Friday, January 11, 2013

End of a road

Sad this morning. And last night. Waves of sadness.

Just before Christmas an email came saying I was no longer an employee of the company. With instructions for returning my laptop. Take it to any UPS Store, the company would pay.

I loved my job. The people on my team, helping them accomplish stuff. The feeling that I had something of value to contribute. The paycheck.

I like the way it gave the day structure. Like most tech jobs in Silicon Valley it was all-consuming. It was a daily struggle to hold onto a shred of humanity. For 18 years, a job and a bicycle. That was it.

Health benefits went away more than a year ago; this represents the final step in the separation process. It might be the final loss in the cascade that began with the accident. I am unemployed.

Sometimes it feels like I can't breathe the air, can't allow myself, forgot how. As the youngest of five work was helpful for showing my parents and older siblings how I could make it on my own. Able, in the full sense of the word. Where they saw a younger, poorer, smaller, dependent, worth-less version of themselves, the world saw a person of value.

People at BlogWorld were very nice. Sometimes after the words "brain injury" their body language would change, stiffen. Their eyes would scan for external signs. As Lon Nungesser says in Axioms for Survivors:
Much of the initial impact of any diagnosis will be due to the stigma attached to the illness.
OK, so I wonder what work looks like now. Going forward.

People tend at this point to nudge toward the good stuff. A future that is undefined, opening up ahead of me. Turning the bad into something positive. This blog is already there, letting people know what it's like from the inside to have a brain injury. Sharing the experience, the stories, the recovery process.

But sometimes as Dr. H says, it's just sad.

After all Vegas has always been a place of big highs and lows.


  1. So glad you made it home from Vegas safely, sister. In our entire history together, I have never viewed you as "less than." OK, maybe you're shorter than the rest of your sisters... :) But you're also the only one of us to have played basketball on the high school team. I have always been very, very fond of my youngest sister, but more than that, very respectful of your formidable intellect and capabilities. You are scrappy, creative, and interesting. I am grateful to live near you and be able to reciprocate your personal warmth, and to engage in discriminating, nuanced, and profoundly helpful discussions. I perceive you as exceptionally able. Just sayin'. Hugs!

    1. Thank you Mary. Kind words. Guess I hate having to be "scrappy" - it's demeaning. Don't understand why it's acceptable to make a TBI survivor fight to prove it and fight to get benefits on top of the fight to recover. There are a lot of bullies in the world as well as people who willfully refuse to understand. The right thing may or may not be done at the end of this story, but either way I'm rebuilding.