I’ve often asked myself when is the right time to tell new people I meet about my brain injury and the traumatic experience from it?
Common situations: First dates, job interviews, new friends, coworkers
The truth is there’s no right or wrong time to tell others about your brain injury and or disability. I do think however, it’s important to make sure it connects into the conversation. You don’t want to bring it up out of the blue.
Let me give you a good example when to bring it up:
I remember during a job interview when the man across the table from me asked that I tell him a moment or experience in my life that I was humbled.
I responded, to tell you the short version of the story, when I was 14 I had a brain AVM and was hemorrhaging. The doctors didn’t think I’d make it through the night and I ended up being in a coma for 6 months. I had to learn how to walk and talk all over again, and a year later it happened again due to residual issues. I ended up surviving a 10 hour brain surgery that was life or death.
Now, that was an appropriate time to share my story, but for common situations I don’t always tell people. If it comes up during conversation, great. If it doesn’t, no big deal.
I’ve noticed that when I share my story with someone who I’m not necessarily connecting with, it brings us closer together. I don ‘t know if it’s because they didn’t understand who I am or that I shared an intimate story with them? Nonetheless, you’ll know from your gut instinct when the best time is to tell others about your brain injury and disability.