Those of you who have been reading my work for some time know that on February 27, 2015, I nearly died. My fireplace’s flue had a problem & it caused carbon monoxide to enter my home. It caused me to pass out, hitting my head on the logs beside the fireplace which gave me a concussion. I easily could’ve died that day, but I didn’t. I live with symptoms daily from the experience but my thinking has been especially odd to me.
My emotions & ways of thinking are different now than they were prior to my accident. I have become much more self-centered in my thinking. I firmly believe this is a side effect of the concussion, as many people I’ve seen who have experienced brain injuries become extremely selfish, some even narcissistic. Thankfully I’m aware of it & do my best not to let it get out of hand. I am also triggered VERY easily now. Seeing a happy parent & child together saddens me, for example, because my relationship with my parents is so unhappy & downright toxic. It’s very odd since I never thought that way before. I also don’t lose my temper often, but when I do it is very ugly. Even after 2 years, I’m still getting used to all of this.
I finally recently asked God about what is going on with me. I’m hoping what He said will help some of you as well if you’ve experienced changes after a health scare.
Some health issues can change a person. The chemical or physical changes caused by some illnesses or injuries can cause a person to respond differently than they once did. Traumatic brain injuries & carbon monoxide are known for changing a person, but other illnesses & injuries can as well. Many people experience depression after surgery, for example. The changes you experience due to your physical problems may influence how your brain processes information. In my case, my brain was already injured due to C-PTSD, & the concussion was just one more injury & one more trauma. No wonder I’m triggered more easily now.
Becoming more selfish isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. As long as it’s kept in check, it’s actually a good thing. So many of us raised by narcissists learned early to put other people ahead of ourselves no matter what. We need to become a bit more selfish & start taking care of us & without feeling guilty for it!
Everyone has a point where enough is enough. When a person faces a serious health scare or near death experience, that may push the “enough is enough” point way up. Something about coming close to death makes a person realize just how fleeting life is & how quickly it can end. Often, that realization means patience for abusers vanishes & sometimes that filter that keeps you speaking nice things doesn’t always work. You may not get mean, but you may become more blunt. The realization also can make a person more determined to enjoy every possible moment of their life.
If you come from a narcissistic family, facing health problems means you have an additional complication to your health concerns. Do you tell them? If so, you know they won’t be there to help you if need be.. will they even care? Can you deal with whatever cruelty they dish out to you on top of being sick? Being faced with having to hide your problems or hear from your narcissistic parents about how much worse of *insert name here* has it than you are NOT nice prospects! In fact, they hurt a great deal & they make you angry.
If you’re experiencing changes in your personality after illness or injury, talk to your doctors. If nothing is physically wrong, then maybe you’re experiences are simply similar to mine. Why not try to embrace the changes the best you can? Maybe once you get to know the new you, you’ll think you’re pretty cool! And maybe too, the changes are for the best. Losing patience for abusers is a good thing- you won’t be a doormat anymore! Being more determined to enjoy life is a wonderful thing too. You’ll waste less time on fruitless things & spend more time on the things you enjoy & that are important to you. I know it can be hard to find the good in health problems, but some things like I’ve mentioned in this article can be good. They may be hard to get used to at first, but they really can be a good thing!