2007 Christmas family gathering where most people wouldn’t expect

24 Dec

It’s the holiday season and reminders of years past.  It’s bad enough that my subarachnoid hemorrhage occurred December 22, 1991 … a date I will never forget and left my life and my immediate family’s altered forever!  What comes to mind now is Christmas time 2007!

2007 was the year of several elaborate hoax that continued for over a year!  I haven’t mentioned these hoax to date, but that will be coming because if these things happened with me I’m certain they can be happening to many with TBI survivors. I use to feel so alone, and now I know I’m not!

A Christmas tree inside a home.

A Christmas tree inside a home. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In years since my injury I’ve become the butt of all jokes, as though I weren’t even in the room!  People talked around me and too me as though I never existed.  I caught every word, including all those words I should not have heard!  I don’t have filters since my injury, hence I can’t filter anything out!

The biggest problem is that I have a slow processor so I don’t respond quickly to comments. On the other hand, I’m happy I’m not impulsive! A slow processor might be good in these situations.  Sometimes, I’m long gone before I realize what was said, and what the implications were.  That’s probably a good thing because when one is the target of jokes it can be heartbreaking! Heartbreaking especially when my spouse would feed into many of the jokes!

Too bad other people don’t always have a backbone when they should!  I’m proud to say that I will stand up for what I believe and I don’t err on the side of ignorance and play with others emotions! That part of me is the same … before and after injury!  I have not changed!

We always had family gathering during the holidays.  With such limited energy it was never easy, but life goes on and I compensated in whatever way I could.  I have two children and a spouse and I needed to appear as things were “normal”!  That was hard to do!  I never asked for help!  I struggled, but I succeeded in recovery!

In 2007, my brother and his wife suggested that we meet at the mall for our Christmas gathering because they thought it would be easier for me.  I found out years later, this was the suggestion of a physician that became involved in these hoax.  

My husband and I went to the food court about 30 minutes early so I could check out the menus.  I don’t do well with selections and I don’t frequent the malls or food courts!  We were quizzed as though I was some type of criminal!  What a beautiful family gathering, huh!  Who needs this type of entertainment?  Who needs family like this?

Sad fact is, my beautiful nieces, probably don’t know anything about this last Christmas together … because they weren’t invited!  They were invited to my house, but their parents didn’t invite them to the mall to share in the holiday festivities! Too bad they don’t know the truth!  Dr. Oaf has meddled into a situation that changed this family permanently.

Christmas gifts.

Christmas gifts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We had one gathering after this, and it too were a nightmare!  My family put on a happy face for the bride, but truly it was anything but happy!  That was the last gathering!  I’ll write about it later.

It’s possible my nieces were told some nasty untruthful things, simply because they don’t understand traumatic brain injury.  The reality is over the years, regardless of my lack of recovery I was trying to carry on … and it was difficult!  Four hours of energy every day doesn’t leave much room for anything!

My time was valuable, at a premium!  One day to polish nails, next day to bathe, next day to meet at the mall!  Nothing was easy, until I started recovering after treatment!  I did one thing a day for 18 1/2 years!  There was NO room for jokes or a hoax, let alone over a  year … from January 2007 – July 2008!

I didn’t remember to give gifts, or I didn’t remember what I was giving as gifts, or I found gifts still wrapped from years past!  I definitely wasn’t together and far from perfect.

We were criticized for how we dressed, how we sat, how we walked, how we ate, and the beat goes on and on and on.  There just wasn’t anything right! It’s bad enough that I was the butt of jokes, but when they transferred these jokes onto my family we had enough! I tolerated the jokes, but when the attacks were personal on to other family members … it was time to remove ourselves from these abusive situations.

These are the types of comments I would get:  “How come you can’t remember what you wrapped?”  “How can you still have gifts from earlier years?”  “How can you not remember what day of the month you have your period?”   the beat goes on….and on…and on!  I’m sure many of you out there are going through the same thing.

Since the holidays of 2007 our gatherings include our immediate family and trustworthy friends.  Friends are my chosen family.  I have other siblings and family out-of-state, but we see them frequently but not usually during the holidays.  I am blessed to have them in my life, and I know they accept me for who I am.  They have been my support through the years, and if others would have only 50% of what I have as far as significant relationships this world would be a better place.

Have you been the “butt of all jokes”? How have you handled it? What types of hoax have happened to you?

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9 responses to “2007 Christmas family gathering where most people wouldn’t expect

  1. Lydia H

    December 24, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Holidays are even harder. Routine gets distrupted. We have the remember more things. I can relate to forgetting what you just wrapped. I make sure to put the tags on the gifts just after I wrap them. I may not remember what’s in them but I know who they’re going to. What bugs me is people expecting me to act normally in crowded, noisy rooms. They’re so overstimulating and fatiguing. I get tired because of the activity. My brain just can’t process all that stuff so starts to shut down. I do better at home. I don’t have as much trouble with fatigue as you do but I also only have so much energy a day. My fatigue is more connected to migraines/ pain/ overstimulation. I hope you have a peaceful and Merry Christmas this year!

    • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

      December 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      I’ve had a suggestion to take pictures of gifts as well as everything else I take pictures of, and I do that now through the year! It has helped, because when I think I didn’t do anything I might come across the picture. Of course, then you must remember to take the pictures! We’re all looking for ways that work. A SMILE is the best compensation method! Smiles seem to promote a confident attitude, maybe because it heals the heart and soul! I am thinking of everyone as we attempt to attend family gatherings or limit the distractions! Whatever works best. I’m blessed that at least I’ve figured out what to avoid, and so many others haven’t yet! It’s good to hear from you. I’ve missed hearing from you. Are you okay? Merry Christmas!

      • Lydia H

        December 24, 2012 at 10:51 pm

        I went through a hard time for a bit. I just didn’t have the energy to keep up with everything so let blogging go for a while. Things are better now. =) I missed it. Perhaps it would have been wiser to keep blogging, even a paragraph or two. But, that’s hindsight. Pictures are a good idea. I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll have to keep that in mind so I can remember what I gave people.
        Gatherings are hard. There’s so much action and noise. It’s tiring. Most of the people I’m around understand but there’s still that self-expectation.

        Hope you have a great Christmas!

  2. philippinewanderer

    December 24, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Exactly, no filters! That may play a big part in always saying the wrong thing because I…well I’d better stop before I say something I shouldn’t! Merry Christmas to you, Edie and yours!

    • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

      December 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm

      Hi Steve, I’m sure we say things that may be “inappropriate” and more but than again it’s about time everyone surrounding someone who appears that something might be wrong help them get the proper help! It’s peaceful and comfortable with no distractions! Merry Christmas, Edie

  3. buckwheatsrisk

    December 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I sure have and my blood family is removed from my life as a result of their terrible abuse. I’m sorry people (family no less) have been so cruel and insensitve to you. It sure shows their character. xo

    Merry Christmas!

    • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

      December 24, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      Friends are your chosen family who understand, supports, and loves you unconditionally! … Many times your best friends are some of our pets! They expect little and give so much. Merry Christmas!

      • buckwheatsrisk

        December 24, 2012 at 8:12 pm

        very true. Merry Christmas!

  4. Kathy

    December 26, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    A little late on reading your post but you are not alone. I find Christmas gifts “hidden away” a year later, so my famiy isn’t all that surprised to get them at odd times of the year. Gosh, I just remembered I bought that Hallmark book, the night before Christmas last year and decided to give it this year. Forgot again. We will have to do the recording and get it to the proper family. Oh my.


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