Mental Filters

Looking in a person’s past is most often shone under a bad light, but I do it now to learn from my successes and mistakes. Unfortunately there has been just as many failures in my past if not more as successes. What is normally given to a child in the early ages of their life? Basic rules and characteristics that will come in handy later in life. Not being any different, my mother instilled in me my first filters. Later filters are gained by your choice of who you spend time with, family and friends. Filters of how to act, speak, what to do, and what not…

Life before that accident was spent being productive but the definition of “what” I was productive at remains lost to me. It all is what it is and what it ain’t. It ain’t. When getting behind the wheel that fateful night, I knew I wanted to get home but didn’t think I would ever be parking my head in a cedar tree. Unfortunately, the reality of my disability does not sink into my head seeing that I am still dealing with the effects of a brain injury. Information to the contrary goes in one side of my injured brain and out the other, as most everything does–minus that which doesn’t of course. Before, I could run, talk to anyone, and eat what I chose, but then the “parking job” happened, which left me connected to life support in the hospital for three and half months, talking in a whisper and being fed through a tube. Everything that has been told me of my life before, mixed with what little I remember tells me to leave that door shut and letting sleeping memories lie.

Picture a big little kid, mentally as a child , growing into a man of twenty-five but staying with the kid tendencies. I don’t remember making the choice but that’s what happened. One of the more serious consequences of the trauma is my lack of mental filters. A severe traumatic brain injury takes traits that existed prior to the injury and places them under the glass. They are then blown to sometimes unreasonable levels but other times the glass is flipped over and shrinking happens. Both happen seemingly randomly. Filters keep you from losing your temper when someone does something you don’t like. And since I chose not to mind most of my filters before my head got parked, afterward it got much worse. It was as if my Head Honcho in Charge of Filters called them to a great banquet then selectively, drugged, fired, and otherwise silenced some of them.

Despite me being some degree smarter than stupid, I too fell prey to some of the world’s many distractions. All of the world’s distractions, some sins some not, along with all sins fall into three categories. First category all start in the mind, some fall in the flesh category and some deal with pride but the mind, the main computer of the body is where they all start. So it is of great importance to protect your brain, not letting the enemy take hold.

Mixing what little I remember with what I know to be true of my demeanor before my accident and the truth that lies in reality. Tells me that before that accident experiences that took place created natural filters in my mind. By choice, I had placed filters selectively blocking some good while letting some bad in. When getting behind the wheel that fateful night I knew I wanted to get home, but didn’t think I would ever be parking my head in a cedar tree. Before, I could run, talk to anyone, and eat what I chose, but then the “parking job” happened, which left me in the hospital for three and half months, bedridden, talking in a whisper, and fed through a tube. My God healed me so I could yell, walk where I chose, and eat whatever I saw fit. I thank Him for that, yet I still face some challenges.

My bouncer named Earl is missing. Earl used to work the entrances and exits to my mind. He had become a half-asser over years of partying and drugs. Yet he still refused admission to some unwanted intruders. Others made it through. Now it’s a free-for-all. Unfortunately, I often lose my cool when there are multiple inputs or more than one person has something they want me to do. Just writing these paragraphs may seem simple. However, it was anything but. It consisted of me writing then erasing paragraphs only to write them again, moving round and round and round. Without my filters, it is definitely harder than easy to complete tasks.

Leaving the hospital where everything is 2-D, live or die, and entering the 3-D world. I left the “pseudo-filter” the hospital environment provided. It was a good thing my mother, who had been serving as my mommy and daddy too, took the place of the hospital as my Mammy Filter. As directed, she kept me away from solid food and policed the comings and goings of our home.

And the filter named Randy makes the public stuff public while keeping the private stuff in the box. Randy always kept me out of trouble in public. Sometime during the hospital stay took a leave of absence. Upon exiting, he had left the door wide open. Leaving a whole to which anything, and I mean anything, could go in or come out. Any thought or person was allowed in and any impulsive comment came out, which presented a “fun” opportunity for people and offered me as a target for amusement, which they did not let go to waste.

But the worst filter to be missing is the one that controls my emotions. It tells your body when to cry, when to laugh, when to get mad, and when not to. It keeps you from losing your temper when someone says something you don’t like. When this filter was out on sick leave, I became emotionally blind. The result is a “third person” mentality, which makes me a spectator in my own play. In place of getting sad or crying, I got mad. I am unable to release emotion by crying when crying is called for, so I get mad. Getting mad in the wrong situation only creates bigger problems. Picture having to go through doctors operating on your brain while you are made to stay awake so they can tell if they have the right spot.

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