Permission to Tell the Truth

Making Tough Decisions Easier
An open and honest blog about TBI from Nicole Bingaman

My name is Nicole Bingaman. I became a student in the classroom of traumatic brain injury over five years ago. Since that time I have learned that love does win, but that love is also made up of incredibly tough moments.

Here, in this blog, I share the struggles I’ve faced, lessons I’ve gathered along this journey, and the ordinary and extraordinary moments that make up our days. I desire to offer a realistic perspective of hope with truthful acknowledgment of the brokenness that brain injury involves. I’ve learned that ignoring the painful emotions involved doesn’t make them disappear. It simply causes more pain. It took me a long time to acknowledge the depth of my own grief.

By giving myself permission to tell the truth, I hope that there can be healing for others who are walking this same road. Learn more about Nicole >

The Latest from Nicole

5 Important Qualities of My Son’s TBI Healthcare Team

Nicole Bingaman three-quarter black and white photo

A gentleman asked me, “Looking back at the beginning of your journey, what could have been done on the healthcare team's end to help you?” Taking a deep breath, I realized the question was an open door. I wasn’t sure I felt fully prepared to walk through it. I’ve pondered this question since then and want to share five qualities of healthcare providers that left an impression on me.  

Acceptance

Nicole Bingaman and her son Taylor

Finding acceptance after a brain injury isn't easy. "For a long while, I bucked against our reality. I found myself caught between what I had once known and an uncertain future. The in-between caused marked turmoil. As much as I didn’t want to accept Taylor’s brain injury as part of our lives, it is. As much as I wish it didn’t affect Taylor and our family … it does." 

No Greater Love

No Greater Love

Over the last few months, a group of people has weighed heavily on my heart. I’ve been thinking about them, and I’ve wanted to express my concern and compassion for them. They are the siblings of brain injury survivors. What happens when your brother or sister suffers with a brain trauma?

The Missing

The Missing

Life inside the bubble of brain injury is a roller coaster. In our bubble, the daytime is generally good. Nighttime brings the opposite. Each evening, Taylor's post-injury thought process evolves into a profound sense of sadness, frustration, and defeat. It is hell to witness.

Plain Vanilla

Nicole Bingaman Plain Vanilla

In August, we were presented with both high and low points. Our son, Taylor, was able to attempt to return back to work two days a week. Within fifteen days of returning to work, Taylor lost his brain injury service waiver. We had to hope nothing happened. And then…it did.

The Balloon

The Balloon  By Nicole Bingaman

Being a survivor takes dedication. From my vantage point, you have to be many things. The first, and perhaps most obvious is that survivorship requires strength. Strength is required no matter what stage of recovery or healing the survivor is in.

The Hike

The Hike: Caregiving & Brain Injury
My life as the caregiver and mother of a brain injury survivor is similar to being on a challenging hike. You gather the proper gear and feel adequately prepared. You begin the hike with an overcomer’s attitude, looking forward to moving through the miles...

Beautiful Truth

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to share with a group of caregivers and survivors at a rehab. From the moment they entered the gym, I sensed their exceptional spirits. This was not surprising, as I have discovered the brain injury community to be comprised of the finest people you will ever encounter.

Spin Cycle

Spin Cycle | Life After Brain Injury

If I am busy with every little thing, then I don’t have time to be sad, angry, feel hopeless or miss our lives and the son I knew before. I can diminish the magnitude of Taylor’s injury. It just won’t hurt as much, until it hurts like hell and can’t be ignored. So here is what I learned in my own version of spin class.

Waves of Grief

Waves of Grief

I cannot remember the first time I recognized grief for what it was following our son’s traumatic brain injury, but it has come to feel like a familiar acquaintance. These are some coping strategies that have helped me get through to the other side of my own grief.