Posted on February 6, 2013 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 32 of 34 in the series Craig

Relationship Support: Craig Part Thirty Two 

Craig talks about relationship support with hi family members and where he got the most help for this from.  How being a father was the Rehab and their relationship support.

The Importance of Relationship Support

I want to talk about two other things.    The first thing I want to talk about is the personal relationships that you had to rebuild to maintain after your injury and the relationship support that you received.  We didn’t talk about the relationship support with your children.  So talk to me about being a father and what you’ve been through as a father and the relationship support involved there..

I think being a father is what was the best thing for my rehab.  I mean my kids taught me probably more than I taught them at that point.    Right now my daughter’s 15 and I don’t know if you have kids but boy it’s a challenge right now.  And I know that, she’s just 15, she’s a good kid.    Started liking boys a year, a year and a half ago.  She’s become independent and I think it’s more of the standard thing, I got to let go.

We’ve been very, very close but now that she’s 15 and I know that’s just part of it but she’s grown up and that’s sad to see.  Yeah, we’ve been close.  My ex‑wife hasn’t been involved except for the last six months, and so, that’s been the hardest thing.  Now she’s like, doing like supermom for six months but.

So did she get custody when you split up?

Well, it was a mean court battle but, we ended up with joint custody.  The kids went to school with me.

I did my first caregiver group to spite her. (But I learned better.) They have a challenge too and if we would have known, I think things would’ve been a little different.

Lack of Relationship Support Counseling

I’ve always had a real sense of that side of the equation, and a feeling that one of the real tragedies in the entire relationship support when the family fails because the professionals don’t get it.


What can we do to protect the spouse, to protect the mom, protect the children,   from that first six months to a year of real neurobehavioral extremes, to keep the family intact with relationship support?

Well the first thing is they have to have the knowledge.  They have to know what could happen.  I mean not everything is going to happen, but if you don’t know, it catches you by surprise.  And here’s what I’ve learned from the different things.  Once (the survivor has) said something to (a caregiver) and they think that it was true  (how does the caregiver not take that personally.) So you’ve destroyed that, you can’t stop that feeling.

So you got to stop them from feeling that in the beginning.  And by them  knowing that this is normal, that he may be impulsive now.

Violence nobody should have to go through.  I don’t believe in any violence and I know that violent people become more violent and I was never a violent person.  The only person I wanted to hurt was myself because I didn’t want to be here but I know people that almost killed their spouses.  You don’t want that.  So, at that point they, if you’re that violent you need to go into an intensive rehabilitation until….

The spouses need to understand that it’s part of the process of getting well.  I mean, and you will get better.  I mean, you may not be who you were, but you will get better.

But if you don’t know what’s happening…  I think that’s what I’m hearing when people come to groups.  Last night we had a couple new people, 18 months, had no clue what he was dealing with.   And he was a professional before and, pretty similar pill.  He had no clue what he was doing.  None of the doctors wanted to address it still.

The doctors need to know, and if they don’t know they need to refer to somebody that does know.  They need, they at least need to know that.   If you don’t know, refer them to somebody that does know.  And emergency rooms need to know when they come in.

Again, Hope International believes that 90 percent of the teen suicides go back to a concussion that wasn’t treated.    You need to let families know.  I mean it might be a concussion, well let them  know what to look for, let  them  know that a month or six months down the line, cause symptoms don’t necessarily happen right away.  My aggressive symptoms didn’t happen until about four months.  And, you just need to know.

I think knowledge is power.  And the biggest thing is the resources.  I mean, our state, they’re all on our websites and thank God we’re the number one hit site in the state, but some states (resources) are hidden.

I have my theories of why they’re hidden.  I think they control the resources because there’s no money but they need to be right there.  I believe that a family with all of the information and help with their medical professionals can make a good decision based on those outcomes.

Next in Part Thirty Three – Making Brain Injury Information Mandatory

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447