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What Happens to Relationships After Brain Injury?

Comments [34]

From the National Resource Center for Traumatic Brain Injury

What Happens to Relationships After Brain Injury?
Multimedia

Many survivors and family members describe changes in their relationships after the injury. They may not hear much from friends, co-workers, and extended family members. Others notice that their phone calls, emails, and letters are left unanswered. Some survivors find themselves feeling alone even when they spend much of their time with family members or friends. Here are some of the things people say about their relationships after brain injury. Do any of these statements sound like things you have said?

  • I can't relate to other people. It's easier to be by myself.
  • What happened to all the friends who came to visit me in the hospital?
  • Other people don't want to be around me.
  • People seem to avoid me.
  • My wife threatens to leave me at least twice a week.
  • I wonder why no one returns my calls.
  • It seems like everyone at work has lost my phone number.
  • I haven't talked to anyone in weeks.
  • Nobody cares about me.
  • I don't have any friends.
  • Seems like nobody wants to talk to me.
  • Nobody has any idea what I am going through. They don't understand me.

Why people feel lonely even when around family members or friends?

After injury, many survivors describe feeling lonely — even when they are surrounded by other people. This loneliness may arise for many different reasons.

  • Difficulty talking to other people or understanding what others are saying are common problems survivors face after injury. Communication problems can make relating to other people and explaining your thoughts and feelings very difficult. These problems can lead to feeling misunderstood and isolated.
  • Many survivors feel self-conscious after their injuries. They may worry about being different or less capable than other people. Self-consciousness can make it harder to spend time with other people or seek out new relationships.
  • After injury, many survivors worry about what others will think of them and may feel nervous about being around other people. They may be afraid of being hurt or rejected by other people.
  • Many survivors notice they are more irritable after their injuries. When irritated, they may say or do things they regret later on. Some survivors try to stay away from those they care about for fear of behaving poorly. Family and friends may also avoid you if they are worried about what you might say or do.
  • Fatigue and low energy are common problems after brain injury. Survivors may not have the energy to do things they used to enjoy or to spend time with friends and family. Family and friends may also worry about tiring you out when they invite you to do something.
  • Pain and other physical problems often make it harder for survivors to do things they used to enjoy. You may also have trouble leaving the house, traveling, or visiting other people. Injury-related limitations make it harder to nurture and build relationships.
  • Many survivors are not able to drive or work after their injury. Lack of transportation and money may make it hard to visit others or do things you enjoy.
  • People generally make friends through work or being involved in social or recreational activities. After injury, survivors often stop working and may not be involved in sports, church, and other activities. You may lose contact with friends and co-workers because you don't see them as much.
  • Friends and family may feel uncomfortable because they don't know what to say, how to act, or how to help. Discomfort may make it harder for them to relate to you or spend time with you. Help them out by letting them know about your positive and negative feelings and what they can do to help you.

From the National Resource Center for Traumatic Brain Injury, Virginia Commonwealth Model Systems of Care. Chapter reprinted with permission from the NRC TBI publication, Memory Matters: Strategies for Managing Everyday Memory Problems. www.neuro.pmr.vcu.edu.

Comments [34]

Thank you for writing this. It was like looking into a mirror. Seeing everything in print, knowing that others go through it, is comforting.

Jul 5th, 2014 10:36pm

I had an auto accident while going to work. I fell asleep at the wheel and hit a tree head on at about 60mph. I was lucky to survive the accident but left me with a TBI and chronic pain from all the broken bones I received. I was in an induced coma for a month and told that I had died twice. When I got home finally I spent the next 5 months relearning how to do things but watching my family suffer from loads of bills I returned to work after 6 months after the accident. I had several mini strokes and still have tempral lobe seizures so now disabled. My wife at the time decided we should move in with her mother to help with the bills which was the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life. She told me just about every day when we got there She wanted her Old husband back and that I wasnt the guy she married. After 5 years of hearing this and marital counseling that she didnt pay attention to, I asked for a divorce. She asked me If I still loved her, but to be honest I dont feel love anymore. Yes I needed her, mainly as someone that cared for me and was there when I had siezures so that I wasnt alone. Now here it is 5 years after, I get to see my kids once a year or not at all cause they have jobs, and I have to pay for them to come to me which isnt cheap. I have two dogs, they are the reason I still am here. Is that part of frontal brain injuries? lost of the emotion Love? I would like to be in a relationship but worry about this lost emotion. There are days and weeks I am depressed and dont want anyone around me. I shop one day at a time and usually real late at night or early morning cause I have a hard time around crowds. Would therapy help me find the emotion again or is it lost forever.

