Identity Crisis

Caged Lioness (AFP/Getty Images)

A caged lioness. How I often feel!

I have had quite a bit of trouble sleeping as of late. There are many reasons for this. I am at the point that I want to move forward, but there are circumstances that are literally holding me back like a creature caged in a kennel. I want to start planning or the future instead of existing one day at a time. I want to provide for our family and part of that is creating a stable environment where we can all succeed as well as providing financial stability for those needs.

I will often find myself chatting with people at John’s appointments about my past career. I was very successful. I loved my work. Staff and doctors will be talking about various operations of their offices and right away I just want to scream, “I am capable and well qualified to help you fix that!” Ah, but I do not. It is not possible at this point in time to seek work, or ideally go back to school.

I have been doing a lot of research. I want to become a clinical psychologist. I have such a desire to help people. I know there are people, specifically TBI families, which NEED a good therapist to help them walk through the new identity that they now have as a loved one of a TBI survivor.

A “selfie” Feb 2014

With the help of my therapist and as I have been researching what it would take to accomplish this long-term goal, it has helped me identify what I feel is a huge break through. I have been going through an identity crisis. I am no longer Brandy Sue, the girl who can figure out most any project given to her. I am no longer able to climb the ladder of success in the business world. No, I am trapped in that kennel. My therapist gave a great analogy: just as I think there is a bit of a give on one of the bars to escape, the opposite one tightens. I want to cry out for justice, for a solution, and ultimately for success so that my family can thrive once more.

Who am I now? How do I change identities? It can be so overwhelming to even think about this. Not only did my hubby (essentially) die that day, a part of me did also. It would be easy to sit here and list all of the things I used to be able to do but instead of dwelling on what was, I will focus on the parts of that have not changed. Then main one being I am still a child of the Almighty Lord. The One that knew this would all happen. The One that created me with a will to fight will all the strength that He has given to me.


On the left, one of my best friends. On the right, me and the smile I want to get back. This picture was taken shortly before John’s accident.

Are you having an identity crisis? Has your world been turned upside down? What will you cling to at the core of your being? Jesus is there. Going through this crazy life, it always comes back to Him. At times that I am stripped bare, He is all the sanity that I have left. People say, “You are so strong.” I am not, He is! It is that simple. He is the identity that I need to focus on because the reality is that we live in a messed up world where justice does not always prevail. At times you can do everything the right way and you hit brick walls and other obstacles or cages. When that happens will you be able to find yourself? I dare say no, unless Jesus is at the core of your being. He is the unshakable rock that we can cling to no matter how our identity is shaken!

One response to “Identity Crisis

  1. One thing I had to learn as a TBI survivor is that my identity is not what I do. I’m “only” able to work part time and the intensity of my work has to be lower than before. I also was medically retired from the Army Reserve.

    You are still the person capable of solving problems. You didn’t lose that. Think about all the problems you solve brought on by the brain injury.

    I do a lot of mindfulness. Living in the moment is where we can make a difference. Planning for the future is fine but the road will detour. It always does.

    I hope you get to be a psychologist.

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