I realize that lately I have been slacking on my writing. Y’all, there has been so much going on here! It really has been crazy. Here’s something I want everyone to understand, unless you’ve had one, or lived with a person who has, you’ll never understand how life changing a TBI truly is. That being said, even living with a TBI survivor doesn’t mean you understand! And I’m sure the same goes for any type of mental disorder.
Many of you know about all we’ve been through with our son Tucker. Drugs, numerous rehabs, in and out of jail, prison…to say that we’ve had a rough few years is an understatement! However, I can honestly say that the TBI has been by far the worst!
There’s just no predictability. With addiction, there was always a pattern. With a TBI, if there’s a pattern I sure don’t know about it! A situation can go from good to hideously ugly in seconds. A person who’s high on drugs will do and say things that they’d never do when they were clean. When that happens, you know it’s not really them. TBI survivors can seem so normal one minute then go completely off the deep end the next. It’s so hard to remember that they truly can’t help what they’re doing. It’s hard to remember that the part of their brain that controls impulses and emotions is injured.
If a person severed, or broke a limb, you could clearly see that the person was injured. Most people would show the injured person grace when they couldn’t move as fast as everyone else. However, with a brain injury, people aren’t able to see the injury so it’s really hard to know, and often times extremely difficult to remember, that the person is indeed injured. And it’s so hard to extend grace with mentally based issues. You think to yourself ‘I know they know better‘. The thing is, often times they do! But that may not stop that person from doing whatever it is they know is wrong. Remember? The part of their brain, that tells them to stop isn’t working properly. And the hardest thing to remember (especially when you’re being cussed like a dog) is that, the person all this is hardest on is the person with the TBI!
This is a quote from a TBI survivor, who’s a member of an online support group I’m in, “The suffering this (TBI) inflicts on those I love the most is the hardest thing for me next to my own physical misery. There is nothing that’s emotionally harder than knowing my existence is making life harder for them.” Y’all, that’s pitiful. I get in my pity party mode, feeling sorry for myself because I’m having to endure this, but it’s Tucker who’s suffering the most. Here’s another quote from a TBI survivor, “Some of us, most of us, don’t realize what we’ve said or how we’re acting until after and sometimes we just don’t. It will get better. Sometimes space is all we need.”
God has been so gracious to have placed people in our lives who’ve walked in our shoes. He’s placed friends in jobs, dealing with similar issues, to help us understand what’s going on medically. By the way, when she took this job, she just did it because she needed a change. Boy, how God’s used the knowledge she’s gained! *People can plan what they want to do, but it is the Lord who guides their steps. Proverbs 16:9. God was definitely, unbeknownst to her, guiding her steps on that one! I can honestly say, without these people that God’s so graciously blessed us with, I might be in a mental hospital, Steve and I could end up divorced, or Tucker could possibly end up being more injured than he already is! Stressful is not the word!
If you’re dealing with a family member who is suffering from an illness that others can’t see, please find others who are going through the same thing! Listen to people who have been there! Read! Be patient and understanding! And most of all PRAY HARD! Jesus is bigger than any issue! He’s our healer! Here’s a link that may help you when dealing with a loved one with a TBI.