I decided to re-post this blog tonight. I only recently wrote this one but this afternoon we were at a function and I got some looks and we needed to leave early or there would certainly be more than looks.
I can’t explain our situation with verbal words often as it would be greatly detrimental for my daughter, but I hope this gives people some insight into her (our) current situation.
This situation we are now living with is called a ‘ Traumatic Brain Injury’. She wasn’t born with it, we didn’t ask for it, it’s just a gift that she received after the accident caused her brain to be shaken in so many directions that the injury is similar to ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’.
Today, she was grumpy.
Today she was stomping her feet.
She wouldn’t smile.
She yelled rather than spoke.
She was hungry, then she wasn’t.
She is sometimes inappropriate. She forgets to be polite. She forgets to eat neatly. She interrupts.
From the outside looking in I knew what people were thinking.
That kid looks out of control.
She is, because she just did five full days of school in a row since November. Her body and brain are tired. Her sensory processing are in overload and will shortly meltdown. That you do not want to see. The noise of so many people is hurting her brain. It cannot block out all of those sounds.
Why isn’t the mother trying to control her?
Because THAT mother knows her better than your judgement. That mother knows she needs to conserve her energy to get her out of this function without making a scene. That mother knows her own cup is empty from the drain that is brain injury and sometimes you only fight a fight worth fighting.
This is brain injury.
What you didn’t see is how long it took for her to calm down when she got home.
What you didn’t see was the torture in her mother’s head on making a decision to go to that function today or not. If we didn’t go her littlest sister misses out on something she’s been looking forward to since last year. If we did go her mother had to be prepared for a showdown.
Here is my original post I called ‘Inside Her Head’.
Today I woke up happy but my body felt tired.
I had toast for breakfast and I never have toast for breakfast. But, I felt like toast. Or did I feel like eggs? Mummy makes me whatever I feel like. I always change my mind.
I get dressed for school slowly after Mummy kept telling me to. I did my hair, brushed my teeth, packed my lunch in my bag and walked to the car. Mummy kept telling me what I should do because I forget sometimes.
I had to go to a doctors appointment this morning because my brain got hurt after the truck ran into us.
After the doctors appointment I was late for school. I didn’t want to go to school but Mummy told me I had to go.
My body made me feel angry. I really don’t want to go to school. Why won’t people listen to me. I’m feeling tired.
Mummy told me I could have hot chips after school if I get out of the car and go to school. Mummy knows they’re my favourite. Now I feel happy.
I do reading and writing and my brain gets tired so I need to rest. But someone is sitting on my special chair that I’m allowed to rest on. I can’t get angry at school but my body feels very tired and very unhappy at this girl sitting on my chair. I wonder if her brain hurts too.
I lie on the floor in the classroom and try to stop all the different noises and have a rest. I close my eyes. My nose is itchy. My legs won’t stay still. So many people are talking. The tap is running water. Someone is running outside. The floor feels scratchy on my body. The birds are screaming. The trees have too much wind going through their leaves. I cover my ears and try to make all the noises go away.
It’s lunchtime. I’m hungry but I don’t feel like eating pasta now. It feels funny in my mouth and my teeth hurt. It’s so noisy in the playground.
The bell rings. I cover my ears. It’s screaming in my head. I wish I could put my ear muffs on but other kids might laugh at me. But the ear muffs make the noises go away. But kids will definitely laugh at me.
We learn about tornados. I like thinking about the warm air swirling around and around and around. That’s how my brain feels sometimes.
My Mum comes to get me early she said she would and she did. This makes me happy. Sometimes I go home early because my brain hurts. Sometimes I have to stay all day. Sometimes Mummy forgets to tell me. Or she does and I forget what she says. My brain forgets a lot.
We go to another appointment. I like this one. I do lots of words and sounds but I get to play with the new puppy. Mummy is talking to the lady and my brain is tired.
I lie down in the puppies bed and cover my face in its soft fur. It makes me feel safe and warm and my body stops moving. I close my eyes and take deep breaths. The puppy makes me feel happy and calm.
We pick my brother and sister up and get home with our hot chips like Mummy promised. I want more chips but there are none. My body is angry. My words don’t work properly so I yell mean things. I really want more chips. My brain is so tired. No, I want an egg with toast NOW!
I throw things and run and cry and then my body falls on the ground and it’s just so angry. I can hear my body huffing and puffing but I don’t really know why.
Mummy holds me. I’m angry. I don’t want to be touched.
Now I want a hug but she’s making me an egg so, I stare at her with my cranky face. Why doesn’t she know I’m sorry and I want a hug and I want my egg.
I eat my egg really fast even though I really want hot chips.
Mummy helps wash me. I bury my face in the warm face washer and want to keep it there. Mummy brushes my hair and my teeth and puts my clothes on. My body is so tired now it doesn’t want to move.
Mummy carries me to my bedroom and covers me with blankets and talks to me. I don’t want to listen. I want a movie now.
Mummy puts a movie on and gives me a kiss on my forehead and I see her looking at me with sad eyes.
My head tells her that I love her but my brain is too tired to talk. I smile at my Mummy. I think she knows I really do love her so much.
I don’t want to go to school tomorrow. My body is tired of seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and feeling too many things.
Tomorrow I’m going to wake up happy and give my Mummy a big hug and tell her I love her, like I do every morning.