Jul 5th, 2014 6:44pm

Friends of ABI.I hope you received my last note.  I had a Brain Tumor , it was removed.  I also have epilepsy. I had to learn to walk,talk, balance is gone, vision is less but I still have a good outlook on life.  During this I went through a divorce.  I am a survivor.  Exercise dear friends and recharge your brain.  It takes time and a lot of mental thoughts. Take care and don't  ever ever give up on yourselves.

Jul 3rd, 2014 7:59pm

I sustained  head injuries as a child from child abuse and a car accident and then as a teen I tried to kill myself and ended up causing more damage. I have 1 friend who I love like a sister that I met in my early 20's but if it wasn't for her i would completely alone. I try to go on online forums and find I run into the same problems as I do in person, people don't understand and they don't care. I always wanted to be a mom but that was taken from me by my own parents who caused me this stupid injury and I am depressed and angry and scared and alone.

Jun 15th, 2014 8:19pm

Thank you for validating all of these struggles that I've been experiencing.  During the past 9 months since the accident, I've felt more lonely than I think I've ever felt before...and that's coming from someone who has battled significant clinical depression for 13 years.  It's nice to be reminded that I'm not alone in this.  It would be really helpful to have some tips for managing these limitations, explaining these struggles to non-TBI friends/relatives, or learning how to overcome our new insecurities.  

Jun 9th, 2014 12:57pm

Im going through this for last 2 years...

May 5th, 2014 11:06pm

I suffered a chemical brain injury due to improper administration of antibiotics, and then a mTBI 5 months later. It took a lot of my personality, intelligence, and health away. I can never have a career, and probably can't live independently. I still have friends, but people I loved dearly left me because I was no longer the same person. I know they are right. But they get to walk away with their grief and continue on with their lives intact. I get to live with the knowledge they are correct and I am lost to myself, and I have disappointed everyone I love. Caregivers and friends can walk away, and experience the loss like one would experience an interpersonal loss. Then they can live their lives. Survivors get to experience that same loss, as well as the knowledge of losing themselves. We can't escape.

Apr 4th, 2014 9:58pm

It was interesting to read of those wondering about having relationships or relationships that hadn't gone on long enough for marriage, and the healthy one leaving. I've already posted before (the 1st one I think) so I understand plenty about TBI and relationships.  More than I want to know!  I'm being honest in my OWN opinion. Every TBI is different.  TBI is hard on the patient, and very hard on the caregiver who is watching their loved on go down hill.  They don't understand what is happening.  Seeing the pain, or confusion, or not able to do what they used to do... Realizing that person had changed and this will NOT get some better (if it's in the early stages) or this is how it will be. NO MATTER WHATEVER THE ISSUE IS IN LIFE, relationships have backpacks., The interview is over and all the junk is poured out.  For some, they know they can not do it forever.  They hurt badly when they have to tell you, but they know themselves enough to know they can't do it.  So in a way, they have done a favor by NOT marrying, then going through all the divorce issues. 

Saying Goodbye is very hard, but sometimes it may save us more grief in the long run. 

Those who have been in a long term relationship/marriage is very painful. Hopefully, a type of "friendship" can be maintained (if that is wanted), and every thought has been put into "keeping your self esteem intact".  It's not about YOU, it is about what happened.  It's a shame, but you are still the wonderful you.

Therapy maybe needed, if you feel you aren't coping well.  But read up on Grief.  You will be surprised to find that grief is physical and mental and has very definite symptoms.  And I hope you have someone who will stand by.

For those alone.... I beg you to join groups, to ask someone to lunch, a neighbor, an acquaintance, someone who you feel okay with being together for an hour.  THIS IS NOT A DATE.  And preferably someone who is of the same sex.  If they ask questions, give the short version in a positive way.  When friendships develop, telling more can be the final test!:)  Those that fall in love, or choose to become close friends, are choosing you because of YOU, not because of anything else.

And there's the ones that are down right cruel.  Hopefully, you can get away as far as you can.

Not all have this problem.  I lost most of my friends, and it split the family because some put a time limit on my "illness" and "TBI" and I had gone past the limit of sickness.  The don't understand the issues we have or how it makes us feel. 

It's okay to have a good friend that doesn't understand, but believes you.  That is a real friend.  Websites that validate your feelings and issues are very helpful.  Thank goodness for Google!  Here are great site for everyone and I hope you find them useful. www.brainline.org (my fave)   FB: Chronic Pain Education for Patients, Friends and Family, www.invisibledisabilities.org (Fabulous), and many groups on FB.

