Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Invisible Victim In Plain Sight... ...

Or should I say "Wounded Man Walking"?

Given my situation I almost wish my facial fracture left scars. My eyeglasses which hit the asphalt while attached to my face had Poly-Carbonate lens. They did not break however you can see how the asphalt responded to my flirtation with it. For that I still have my eyes. In fact, from the swelling of my brain my eye's have changed in a significant manner. However, if I wear a jacket or long sleeve shirt I look just like any 6'3" 275lb apple pie American man on 30-something. (I'm 45 though!)

This is part of the trouble I face every day. Social situations are my bane yet I can't avoid social gatherings. Even here in New Hampshire, which is not a really heavily populated region, I find myself surrounded by people who just don't get it... me. I am now the perfect enlisted man. I don't want to know "why" of any situation. Why is confusing, debatable, and tends to lead to arguments. Give me "what" and I will hit that target. Just don't share with me your why's.

Why's require more of my memory than I have access to, more than I have sufficient control over. Why asks me to share opinion or I am in agreement with your why's. The truth is maybe my opinion is negative on your situation or cognitive train of thought. Then what? Then I have a debate on my hands, a debate that I did not want (at all) and I may lose a friend. So, to fit in with "society" I have to nod my head and keep silent. A trait that I have never developed even before my accident.

My injury destroyed my saliency. It is hard to explain what being a Mensan with perfect peripheral vision means. Just being a Mensan means my brain is zipping along absorbing everything around me, making connections, unearthing possibilities, and identifying flaws... in EVERYTHING. What society has ever liked such a person?

Now, to be honest, I wasn't a smooth fit in society before my accident. Drop me into any social gathering and I always made an impact. When people are faced with an honest man of good integrity with honor always in his heart and a willingness to engage in a healthy level of self sacrifice, the impact is a given. I had learned to work with society even with my "traits", be a contributing member rarely surrounded by controversy (or oddness). Sadly that is no more.

I wonder if letting me live is the Lord's way of highlighting this "Invisible Disease"... and invisible it is without a doubt.

Surviving significant brain injury is something old and new. Old in there are tales and stories of people suffering such massive injury and leading lives, interesting ones - limited ones, yes. New in that medical technology has reached a point where someone like myself, who may have died, continues onward. New in the fact that not just the lucky few continue onward but a growing number of survivors, functional survivors, is a growing percentage of our population. However, our society has little or no experience in treating each other well... let alone the Invisible Wounded like myself.

Now, just because I say "society" does not mean I have been routinely scorned by every person or organization that I have interacted with. In fact, the willingness to help is so readily available I am overwhelmed with joy at how helpful people are. Sometimes it can be a bit smothering, people assuming my limits and interfering with me, yet all in all it gives this Invisible Wounded hope for the future.

My local Starbucks, my Staples, Berwick Artist Association, Friends of Somersworth, my Church, my Lodge, my VFW... I almost feel like I am giving an Oscar speech here. So many rewarding moment and people that even working fine my memory would not get them all. The bad guys? Those I remember because they are much fewer in number. Social Security, South Eastern New Hampshire Habitat For Humanity, Seacoast Orthopedics.

The government that I went to war for has decided that it would cost money to determine my level of disability and since I am making no financial demands upon the system, why bother?

SENH H4H has individuals in its leadership that did not like me when I volunteered through them that citing my brain injury as reason for Mental Stability concerns (that none of my Doctor's have!) is a cheap cop-out covering up ego driven selfish pettiness.

Seacoast Orthopedics is a real mystery. Before my accident, I was treated for shoulder issues. After my accident, they did not want to hear from me, at all. No reason given, of any kind. Just take your records and suffer pain and discomfort elsewhere. These guys were so bold as to tell my primary care to take a walk. No reason given, not even a lame excuse. Just g.t.f.o. you are fired as a returning patient.

I can only imagine, with some growing sense of horror, what my life would be in my hometown of Philadelphia. I would be extremely impaired from the necessary level of repression that I would have to put on myself. In Philadelphia, my brain injury and PTSD (military) would make me a walking target. That I have dealt with however in the past when I have had to deal with it no one died. I would not be able to reasonably assure that would be the case now. It is quite possible that I would identify an attacker as excessive and unreasonable. A danger to not just myself but to a family member, to an uninvolved innocent, and mentally decide that "he" must be dealt with. And, scarily enough, I have great skill in physical confrontation and a technique that leaves people wide open to my actions. Or, as most of those who have been on the receiving end have said, "No warning whatsoever. No yelling, no exclamation, no obvious signs of what was coming. Just >bam< and then being on the floor covering up from the stomping that commenced."

