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My Words

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Check out the Arclight Magazine article about my first book project


"Out of my Mind" ...this is the title I chose. Good Title? I am not so sure now that I think about it. All I meant by this title, is that the words I am writing are coming directly out of my mind, and onto the paper.

Let me explain: When I first started this project I wanted to include my misspellings, run-on sentences, and the rest of my mistakes. This would give the reader a true picture of what it is like to live life in our shoes. That wasn't realistic though; books have to have some order and semblance (everyone can't write like James Joyce). So I cleaned it up a bit.

That brings up another question. When I say "Out of my Mind", do people think I mean that I am crazy, or out of my gourd? ARE YOU KIDDING! Just because an individual has sustained a brain injury, does not make them "stupid," "a fool," or "less than," any other person. They are just someone who has unfortunately injured their brain. We are survivors and we just ask to be given the same rights as the next guy.

I can see how a lot of survivors might take offense to this title, that is, unless they understand where I am coming from. I am proud of who I am, and what I have overcome. I will not say that I am happy that I was injured; but I am very happy with the life I have created. Maybe I might add to the title, "Out of My Mind, These are my Words."

I often think back to the night of the accident; actually every time I drive past the scene of the accident, I imagine what it must have been like that night, and I don't feel bitter. I have created quite a story for myself. One that I am proud of.

I am thinking of my childhood and trying to remember what it was like growing up at 20 Fifth Avenue. This house was in the town of Nyack, NY, a small village perched on the Western bank of the great Hudson River. About 20 miles North of Manhattan. It was a black and white house (a striking contrast), a split-level house with three bedrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen, porch, and one small bathroom (about one short if you ask me). It was a small house, but we lived our days in this quaint village of Nyack.

Both my parents have been very supportive to me throughout my life, even though at times they have had trouble showing it. Or at least I have been dissatisfied with the way things have been. Many times I have had anger toward them for what I thought was a lack of caring or attention. This might have been because they separated when I was about eight years old, and I don't believe a family can ever seem satisfactory after a family has been disjointed.

My relationship with my brother and sister has changed during my life, but we always managed to stay in contact. My thoughts of Liz are hazy and not very good. You see, Liz was my sister for the first sixteen years of my life and then, I'm not sure what happened. Actually I do know what happened; it was Liz's boyfriend who was driving the night of the accident, and it seemed to have strained our relationship. My brother Andrew and I were close in our growing years, but have grown closer in a feeling way, despite the fact that he now lives on the other side of the planet.

A great influence in my life was my relationship with my next door neighbor, Mike Sommi. The Sommi family was originally from Danbury, Connecticut and moved here, I'd say, when Mike was nine years old. Mike was by best friend, we did everything together. Playing sports was one of the biggest things in our lives. You see, Mike came from a large family, three brothers and three sisters. All of them were All-Americans; they all excelled at whatever they did. I valued this family's ways, and took on many of them myself. Many of the strengths I needed to get through the tough times I have been dealt in my life, I credit to the Sommi's and their ways. I cannot give all the credit to the Sommi's and their ways; I have worked extremely hard to live my life in a fashion which I am proud of. The following writings, my words, are my story of struggle and success.

Check out the Arclight Magazine article about my first book project

Dan Windheim

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