UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The promise of returning home after mild traumatic brain injury Nish, Bonnie


Trauma is anything that happens to us, physically or psychically, that is beyond our capacity to cope given our personal circumstances and development. Trauma devastates individuals and those who support them. Brain injuries, whether considered mild, moderate, or severe, are a common source of trauma. Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (MTBI) are underreported injuries and can have long-lasting, life-altering effects, and even result in death. Experts have speculated that by 2020, MTBI would be one of the major causes of death around the world (Gururajc et al., 2007). The significance of this dissertation is to personalize the experience of MTBI so that others can recognize themselves in this work. This dissertation’s contribution is to open the MTBI field to personal stories in the first-person narrative through poetic works and life writing in order to expand the understanding of MTBI and its profound effects on an individual and those in relationship to them. I first examine my own history of becoming a writer and where I fit into the fields of poetic inquiry and life writing. Through this process, I examine the threads of trauma that have run throughout my life to find how they have affected my recovery from MTBI and what kinds of care I encountered throughout. My engagement with my life-writing and poetry are key to my healing.

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