That is what makes my Invisibility so dangerous. I already know how to be invisible already and how to use it for my own purposes and designs. It is just now that I am now a walking talking Invisible Victim in plain sight... that just makes me a Target for anyone with an off day or moment.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

... My cup overflows.

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows."
Psalm 23:5

On September 23rd 2012 the Lord saved my life. He did it in front of eyewitnesses not my enemies. Though I will confess that I am greatly offended by some of the commentary about my apparent bicycling skill. It was apparent that I was not a "good" bicyclist since my bike was not a new spiffy tehnowonder cycle. So since I choose to use the bike my friend gave me, through another friend, I obviously sucked as a cyclist. (shoulder shrugs)

So the Lord saved my life as an example to others. My head was anointed all right, to the point that some parts of the calcium were broken. The doctors had to drill holes in it to see what was going on. (Yes, they did not just put sensors in - they put in cameras!) Yet, all in all, here I am.

I am on no medication regimen, I am competent with matters in front of my face, I've even had a court appeareance seeking a restraining order against a nefarious individual. The judge chuckled and enjoyed my dialogue. I may be brain injured but I live and I thrive.

... My cup overflows.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

12 Hours Left... ...

I'm struggling today a bit more than usual. By "date", tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of my TBI accident. However by "time" it is less than 12 hours till the 1 year mark of that event. Or, as a VFW brother said, "The mark of my unluckiest lucky moment of your life".

The struggle is understanding the enormity of the moment I lived through. I remember the moments leading up to the accident. I was heading downhill in an awesomely panoramic moment, loving this beautiful earth and words of angelic joy filling my throat, and then... I started waking up again. Part of me struggles with the lack of "the next moment". I feel like I should remember it, that there was something that I'm just letting slip from my memory. The only benefit is that I don't have PTSD from the accident, itself, however I do feel a bit of stress over not remembering it. I should or what is the point of this well trained Combat Veteran mind if I can't remember my environment or actions.

The real PTSD that I am having to deal with is not my own, at all. It is the burden that my wife shouldered. What she endured for her husband is the stuff of legend. I do not feel worth such legendary endurance however regardless of how I feel about myself I was, and am, the recipient of it. I strive to honor that effort, that gift, with each waking moment that the Lord graces me with.

One major part of my philosophy is: That it is better to give than receive, yes, but if you receive badly how do you make the giver feel?

The Lord gave me the gift of life. I am going to live, as much as I can, to make him pleased to have given me that gift. Now, I have my wife's gift of love to honor and cherish just as much as my own life. And I will no matter what it takes, I will honor her gift to me and cherish her love for me... forever Moore.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

One Night In Jita

Two more days and I hit the 1 year anniversary of my accident. It is hard to explain how Traumatic Brain Injury has "unlocked" me. I used to be so very creative, very much a Tall Poppy, however I learned how to make myself readily acceptable by the messed up standards Society places upon the "not normal".

Today I am trying to arrange a gathering of my virtual friends who live near me. We met and spent much time in an MMO called Eve Online. Not a nice place mind you. A place where people live for deceitful accomplishments. I have a strong history in that environment and and almost as strong reputation. I never cut a bad deal. I never ever cheat anyone. No matter what incentives in play, no matter my opinion of that person, nefarious thoughts do not live here, ever. So much a reputation in these matters EON magazine interviewed me for publication.

All I am trying to do is to get an impromptu Corp Op, in meat space, to have a meal at the TeaTotaller. A time where a couple of military veterans, we all are, can sit down and enjoy each others company. But that got me thinking back on something that is a wonderful display of my creative tongue-in-cheek wit. An example of who I used to be, before TBI, and who I still am, after TBI. Sadly, since I don't have access to my old social skills... I stand out like a squeaky wheel.

