Reinventing Our Family

A blog by Abby Maslin about loving and learning after TBI

My name is Abby Maslin and the experience of caring for someone with a brain injury has taught me much about living fully and the power of gratitude. Being a caregiver is more than a full-time job. It’s a terrifying and exhilarating rollercoaster ride. By sharing our experiences honestly — both the good and the bad — caregivers can work to support each other in a more authentic and meaningful way.

No one asks to be impacted by brain injury, but with tenacity we are capable of so much more than we ever dreamed. There is a life beyond brain injury for those who are willing to stretch their mind. Learn more about Abby >

The Latest from Abby

Love You Hard

An excerpt from Love You Hard: A Memoir of Marriage, Brain Injury, and Reinventing Love. By Abby Maslin

It is impossible to deny that my husband is now a stranger. Despite everything we learned at the hospital, I don’t know how much to help TC and how much to get out of his way. Every morning, I wake up still a little bit shocked that doctors let me take him home at all. Who am I to be trusted with something so fragile?

The Long Haul

Abby Maslin The Long Haul

It’s been six and a half years since I began this brain injury journey. Or, to compute, 2,372 days, 56,928 hours, 3,415,680 minutes. As I think back, I take pride in each of those days (the bad ones included), remembering too vividly a time in which I was convinced we couldn’t make it at all.

Man, Woman, Caregiver

I Am You: How Caregiving Forces Us to Rethink Gender & Identity

It’s time for a broader, braver dialogue around gender and caregiving. It’s time to start talking about the transformation in identity that occurs when one spouse adopts the role of the other. It’s time to recognize that caregiving is a role that requires the revision of gender norms and the acceptance of power transfers.

Life Without Silver Linings

Abby Maslin, Feb 2018: Life without Silver Linings

When my husband suffered a catastrophic brain injury at age 29, I rarely appreciated being told that God had a plan for us. I certainly didn’t want to be coached to keep my eye on the prize or to search for those silver linings. I wanted to cry out in pain and to sit in it for a moment. I simply wanted it to be what it was: hard. And I wanted that to be OK with everyone else too.

Let It Be

Let It Be

During a season that often seems to uncover and amplify old wounds, it is especially important to remember that brain injury has left us each with our own post-traumatic scars. Caregivers struggle to understand survivors. Survivors struggle to understand caregivers. The best we can do is to allow ourselves an extra breath to ask, “What’s really important at this moment?