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.
June 13, 2016
Two decades ago cars sat at this same intersection, waiting at this same light, watching helicopters land on that same rooftop. One Tuesday in July my dad was the person in the chopper...
April 11, 2016
I thought if the class wasn’t going well, I could just lie on my yoga mat in the middle of the studio and, at least, be around people for an hour. Knowing how accepting yoga is, I unrolled my yoga mat for a try.
November 9, 2015
It was the first year of my dad’s brain injury. He was nasty. I was nasty. I don’t regret much, but I certainly regret telling my father that I hate him and that he can’t come to my wedding.