28 January, 2011

Turning Over Frustration

It has been a full week for the brain-injured person, that I am. Watching my friend while waiting for surgery and then the following day after it, still in extreme pain was not fun. Now he's at home, and I tired to make easy for him as I could. I told him that I was proud of how he handled it all. I was running between school, gym, and work at home and my injured friend.So, I was happy to go for prayers and a sit with a nun on Tuesday night. I tried my best with the singing the prayers being exhausted, later settling down to sit for an hour. Silently, tears just flowed down my cheeks, while I started to label my feelings as sadness and frustration at not being able to help my friend, combined with trying to keep it together with my injury. By the time the meditation ended, the tears did, too and I felt much better. I would not say happier, but all the things I was holding inside ...vaporized. I came home read a nice "Sun" magazine story and slept.

I managed to stick it out in my JC class, and finally got a computer this week, as it thinned out. It is interesting and challenging being in a very diverse class of people. There at least three other languages spoken all at the same time between students. All this feedback and noise for me makes doing simple things twice as difficult. Plus the teacher his notes, her computer screen and ours, makes a multi-tasking free for all. I can actually see how my daily meditation in stressful situations like this one kept me from lashing out. I watched others that seem to have a hard time, and opened up the compassionate mind to put the “me” mind on the back burner. I found myself making sure whenever anyone helped me I said, “Thank you.” I tried hard to smile even when it took all my concentration just to keep up. One woman next on one side was very helpful, and on the other side matter of fact and very demanding. Normally I would make a scene, when she one who would chirp out demands right when I was middle of doing something. But when I finished one thing I said calmly to her, “I have severe brain injury, and it takes all I got to keep up! Please wait to ask me something, after I look towards you.” Saying it in jokingly manner, so she did not blink or register as agitation. Knowing that we really can't change anyone, and my irritation becomes really my problem rather than hers. That made the whole class seamless,leaving me up to date. When a nice speech therapist in class who fully understands my difficulties asked, "How did it go?" Smiling, I said, "I am

Working towards my idea that one's reincarnation is really about how other's remember you. And that as soon as you remove yourself( the me factor), and help others and engage politely, the day, even while being very difficult and exhausting…does not become stressful. I talked with several people before class, and one guy asked me about my injury in great detail. I usually express the experience with humor ending on wisdom, so most walk away not feeling pity and are mildly surprised. I want people to see the miracles that can happen dealing with change, that it is not always bad or dreadful. During class there friendly and humorous exchanges while we helped one another. Even our teacher relaxed and told a story about going “blank” in her evening class. In two weeks, from strangers.... we became “family.”

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