How This TBI Victim Journeyed Into Simple Colors

Imagine a world where colors combine like shattered glass of a broken kaleidoscope. Imagine a world that was mine.

Everywhere I turned,
I saw a crimson cloud.
Red was an apple hanging from a tree,
A shirt plastered on a clammy figure.
Red were cheeks flushed in noonday’s blistering heat,
A siren flashing on the street,
A bird soaring through the sky,
A finger cut by book’s loose pages.
Red was my brain
Sizzling in the fiery sun.
Every time I think of moving,
I see the color red.

I see green.
Bubbling in a store.
Shampoo’s bright bottle,
Nails popping colors.
Green as grass,
And trees against a summer sky,
That highlight doors
With shelves that hang,
And hold lit signs.
A child’s shoes running by,
A candle on a rack.
Every time I see a store,
I see the color green.

Yellow. Blue.
Colors swirl and combine.
Yellow as sun that
Burns my eyes
And blisters my brain
On summer’s hot day.
Yellow is a shirt worn
On vacation
Where blue jeans were
My husband’s choice.
A rose on the seat,
A hat upon our heads.
I think of vacation and
See yellow and blue.

Rose and teal,
Aqua and brick.
Beads and baubles,
Paints and brushes.
Flashing colors
On a child’s toy.
A television glare,
A computer screen,
Everywhere I turn
My colors combine.

And in the middle
My world is gray.

Now imagine a world void of color, and, according to some, the world of a minimalist. (I don’t know if that’s true or not.)

I only know I can’t imagine my world without reds and greens, purples and pinks. I can’t imagine life with no color. Color enhances our existence, magnifies our experiences. It brings our world life. Unless you’re a TBI victim, then colors can turn everything upside down.

I used to love color, bright teal pillows and blue scarves strewn across a sofa, a pretty picture of a red rose on a wall. Greens and yellows and orange-colored chairs. I loved it all, and still do. Just not at the same time, and not in my home. Not since my brain injury.

Today I live in a world of beige, with hints of nature in the middle. In my dining room, a lone green vase sits on a creamy wooden table, the signature of nature at its finest. My stove holds a teapot highlighted by a tan-colored wall, a splash of sunshine on a dreary day. Red and blues in a Paris setting, pictures that show life in the home, travel, adventure.

I still have colors, but they are simple and few. Well-chosen, with meaning and life. My colors in a world of cream.

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Simple Jottings of a TBI Victim

If you’ve been following my blog, or follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you probably know my story. It’s been just over six years since my brain injury, and to celebrate, I am writing my memoir. It’s a story I want to share with others, to help not only TBI victims, but anyone who has experienced a traumatic event.

Words can make or break another human being. I hope my words help. I hope they heal. Here are a few lines from my book. May you find them useful in your own life:

“Sometimes a trauma offers this, a blessing tucked inside the suffering. Inside the suffering is where I found healing.”

“. . . the memories that remain, I think those are the ones I am supposed to keep.”

“. . . for the first time in my life, I knew I needed someone.”

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