When one is swimming up hill, it IS hard.  It can be done.  I would be easier with support, but we can drum up our own if we have too!  Life is about having a friend, not a spouse, to have happiness.  When our concentration is elsewhere, something beautiful occurs that is a miracle!  YOU become the miracle, because you have stepped out on shaky ground and begun to build your confidence.  Detour around Toxic people, just as we would Toxic waste!

 I bet you have more empathy, etc... than some who have not had some hard experiences!  Use the "gift" and you'll make a difference in many lives.

Cathy
This subject can not be discussed in a short portion here.  There are many things to consider, but hitting on the highlights. My computer is acting up, so I apologize if words are not where they belong!

involve pain, etc...  Check out the tabs.  And the most popular is

Rumors are ridiculous, but think of them like this:  Rumors are events that we did or something that happened to us that we weren't aware of!  We may learn we lead a very exciting life! :)

Jan 29th, 2014 5:37pm

Dear Feb 23, 12:05pm:

I was shocked to read your note, as that is ALMOST my story 13 years ago this March.  It's pretty much hell on earth, but it doesn't have to be if there was enough love and empathy to care enough to READ information on what I was going through~!  Education and knowledge helps keep families together in cases like this.  As I'm sure you are aware, rumors begin, friends turn their back - the ones that are shocking because you REALLY thought they were your friends, and you end up with a couple who are by your side because they truly understand the need for support.  At first, my husband read.  My kids?  I was just in the way, stayed in trouble for being so dumb, and for friends and relatives - I had passed the time of being sick, so now "get with it"!  The things that are said are astounding.  And the question that comes up is why is there ISOLATION?  Possibly for protection of your feelings!  Many would find it shocking if they asked me if I was glad to be here. "NO"!  I have the perfect "life" on the outside, but behind the doors, I don't feel worthy to ask anything of my children, friends family, or most neighbors.  WHY?  Why is that a question----- is what I'd ask~!  If someone keeps saying "NO" and has excuses kin to "I've got to wash my hair", that tells me something.  Some have issues that I don't understand, but it's not mine to judge.  Those that give those excuses, yet on FaceBook, there are pictures filled that day or weekend, or week of pleasures all day.  While I think that is wonderful, and am glad they are enjoying their fruits of their labor, do they not have one hour for a friend?  I'd call it "love".  The "love chapter" in the bible says it all, yet it does give us time for pleasure.  And, what does that teach their children?  And we wonder why we have so many selfish children/young people out there?  I don't expect ANYTHING I wasn't willing to do when I was able.  Teaching my children to go to visit those in nursing homes, ill, doing for them, etc... was what was taught me.  So to me, I'm shocked when it is mentioned that I can't cook (lost that ability) and my husband is exhausted when he comes home and puts on his "wife hat", and nothing is done 99% of the time.  There is pity (sorry without action), and rarely compassion (sorry WITH action).  I think of Job a lot and realize that in this type situations, many things are brought to light.  Who are our REAL friends?  What are others responses, and what are my responses (thankful, grateful for all they do?), and make it pleasant so they will return.  Many believe we should not think about it, not talk about it, not join groups, not write, yet they ask us to COPE!  That is why it's hard to keep calm, when advice is given that has no revelance to it, yet we smile and try to keep going and keep friends.  The hardest part emotionally of TBI and Chronic Pain is how we are treated that is undermining, and usually we have our other senses strong, and can "feel" when another is critical or disgusted.  And why would we want to socialize?  Yes, it's hard because of the TBI, and sometimes I would push harder if I knew there would not be other factors to "fight" to keep a positive outlook.   So,  please, Feb. 23rd, 12:05pm, keep going, someday someone will come into your life that will help you physically.  We all know that complaining does nothing, but at some point we come across that one person we can really talk too and NOT pay for their services! :)  We can do this, with God as our strength.

Painfully yours.

Jan 4th, 2014 3:15pm

I was 17 when I received my injury and now 23. Alot of this is very true. I had many friends come visit me in the hospital but when I got out it seemed like they all disappeared. My family as well except for my mother and father but brothers, sisters and cousins all try and avoid me. Because of not having friends I became a real loner. I did join a support group in Phoenix Arizona. I would definitely recommend this location for either patients looking for help or to socialize with other victims and do events. As for me, I found that working out everyday has calmed my anger down immensely and works my self confidence back up. I just now got a relationship in many years and so far is going good. Wish me luck and I hope for all other TBI patients that luck is on your side. I understand what you are going through but stand tall, keep your chin up and continue to move on, things will get better in life. P.S. I did drugs and drank alot coming out of the hospital and that was a HORRIBLE idea. Try your best not to fall in that rut!