More dramatically, as I used to tell people, not a squeaky wheel but a nail that stands up. Wheels cry for oil, yes they do, however oil is an ever disappearing commodity. Nails that stand up, however, are cured with a hammer. Hammering nails seems to be a popular past time in this Media driven shallow wit Society. Alas, I see a lot of hammers being raised since my brain injury... and not a drop of oil anywhere. Shucks, I keep expending my own personal oil on people/organizations and they just keep hammering away thinking that I am somehow made of oil for the taking.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Four (4) Days To Go... ...

That's right, in 4 days I "celebrate" my one year anniversary of my accident. I have trouble remembering much of the past year. I remember my vague thoughts as I was coming out of a comatose state. I remember relearning to walk. I remember my first day back at home. I remember my wife's struggles for me without any partner.

I remember figuring out where the Krempels Center is located. I remember the first time I went there. I drove myself there without getting lost and introduced myself. I remember the few Masonic gatherings I was able to attend. I remember meeting the august gentleman who is New Hampshire's Grandmaster Mason. I remember how humbling it was to be in his presence and not be overwhelmed at the same time.

Sadly, there is one thing that I do remember. I can't forget how embarrassing I was as a person. On a society level I was a blot upon the sun. Embarrasing myself, that does not linger as fair as shame or guilt is concerned. However embarrassing another, that lingers onward.

Much of my efforts these days is trying to correct any awkward feelings I caused to exist. However, this is not easy. I've already learned one harsh lesson while trying to say sorry. Sometimes sorry is not what people want to hear. Figuring out what they want is so nebulous that touch something here irratates another spot. And with the "net' being so powerful, it is easy for offended people to find much to deepen, and stregthen, thier annoyance.

Add to which, I've been using this forum to speak my mind as thoughts come to me. This fuels the problem. For example, there was (locally) a rash of spiteful vandalism a few months ago. While it has died down, no more acts have taken place, the local Police Department is leering my way. My inability to sleep the night through leave me awake at off hours. Sometimes I'll go out in my backyard and stare at the night sky. I take my cane and flashlight with me as there is a local coyote population. If a coyote wants to say hi to me I just want to say hi back in a language he/she understands.

However the P.D. is now looking at me for the vandal acts. Apparently I want to start a neighborhood watch and to get it started I committed these acts of vandalism. So instead of learning more about Traumatic Brain Injury & how to assist with it, the local police officers are learning more about George Zimmerman and the craziness of ill motivated people.

This was just one example, I have many people and organizations that have struck at me (peripherally) just because I am different than the norm. Before my accident, I was still different I just knew how to "hide" it so that people did not notice. My memory being so dicey has made my old skill of "seeming normal" is gone leaving only the mind of a Mensan of high integrity with Combat experience & training. Can one imagine why the police are looking sideways at me?

However, issues aside, this is painful and draining. Here I am always trying to remember my limitations (I do forget them) and try to "normalize" myself to acceptable society standards. I'm just having trouble finding my box. I would happily shrink myself into an acceptable box but I can't find it. Makes me wish for my pine box but that is depression speaking. I know that if I wanted my pine box, I would not have to look far for a person willing to consign my VFW old butt into it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Autobiography ... ... or not.

I find myself in a position of writing about myself. However this is usually considered an Autobiography, hopefully from someone worth reading about. Now, I do know that parts of my life is useful to know. Why go through it if you can read about it. However some things you have to go through on your own no matter how skillfully I can relay the experience. No matter how many words I throw at a topic you won't know it until after the fact.

"Experience is a back breaker, especially when you don't have it!"

That allows me to segue into a topic, my finances compel me to seek alternatives to my current life situation. Now, I could use my "cv" to try to get ahead, sure. Having the D.O.D. and Electronic Arts on it makes mine exceedingly attractive, especially in the IT field. The skills I could bring to bear are usually beyond the needs, and desires, of most East Coast corporations. Also, I could just become a cyber panhandler. Standing around on the Internet, waving a dirty "please help poor little old me" blanket, just humming for money till my money worries are gone. Yeah I could do that or I could create content that is worthwhile.

The idea of spending my time productively, now that is attractive. Both to you and to me. I've lightly hit google trying to find a newzine venue and I'd be working way too much for a middle man's success. Not my own or yours, just busting my chops to make him successfull though he expends very little effort. Not my kind of sense to be honest. I understand that to use the financial system there will always be leeches attached at various non-removable spots yet I can do what I can to avoid as many of the binds as I can.

