There are so many interactions between the brain and the body, we are still finding so many connections between them for so many issues we never realized had a physical component. Some of it comes from the greater and greater stress we seem to be living with as a daily norm.
As I’ve stated before, mental and emotional abuse also affects the physical body. When a person is abused mentally and emotionally, there are serious affects on the brain, particularly in the hippocampus (shown to the right – controls and regulates emotion, memory, and the autonomic nervous system). While this damage is considered supposedly temporary (as in, it will eventually heal itself without further damage if the abuse ends), there is no real identification of the time it will take to heal itself, at least not in any professional peer-reviewed medical article I have been able to access.
Given I know someone with serious physical brain issues (I have no permission to state exactly what is going on with them, nor the person’s exact relationship with me, or even the person’s gender, I am being intentionally vague) from a similar situation, AND I am experiencing my own issues with my brain, I believe I have a valid concern at the potentials of actual brain damage myself. This other person has other issues that might cause the problem, so I have my own doubts. But I can’t live with the doubts, so I am making sure I am being tested.
The issues however bring up other concerns. It’s not just that our culture seems to consider those who are mentally ill (and some who are mentally deficient) to be second class citizens, or worse that any mental illness means the person with it is a danger to others (or somehow the illness is contagious). It’s not that our culture considers stress a by-product of living, and therefore we should just “get over it” and “move on.” It’s not even the fact that our culture thinks that someone somehow deserves the mental illness. Nor that our culture thinks we can all just “take a pill” to fix it.
It’s all of that.
Plus, once you’re out of the situation, people seem to think you can (and should) just bounce right back. That somehow your life snaps back onto the right path.
Problem is, if you have ANY awareness of yourself at all, you know yourself that you won’t become healthy without a LOT of work on your part. It’s not blaming the victim of abuse to encourage them to get help. It’s not blaming the victim for them to acknowledge that there is some part of themselves that made simple for the abuser to take them over. And it’s not blaming the victim (particularly themselves) to try to fix those issues so that you are never again vulnerable to that particular kind of predator.
But I will admit, the testing I’m undergoing to verify possible brain issues is having a negative effect on my self-confidence. Even though we haven’t gotten far enough in the testing to actually get brain imaging, there are some very obvious – to me – issues that are already being defined by those tests.
My mind has always been the basis for my self-confidence. The pride I have in being intelligent has sometimes been the only thing I could have had pride over. Being damaged, whether having physical damage to my brain or “just” emotional and mental damage, is a blow to that strength. I’m already struggling with feeling vulnerable, this just makes it worse.
I still don’t know what my future holds, but just like any other part of my life, I will simply continue to fight because I can’t give up or quit.