Nov 15th, 2013 3:02pm

My husband suffered a brain bleed back in February of this year, 2013, due to a blow to his head. It was then determined he had a very rare condition called a cavernous hemangioma. This mass of vessels sat mid brain stem on his relay of the brain at the Thalamus. Since the location of the mass was so complex his condition was noted to be non-operable, by all surgeons we had seen. We were living with a time bomb. I left my job the day of his injury and flew out to be with him, since it happened out of town. I have never left his side since. I am his 24/7 caregiver and I do everything and have seen everything. We struggled for months trying to locate a surgeon. One doctor told us he would help us find help with someone either in our area or within our Country. May of 2013 we were blessed to have found our amazing surgeon out of UVA in Charlottesville, VA. The most profound surgeon, team and medical district I have ever seen. After meeting with our Dr.L, we were contemplating surgery. Gamma Knife was not an option. May 30th 2013 my husband underwent one of the most complex surgeries. Dr. L told us the morning of that this hemangioma actually grew about 40% from the previous MRI we had. I believe the surgery was about 10-12 hours total. We spent all summer between the hospital and rehab there and then readmitted in August for Hydrocephalus in the brain where we needed to go in for a shunt placement. My husband had a difficult time with getting off the ventilator and then needed a trach. Also feed tubes, G-tube and J-arm due to complications. A portion of the skull is gone due to swelling of the brain and has not been replaced. We have undergone in-house PT, Speech and OT and now are being evaluated for out-patient therapies. He is now able to walk with his "roller" and he tries to help in the kitchen and I take him to the ocean front to breath. His physical outward wounds are healing nicely but now we are in the phase of the "inward" wounds. The ones that no one can see. I had no idea as to what TBI was or what to expect. I can tell you that even myself I had a breakdown and ended up in the hospital from all the stress I witnessed him going through.. I had to have a surgical procedure done on my esophagus due to the stress my body underwent. My husband is still very much confused and sees people that are not here nor have been, some have passed away. Much of the day he sleeps, he also developed sleep apnea from this surgery/trauma/ so recovery is just frustrating. He may seem to be in the hear and know but then just an hour or hours later he forgets what the day was like and I have to repeat it again. Night time he goes into anxiety mode and I will have to keep looking at his 9-10 inch scar on his head with a flashlight for an hour or two straight to reassure him that it is okay. The recovery phase we are in is tough. I am seeing more outbursts and temper and anger and much depression. I am his punching bag in the sense where he takes everything out on me. He tells me I do nothing for him when in fact I have been the ONLY one to do it all. We live states away from family and friends so yes, when I say it is just he and I..I mean it is just he and I. I have taken pictures and blogged and videos since February. Sometimes I sit with him and show him how far he has come. He does not seem to SEE what I see. I feel he is actually STUCK at the time of surgery and can not get past all the yucky stuff he went through in the hospital. Not that he remembers it..just from what he has seen and heard. He also is comparing himself to who he was prior and can not recognize improvement because he can't do many of the things he use to..but in my eyes he is doing so well. He is not in a wheelchair and he even walks with me without the walker at times but in his eyes he wants to jump on his motorcycle and also surf. You see, he also has Diplopia. His vision is bad. He sees doubles and fours and split vision and so he can't drive at this time. He is not able to make sound quick judgments so that is also a minus. He is angry and frustrated. We argue so much. The bills keep coming in and I spend most days arguing with insurance folks and anyone else that gets in my way. I do not take care of myself as I use to. I am only 45 years young. My husband is only 51. There is no romance, intimacy or even normal conversations it seems. I could be talking to him and he chimes in with a complaint of something. The food I cook he does not like, the way I was dishes, the volume of the TV, the way I fold clothes, the ketchup on the wrong side of the refrigerator, the noises, the people outside bother him and he will now yell at them. Most words to me are in a demeaning tone ..its almost as if he is bi-polar. The only way I can describe it. Then sometimes he tries to be sweet. I am to rub his hair and rub his arms, I serve him all his meals and cook and I make sure he always has something to snack on. I take him out for walks and try to get his mind preoccupied. I try to be silly but it is viewed as "being stupid".. It is hard to make him laugh and when he does I hold on to that moment. My husband told me that people are not able to see the "inside" of him only the outside. Its not like he is wearing a huge cast for people to say "oh geeze what happened". When you look at him you would tend to think he is fine..but he is not. His deficits include, short term memory, anger, fall risk (tends to wobble to the right), Diplopia (eyes) and Sleep apnea. He is depressed and moody and our relationship is just hanging on. I am a caretaker by heart and never thought I would be "HERE" in life. I love my husband with all my heart just not liking him these days. I am trying to seek help from many specialty doctors for he and I. We have to live with this so I am desperate for the tools and support. Financially we are ruined. This has taken a toll on us in so many levels. I am proud of the strength and courage my husband has and hope for one day for he to be able to see even a glimpse of how amazing he is! Our surgeon was so right when he told me in NICU to take care of myself because this is a very long journey.. but I truly did not realize what that meant. I am in the process of writing a book and my hope is to spread awareness and help others with this condition or any other that deems non-operable. There are options, there is hope and we found it. I will continue to support my husband and help him because he deserves just that. I pray we can find the support and help we deserve one day too. God Bless you all who are going through these journeys.

