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TryMunity helps you connect and share with the people in your life.

I don't know

I’m new and sharing. I just came back from a visit to Seattle; my cousin is graduating HS and is College shopping now. So went out there as support and to give advice.

Backstory: I’m currently on year 5 after my accident, leaving me with TBI; the worst symptoms include memory loss and fatigue, and a few minor other ones. But as of now, I still can’t work full time, I’ve had to abandon my former career because it involved full-time work and a good memory.

My current job pays just a little over minimum wage, keeping in mind I can only work part-time, it’s not a lot. I have been working for the past ~20 years; starting at age 14. So I have a ton of work experience and what is getting to me is that none of it matters. My cousin who is 18, is making ~150% more than me, at minimum wage, his first job.

Who should be getting paid more?

Person A = with an A.A. and B.S. degree. ~20 years work experience.
Person B = No HS diploma. No former work experience.

Obviously the answer is the person who lives in the ‘correct’ city/state.

I know I can forget about ever retiring, I’ll be working until I’m dead, but can I at least have enough to live? I’m dependent on (abusive) family for support. (I know I’m lucky that I have some, as there are others who don’t.)

Currently looking at Subsidized housing, but theres a waitlist of ~3 years, and the list only opens for a couple of weeks every few years. So basically a waiting list to get on a waitlist. Even if I do get it I’ll be paying some ~50% of my income to it.

I don’t know what to do. I’m trapped. Should/can I move? Should I finish what the accident started?
I guess I am not completely following you. If you are upset or frustrated that your cousin is making more money then you, then why are you not looking for a better paying job based on your experience. I suffered a TBI and have issues with fatigue, memory, dealing with my emotions and cognitive limitations, so I understand the challenges. But at the end of the day it's your life and your responsibility to make the most of it. I am currently unable to work but I accept my current situation and I am working on my recovery everyday. Sometimes life isn't fair but it is how we deal with our challenges that defines our future. I hope I am not coming across as an ass, but sometimes we need to hear the truth.
Why didn’t I think of that? My current situation is the way it is because I’m not hearing the truth…the end.

Maybe I didn’t make it clear, I’m not sure what/why I wrote before because thats just it, I don’t remember. Making new memories is beyond hard; if its the afternoon and I’ve been working since the morning, I won’t remember what I did that morning. Who did I talk to? What papers did I move? “Just keep notes then”. Sure, I’ll just stop after every action and interaction and write notes about what just happened. Those notes also have to be crystal clear, any hints, symbols, or just plain ‘notes’ may not trigger the memory I need; and of course I’ll have to find that information from all the other notes in there. I’ve got notebooks full of stuff that I would say other people wrote if it weren’t for the fact that they’re in my own handwriting.

So I need to have a job where what I did yesterday has no impact on what I’m doing today;
I also need to have prior knowledge of the equipment/programs/skills I’ll be using;
one where yawning 15 seconds of every minute is allowed after 4-5 hours of work.
Limited interaction with people because for some reason they have this notion that you’ll remember something they said last week or even from an hour ago.
A job that supplies more than the minimum cost of living because: debt.
And all of this has to be part-time too.

Example of phone conversation: [ring] [ring]. “Hello, [my name] speaking”.
“Hi, this is Bob, I’m returning your call.”
“Yes, Bob, I called earlier right?…can you remind me what you do?”
“Well I’m Bob from [so and so company], we [do this and that]”
“Oh yes, you’ll have to excuse me, you see I have this condition…I just have to find my notes…”.

(Fuck what notebook is it in, what page is it…)

“Yes, I wanted to ask you some questions.” (questions written out, but why am I asking ‘these’ questions, what was I trying to do?)
The truth is I’ve accepted the situation and what my limitations are, I’m trying to figure out what to do next. I’m not looking for pity. I’m simply expressing what challenges there are and why I currently don’t see any good viable solutions, (at least I think that’s what I’m trying to do, I’d have to re-read what I wrote previously for the n-th time, and its simply taken too much to write all this as it is).
Anyhow, its good that you’re able to survive without working, but some of us don’t have that luxury. Some of us have a mountain of debt without the added cost of simply living. Every TBI is different as are people and their lives.

So, sorry if this comes across as hostile, really not my intention, its just that people have a tendency to ‘prescribe’ instead of ‘describe’; to give me their version of the ‘truth’ for me. I guess I need to know that there's more and that's me trying to reach out. I don't know.
Alex, as I said, I didn't want to be an ass or create stress or drama, I was simply trying to provide another point of view for you as a person that also suffers from the difficulties of a TBI. In my case it was not a minor head injury and I am still having serious issues almost 3 years after my accident. What I was attempting to do was give another perspective on your situation. In my case I have found a lot of doctors and therapists that want to validate your suffering and situation, but it is your life and your responsibility as to how it plays out. All you can do is your best, everyday. i find reading is a huge help, The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz has helped me tremendously. Also, books on Mindfulness.
I wish you the best on this unexpected journey.
Yes reading is helpful, I've come across some good books for understanding/acceptance. A book by Augusten Burroughs, 'This is How', is a nice kick in the as* for motivation if ever you need one. I haven't heard of Ruiz but I'll check him out.

A lot of things now are just frustration; goal posts constantly being moved when I get close to them; despite knowing that I can only live for today, accepting that, it's still disheartening sometimes to not be able to see past this horizon.

I've actually joined a yoga/meditation group recently and found that to be immensely beneficial as well. I guess I just need some hope.
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