Sunday, August 17, 2014

No Longer the Victim

A lot has been turning in the little head of mine. About 2 weeks ago, I read through my old journal and it got me thinking about this pain I've been feeling for the last 4 years.
     Because of the situation I was thrown into right after my accident, I was unable to do a lot of things that I expected myself to do. I expected myself to be the life of the party, I expected myself to be the same good listening ear that I had become for dozens of people. But that was all inside; on the outside, I was dealing with so much pain, so much frustration, so much loss that my traumatically-injured-brain couldn't listen to anyone else. I literally was unable to be the person I was before, but I couldn't see it. From my single-eyed, and injured view, I thought I was the exact same person but that all my friends were treating me differently. So I got angry. (Or so I assume, I can't actually remember any of this.) I'm not trying to blame the TBI (traumatic brain injury) for everything that I did, but I'm hoping that through the explanation of it, maybe you'll be able to understand. After the TBI, I wasn't aware of how angry or how just straight up mean I was to people - quite frankly, I'm still not. Especially as friends started to fade away, I got feisty. I have been left alone for many important events in my life; I thought that it was all your fault. This was absolutely wrong. For this, to everyone who associated with me after the accident - anytime really, even now (but we'll get to more of it later) - I am sorry. I could not see what kind of person I was, no matter how many times my mom told me, not until now. I wasn't able to understand why you were being pushed out of my life. Now that I have a much clearer view, I am sorry, and I beg for your forgiveness.
     To all of the friends I tried to make after the accident, I tried my very hardest not to, but I still had expectations for what a friend should be. The worst part about this was that I desperately needed and expected a friend based on what I had known in the past. For a couple of reasons; first, because I didn't get to triumph out of high school like everyone else, or even just leave with all of your friends to say "see you around." Because of what I have been through, I didn't get that. I also expected a friend to be the kind of friend that I was - which is extremely rare. I had always been the kind of person that would sit and listen, that would psych you up if that's what you needed, I was the kind of friend that everyone desires. Because I had been that person, I had a skewed perception of the world; I thought all people thought that way. Oh how I was so wrong! Especially between high-school and young adult ages. Before my accident, I never talked to anyone else about MY problems, MY issues, but somehow afterwards, I thought that other people would treat me the way I had treated others. As all of my friends and I drifted apart, I couldn't figure out why you never messaged me, or reached out to me or anything, especially if I was doing that to you. I have not yet experienced the difference between co-worker/college relationships and high school relationships. For all of that, I am so sorry.
     Coming to this realization, learning that what used to make me whole was helping others, listening to their issues and helping them through it, and seeing how it was done before, I'm on my way to returning to that kind of a person. I'm not saying that it will happen overnight and that it won't take time, because I know it will. But I'm asking you, whoever you are, and anyone I have yet to meet, to be patient. I am trying my best to stop trying to interject myself into things that you tell me about, if you'll tell me about anything anymore. I AM NOT BLAMING YOU, I know it sounds like I am. If you can trust me, then trust that I am only trying to come to terms with my own terrible behavior. I want to become more like the person I was before. I want to have that selfless attitude in all of my actions with my fellow men. I am trying to do this. However, because of the TBI things get overwhelming and I get maxed out much, much easier. So I will tell you right now that during times when there are a lot of stressors in my life, I will not, because I cannot be so great at forgetting about myself. So please, accept this apology, and give me another chance, you know I would.
     There are some things that were not taken from me in the accident. One of those things is my true endearing love for each one of you. I will not be the victim in my own destiny. Yes, I went through a horrible tragedy; yes, it shattered my whole world. It shattered my world because it took away skills, abilities, and understandings. But quite frankly, I'm tired of being angry and depressed. I love you too much to hate you and want you out of my life for good. I don't remember a whole lot of what has happened, regardless of how aware or "with-it" I seemed. So please forgive me for everything I have ever done. Please give me another chance to be the amazing friend you know that I can be. 


  1. I just love you Shan. I hope everyone sees this!

  2. Love you, Shannon. As we've gone through our different challenges around the same time, I've learned so much from you and your family.

  3. Shannon you've never been anything but sweet and I don't think anyone could blame you for how hard it's been. I'm always so happy to read about your progress.

  4. So sweet to read this post. We love you so much and want you to have happiness and especially peace. You are a fighter and a champion as you take such responsibility. You are always in our prayers.
    Aunt Pat and Uncle Merlin/Elder and Sister Fish

  5. Any one out there that might happen to see this that knows any of those friends from the past, I would request that you forward this post to them. So many have long moved on...but this post is one that all should see if for nothing else but to educate the world on how long it takes to heal from a traumatic brain injury. And to you Shan, I couldn't be more proud of you. Very few of us have known the fight that you have/are gone/going through to find yourself again. Miracles do happen--just not the way we expect them to. Love you SO MUCH!! Mom