This is a piece of memoir. I was diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury in the fall of 2008 after flipping my Mini Cooper over a median of the Merritt Parkway and crashing it into a tree. This is an account of my life during the time surrounding the fall of 2008, discussing my life before, during, and after the diagnosis, and the new perspective on life I have after the injury. I have incorporated a number my photographs to help exemplify what, and how, I look at things.
Growing up, I used to prefer reading works of Plato, Aristotle and Socrates to the fiction stories people tended to talk about. I always admired the ancient thinkers; they were intelligent, and used direct conversations instead of hiding, what I've always seen as, the nectar of a story beneath, or in between, the lines of the story. What drove their work was the logic behind it, not necessarily the actual chronology or dramatic plot. I grew up thinking that adults were having sophisticated conversations, like those of the ancient thinkers, discussing the truths and realities of life, and the best way for people to live; optimizing everyone's lives.
As I got older, I realized that those conversations weren't actually being had, and saw that life was a much bigger mess than I was originally led to believe. It wasn't until my parents divorced and I had experienced a broken heart that I really felt truly felt discouraged. I began discrediting and ignoring established systems, looking only for ways to numb myself to the realities of life. I failed an attempt at college and had to start over again, under my father's roof.
Within six months of living with my dad, I was admitted to St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where I was then diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury. Traumatic Brain Injury is a common diagnosis for a head injury, ranging anywhere from soldiers that get launched by an explosion ordinance, to athletes like boxers, football players and extreme sports, and even the elderly, who often hit their head when they fall. Essentially, Traumatic Brain Injury is an extreme concussion, but I will explain more about it in the Thesis itself.
Even before my injury I didn't agree with the way society works and the way people live, but afterwards, not only did I not agree, I couldn't remember the justifications I had for accepting things the way they are. I couldn't figure out how people could continually advocate honesty one minute, just to use a white lie the next; or why people always seem to need more garbage, instead of enjoying what they already have. People talk about righteousness, but rest on forgiveness.
Even before my accident, I was reprimanded quite a bit for talking back and being argumentative. Perhaps it was because, for 3 of the 4 years of high school I was a member of the debate team, where I learned how easy it is to learn something, when you try and figure out a way that it's wrong. I understand, and even understood, that I tended to come across argumentatively, but I generally, was just genuinely trying to learn. Post Traumatic Brain Injury, I had such issues with my temper and impulse control that I was creating serious issues for myself with all the hostility I carried through my relearning process. I was annoyed before the accident, but after my knock in the head I was furious; I didn't know how to express my feelings any way other than lashing out.
Through a photography internship that I started after being released from the hospital, the things I learned from classes like sociology, psychology, history and writingâ€¦ and time; I've learned to better formulate and express my feelings and opinions toward life, almost to the point where I'm completely confident that when my impulse issues flare up, whatever I say, at least I say it well.
I still feel as though the generations alive today, aren't doing their fair share toward progressing society for future generations. I still feel, over four years after the injury, that no one talks about any of it, instead simply concerning themselves with celebrity gossip or the latest version of the same product set to come out. If I'm going to stand a chance at being happy amongst all this dysfunctionality, I have to at least do my part by trying to reignite the discussion, even if that means getting people upset with my hostility or abrasiveness in the process; don't people say that anger is a strong motivator? That doesn't mean I'm hoping to make anyone angry; just that I'm not as concerned if I do.