Nov 15th, 2013 9:08am

Because I am not the one who sustained the tbi I feel that any comment I make on the above contributions may be trite...please belive the intention behind the action is loving. I read several comments which brought me to tears, but which underlined to me the shallowness of the friendships, and I am tempted to say, \"If that is how your friends treated you after your tbi then they were not genuine friends in the first place\". Then I read a comment made about a family member, and that put me in my place...I dont know what to say. However, I may add, someone close to you having a tbi brings one face to face with our own tenuous grip on mortality. What I am trying to say is, seeing someone else suffer in this way scares the **** out of some of us. This in no way excuses hurtful behaviour, but sometimes knowing what is going on helps us understand things more. Knowledge is very powerful, but you can not \"force\" others to \"learn\". I needed time to \"take in\" things about my husband\'s tbi. One of the most challenging characteristics he has acquired is talking in a monotone, with no inflections, so I am often puzzled as to his emotional state...not realizing when he is angry, or when he is depressed, or when he is happy! So I will state, once again, that the person with brain challenges may need (even if it isnt exactly fair, and yet another thing on which to work) to give their relations time to recreate their relationships. :-)

Nov 15th, 2013 3:09am

As a survivor I feel like I struggle with a lot of these but what I was disappointed with this article because it didn't list ways of us survivors to help cope or improve on these issues.

Nov 14th, 2013 11:21pm

I had a severe bleed due to a banging my head after a tumble. Being on heart meds caused severe bleed and thinking I had harder hits to the head I din't take it as serious. I should have. The relationship with my wife before was ok, not ok, ok, not ok on and on like that. After the TBI it was the same but not being allowed to drive her driving drives me crazier at times

Nov 14th, 2013 8:14pm

My true friends stuck by me. Most of my relationships from that period faded away. It's been three years.

Nov 14th, 2013 6:53pm

My friends of 14 years more or less disowned me after I was physically assaulted which resulted in a brain injury, said they 'liked me the way I was before'. Yeah, so did I. We didn't meet up as much, it was mostly down to me to contact them and they were often busy, though somehow I knew that wasn't always the case. Our friendship was never really the same after that. However, a few months ago it started to improve a bit. We'd meet up, they'd invite me round for a meal, just like old times, except it wasn't. They'd question me as to how I was feeling but just said, 'well you look alright to us'. Still, I went round to see them two or three more times and then I was working away for two weeks. They said to contact them when I got back. Two days after, I gave them a call. They invited me over for a meal. Again, they questioned how I was feeling and added that I had to come back because of my appointment with the 'doolally doctor'. I was shocked by their attitude, 'I see a Neuro Psychologist not a Psychiatrist who's really helping with ways to remember and to cope with my brain injury'. They said 'it's all the same to me...doolally doctors'. 'No it's not, Psychiatrists administer medication, Psychologists don't'. They asked me something else and when I was having difficulty remembering something they said 'Get over it, it's just your age, we're all getting older' . I said no it wasn't that, but my Neuro Psychologist is helping me with ways to remember. 'so what IS wrong with you?' 'nothing much' - meaning the way I looked, I guess. 'EXACTLY, there's nothing wrong with you... (in a vehement manner) it ****** me off to think that somebody else could have those services when they need them more than you do... you know that very well, don't you?... you're having somebody else's appointment...there's nothing wrong with you, you're just getting older.' I was shocked, open mouthed. No amount of me trying to explain was going to change things so I went home not long afterwards. I was SO upset, SO hurt. The next morning was my appointment and my N. Psychologist said - 'there are some people who will NEVER understand...you look alright on the outside but a person with a brain injury has put in so much effort that some people never really understands how that person feels on the inside...it's not like you CHOSE to be assaulted...' 'If you were pretending, which you're not, you or anybody that pretends would have given up a long time ago.. you cannot pretend to have these emotions, they are the result of a brain injury...something that can't be put away like a coat on a hanger, we need to find ways for you to live with it.' I said, 'I don't really think I want friends like that'. My N.Psychlologist said 'you have lots of other friends who support you'. That was a week ago and I'm still getiing upset by it.

