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The Trauma of Betrayal


A woman lays in a pile of orange autumn leaves
A woman relaxes and recharges in a pile of autumn leaves

Although we use the word “trauma” a lot these days millions of us live a life of daily trauma and we must always recognize our daily victory to continue living.


Who wants to hear us talk about our Traumatic Brain Injury? Not many people! People do not want to invite trauma into their lives or share in a small way your real-life daily changing trauma. We, with TBIs, live a life with daily trauma that is just a part of our lives, we are not survivors, we survive daily! This outlook has separated many counselors, doctors, and others from me because they are always trying to heal us and we will never be healed!


This is the trauma of betrayal… people who are always insisting that they know what is best for us and how we can heal our minds and bodies – a healing that will never happen!


As disabled people, we are betrayed many times a day and it adds up over the course of a year. Friends, family, and even strangers have no idea what is going on in our daily lives and can easily dismiss our struggles and the ugliness they can bring into our lives. This ugliness can plant seeds in our minds and hearts that is unwelcome and potentially dangerous.


The challenge is to always put ourselves first to maintain the balance we need in our lives to survive daily. It’s not easy to do what we do every day to be “healthy” productive people in society. My way is to take as many brain breaks as needed and go to a private place to recover. You might find that you need similar time on the job or even just being out in public to be able to continue to function.


One thing that has really helped me (and I consider a huge victory) is to stop selling myself short (condemning myself) and stop condemning others who did not want to, or refused to believe, that I (and others) have a disability.


We are courageous, strong, and very special people and if anyone says otherwise I just walk away and take a break! Don’t let anyone make you think otherwise!


Thomas Quinlan

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