This brings me to the next problem, publishing. As this blog shows I don't need a publisher to speak. However I don't know of any publisher that won't want an author to become a media driven ego maniac. Of course that would mean that you'd have to repeatedly buy the ever oncoming versions of my autobiography as well. Through traditional methods I would only share with a few of you and only share every so often with an ever shrinking sample. Unnacceptable in the extreme.

So I am going to try something that will handle financials, as you the reader would like. I am using PayPal to accept donations. Donations that will be used, potentially non-profit like, however instead of just a blanket request for money I am attached a donatable amount per article. Now, let's be clear: You can read as much as you like freely. If you are so inclined, you (at your choice) may applaud or agree with the aspect of our society that everyone seems to respect. Some articles mean much more to me than others. Some articles are about topics I really don't much care about. However, this method will still allow you to freely consume what I have to say to whatever measure you care to do.

In the end, this methodology (I think) gives equal respect to both the author AND the reader.

Go ahead, press this button.

(You don't have to accept - but press it. You know you want to!)

6 Days 2 Go... ...

I started going long on my Facebook posting and I realized that it was not a "post", it was a story. So I shall begin...

Had a very interesting morning. First, I did not sleep until 4AM and slept till 7AM. Nice bright and fully refreshed. I then started my day by doing my morning light "Police Call" at the Somersworth VFW Post. While I was out there the VFW "watcher" asked me if I could half-staff the flags. So I did and then I noticed that the flag at the Somersworth City Hall was at full staff. So I waited in the VFW until City Hall opened and then went to the City Clerk's office.

She looked up and asked me how could she help me. I responded, "I think I can help you." She took a deep breath and said, "What, again?" See on Sept 11th I met her for the first time when I pointed out that the flag was at full staff. So she reached for a phone and that is when I found out that the City doesn't have someone in a position for such matters. So I piped up, "You won't be upset if I go do it, will you?" She was shocked at the idea and then she smiled, "Sure!" So on the 6th day till my 1 year TBI anniversary I got to lower the Somersworth flag to half-staff.

As an added bonus, I have set an appointment with the clerk that I will be there to raise it to full-staff on this coming Monday. That is one week after the Washington D.C. tragedy and it complies with President Obama's good & just presidential order. In added measure, that will be the day of my 1 year mark after my accident.

On Sept 23, 2012 I woke up early in the morning, kissed my wife farewell as she slept, and then drove down to Boston for the 2012 Hub On Wheels event. That morning something happened. Most people express that day was bad. I don't. That was the luckiest day of my life. It was not a good day, no siree bob, however given the choices "Life" was the one that the Lord made available to me. It was a very blessed day.

So in commemeration of that event, I will also be the hand(s) that raise the Somersworth flag to full staff.

A friend recently asked me about my reasons and designs on the things that I do. I told him I do nothing for plain face value. Everything I do is for two or more reasons, always. However whenever I find something with three unprovoked, by me, reasons I do it and I do it right. That is when I know that the Lord has my poor soul within his designs. Three, trinity, Father; Son; and the Holy Ghost.

How can I avoid that?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Growing Up...

I've finally come to a major epiphany about my recovery. When I came out of coma my brain was, psychologically, an infant. An infant with the memories of a 44 year old combat veteran Freemason.

I am sure that the people who tried to help me intended nothing but the best however how do you help that patient along? Especially with something as complex, as varied, as alienable as traumatic brain injury? You do your best with what you have in front of you and hope for good results.

As an example, three months after my accident I was able to log on to my home computers. (Not a password that my wife can even remember) I was able to reboot my home internal network (self built) and get everything humming along nicely. However, psychologically I was not even a toddler. I had to be taught how to use English (again), how to swallow (from being tube fed), and even how to walk. This is the body of a man who has done 25 mile military marches and I had to learn how to walk again??

As the months go by, I wrestle with the memories of my experiences. They have always been at hand. I have a strong and healthy long term memory. Even if that weakened a bit a will never forget my time in "Desert Storm", ever.

So how do medical people deal with the slowly awakening mind of a Combat Tested Motorpool Sergeant? My suggestion: Very very carefully.

But that brings me to my current enemy: Depression. I can feel it reaching it's fingers out and slowly scrabbling around for an opening. However whenever it does I stomp on it. I remind myself of the good works I have shared in, of the good will I have been allowed to spread, I remember that I don't suck as much as I think I do.

