Quantcast

New here. Husband with PTSD and traumatic brain injury


#1

Hi new here
My husband suffers from PTSD and traumatic brain injury from multiple head injuries. The last was last year which left him with total amnesia. A year on and I don’t think his memory will ever return 100%.
Has anyone experienced similar?
At times he gets very childlike and becomes anti-social.


#2

Hey Aqua,
Brain injuries affect us all in different ways. I’m often saying “Two people can have exactly the same impact but have vastly differing outcomes”. My initial injury was due to an MVA when I was very young, but since then I’ve had a few head injuries and personally I believe they have a compounding effect. So it’s not been a case of have an injury then it heals, then have another separate injury and it heals. Mine has been a case of injury that hasn’t healed, then another injury that hasn’t heal. For some people, including me, it hasn’t just been a simple addition of another injury, but more like a multiplication of effects.
Although at the time the dr’s said that the MVA injury was minimal, they didn’t have the technology available today to be able to view the impact and it was written off as a simple ‘bump on the head’. But over the years there were subtle signs there was an issue, some would have called them anti social behaviours, but most just labelled me as a ‘shit of a kid’ and I must admit I certainly lived up to that title. lol
Now I wouldn’t so much say I’m anti social but I’d much rather have my own company. I have a condition I call my ‘Foot IN mouth disease’ where I seem to say the wrong thing at the most inopportune moments. Sometimes I don’t just stick my foot in my mouth, hell, I seem to shove my whole leg in it lol. That filter that most people have between their brain and their mouth, well, mines broken. At least in my own company I’m the only one that’s going to be offended.
So don’t be a stranger there are many people here who have to deal with and manage symptoms on a daily basis and although I certainly don’t have all of the answers, There definitely would be others here who are dealing with very similar situations.
Merl from the Moderator Support Team


#3

We try to use H.A.L.T a lot. Hungry Angry Lonely or Tired. If 2 are out then its time to slow down. If 3 are out then its time to get help.
He medicated with cannabis which lets him, for the most part, live a normal life and neither of us drinks due to being recovering alcoholics.
Luckily he’s studying age care and disability atm which us helping him understand his condition. In the early days the migraines were like being hit in the head by a fire hose he told me. Waffer migraine medication helped fast along with aspirin and anything minty


#4

Aqua,

I am pleased you both have awareness of the 12 step program. Step one naturally starts with powerlessness and through working the program acceptance unfolds. I say this because it appears you are both moving into a new powerlessness and also possibly a new acceptance. From my experience with AA and now this physical powerlessness (my cells do not produce enough energy for my muscles) this has made me feel nothing in the world. I felt I could not identify with anything, nothing true or valuable which I could believe in. Because I felt insecurity in this powerlessness I became obsessed with my rage of “nothingness” and I also denied my “nothingness”. I could feel a terrifying attraction to the darkness.

I knew enough to let go, to slow down and rest. I had no more stories about my inner lack nor could I make up stories. Yet I could feel myself holding onto my reactions and holding on to my beliefs about my deficiency. It caused me to feel like an outsider, never belong anywhere, and this created an emotional storminess. When I started releasing and letting go of this deep void inside this started breaking myself from my inner suffering, which started this emotional sobriety.

Because of my void within and this vacuum from within I wanted to hold onto my suffering or I thought it was better than my value being nothing. Yet letting go of my suffering and accepting my powerlessness within it has helped to create a physical serenity. My body now does not feel like I am in fight or flight and is helping my PTSD.

Because of your AA program I am suggesting some quiet time for both of you and to let go. I am suggesting you both practice serenity for few moments a day so this pinned up energy within your body can be released. The body remembers within the cells and passes on old information to the new cells in fight or flight. So it seems we need to teach our bodies self-surrender and self-possession within this powerlessness. I should say this is what has helped me in my powerlessness and hopelessness.

If you both choose to meditate by the way of letting go you may feel a falling in this powerlessness. It is uncomfortable. Human nature does not like to feel a void and emptiness, but gradually in the letting go it becomes okay. Acceptance seems to become serenity and you both will acquire a new depth. I am just suggesting this, as recovery is in the “fall” and this powerlessness allows the energies of life to flow. It creates just this place to begin and the step unfolds into this unshakable equanimity.

I did not answer your question specifically about having a similar experience and yet PTSD seems to make the body tight and resistance to life. Also for me in my addiction I wanted to fill my “nothingness” by hanging onto my suffering, so to work this out I had to find serenity by letting go. By letting go, quietly, I now feel my serenity there is no feeling of effort or of striving. This serenity helps with the ups and downs of life, helps the PTSD and releases this deep suffering.