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Brain injury blog by survivor

Brain injury blog by survivor



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Brain injury blog by survivor

Brain injury blog by survivor



Suddenly my filter has abandoned me after brain injury

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I’m used to the filter which edits out the bad bits for me. Swearing, saying something inappropriate or just being loud when that’s not necessary or advisable. These are all things that my little filter would edit for me, and replace with more acceptable responses. But following my brain injury, I think he handed in his notice with immediate effect.

You don’t miss it until it’s gone

I had always been very good at choosing my words carefully. To the point where in some situations, like meetings, it was as if swear words didn’t even exist in my vocabulary. I didn’t have to think what’s a cleaner alternative for that? My filter just locked them away so I was not at risk of letting one slip.

But following my brain injury I found that I would blurt things out. Or even worse, I might know I shouldn’t say it, but it the compulsion was too strong. I really hate these moments because I know I’m going to regret it, but it’s almost like it hurts to hold it in. As this usually happens in tense moments, perhaps it’s an anger management issue. But previously I was more likely to be silent in such moments, as I knew I could go back later with a considered response. You can’t take back what has already been said.

Most people I know have reacted well to this, although you never know what their filter is keeping in. I have lost one important person since my brain injury, but as they never explained to me why, I don’t know how much of that was due to my absent filter.

Over time I have started to try to keep my mouth shut in challenging moments. But it’s almost futile because my face didn’t get the memo. I am such an open book. There was a while I lost my expressions completely, but now they are back with vengeance.  In a way, I think that’s worse. That leaves people to try to second guess what I’m throwing shade about.

Most people have a filter which stops them from saying or doing stupid, offence things, like swearing in a meeting. But a brain injury can change that....
How a brain injury can ruin your filter and words just fall out....

I’m not an angry person, but I can see why one might get the wrong impression

So I have started to win the battle with the urge to blurt things out, but I don’t know if I can do the same with my face. When I was about 18, I became worried I was forming expression lines on my forehead. That’s how expressive my face could be! So, somehow, I don’t know how, I taught myself to stop moving my eyebrows. If I knew I would be a millionaire,  selling it as a healthy alternative to Botox. But as my face has only recently rediscovered expressions, I don’t know if I can stop it from being so overly enthusiastic.

When people know you have  a brain injury, often they can overlook your indiscretions.  But it’s strangers that I unintentionally confuse or offend. That can even be where I’m overly enthusiastic. As I’m worried my face might start throwing evils at them, I try to tell my face to be positive by saying overly positive things. The British are known for being polite, but most of the time you would think someone had just saved my life, I’m so thankful. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not insincere, just exaggerated.

So the road to recovery is a long and complicated one. Just bare with me if my responses seem a bit off beat sometimes.

Have you lost your filter, and what do you do to counteractive that?


12 replies on “Suddenly my filter has abandoned me after brain injury”

thanks, you are so clear how it feels like when you know you cannot say it because then you will regret it…the worst thing is I can hurt the other, snd I then apologize. Nobody interested in understanding these type of tiny changes but it has been so important to understand how I react, and what the different feelings takes time but it allows you to improve, helps all these type of information, thanks

I’m glad it helps to know that others do understand what it’s like to have these things jump out of you before you realise that it will unintentionally hurt the other person.

Oh yes my filter has gone! This blog made me smile, because I could picture you reacting to people as I do. I think my filter is starting to come back, it’s a very thin version though, and is still getting me in trouble. After the brain surgery, I found I blurted out anything that was in my head, from telling the doctor he had very hairy arms, the neuro psychologist he was very handsome in his blue shirt, well in fact I thought that he could rock a pink shirt and must go and buy one. I told my husband I thought he was still a ‘tiger ‘ but needed to clean his teeth more, my daughter that she had been a hard work child but that I really liked her now! The list goes on and on. I am 4 months on nursing this brain injury and still, if I dare to go out in public, I can in a very loud voice point out all those ‘ who shouldn’t be wearing leggings because they are too fat’ or mock those awful scrawny beards lads think are cool. Oh maybe I will think I know you just because you made eye contact with me, so I loudly will say something, or start a starring game….I always win! My family know I am inappropriate, embarrassing but can also be very entertaining. We can laugh about it, but it’s those who take offence that are hard to deal with. You see I look ‘normal ‘ on the outside, but inside it’s madness at times. I now choose who I can allow to see myself in this vunerable dysfunctional state, sadly I have lost friends because they have used my situation to their advantage. Maybe I should wear a warning sign, BEWARE I SPEAK ONLY TRUTH! BRAIN INJURED PERSON
I suppose with practice I will get a handle on it, if all fails I can put my hand over my mouth, that does seem to work! Or I could start a swearing Jar and save up for that cruise. ?

Wow I love the home truths that you have dispensed! Shame some people couldn’t handle it. At least people don’t have to try to second guess what you might be thinking.

At some point in my life, having been extremely introverted, I learnt to speak my mind and just express myself. Having been diagnosed a few years back with Hydrocephalus, and undergoing surgery to treat it, I suppose I’ve become fearless in more ways than one. This is one of the reasons why I blog at
I never really thought about having a filter and how I’ve used/use it.
This post is insightful. Thanks for sharing.

Being able to express yourself is important, and I bet it feels like a weight off your shoulders now.

I am a TBI survivor of 2002. And I know about the “filter” being gone. I have seen other TBI survivors, especially men, who have had to learn how to filter their anger. I guess it is a testosterone thing. I am another male with the same usual male hormones, but my filter has not resulted in anger issues. Instead, I had difficulty filtering out personal thoughts that men usually do not disclose. My male friends accept me for what I am. My filter has recovered somewhat, but my revelations about my thoughts that men usually do not feel comfortable talking about, has resulted in more openness about emotions among my friends. I accept this as a plus side of my TBI. I have learned to feel gratitude for what I still have. Life is funny sometimes.

I definitely think it’s a plus. Society has made men feel like they should not talk about these things, that only girls do that. But internalising things is one of the reasons suicide rates are higher in men than women. So I hope more guys take a leaf from your book.

yes yes yes. I’m not as talkative as I used to be which makes my hubby question if I’m mad at him (nope…just withdrawing so I don’t say something inappropriate) And I have to carefully edit (5-6 times) anything I write or type so as to prevent me from causing unintentional ill will. Life in the slow lane…..everything takes so much longer to do now, and only 1 thing at a time.

Even now things just seem to fall out of my mouth that come out the wrong way. You’re doing well to “withdraw” when you can’t be sure if your message will come out right ?

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