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I was fourteen when it happened on a rain-slicked highway. My dad was a passenger in a car that slid into a pile of other cars when he hit his head, too hard ...

My name is Janna Leyde, and my father has a traumatic brain injury. Growing up with a parent who has a brain injury is not divorce or death or abuse. It’s no one’s fault and when you try to tack blame on a place or a person, it doesn’t work. Family dynamics flip, roles change, relationships dissolve — the confusion is paralyzing. At some point you realize you have a choice: roll with it and grow up into someone you didn’t know you’d be or isolate yourself and get the heck outta Dodge as soon as you can. 

I chose to roll.

Now, I’m fresh into my thirties. I’ve suffered and survived my strange loss of innocence. I’ve discovered how to find acceptance and love. I’ve learned there are no guarantees and there is always change. I’m still here, and I invite you to roll with me.

Read an excerpt from Janna’s book, He Never Liked Cake.

Learn more about Janna >

New from Janna

Yoga as a Catalyst after Brain Injury

May 11, 2015

Yoga as a Catalyst after Brain Injury

The more we try to look backward and wish for what was, the harder it becomes to move forward and away from the incident or accident that caused all the grief in the first place. Yoga is not a cure, but it’s a catalyst.

People in My Boat

April 13, 2015

People in My Boat

I know there will always be days when I cry my face off because of what happened to my dad, but I have learned that the best remedy for the unfairness is meeting the daughters and sons and wives and brothers and friends of others who have been where I have been.

Brain Injury Awareness

March 9, 2015

Brain Injury Awareness

March is brain injury awareness month. It’s the dead of winter in these parts and about the time of year when my dad starts to get bored. And when my dad gets bored, he gets in trouble. I feel all the heat and sorrow of this brain injury pour over me yet again.


More from Janna

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