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Some Secrets Revealed

Others shall remain secret.

By Martina R. GallegosPublished 6 years ago 4 min read
Picture credit: Godisreal.today

I can’t claim to know what life after a stroke or brain injury is like because I do know it is different for everyone. What I do know for sure is that it changes the person you once were; some things are better, but others are or can be worse. Initially, my biggest challenge was cognitive then mental exhaustion followed by physical. In fact, I just proved that my mental challenge is still with me: playing a game with an adult and a child almost caused me to give up because my brain was literally hurting, but, like when I was getting rehabilitation therapy, I kept going till our little tower collapsed; thank God for that, or I think I would’ve collapsed in front of my mentees.

After I was back home from the hospital, several unusual things were very obvious; first, I searched for and yearned to be around kind, sweet-sounding-voice people and people who always seemed to smile. Really, I needed to be surrounded by love and kindness, as I had known rejection, hate, blatant racism, discrimination, and verbal and emotional abuse for many years. I realize things didn’t have to be that way had I reacted differently to what I saw and experienced because I couldn’t accept or believe people could be that cruel. Then I also realized that many of the people whom I’d spent years hating, actually had good things about them that I’d never seen because I was too busy poisoning myself with hatred caused by the lack of useless titles that didn’t help improve student success, and those who held the titles held students back or thwarted their future academic success.

Second, I didn’t feel like an adult but a six or so years old with all the physical and emotional needs associated with that age group; I needed affection, cuddling, praise, and care; I sought for mother and father figures in the people I’d meet but never expressed to them how or what I felt.

From the discharge documents my family got, I learned I could experience things such as multiple-personalities or unusual things of sexual nature, but I’m thankful that didn’t happen to me; mood swings I did experience, but I think I’d had those since I can remember, another reason my reaction to negative experiences was so harmful.

During my 24/7 episodes with pseudo bulbar affect, PBA, a condition many stroke/brain injury survivors suffer, and which manifests itself with uncontrollable bouts of laughter, giggles, and/or crying, I’d literally spend day and night laughing to the point that I was afraid the neighbors would complain about the all-night commotion. Family members would aske if I ever got tired; “Not I,” I’d say. The crying thing happened a few times when I first went out to Walmart to pick up meds or something soon after getting home from the hospital; well, I’d first feel a bit or very overwhelmed with the crowded place and seeing people go back and forth. I’d sit in a corner and breakdown crying and wouldn’t know why. The last time it happened that I remember was when I attended my graduation ceremony for my Master’s degree, but it happened after the ceremony was over, and it was pretty bad; my daughter didn’t know what to do or how to console me, and that was even more heartbreaking to watch, but I couldn’t stop crying. Two of my brothers were there, too, and I think they felt pretty helpless.

Third, when I had to go back to follow up with my local doctors after hospitalization, I couldn’t stand listening to people use foul language, couples insulting each other, or others arguing about petty things; I cringed when I saw people smoking, drinking, or stuffing their face with sugary or greasy food. I’d think, I never did those things (except the foul language and not proud of it, but it was my only self-defense), and look what happened to me, but I guess I know I can’t control other people’s eating or life style habits.

Number four: two parts, and I think the second part of this is the strangest thing ever.

Part I, I felt so close to God I felt I could literally see and touch Him the way it happened when I was a little child, and I’d talk with Him every day, especially at night; I can’t remember anymore what "we’d" talk about, but I do remember telling Him how much I loved Him and wished others would feel the same way, but again, that’s an individual choice. After "our" discussion, I’d cry myself to sleep, but then second part of number four would take over; yeah, I’m a bit embarrassed about this part, but it’s 100% true: I felt aliens as close and tangible as I felt God. No, I was not hallucinating; that happened only once but later. Back to Mars, I’d feel forced to look out my window at night and could feel the force of those pesky green men as powerful as I’d felt God’s, and I’d wonder if the stinkers were scheming my trip to Mars; if God didn’t think it was my time to leave this Earth, no gizmos were going to beam me up, darn it!

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About the Creator

Martina R. Gallegos

Ms. Gallegos came from Mexico as a teen; she went to university, and got her teaching credential.She graduated with her M.A. June 2015 after a severe stroke. Works have appeared in Silver Birch Press, Lummox, https://poetry309.wordpress.com

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    Martina R. GallegosWritten by Martina R. Gallegos

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