Most people don’t go into a marriage expecting the worse part to show its ugly head early on. I think most of us really feel that the worse will show up after ten years or so. I mean, you’re getting married for Pete’s sake. You are completely in love, it’s all exciting, it’s all coming together. You are beginning a journey based off of hopes and dreams. First things first, Nick and I celebrated our three year wedding anniversary this past April. Three years. Only three. And yet our second year of marriage we were met with a hump on the road to marital bliss.
Nick isn’t one to share things. Like very little to none at all with the general public. Our family and marital issues are ours and ours alone. And rightfully so. But I’m writing this post because this isn’t so much about our marriage but because of the TBI (traumatic brain injury) that decided to put its bitch ass into the smack dab center of our family and marriage. And I’m sharing our experience because after joining a Facebook support group and talking with others affected by numerous concussions, it’s obvious that society still doesn’t understand and that the family members and friends of the TBI loved one still feel anger and emotions towards the problem and sometimes the victim. This is his 5th TBI.
Life has changed as we once knew it. The person I married has changed. I have changed. Our family has changed. I wanted to share the REALITY of our life and the REALITY OF TBI.
• People don’t get it. When you break something or have scars, something that’s VISIBLY wrong with you, it’s easier for other human beings to understand. It’s easier for them to be sympathetic. When it’s your brain however, the damage is hidden. You look the same on the outside so you MUST BE BETTER!! wrong. So very wrong. People continue to put unneeded stress & continue to demand the same things if not more than they use too and the person who has suffered the TBI is just not capable of always resuming their regular responsibilities. It’s overwhelming, emotional, and does more harm than folks realize.
• Depression Risk is Higher. Repeated concussions raise the risks of a person becoming clinically depressed. So much so that they also have an increased rate of suicide. They will need your love and support. They will need the assistance of a professional and some meds to help them get through life.
• YOUR LOVED ONE IS STILL IN THERE. They still love you. And they desperately want to be able to do the same things they were use too. But they can’t. Speech may be affected. Other motor skills can be affected. Be patient. Be kind. I can get frustrated. And angry. And it’s sometimes hard for me to not want to lash out at my husband. Maverick was just 2 months when it happened. Nick couldn’t get out of bed for WEEKS. I was exhausted from lack of sleep, working, and what felt like taking care of 3 kids and 3 dogs all by myself. I was so angry and sad. I ended up having to be put on Zoloft to help me cope. My advise, join a support group. Talk to someone. But try not to lash out at your family member, loved one, spouse. It does absolutely no good.
•NEW NORMAL. Say goodbye to doing things together that might cause over stimulation. Concerts, places with too many people or noises. Night clubs. Anything with strobe lights. If the person has been exposed to several TBIs, say goodbye to doing any activities that has an increased risk of getting another.
•Ongoing MEDICAL NEEDS. He/she might need ongoing counseling to battle depression or help with managing stress, temper, memory improvement and problem solving. Treatment for migraines and vertigo.
•They are Brain Damaged not Brain Dead. Okay, sometimes you’re going to want to just do all the shit yourself because it’s easier than watching your significant other struggle or get it done painstakingly slow. But don’t. DO NOT start taking over everything as if they are some helpless child. They need to relearn. It’s hard to watch them struggle but it’s part of the process. It’s also damaging their pride and self worth. Help if it gets to be too much or if asked. Don’t treat them like incapable children.
I could go on but it would take up entirely way to much time. I hope that this has opened your eyes a little bit to the struggles people have when it comes to TBI. Or at the very least let you know that if you’re going through this, you are not alone.
Have an amazing and blessed day! Love, The Brett Family