I could list all the things that sadden me right now but that would just be an opening that it needs to grow. So I'm just going to tell you what I tell anyone who asks me how I am doing. "I am six feet over. And that beats the alternative!"

PS: I think I am about 26 now. In a 45 year olds body but just 26.

Friday, September 6, 2013


Recently I was in Rochester, N.H. at the Home Depot. Several of my projects required some supplies and Home Depot is readily available. (I prefer Lowes but meh) While I was shopping I ran into a very beautiful young lady who knew my name. She knew me well enough to approach with warm greetings. I had to ask, "How do we know each other?" Her answer brought back to me many memories... and a few disappointments. That is what this post is all about, those disappointments and (more importantly) the cause(s).

This list is going to be talking about two organizations who suffer from the title. Not just suffering, unintentionally victimizing along it's way, but at the same time being victimized from the same condition. It is like being so afraid of the "stove" that not only do you not want to ever own one again, to avoid getting burned, but if one is available you push people into it just to prove your point.

These two very worthwhile organizations are South Eastern Habit for Humanity and the Krempels Center.

S.E.N.H. (Which they claim ownership of the name but don't own the copyright!) is a fine example of flailing about trying to not lose ground on the "funding" support while not being consumed by the effort that "funding" gathering requires of it's participants.

I used to be the Assistant Director for Faith Relations. I was tapped as the replacement however making sudden changes was not prudent given the sluggishness of the organization. However that did not slow me down. Every Sunday I would go to service at a local, vibrant, church to create interest. Some Sunday's I would target a specific church to say thank you. It that church made a donation, of effort or money, I would go to their sermon just as a way to say thank you. The irony of that practice was that it led me to find my home church. I still practiced my duties, whenever I could, however I side benefitted with a worthwhile home church.

To shorten this up I will share with you my last email to the S.E.N.H. Restore (such a funding source that the organization feels the need to NOT reach out).

-------- Message --------
Date:     Sun, 04 Aug 2013 20:46:41
From:     [Censored] <>
To:     Restore Manager <>

Subject:     Some Clarity...

What I know of your concerns is extremely valid. The Aphasia does demonstrate that my injury can directly interfere with my thought process. Added to which I would not be aware, at all, of the mistake I had just made. So your concerns are reasonable... ... or at least by my standards (which can be strict when self-applied).

Of course that being said, my linguistic ability is greatly enhanced (and stabilized) via e-mail and other texting methods. When it comes down to verbal dialogue, and instruction, I ... how do my Doctors suggest I say it? Ah, yes.... I am the youngest Alzheimer patient you may ever meet. Verbal communication can be too easily forgotten but I do remember what I read. This was very true before my accident and critically true since my accident. I would appreciate a simple definition describing my position(s) vis a vis the Restore.

With this simple definition I can remember what my place is when I drive by the Restore. Whenever I drive by Newington I see the Restore and I feel the impulsive urge to swing on in and help around the house. Since our communication was via verbal dialogue it has been drifting away from memory already. In fact typing this e-mail is probably going to help me remember events however I am, honestly, unclear as to my position and as to the concerns you actually have.

Sadly our interaction, between us, has been limited to a few greetings. I think I can remember your voice but, truth be told, it has been so rarely active within my presence I can not be sure. However, that is unimportant. If I can get clear guidance as to your concerns and to my acceptable position here in e-mail... well voices don't enter e-mails. Added to which, if I read it I will remember it, clearly and distinctly.

I would like to express gratitude for your reading of this e-mail. Also I would like to express my remorse that you felt any negativity with my name attached to it. I not only want what is best for the Restore but I also want would be best for me. I have learned that sometimes I think that I am no different but that is very not true. I can only work with what people tell me or I drift back to thinking I can still do pre-accident things.

Thank you.

John "Q" Censored, F. & A.M.

-------- Message --------
Date:     Wed, 07 Aug 2013 17:40:42
From:     [Censored] <>
To:, Restore Manager <>,

Subject:     Re: Hello from an Old Hand

On 19-Jun-2013 09:36, wrote:
> Nirvana Krist
> ReStore Assistant Manager
I am sorry I called you, it must have been by surprise. Again, my deepest apologies. Apparently my visiting just as a "customer" rang someone else's bell. I got someone from Habitat, from an Albany number, calling me and talking to me quite viciously about my inappropriate behaviors. Very profession in language, yes, but she was not talking to me, she was telling me how life is going to go regardless of the fact that I pulled over onto the side of the road to take the call.

