Living with Brain Injury: Narrative, Community, and Women's Renegotiation of Identity

By J. Eric Stewart | Go to book overview

6
Wrestling with an Angel

Most of the women discussed spiritual or religious commitments, beliefs, and/or communities as important to their identity and their recovery. Tracy was regular churchgoer and believer but didn’t see a connection between that and her injuries; the car accident was “just one of those things.” Beth is the only participant who disavowed any spiritual or religious beliefs. She describes herself as a Hobbesian materialist, sometimes as a pantheist. To remind the reader, Beth was injured when she was caught in gun crossfire while driving to a conference, about six years prior to this interview. Here, I was asking for her thoughts about post-injury meaning or sensibility:

ES: I’m wondering, and you might have already answered this in
telling me about being a “stoic midwesterner,” but I was wondering
about the experience of it, you know, the day-to-day of it, what got
you through it? The way you make sense of it?

BETH: Oh, well there’s no meaning.

ES: Yeah? There’s no meaning?

BETH: No. no meaning.

ES: Yeah?

BETH: You know, life is random.

-175-

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Living with Brain Injury: Narrative, Community, and Women's Renegotiation of Identity
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - People and Methodology 25
  • 2 - Meeting Post-Injury 52
  • 3 - Oneself as Another 82
  • 4 - Fighting 98
  • 5 - Sense (and Sensibility) of Community 137
  • 6 - Wrestling with An Angel 175
  • Coda 216
  • Appendix - Brief Summary of Participants’ Demographics and Injuries 225
  • References 227
  • Index 239
  • About the Author 247
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