"It's all in your head," he said to me.
"You could if you wanted to, if you wanted to be
normal and fine, you could set yourself free."
"You make it worse for yourself," she said to me,
"by believing you have brain damage when there is nothing to see.
Pick yourself up by your bootstraps and get on with your life;
face it that you are normal and you'll lessen your strife."
Something was different,
but I couldn't explain.
I asked for understanding,
but got only pain.
In my extreme vulnerability I tried to belong,
but everywhere I turned I was told I was wrong.
Then one day I realized I had lost all control
and there was only one way
I knew how to be whole--
I gave them back their opinions
and validated my life,
found others like me,
brain injured for life.
One day at time
we face our real lives,
wasting no time on ignorant replies.
Honoring the truth
is to face the real me
and finally, oh finally,
I know what it is to be free.
Stephanie St. Claire
May 13, 1997