I've had a lot of the problems listed below since my brain injury. I used to be awesome in social situations. Now I usually can't follow the ebb and flow of the conversation or I say things that don't fit, then things get uncomfortable for everyone. I see it, I feel it, and it hurts. I'm a people person. I love being around people and talking to them. Since the brain injury I feel alone a lot. Even when I'm around people I feel alone. When I'm in a big group of people I've learned to not speak unless asked a question directly because the chances are high that I'll say something stupid and everyone around me will get that "What the heck" look in their eye.
There's very few people who are patient with people who have traumatic brain injuries. There's a couple people in my gym, Faith A. and Jodi S., who seems to roll with any of my out of sync comments and coversations. They make me feel normal. I get so happy when I see them at the gym. Talking to them is some of the rare times that I talk to someone and not have the conversation make me feel like I'm abnormal or an awkward person to be around. I try to minimize my conversations with them because I don't want them to feel overwhelmed when they see me in the gym. I mean seriously, why do people go to the gym? Is it to work out or yap with the chatty dude?
On this blog post I just wanted to vent about some of the problems I've been having for the last couple years and to say thanks for great people like Faith A. and Jodi S. who are angels here on earth who make me feel like I'm normal and undamaged..
Communication problems can cause persons with TBI to have difficulty understanding and expressing information in some of the following ways:
Difficulty thinking of the right word.
Trouble starting or following conversations or understanding what others say.
Rambling or getting off topic easily.
Difficulty with more complex language skills, such as expressing thoughts in an organized manner. Trouble communicating thoughts and feelings using facial expressions, tone of voice and body language (non-verbal communication).
Having problems reading others’ emotions and not responding appropriately to another person’s feelings or to the social situation.
Misunderstanding jokes or sarcasm.
They may lack awareness of social boundaries and others’ feelings, such as being too personal with people they don’t know well or not realizing when they have made someone uncomfortable.