Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog

December 28, 2017

Excited To Share My News!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — karaswanson @ 4:36 pm

Couldn’t wait to share my news with you!  In the last few years, I’ve been focused on making sure that I was keeping in the game, investing in my recovery, trying not to get old and stale…

A lot of times with brain injury, we forget that, while healing might dwindle after days and weeks and months, recovering can continue throughout our lifetimes.

We just have to keep feeding the recovery!

For me, recovering has been about daring myself out of my comfort zone.  It’s so easy to rely on our brain injuries to keep us from anything new.   Often we fall into our safe places and we stay there and, slowly, we become afraid.  Afraid of things.

It’s like the person who doesn’t drive on the freeway for a while.  After too long, it becomes a scary thing to do and it’s too easy to just keep safe and slow on the backroads.

I knew that, for me, it was time to buckle up and hit the road again!

I’m so proud and excited to release my newest book, “Every Star You Can See Is A Star You Can Be!”

The book is geared toward young people just starting to think about who they might be and how they might identify their particular skills, talents, gifts and potential.  It’s a fun, interactive book that helps them to begin to find the perfect match of what they are good at with what they enjoy most.

I wanted to share it with you guys because you are always a part of my journey.  All these years later and I take you everywhere with me.  🙂

Maybe the book connects with me because, for those of us with brain injury, we have to restart again and we have to rediscover our talents and gifts and match them with, often, new things we like and are able to do.

We’re coming into a New Year and God Bless all of us, we are still here.  Stumbling some, maybe.  But fighting on.  Rallying.  Achieving.  Creating new lives from the ruins of those that no longer fit like they did.

I hope you’ll join me in embracing the idea that, Every Star You Can See Is A Star You Can Be!   I believe that with every best bit of me.  I believe that in every one of you.

Happy New Year, all.  I love you guys.  May you reach out from your comfort zones and dare new dreams this new year.  You are already stronger than you imagine and stronger than any I’ve met.  Treat yourself to a great new year.

Go Be Amazing!!!!

Available on Amazon

Every Star You Can See…: Is a Star You Can Be!
by Kara L. Swanson et al.
Link: http://a.co/1392HEZ

December 3, 2017

The Toilet Flushes And The Screaming Starts

Filed under: Uncategorized — karaswanson @ 1:25 pm

The toilet flushes and the screaming starts.  This tells me it is Saturday or Sunday.

She hasn’t yet made the coffee too weak or too strong.  She hasn’t yet cooked the eggs medium when she knows he likes them sunny-side up.  She hasn’t yet burned the toast or forgotten the marmalade he likes.  That will come soon enough.

But, for now, the toilet flushes and the screaming starts.  It has gone on now a year.  A year that I know of.  It could be ten for her.  There is a child between them, after all.

“Call the police!”  I hear.  It is easy from outside.

But they don’t realize how she’ll pay for that call.  I do.  I know this close.

The officer comes and he’ll call the officer “Sir”.  He’ll tell him that the TV was on and that there was shouting on the movie he was watching with her.

The officer will ask, “Are you OK, ma’am?” and she will be scared.   Her eyes will plead with the officer:  Take him!  Please help me!  Take him away!

But she’ll tell the officer that everything is fine here.  And so he will leave.

He will blame her for that.

Even if they arrest him, he will return.  He will blame her then, too.  No matter how long they keep him, she knows he will find her again.  She knows.

The toilet flushes and the screaming starts.

I know the house is clean.  I heard the vacuum last night at midnight.  The scrubbing.  The hopeless dusting.

What could have happened, I ask myself, in that two seconds between the flushing and the screaming?  How could there be so much to scream about already this morning and the one before that?

What could possibly have made him THAT mad in the waking seconds of any morning?

He smiles at me, sure.  He asks me how things are going.  He is smooth, you know.

But, when they moved in, they dragged armfuls of clothing and belongings that had been thrown into a car seemingly in a hurry.   I remember wondering about that back then.

That was before the flushing and the screaming started.

Right after Christmas, it was.  The ground was sloggy that day, vulnerable underneath my long-suffering lawn that I’ve tried so hard to revive.

As the son dragged armful after armful of haphazard clothes and belongings across my poorly lawn, I politely asked him to please use the sidewalk.  I barely could explain how the lawn is vulnerable when his dad appeared in a flash, demanding to know what I was doing addressing his son.

Fire in his eyes.

A red flag took aim inside me.

I cannot save her, I know.  This is tough for me.  All the flushing and the screaming.   How many times can you call the police, knowing he will blame her as soon as they leave?

Blame her like the toast and the coffee and the eggs…

There’s no other neighbors around me whom he might assume would call the police.  Only me below.  He scares me too.

He’s not there all the time so I know she could leave.  She does not.  When he is gone, she could flee.  Call the police, a shelter, a friend or family.

Get out!  I scream, myself.  Get out before it’s too late!

She does not.

This happened before, just down the way.   Same situation.  Same asshole with a different face.  Same twisted belief that he owns her somehow.  That he rules her.  That she deserves to be constantly corrected and fixed and punished.

We called the police that time.  We called again.  We called and we called.

He killed her, he did.  He killed himself too.  And a young son grows up now as they hide the press clippings.

This one above me…she must save herself, I know.  She must realize she’s had enough in that hair-thin window of time before he does.

She must save herself somehow.  I pray she can.

Before the toilet flushes and there is only silence.



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