Hello there, my name is Anna. I’m 21 and I have a brain injury.
I got hit by a car in December, 2015, and spent a year in two hospitals and then two rehabilitation centres.
I am now a young student striving after what I first tried to achieve before my accident.
I wanted to write a blog post because I want to tell you about how my head injury has affected myself, my family’s relationship and how I try to overcome it.
In my family, I have my twin sister, two younger sisters, a big sister, my mother and my father.
I do try my best to spend my time with them but when things are too busy, too quick or there are too many people, I struggle to cope.
I feel sad at times and frustrated when I can't always spend time with the people I would like too – the people I’m closest to.
If my whole family go out for the day, then I can't always keep up and it's too overwhelming.
One day, all six of us went into town together. I found it very hard with the amount of people there, as well as all the other people on street and cars. I really struggled to get involved and just relax.
I started pacing side to side and not really getting involved. I felt that it was ruining everyone else's time, as they couldn’t relax knowing that I was getting stressed out. This really upset me.
Once in an extremely busy restaurant I was struggling as the menu was too complicated. It was just too much too take in, and it lead to me having an outburst at my twin sister, and although she is understanding, times like these do impact our relationship.
I understand that it is not her fault but when I am struggling and in a dark place then I don't always think or I don't consider about the people around me – even my twin sister. My twin always knew how to calm me down but after my brain injury she struggles to – I think this upsets her – knowing she doesn’t connect in the same way as before.
I find often that I am blaming myself even though I know really it's not my fault.
My relationship has also changed with other people in my family.
My older sister has a much louder personality than myself, which from time to time I struggle with.
She has a family of her own and when they visit there are too many people around for me to get involved. I take myself away and don't always get the chance to chat with her.
I feel this has had a massive impact on how close we are and how we stay connected.
I feel my brain injury has also pushed my younger sister away from me and created a barrier or distance too.
She used to always come to me for advice and I used to feel good that could support her with any family or personal problems. It was nice to know I could try and help her stay positive – isn’t that what big sisters are for?
The problem is that she can talk a lot without any breaks and in my head; I struggle to keep up, too remember things and concentrate.
It does kill me and upset me that I can't support her anymore like I used too, but I just struggle to hold in the information.
But I know with time, things will get better, relationships will get better.
I just keep on pushing myself as it forces me too learn how to cope with situations like these.
I have to keep on striving and keep on fighting when I get pushed in a difficult situation or a busy place as every situation is a learning curb for me.
If other survivors get into a busy environment or a difficult conversation then please remember that these can be upsetting at times and hard to fight through but we learn each time.
Never give up just because of a hard and stressful day. Every day that is a battle, you are learning and growing every time, and you will learn about how to cope with these.
Please remember too not rush into any situation, take your time. You're going to learn different coping mechanisms along the way.
If you ever have a bad day or go through a hard phase, just remember that you are never alone, it's never your fault and things will get better. There will always be brighter days. There will always be people who care about you in your life.
Keep on fighting!
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