felt like I was going to vomit. And my head hurt so badly I couldn’t move it. My husband slept on, so I am assuming my “noise” was all internal. Which is fine. It’s not a memory I wanted to share, anyway.


Head injury, and PTSD, affect us for so long after they happen. Sometimes the recovery can be painful – not just physically, but emotionally and mentally too. New pathways are formed in our brains, which means new ways of seeing things. Some of the things can really suck.

Luckily, one of the good things that came of my head injury, PTSD, and subsequent recovery is that I am very strong, mentally. I am also very close to myself. If that makes sense. I know _me_ and I know what I am and who I am and what I can and cannot handle. So, while I feel like I wasted my youth trying to have things I could never have, be with people who didn’t want to be with me at all, or get myself into situations I should have been smarter about – I learn something from every memory that comes back.

Any fellow sufferers who read this – hang in there. Don’t give up. Be strong. Be yourself. Trust yourself.