Nov 6th, 2013 3:56pm

Thank you for this. I suffer many of these feelings and symptoms. I can not wait for my state, IL, to complete the process of legalizing. Nothing, and I mean nothing, keeps me from getting overloaded and/or mean better than the Herb. What's more, it's safer than ANY pharmaceutical behavior control.

Oct 25th, 2013 11:39am

I just wanted to let all of you guys know how inspiring you all are. It amazes me to see such strong people. Please all of you stay strong, it will work out. You can't have a rainbow without rain.

Oct 12th, 2013 6:58pm

I suffered a TBI as a result of a car accident in February of 2013. I was in a traffic jam at a stand still, the person that hit me ignored the traffic and hit me going 98mph! Having a TBI is so strange. I'm not who I was. My partner of 5 years is struggling with my TBI and my anger,sadness lack of libido. I found out last week he's cheating on me. I'm devastated.

Aug 21st, 2013 10:41pm

Relationships become Rocky when your Spouse refuses to read about TBI and Brain Injuries.Mine seeks any excuse to belittle and embarass me,yet I am the Breadwinner and ask for nothing in return.I can deal with my TBI and work at it constantly,I just don't understand the Lies from the ones NOT with TBI,I have an excuse for my behavior and don't Judge others.There's not much more I can do now 6 years later.

Jul 16th, 2013 9:30am

I lost the love of my life due to a head injury.....He became confrontational and violent....been over 20 years and I still live with the memory of the changes. I left the situation but it still is fresh in my mind. The person I knew and loved died but the new person was an unlovable person....didn't like himself. I was living with Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde.....never knew when he was going to snap and start yelling and hitting.

Jul 2nd, 2013 11:51am

I recently found out that an old friend from high school has been suffering with TBI, it has broken my heart. This man was our star jock, went on to being a star college athlete and a Superbowl winner...now he has nothing. I wish there was a way I could help my friend but there is not. I pray that each day brings him something to smile about. Written in the memory of Steve Hendrickson.

Jun 7th, 2013 2:28pm

11 years ago I suffered a tbi, but had to battle my own insurance company just to get proper help, and my family to talk with the doctors to know what to expect. Instead, 11 years later I am still on disability and not enjoying work I used to be able to do, and my family is still making the comments to me that I need to "get over it"...they are impatient, unwilling to hear and understand, and misunderstand what I try to convey to them because I still find it difficult to understand conversations and can only understand bits and pieces..Now to top this off I have been babysitting my first granddaughter for 19 months 8-12 hrs a day 5 days a week (although I told my daughter previous to birth I wouldn't be able to because I don't trust myself enough)..Needless to say I'm exhausted when she leaves and I am unable to do anything else ea. day...She has developed allergies to food etc...to point of anaphylactic shock symptoms after her dad fed her shellfish and her mom gave her a peanutbutter cup...While she's ok but being tested, they are putting the blame on me because I have cats and have not been able to really clean my house in the last 11 yrs, so my daughter is "threatening" to put her in daycare. While this is a break for me, I am constantly worried about my granddaughter when she's not here because I don't know what is causing her allergies yet. The pediatrician refused to refer to allergist until she recently had to go to er. It's hard not to have her here after I raised her so much while they work, and they can't afford daycare either, and no other family members ever came forth to help even just 1 day a week. Not having her is starting up anxiety symptoms...I don't want her sick, but I didn't put her into shock either, and to top this off my husband (who has been treating me like a 5th wheel the last 11 yrs. since I'm not able to do all the motherly things he was so used to before & has had to learn to put his own dishes from table to dishwasher and his own laundry, etc.) jumped all over me and blaming me for baby being sick, and said since I can't clean the house or do anything else we should split the assets, sell the house and move separate ways. With my sense of smell, and feelings of anxiety, breathing problems and sleeping problems heightening to a point where I had to start sleeping down on the couch these last 11 yrs. too! Needless to say, I haven't slept through the night and gotten a full night's sleep these last 11 yrs. He's never been a patient person, more selfish than anything I guess, cause he never cared enough to see what the doctors wanted him to do to help me. Instead what he told me days after the accident was "I could sue the girl that caused the accident and he would support me as long as it didn't take up any of his time or cost him any money!" It took a while before I felt comfortable to drive to a dr myself only 10 min. from our house ..6 months..very high anxiety to do, and this dr. couldn't be bothered, she asked how she would be paid before she even cared enough to see what was wrong! And I had noone to advocate on my behalf..I couldn't convey to her the problems properly even though I told her I hit the windshield in an accident...Oh , and the day my husband took me to the courthouse to file..hour away from our house...I heard about his wasted time all the way there and back and his wasted filing fee..real supportive! So you can see why I was reluctant to ask anyone for help or to even see anyone, I don't have any friends to talk things over with and my kids were teenagers or younger and had their own agendas..This is probably my first anxiety attack starting in about 8 years...I guess it's high stress, I miss my granddaughter, and don't know how to sell everything I own because I'll have nowhere to go and no way of moving anything or money for help or anyone to count on to ask for help...My whole family would have been better off if I died in the accident since I'm nothing that I was before and they constantly let me know that all the time.

