Parenting after a brain injury is an unbelievable challenge. Once the kids are old enough to be safer, toddlers at least there is a few years reprieve. They can make most of their needs known to us. They can remind the parent what they need. But once those teenage years happen, your disability becomes a sword, a button that can and do push by your teens. My recommendation is if the teen is not listening or behaving and is considered in your eyes to be at risk to themselves or others, it is time to involve juvenile authorities, counselors etc. My memory or rather lack of memory was the sword my teens used most against me. If I couldn’t remember, and they swore I gave permission, what was I to say? I was able to eventually, regardless of memory, know if I would have ever agreed to it based on my gut feelings. I was usually right. My suggestion is go with your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, your teen is probably trying to take advantage of you. Remember, they also need to grieve, They lost the “YOU” they knew and loved. It is not easy on them at all! Be ever vigilant to their needs as well. Many of them will have their own difficulties as a result of our shared family tragedy.
I read someone else call brain injury a thief,
It is a tremendous thief that takes a long time to feel any true relief.
A thief that comes in the day or in the night,
A thief that steals everything that we once called our life.
There was a time that most things used to seem alright.
A thief that does not discriminate against age, race, religion or creed,
A thief that offends over and over, and possesses incredible greed.
A thief that appears discretionary, he can either steal a little or a lot.
A thief that makes its victims lose memory, abilities and simple thought.
A thief so very powerful he can and has, stolen all we ever earned.
A thief no matter how clever, isn’t capable of stealing all that we are able to relearn.
Brain injury is the ultimate unexpected and dangerous thief.
With time, encouragement and perseverance, acceptance will replace our grief.
You were fighting for our freedom,
when an explosion hurt your head.
After the initial shock and disappointment,
eventually, you will be thankful you aren’t dead.
Frustration and lack of confidence,
will initially haunt many things you try to do.
I have found that if you just keep trying,
you can re-learn much of what you once knew.
Time will be your truest and most trusted friend,
as your damaged brain begins to finally mend.
I promise you repetition and perseverance,
will carry you the very farthest in the end.
The brain really does get better with time.
Self motivation and hard work is the real key.
You will get discouraged and at times want to fold,
But you have an advantage you’ve already trained
to be the best you can be.
As a seasoned head injury survivor I offer these words,
as a gift of short cuts to things you will re-learn how to do.
There are many of us survivors available to help guide your way,
we appreciate your sacrifice, you are so special in our point of view.