You’re Not the Only One – Support for Spouses of TBI Survivors by Casey Bachus

Life Stops after TBI

Casey Bacchus

Casey Bacchus

It’s been almost two and a half years now since my husband’s TBI.  At the time, life stopped. Everything revolved around Jeff and his recovery.

I didn’t have much time to search for resources. I was limited to what friends, family, and doctors told me about. I found that other people had dealt with this, but I couldn’t find any other spouses for a while. There weren’t a lot of resources that I found for spouses. That may be due in large part, to the fact that many spouses don’t stay together after something like this.

But what about spouses who stay together?

Before Jeff’s accident, brain injuries seemed very rare. Now, they are everywhere. Partly this is due to my heightened awareness, but people are reaching out to me now. They know I have dealt with it, and came out victorious. People have given my number to friends who are currently dealing with this life altering accident.

I get calls and emails from people wanting to share their burden. Wanting to know how I made it through. Wanting their feelings to be validated. Wanting to know they are not alone. It is freeing to know that someone can share in our struggles.

I had God’s strength, along with the love and support of family and friends to get me through. Now it’s time to share my story with others, so they can know it’s possible to get through this.

Spouses reach out and touch and support each other

It’s time to reach out to other TBI survivor spouses. How can we reach out to them? How can we support them? They are facing a lifelong journey. After everyone else goes back to their own lives, and the support fades away, they are left. Sometimes just the knowledge of knowing there is someone out there with the same struggles can bring huge relief.

It is possible to get through this, but we need support.

Now that I have had more time to research, I have found many more sources out there. There is help; we just have to find it. So let’s make an effort to raise awareness. Let’s make an effort to share our own stories.

When you are willing to share someone else’s burden, it opens the door for you to have your own burden shared. You can help yourself at the same time you help someone else.

So if you are, or have already struggled through this, make an effort to reach out to someone else. You can ease each other’s burdens. Spread the word about what resources you found helpful.

About the Author:

Casey Bachus has a MA in Marriage and Family Counseling. She is the author of How I Survived My Husband’s Brain Injury, her journey after her husband Jeff’s TBI.

9 responses to “You’re Not the Only One – Support for Spouses of TBI Survivors by Casey Bachus”

  1. My husband was assaulted Memorial Weekend 2019 while on duty. His TBI was Severe. After 7 months in the hospital and 3 months in rehab he was able to return home. I need to reach out to others. I am in counseling as a result of all the emotional trauma I went and still going thru as a result of that Memorial Day. I am trying to get into a peer support group to tell my journey, help others along the way and continue to live out my marriage. God is the first reason I am still here; and the only reason I will be able to continue. Second the support of women like I’m reading about and last giving back to help others so we can all be a part of enjoying a new life with the person we have committed to love for better or for worse. But also remember to love ourselves in the midst. God bless!

  2. Charity Winkler says:

    My name is Charity, my husband has a TBI from injuries he sustained while in the Army in 2003. He however was not diagnosed with TBi till 2018. For yrs, I knew he had PTSD and I thought I was doing my best to understand and give him space also by being friendly and treating friends of his whom drove me nuts like family. After learning he had TBI and he was back on antidepressants, I had lost my mind for a bit. He and i were in a bad place and his friends only made things worse. We had a rough yr last yr with both of our mental health, counselling, and me admitting and him realizing that i was only nice to his friends for his sake. I wish I never did this because these people are childish, have very little understanding for what i dealt w and wanted to tell me what to do. This year he and I are doing well, we have our moments as all couples, n sometimes some outbursts but we work through it. Him sometimes acting like a teenager takes patience, especially with a 7 and 10 yr old. His friends are 38 and act as teenagers themselves and I just cant deal with them also. Does anyone else feel like this sometimes?

  3. Your feeling angry is a normal reaction so do not feel guilty about it. Many spouses feel angry when an accident occurs that could have been prevented or avoided. It is a symptom of your feelings of loss and anguish and a reflection of your love.

    Ask the doctor to explain the Glasgow Coma Scale to you as this is a measure they used to assess the coma based on his reponse to commands.

    Emerging from coma is often a slow process and it is always hard to know how much gets through to him. But many family members say that their loved one responds to their voice or touch in subtle ways that medical staff may not see.

    Hold on to hope – these early days are the hardest.

  4. Sandy Tomlinson says:

    My husband was in motorcycle accident on November 15, 2015. He is currently in Trauma ICU still in a coma. I am terrified he won’t wake up. Any advice to ease my mind? My life will change forever and I am so overwhelmed. I’m so angry at him for making me scramble to get my home life in order, Thanksgiving or Christmas will never be the same. Is this normal for my anger?

  5. Marty Salo says:

    I want to say thank you to the spouses. As a survivor, I know that things happen, and those that care are with us. Life is ultimately short. Time should probably not be wasted. We can experience joy. Joy experienced with another is more impactful, and significant.

  6. Hi Casey,

    I’m glad you were able to pick up the pieces after your husband, Jeff’s TBI. For many, it’s not an easy thing to do. I’m sure your positive attitude helped. I know mine helped me.

    My husband suffered a TBI in January of 2005. We just celebrated 9 years of what we call his “rebirth” or his “extended life.” Though he is left with many physical disabilities, we are fortunate that his cognitive brain was spared.
    Gratefully he returned to his laboratory at Columbia University a year and a half after his injury where he continued his research in microbiology and directed the research of his graduate students and post docs, wrote an NIH grant, and published many scientific papers. Still he is not the same man I married and I miss our old life – we both do. Fortunately, we have built a new one together for which we are both grateful.

    When this happened I searched for books to help me through. There were not many. I’ve written a book about our journey. It is searching for agents/publishers now.

    You can read more about our story on my blog at In the search box on the right, type in TBI or Traumatic Brain Injury. Several posts will surface.

    I’m so glad you wrote a book documenting your experiences and I look forward to reading it. I wish you all the best.

    Donna O’Donnell Figurski

  7. Casey Bachus says:

    Catherine-What is the name of your support group? I tried clicking on the link you posted, but it said the page wasn’t available.

    Melanie-I will definitely have to check out your blog!

  8. Catherine Levy says:

    My husband is 2 years and 4 months since my husbands TBI, we had 3 kids at the time of the accident and one after his accident. I found there was nothing out there and have started a TBI wives Support group on FB, we have 54 members now and would love it if you could spread the word:

    You can add me as a friend on FB Catherine A. Grundke and you can then be added to my group that I have created for women in our situations.


  9. Casey -it seems we’re on the same wavelength. Next month will be 2 and 1/2 years since my husband’s TBI. It has been an unbelievable journey. I’ve started a blog at and seek to reach out to other TBI spouses through that website as well as others like this one. Thank you so much for sharing! god bless you.

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