Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Does the knife thank the grindstone?

Hmm... I've not shared this thought exercise here as I've shared with others in various other venues but it is probably one of my better thoughts, ever.

See the best knife is a sharpened one. A dull one is just that, dull and uninteresting. Of no matter, no notice, and of little value. The grindstone helps the knife to become the most useful, valuable, and effective it can be. But does the knife say thank you? It usually does not but it would miss it.

That is what I've been missing. The people who used to be very involved with my life. They were my grindstone. Many are still available but I've inadvertently sunk inside myself kind of like a turtle. But in fairness many of them haven't thought about that question or how they interact with me. They are still my friends, no doubt, but they try not to stress me. And therein lies their failure: I need stress.

I need challenge because with out challenge I slowly become a dullard. And that has been bothering me for a few months: How do I tell them they are no longer providing me what I sought from them and they are not doing it out of love for me? Not easy to be so open while being almost asshole at the same time. So, I've finally succeeded in getting a job.

Apparently I'm more competent than I feared as the job is vigorously seeking to engage me in as many work hours as possible. Today was an interesting accomplishment as I left home at 6 a.m. to get to work at 7 a.m., took a 2 hour break in the middle of the day, then returned to work at 1 p.m. and worked till 5:30 p.m.. A nice vigorous 10+ hour day and I did not need to take my daily nap to accomplish it!.

The job is trying, and succeeding, in being supportive and flexible to my disability. The job is also being something of a grindstone. The activity itself is the real challenge. My co-workers set up the work but don't get in my way when I go to take care of it. Granted they are starting to realize I don't shoulder any burden I can't handle but the learning process is moving along at a good clip.

It is just interesting to me how something as simple as a hardworking job can revive my spirit!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

It's a Reason, not an Excuse

Recently I was approached with a troubling situation. Troubling for the people wondering, not a problem for me at all. When the situation was presented to me I laughed and suggested that they move  forward with my blessing. I love nothing more than to be accused of misdeeds that I did not do and can prove it.

So that was the situation presented to me: Some people though that I engaged in some nefarious behavior and was going to seek damages against me for such behavior. In fact this troubled me not at all however it was HOW it was presented to me that got under my skin.

For months, years in fact, I have made myself available for social activity to some of the wondering people. I would, once a month, sit down and have coffee with a few of them who were going to seek those damages. At what point did they approach me? At what point did they seek answers to the speculations?

None, but that did not stop them from including a friend of mine in their hostile solution. The friend contacted me with "Crap, there is an issue!!!" and I chuckled at the silliness he presented. However it was not the WHAT that bothered me, it was HOW it approached me.


Speculations of cheating.
Easy to cure.


Slandering my good name.

That is the reason I blew up. And it could be an excuse, indeed. Yet not the point I was bringing up.

See I routinely talk about my brain injury. I have to, a part of me is trapped by the experience in a PTSD kind of trap. Every day I go through stress and panic over "is it going to happen again?" My accident was totally unpredictable and my emotional mindset is trapped worrying over the next unplanned event in my life.

Being so routinely stressed out my reactions at times can be extreme. The person who approached me got no hostility from me. In fact, I still like him. The people who speculated and was going to seek damages against me, a fair bit of hostility. Undeserved I'll admit but not unwarranted either.

Ingress and social media... those vehicles did not deserve my hostility regarding this issue. Of course there are many other to grump about but this should not have made the list. So I am trying to deal with the guilt of those I disrespected with my actions.

To those who I directed my hostility: Sorry.

To myself, for acting the fool: Sorry.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


I am a brain injury survivor. Traumatic Brain Injury, in fact. Which means one day, several years ago, I drove down to Boston for the Boston Hub on Wheels charity fund raiser. I paid to ride 20 miles through that gorgeous town on a 10-spd bicycle. At 15 miles something happened which ended up with me doing a 30 mph face plant on the asphalt.

Forearms mangle, face and skull broken, medically comatosed until the bleeding & swelling reduced. I am annoyed that the face fractures were not compound as my disability/damage might be more obvious to people I interact with but it is not.

The lingering Mal-adjustments for me is Aphasia and pain all day long in my arms. Pain is easy to explain but why it lingers not so easy. Nerve damage inside my forearms and my brain takes forever to heal, if it ever will. Aphasia is a cognitive damage that lessens over time due to practice and experience but will never ever go away.

What is Aphasia?

For me, it is the occasional loss of language. At times, I may say words that are totally out of linguistic context of the dialogue I am engaged in. Sometimes, annoying times, I completely lose the ability to speak. My mouth works, my jaws move, but I can't find words with which to speak.

It also has robbed me of being able to dice words to keep anything private. Things that should not ever be said, I will say. Answers that should not be given, I will when asked. It is not that I don't lie - I can't as I do not have the mental capacity to NOT answer in detail to any question presented to me.

Imagine that? Any question posed to you, you answer in annoying level of detail. Not by any choice either mind you.

So here I sit, having to deal with some accusations most dealt to me on the sly. Not upfront where my disability would answer them straight on. No, from side angles where my loss of emotional response sets me off like a time bomb. Where my aggravation levels go to extremes and I respond accordingly thus proving that I am now something of a social embarrassment.

A group of old friends saw me that way, so I resigned from my Lodge. I am publicly banned from some parts of Portsmouth, N.H. simply because in the misbegotten opinion of a few people brain injury makes me "unsafe" for "safe" locations. I am "possibly" mental undesirable to serve the Officer Position I hold with my VFW. But no one has been bold enough to present these questions to me for me to answer.

When I find out about such things I respond strongly due to several reasons: I don't quite have the social know-how to respond well; Emotionally I have been reduced to a teenager; I am by nature an upfront person who strives to address things upfront then and there.

As an example: For a time I worked at Home Depot. A co-worker complained that I made her feel sexual. I made HER feel sexual. I always greet a woman with respect, apparently doing so can cause some people to feel something that they are not used to feeling. My response to this accusation: I quit Home Depot.


Because such an accusation has no viable response from the accused. Especially given my brain injury. It is so easy these days to paint me with any kind of brush that my accusers wish to paint me with.

So I recently faced several situations where I was accused of not being capable or of engaging in erroneous behavior. In one case, my response shut things down with a speed and firmness that encourages me to trust responding vigorously without hesitation. I realize that may not always be ideal as my response to the other accusation was firm, vigorous, and may fuel continuance of the accusation as "Why such a firm response unless you are guilty?"

Therein lies my disability. At face value, I am undamaged but act odd. And given the speculative natures of other human beings, odd is not always good or welcome. Irony being ironic, I am kind of grateful for this unpleasant situation. Experience sucks especially when you don't have any. This situation is yet another learning experience for me... ... just painful to endure but endure and strive for better I will.