Yes, I am upset by this but what has me the most upset was this woman's barking at me no matter how I tried to get her to stop and just talk to me. Emotional distress, being barked at so viciously has been the number 1 cause of seizures. So, I would like to thank the lady for her efforts. Now I know just how much grief and harassment I can endure all at one time. After Traumatic Brain Injury, you don't know or trust how much verbal and emotional abuse you can take.

I was then able to breathe, relax, and go into AAA in Somersworth and ask for a driver's assessment test. After all, I am an inappropriate trouble maker who may suddenly become mentally unstable. Add to which I am a member of Mensa, St John's Outreach Committee (I was voted in as Chairman!), a Freemason of Moses Paul Lodge #96, a volunteer (active) at the Dover Children's Home & End 68 Hours of Hunger (one of the timber rafters on their new building? A used a hammer and square to get someone else to nailgun it into place!).  If all of the above did not matter in the least, I am a combat veteran (of Desert Storm) who served in 101st Airborne.

Perhaps that might, at the end, explain why I am enjoying cosplay of Fallout 3. After all, the main hero in that game was born and raised in Vault "101". But that only makes sense if you don't consider me mentally unstable.

PS: I am quite mentally alert! I only verbalize myself slowly so my Aphasia doesn't pop out. But just because I talk with extreme care means nothing to the mind that is exercising extreme care. Or, as I have learned by working IT with ESL professionals, "broken English does not mean broken mind". Only the shallow and the mean spirited of heart assumes that.

CC: Sophie (who did not even say hi before this all banged out at me), Jonathan T.M. Reckford CEO of Habitat International, Jeremiah Turner (Community Desk Reporter of Foster's Daily Democrat)

John "Q" Censored, F. & A.M.

-------- Message --------
Date:     Thu, 8 Aug 2013 10:19:52 -0400
From:     Sophie Aikman <>
To:     [Censored] <>, <>
Subject:     RE: Hello from an Old Hand

Dear John:

Our sincerest apologies for any misunderstandings as no one told you that you were not allowed to come into  the ReStore and shop. The concern was that you have business cards with the Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity logo on them that misrepresent you as a volunteer for Faith Relations. While you may have sat on this committee previously, you are no longer a member of this committee, and we ask that you please destroy the cards immediately.

We will see you later today when you come to pick up the items you purchased yesterday.

Kind regards,

Sophie Aikman
ReStore Manager
SENH Habitat for Humanity
29 Fox Run Road
Newington, NH  03801
603-750-3200 / 603-427-8150
Tuesday - Saturday 9 to 5

-------- Message --------

On 08-Aug-2013 10:19, Sophie Aikman wrote:
> Our sincerest apologies for any misunderstandings as no one told you that you were not allowed to come into  the ReStore and shop. The concern was that you have business cards with the Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity logo on them that misrepresent you as a volunteer for Faith Relations. While you may have sat on this committee previously, you are no longer a member of this committee, and we ask that you please destroy the cards immediately.

The irony of the situation was that was my last card. I left one of my new cards with it as well. The reason for the new card? As my wife works heavily with the FDA, she's a molecular biologist for Lonza, having her take my last name would create a mountain of paperwork. The man named LaVelle was never in my life so I'm not attached to that either (one of the reasons why I answer to "Q"). So I finally convinced my wife to let me take her name as her spouse.

I have never used my old Habitat cards for any business purpose of any kind. In fact, I readily (even still) recommend the Restore to any interested parties. However my nickname for the Restore, which I use after I properly name it, is "The Christmas Present"! I tell people that it is a toy store for adults to find a toy however, if you see something you like get your receipt on it fast as when you come back it probably will be gone.

The reason for putting my card on the item I purchased? In the past Mr. Willey would express his feelings towards me by removing my receipt and selling my purchases to someone else. Yes, that is after I paid for them - in full. That behavior of his might explain the distance, and skepticism, I maintain towards the Restore. However I always felt that was a personal matter and never ever let it enter my recommendation of the Restore.

