Tuesday, April 07, 2009


4/7/09 Tuesday
I feel vindicated? I’m not sure if that’s the right word to use so let me explain. There is a stigma that all of us TBI survivors carry. That is that we have “brain damage”. Well we do but that’s not the point. With that stigma comes a judgment in some peoples mind that we are unable to make good decisions or think straight and thus our words and opinions carry little or no value. This attitude brings with it a lot of pain and can trash already fragile self esteem. Fortunately not all think this way and for others it comes in varying degrees, but it’s still there, a sometimes silent discrimination and undertone in how others interact with you. One of the common problems us survivors must contend with is a level of paranoia. To illustrate this I placed the previous post. It describes what some other survivors go through and must deal with on a daily basis. For me the paranoia isn’t the kind where you think someone is spying on you or plotting against you. I worry more about what people think of me and also wonder if I said something wrong or terribly offensive. What makes this even more difficult is that I do have lapses in judgment, make poor decisions, and many times offend others. What we need is instead of judgment, communication. For folks to talk to us and try to understand where we are and when in error to help us see that and why. And here again is a difficulty for I, and many others like me, can be obstinate, convinced that I’m right and unable to see otherwise.

So why do I feel vindicated? I had expressed concern that the brakes on Cherie’s truck were not operating right and when it was inspected the mechanic said “The brakes are fine”. When we took Cherie’s truck into the shop yesterday, after the brake pads wore through, they found many things wrong. Not only were the bake pads gone but one rotor and brake drum were in such bad shape they had to be replaced. I had let them know the first time that I was concerned because the brake pedal traveled so far before the brakes engaged. Come to find out the master cylinder was shot and about ready to fail. When a master cylinder fails the brake pedal just goes to the floor and that’s it, nothing, no brakes at all. You simply can’t stop unless you have the quick wits and reflexes to slam it into reverse and hit the gas. To say this was a life threatening situation would be an understatement. How is it none of this was discovered when the brakes were inspected four weeks ago? Obviously the mechanic was negligent. I’m sure that the shop owner, who’s name I won’t give out of respect for our friend, will have something to say to his mechanic. I know that when I owned several businesses I would dearly like to be informed if one of my employee’s actions put a client in danger of physical harm or even death. Or if his actions opened me up for a lawsuit for damages he caused.

It’s not so much that I was right that makes me feel vindicated, it’s that I wasn’t wrong. I’ve been wrong so many times that I’m almost gun shy so it’s a relief to not be so. I asked that the shop look at the front end because of the steering problem I detected. Good thing that I did. The pitman arm and another part were so loose that they were also ready to fail. “You could move it this much with your hands” the shop owner told me holding up his hands to indicate how far. This was caused by long term wear, not by our running off the highway episode, though I’m sure that didn’t help any. I’m grateful this was discovered before Cherie had an accident. If the pitman arm had come loose it means that not only couldn’t the truck be steered but the wheels could have just turned any way they wanted, even in opposite directions. Cherie told me “There’s no doubt that God was watching over us” especially when we went to Brownwood to get the tractor.

The bible says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths”. That’s one I depend on. It sure seems to be the case for us. I don’t trust too well but we sure seem to have His hand on our life. It always boggles my mind how things work out. Every day, when I wake up and see Cherie I am amazed she is there, amazed about how this all worked out.

There’s lots to do as there will probably always be so I must get moving. By the way I bought a new American flag yesterday. It’s a much higher quality one than the previous and is made in America. Despite that I went into sticker shock when it rang up at $43.00. WHOA! I said. But the other one only lasted a few months and this one came with a year’s warranty so I went ahead and got it.

Got to go. Looks like I’ll have to get the tiller out again. The rye isn’t doing well because of the drought’ but the weeds and sticker grass are getting to the point they will be making seed soon so I must stop that, need to till them under. Eventually I’ll be able to get a six foot wide or so tiller or disc for the tractor but until then it’s by hand with the Cub Cadet.

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