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Rebekah’s Story

LMSW, CBIS (credentials Rebekah achieved after her tramatic brain injury)

When I was twenty-two years old, I sustained a TBI when a drunk driver hit my car which flew 130 feet, and hit a tree in June of 1989. The drunk driver (a lawyer) left the scene, eluded the law, and his life remained the same.
I split my mask in two with yarn to represent a life before and after. I have lived more of my life after my traumatic brain injury so this is a bit larger.

On the before side, I used the words busy and spelled it out phonetically to stress this point. I found the words on, the, go to show that I was constantly doing something (typical of any 22 year-old). I used a heavily made up eye on the before side, to signify how my eyes were closed to the struggles of life with a disability. And lastly on the before side, I was only concerned about myself before the accident, to explain why I chose the word “me”.

On the after side, I used bandages to show how I wish there was a visible sign that would explain my injury and show the damage that I live with daily. I showed X’s as if dripping like tears. This is for my inability to cry. The words wheelchair, walker, cane, limp and then gimp represents how I feel about my walking progress and transitions. I placed a scattering of the words therapy, help, medicine, healing, and therapy again to show how this is life long after a brain injury. And drooping smile to show the nerve damage on one side of my face. The words head injury, brain damage, and permanent are self-explanatory.

And finally, the word “We” to contrast with the word “Me”, because I now am responsible for my three daughters and marriage to my wonderful husband Jeff V.