My Nightmare is a true story of an actual brain injury survivor. The story is told by Lon’s wife Becca. And she tells it with such elegance. It is a story of its own and yet so similar to so many survivors stories. Loved ones go through so many different stages of grief almost the same stages of losing someone to death. In many ways, severe brain injury is like death as the person who recovers may not be the one that they were before the devastating accident that caused the brain injury. This is Becca’s story. Her husband emerged a different person. The complexity of brain injury and the recovery process again is different with every survivor. By reading of Becca’s experience it can help to explain the process each loved one goes through from the time of the accident and the phone call or knock on the door. The uncertainty whether they live or die. Absorbing the information that the medical professionals are throwing at you. Some may be too much information but in most cases it is not enough.
“My Nightmare” is a fantastic example of the experience of a brain injury survivor’s wife who’s life has been turned upside down. The hours of waiting to hear something. The hours spent staring at her husband looking for a positive change. The long road to recovery for not just her husband but for herself too. The tragedy of losing a man that she was so comfortable with and finding a new man emerging. Not the man she married. Not the father to her children. But a mere shadow of this man she had loved.
by Becca Martin
This essay “My Nightmare”, which can still be read here, is the actual brain injury story that shaped much of my early advocacy in this field.