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The Year I Ran Away From Christmas

by Linda W. Arms, dated Dec. 20, 2012

Six years ago, in 2006,  I could not face Christmas at home as I did in my past.   In January of that year I had the accident that caused my TBI.   By December of that year, I had not made much progress in my recovery.   I could not face the Christmas decorations and products that I saw in stores already in October.   I would get tears in my eyes.   The difficulties I had just in being in a store became even worse because of the emotions that my brain was having to deal with.   I was OVERWHELMED  by the thought of putting up a tree, buying presents and doing any of the things I normally did in the past, including always having a big holiday get together  at my home.   I just couldn’t face it.   It just was not possible to be who I was before.   So I, my husband and daughter, ran away.

We went to a place I used to live growing up and that I have many fond memories of.  We went to Germany where Christmas is still celebrated in a much quieter style.   We stayed in a small village.   We bought a tiny tree about 12 inches tall with a few decorations already on it.    We enjoyed some very low-key events in this village that did not allow cars on many of its streets.   I could face Christmas here.   I did not have to try to be the person of my adult past.   I took many naps.  I could not count the money to pay for things.  I could not sort out many things I used to know about being there.  I leaned on my family.   Even with all these things in my way, it is still a wonderful memory that I have of this special time when we ran away from Christmas .   Today, six years later, Christmas is still much, much simpler compared to “before the accident” but I don’t feel I have to run away.   I am getting better in small doses.  I hope all of you are finding yourself better than last year. Have a Merry Christmas!

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One Response to “The Year I Ran Away From Christmas

  1. Wow, really great story! In 2010 I was in a motorcycle accident, a coma for 4 months and got outa the 3rd hospital in April. Just wanted to tell you that I was born in Norway, and lived there again from like 11-13. I love Germany lots though (Tyskland), and it is so interesting to think about someone that also has TBI, and has been there!!!

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