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The Chaos of a City After Brain Injury

Posted on December 5, 2012 at 12:40 AM



A beautiful sunny day in NY, 60 degrees in early December!  I came to visit my children and 2 handsome, wonderful grandsons, 9 and 7 1/2!  As I walked down York Avenue, facing the south, I received a huge dose of sun medicine as it seeped into my pineal gland. Suddenly, I spotted flowers on a corner lot.   I just had to stop to take pictures, to thrill in the garden of colors and shapes that feed my eyes and soul here in the early days of December in New York City!  What a joy!  


Nature, so little of it in NYC, and yet I found it on a busy, noisy, stimulating street with walkers, cars, trucks, honks, beeps, running motors, pounding jackhammers, noise, noise, noise!  As I walked, I thought to myself, there is no such thing as silence in NYC.  And yet I crave silence for the deepest part of my being, after a traumtic brain injury.  I couldn’t live here for very long without going a wee bit crazy, without feeling starved for the medicine of nature.  

As my nervous system became over-stimulated by the sites and sounds of NY, I pulled deep into my self, as close to my core as I could.   In the middle of a big city, where I am usually hyper-vigilant as I search for safety, I pulled in to myself to see if there was a message inside below the noise of the city that pounded against my ear drums, that are now so hyper-sensitive.      

What I found was that the stimulation on a NYC street felt like the chaos of a car wreck, with the sound of shattering glass, screeching tires, metal hitting metal, crunching, pounding, honking.   I knew then that I needed to go back to my hotel room.  There I would find quiet, there I could put on my iPod with soft music, there I could close my eyes and get relief from unconscious memories that my body held alone, without the consciousness of my spirit, or a working left brain to tell me that I was now OK.  

The accident was nearly 10 years ago, almost ancient history.   In the breezes of a beautiful day on a noisy NYC street, my body still remembers that chaos nearly stole my life.  Instead, chaos left me with a brain injury, so I had to take a different route in life than I had planned.

Categories: TBI, Sensitivity, Stimulation