How My Role as a Parent Changed After TBI

- by Sharon F

Two years ago I was in a car accident that left me with a TBI. As I realized that my life had changed, I began to see its affect on my relationship with my children. I could no longer meet their expectations. So first, I had to accept the changes...I was no longer "supermom". I didn’t have all the answers...I didn’t even understand the questions. I couldn’t plan the big graduation party...I was lucky if I remembered where the grocery store was. I had always been their caretaker, but now I couldn’t always take care of myself.

But I looked the same. I walked, I talked, I wasn’t bleeding from my eyeballs... I must be OK....I had to sit down with each of them and explain:

" I’m always tired, my short term memory is gone, I give people and things the wrong name and don’t see the difference. I have to make lists, then I lose them. I lose everything."

"But I’ll learn new ways to function, and sometimes I’ll need help from you, and maybe we’ll both become better people."

" This is life now, this is reality...we’re alive, and that means everything."

Revised: Thursday, June 06, 2002