As to the card itself, since I was accused of fabricating the card, was issued to me by SENH Executive Officer Jonathon Miller. My position was not just "volunteer", it was Assistant Director for Faith Relations. I asked Mr. Miller to not put my full title but to instead put "volunteer". I thought that a humble approach was best when dealing with Ministers and Pastors. How you enter a room can fully dictate the expectations you meet. Irony being what it is: As a "volunteer" I accepted for SENH several donation checks from the Church that eventually became my home.

In that Church I have found a peaceful Christian atmosphere. I've breathed that atmosphere in and tried to share it wherever I could. Even to the point of having a Church outing to help finish the Pare home in Farmington. I would have spent more time on the house(s) that were built on Silver St. in Rochester but my accident, and injury, got in the way of such desires. I will confess, that notice and news of the dedication of that property without anyone (at all) calling me was a bit disheartening.

I accept your apology that my banning was not expressed to me. Last Wednesday, when I showed up for my first volunteer shift and was dismissed I did come back to the store asking for guidance. Specifically asking for it, from you or Nirvana, it did not matter. Just that I felt it would have been important for someone like me, with Brain Injury, to know what is what.

I have only one important question left. It is more of a "what" question totally divorced of "whys" and assorted issues that can clutter the air. Where, oh please, where can I find religiousness at the Restore or involving SENH? I feel nothing but the mission of being a hand up, not a hand out - but equally I feel no community spirit within the staff. Not the lower guys, they are egregious and put forth a good face in every facet of their job. However from you, from SENH, and from that executive woman with an Albany phone number - I have received little spirit, little help, and I would love to have received less hostility.

Don't worry, you don't even have to try to answer that question. I don't want you to put yourself out anymore on my behalf, over me. Sadly, I know that if I want to find Christianity - go to Church where they shouldn't have budgets and egos laying out messing things up.

Thank you for your time and your first email to me (ever).

John "Q" Censored, F. & A.M.

-------- DONE --------

As an interesting side note: The woman from Habitat in Albany never called me again, even to say sorry. The last email was, in fact, the last email interaction I have had of any kind. I am sure it was not the last email on the topic but I doubt the messages included anything nice in my direction.

And not a single inquiry was made (that I know of) by Foster Daily Democrat. Perhaps S.E.N.H. Habitat (who complained to Facebook and shut down my group with a remotely similar name) got a phone call but I am not privy to such details or material.

The reason this is on my mind? Well with the massive media cover former President Jimmy Carter got when explaining the nature of charity to the U.S. Congress I can't help but think that maybe, perhaps, he was facing the wrong way when he shared those wholesome Christian thoughts.

Maybe? Perhaps? Should we ask a PR Manager from Habitat about that?

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Changes...

Hmmm, well to start with I finally got a neurologist. Eleven months and seven days after my traumatic brain injury I finally got to have a personal appointment with a neurologist. At that, I was the one who dug her name up and set the appointment. Not easy being your own case manager! As a added bonus, the medical files that Bingham & Womans sent, via fax, are almost inelligible. So I have to call them up, order up my records, and drive down there and get them. WooHoo.

Speaking of >woohoos<, my finances have taken a harsh beating. My liquidity is being threatened which is a new irony for me. Many people have gained relief, or advantage, from my liquidity however their liquidity in returning what was borrowed is starting to interfere with my own liquidity. In fairness, all the loans happened before my accident. So no one has taken advantage of me in taking money. However it would be to my benefit if funds were returned to me while I learn how to manage my finances... ... again.

Finally I've come to something of a realization about what I may have to live with regarding this brain injury. My wife jokes (teasing me) when I make a mistake, "That's not brain injury related. That is XY Chromosome related." Accurate tease I might add however I am coming to the awareness that more of my XY errors are, in fact, brain injury related. I'll explain...

For a time I had no idea who, or what, I was. Then I learnt that I was human, that I could swallow, that I could talk, and that I could (eventually) go to the bathroom without assistance. Subsequently I have learned many things about myself and one of those things is that I am male. Now I did make male mistakes in the past, and yes some of them were honest mistakes, however as I relearn social interaction I am making a lot of them. I joke by saying that I could have a few Sheldon moments at the bat of an eye.

Well, I have been having Sheldon moments. And Penny is not happy with that.