Feb 23rd, 2013 12:05pm

My son is in jail right now because he violated his probation. He is almost 22. He was on probation because he attempted to rob our next door neighbors. He wanted to steal their marijuana they grow in their basement. This single act which was so out of his character, landed him in jail when he was only 20. At 18 he was in a roll over car accident. I was recovering from back surgery. He was treated and released the same night. Nothing showed up on tests. He had head aches, sweating, sleepless nights, mood swings, bad temper, confusion etc. We received little help from two neurologists, 2 MRI's and really getting no help from his doctor. Life went on and despite feeling bad, he still graduated high school, and finished one and a half years of college while still living at home. But seemingly out of nowhere, his behavior changed dramatically. We found out he had quit school 3 weeks prior, and had decided to join the marines! He seemed like a totally different person. We learned he was smoking pot, and abusing pain killers. A kid who never got in trouble in school, played baseball, and was on the JV team. Earned good grades etc. Anyway, our whole family has been through hell. Seeing my son go through all of this, and experiencing the whole jail thing, has been traumatic for my husband and me and our three other children. My husband and the kids are pretty much done with him for now. They are all very angry, mostly because of how he has treated all of us while using. Lying, manipulating, and all the addict behavior. Sadly, now he is an addict. But I've done tons of research on brain injuries. Drugs is one of the things they often turn to. He had to live in an apartment, not allowed to return home because of his crime. He did very well for a long period. almost 2 years! But he did not contact his PO for two months, we did not know until we received a scarry letter from the PO on Christmas Eve! Merry Christmas! He doesn't know why he did not call his PO. We had stopped reminding him because he got so offended like we were treating him like a child. He was doing so well. Sorry for rambling. This has been by far the most painful thing I have ever been through. And I have been through a lot. It is very lonely, and the doctors don't know much still. He may end up in treatment when he gets out. We are scared that this will be happening for the rest of his life. Our insurance will not pay for a psych eval. If anyone has anything they can share with me, even if its just, that you are in the same boat, I would greatly appreciate it. Yes, your life can change in an instant.Oh I have to share a little justification about the neighbors. FINALLY, they have been found out. Indeed they were selling their "medical marijuana". I new it!!Any comments about marijuana laws? thank you for letting me vent.

Jan 22nd, 2013 6:49pm

I have brain injury and still have symptoms years later. I get a lot of pain in my head. I wish I never got hurt.

Nov 25th, 2012 3:24pm

ive been dating a woman for over 3 yrs who has severe brain injury ....i love her to death ... our relationship has been rocky .. she has lied ..cheated .. we lived together for 3months last yr and without notice moved out..her parents came to pick her up and when i went outside to meet them they did not want to hear anything from me..they baby her to death..we got back together a month later...aug 1 i left for 7days left my cell fone with her wrote her a love letter to read everyday til i returned(i went to rehab due to the stress of caring for her)i had txt messages and emails from her asking me to come back and that she was sorry for breaking up with me..she threw away the engagement ring i bought her and started dating someone else in that little time...i dont know what i should do my family says thier is no future with her... she fabricates stories that we broke up which is not true ... now she tells me that she never was seeing someone else.. she had a episode over the fone and told me she hated me and hoped that i died ...10minutes later she called back and told me how she loves me and would kill herself if i did not go back to her .... i know their is different types of brain injuries she was in a coma for almost 7 months ... i dont know what to do ..she left me homeless and penniless... some people tell me to give her leeway due to her brain injury and others say i should let her go because she will never fully recover(its been 10yrs since her wreck)im sorry to say she is taking me into her insanity..i once told her i would care for her forever but now i have to worry about my mental health...

