Don’t you just Hate it!

Brain Injury Blog

Don’t you just Hate it!

by Jodi Ginter

Don’t you just hate it when you are treated like you are not ‘intelligent’ enough by someone, or that you do not know what it is you are talking about–especially when you not only KNOW but LIVE the very thing you ARE talking about!?

I mean when I tell someone about TBI issues that are happening to my family members and in my house I would think that the person I am talking to would understand that I KNOW what I am talking about! I am not Joe Public that maybe has only HEARD of  TBI, I am not a person that is on the outside of it looking in… I am LIVING it every freaking day!

And not only with one survivor but THREE! Yes people, three!  I have done so much research and living with a lot of issues that survivors deal with! I am not an IDIOT about this stuff! Don’t try to demean me or my observations! I know when things change and what that will mean to each survivor in my life!

I KNOW what that will mean in MY life! I know what needs to be done to try to get the person back to a normal balance — whether it be a change in physical position OR mental position OR more sleep OR a change in what is normal for other people without a TBI!

On a daily basis here I deal with 2 survivors and I know each of their moods and idiosyncrasies. I know that one is a teen and that he will deal with normal teen issues BUT he also has 3 small metal fragments imbedded in his brain that have severed nerves and destroyed some normal brain patterns– but I LIVE with him and know the difference between ‘normal’ teen behaviour and TBI behaviour!!! Sadly, they are so closely linked some days that a lot of people will tell me that  n”oh its normal for a 14yr to do that!’ but please be rest assured that there is more to it — that there is a distinct difference that maybe can only be seen to be understood.

Sam has been sundowning this week and it is VERY noticeable here at home. He is such an Oscar Awarding Actor at school that no one sees it.  But rest assured that when I tell you that there is something wrong then PLEASE believe me and don’t make me feel like a schmuck and try to belittle my observations– not just mine but Dennis’ too! Please don’t think that by saying it is ‘normal’ teen behaviour that you are in any way making me feel better.

You make me feel stupid, insignificant and useless.  I know you are the professional but I am the MOM!

I am the WIFE and I am the DAUGHTER!

I am the person that looks after them.

I am the person that looks for methods to help them to get as close as possible to the person they were BEFORE their TBI.

I am the person that sits with them and listens to EVERY word that they say and DON’T say about what is happening in their heads!

I am the one that holds their hand, cries with them and for them!

I am the one that loves them TOTALLY UNCONDITIONALLY!

I loved them all BEFORE  and AFTER their injuries and I will love them for the rest of MY life!

I will be their biggest advocate when they need one.

I will just be whatever they need WHENEVER they need.

I will just be….

Please don’t make  my concerns for their well-being to be small or insignificant just because YOU have  gone to school for years, have read an article on something, have letters after your name, you work with ‘normal’ teens or feel that you KNOW better just because.


December 28, 2011

6 responses to “Don’t you just Hate it!”

  1. As a multiple times survivor of TBI (8) I know where you are coming from. Sometimes it requires the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solamon and the strength of Samson to endure the changing moods of the TBI survivor. I think you possess all of these traits! Keep up the good work you are doing. We, here in Virginia, support you and your efforts. Dan T. member Brain Injury Services, Southwest Virginia (bisswva)

  2. Marilyn Lash says:

    Family members are the real experts about brain injury. You know the person best – whether it is your son, daughter, huband, wife, brother or sister who has been injured – both before and after the brain trauma. It is unfortunate that too often families are dismissed because they don’t have the title – but they have the experience and knowledge to make a difference. I support you Jodi – never give up!

  3. I run into that all the time. People who know I am a tbi survivor expect me to be stupid and discount what I say. The fact that my IQ prior to the injury was mensa level and most of my brain still functions at a high level, is lost on them. But there is the other side, as others can discern that I’m pretty smart but don’t understand when I don’t remember who they are or what I said the day before. Everyone says “I understand” but few of them can comprehend the complexities of the many avenues of brain injuries

  4. Deanna says:

    I hear ya!!! For different reasons, but I hear ya!!! Even harder when your own family members who maybe don’t spend as much time around that ‘special’ person in your life think that everything is just ‘normal’ and that YOU are the one that is over reacting to the situations. It’s tough being a mom(and a wife and…….) and even tougher when you are dealing with a family member who, for whatever reason, deals with life just a little differently and has a tougher time processing everything.
    Hang in there!!!

  5. marilyn says:

    thank you for this you are very awesume to be in thier life. Everybody left mine, they say i am so differnt. Thanks for helping people. Marilyn

  6. Ginger says:

    Well said! Just let it out. People have no clue what you go through. Hug Jodi.

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