Aug 16th, 2012 1:54pm

I had a major stroke in 2006. My wife left 4 years later but I think she just lost love for me and left because she knew that I improved enough to take care of myself. I am 60 now and I am in the best shape mentally, physically, socially,spiritually and soon to be financially. :) I am the creator of Strokes Suck.com You can find me on facebook from there

Jul 10th, 2012 2:55pm

\"I really need advice. I met a wonderful man that had a brain injury due to being shot in the head 40 yrs ago, when he was 19yrs old. We are falling in love, which I had not planned to do. I give him a note everyday, and he has a good amount of pictures of me. I believe he is in his sisters care. I hav.... Just can he and I have a serious relationship?\"....My sibling has a TBI and I hope that she will meet someone and have a normal happy life that she wants; marriage, kids etc. I understand you may be concerned this person is a vulnerable adult in which case it is best to address your concerns directly, and with his family. All marriages are unique. There is no reason not to intiate a relationship with a brain injured person as long as their mental capacity is intact. Some people may have experienced TBI and only experience physical symptoms others may have lost ability to understand, so just be open and honest about your concerns, best of luck x

Feb 1st, 2012 4:12pm

I really need advice. I met a wonderful man that had a brain injury due to being shot in the head 40 yrs ago, when he was 19yrs old. We are falling in love, which I had not planned to do. I give him a note everyday, and he has a good amount of pictures of me. I believe he is in his sisters care. I have met 2 his sisters, 3 neices, his brother-in-law. Everyone is nice and likes me. My concern is, if we decided we wanted to get married, would it be possible? I know I'd be caring for him...but I am not worried about that. Just can he and I have a serious relationship?

Dec 4th, 2011 4:00pm

I was 43 when I got a tbi.I was planning to get married to a lady but,she couldn\'t deal with my tbi

Jul 21st, 2011 8:52pm

hi i am a survivor off a really bad wreck that happened 7 years ago they told me after i woke up from the coma i was in for a week i am only 23 years old now and im still haveing relationship problems i am a homosexual guy and all my relationships dont last i dont understand why they dont they seem to run cause im not the person i used to be i feel so alone all the time even if there a family around or even the new guy i am dateing show me affection and i sometimes feel like im alone even with all the attention he gives me how do i get help or be able to get the courage to talk to a perfessional to help me please help me

Apr 22nd, 2011 10:33pm

Even with the knowledge we have now it's thing's missed. I've recovering for 4 years. With my feeling being felt alone. We lose our support. I was really lost. Didn't know how to adjust to it. Always wakeing up going on. After 36 year getting up 6 in the a.m. This was totally new. I had to over come a lot. I'm cooping trying to focus on today. Working on me so I my be able to give back. Excuse any errors. Keep the faith stay strong. Know matter what if u have a family member are friend. Just remember it a new life for them. They enjoy things also. Just company is a blessing.

Oct 29th, 2010 10:06pm

I'm on the other side of the wall~being a Mom & Caregiver to my son who suffered from a brain injury in 2004. Judah was only 12 at the time~very independent,social,happy,fearless kid. Nothing or noone held him back from living life to the fullest(not even his deafness he received at a early age of 6 mo. from Meningitis). After a go~cart accident our life "stopped" for awhile.....he wasn't expected to live. I quit my job that moment and eversince our world has taken many detours and hit alot of obstacles!! With brain damage comes so many emotions it is just overwhelming and words could never express! Every moment is a moment of uncertainty~we never know what to expect. LIFE after brain damage is not and never will be the same. There are so many friends, co-workers, preachers, family etc. present when the person is in a COMA~STATE; but, afterwards when they "WAKE~UP" if they wake~up. Where is the support? At first yeah a few folks come around and ask "how are you doing?"....as time goes by fewer people come by and noone ask or cares anymore. "OUT OF SIGHT~OUT OF MIND"....and you're left alone picking through the pieces of your life and trying to rebuild. My heart goes out to "all" the people who are touched by this life~changing tragedy. A grieving process has to take place....the old person is no longer there; but a new "different" person invades their body and takes over their life. I love the boy I gave birth to; but, sometimes if I was brutally honest "I HATE WHAT THIS BRAIN DAMAGE" has taken from all of us. My son has missed out on his life~while others his age are having the time of their lives....he has to be stuck with his Mom taking care of all his needs. I hurt so much for him!!! I love that kid more than anyone could imagine and would take his place in an instant! GOD BLESS EVERYONE OF YOU TOUCHED BY T.B.I.!!!

Aug 5th, 2010 1:26pm

My younger sister( she is 44 and I am 54 ) and I have not gotten along well for over 30 years. My injury happened at when I was 18 and she was 8.She could not understand why I had changed and I didn't have the capacity to tell her. She doesn't like me very much any more. Perhaps understandably. Every time I try to talk about it with her she puts on her lawyer face and the conversation stops. I feel perplexed to say the least. I wish this information had been available to me at that time. But even the doctors were not very aware of TBI in 1973. Please forgive my rambling. Its nice to be able to verbalize all my frustration. My experience will hopefully provide insight to someone so that they might avoid the discord I went through.

Jun 30th, 2010 7:54pm


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