Posted on May 30, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 13 of 36 in the series Michael

Traumatic Brain Injury Temper Issues: Michael Part Thirteen

Michael talks about the problems he encountered with Traumatic Brain Injury Temper issues and how it effected his past relationships.

What other issues did you have with your friends in Louisville?

These other friends that I had in Louisville, the biggest one is they didn’t know how to deal with me or understand me and they wouldn’t take the time.

Were you speaking normally, was your voice normal at the time?

My voice was. I was very slow at speaking and that was a problem.  I mean there was one person who is actually still a good friend of mine, I keep in contact the best.  And then another friend and his wife who I graduated high school with where I keep in touch with.  She’s actually a nurse, she’s actually a trauma nurse and so she understands what’s going on with me.  And my other friend, he actually took time to learn.  No one else.  It’s really hard for people to step out and take the time because they, they simply have to go in reverse and come down to, I hate to say it like this, my level.

Did you ever have a situation in Louisville where you were in a crowd of people, out with a bunch of your friends and had difficulty with your traumatic brain injury temper?

When I was in Louisville, actually I pretty much people would come and visit me and I pretty much would stay in my room in my parents’ house watching TV up there, playing on the Nintendo.  The only time I really came down was for lunch, breakfast, dinner.  Only time I went out was to walk, walk Little Bit and that was about it.

Michael’s Dog Was Good Therapy for his Traumatic Brain Injury Temper Issues

How often did you walk the dog?

I usually walked him two or three times a day.

That was very good therapy for you?


How long did it take him to get used to your pace?

Actually I don’t think he ever did.  He dragged me.  And he was a very strong little dog.

And you held him with your right arm?

Yes, I, because my left arm it’s weak even to this day.

Would frustration be one of the things that would set off your traumatic brain injury temper?

Yes.  Actually it can still set my temper off.

What Sets Off Michael’s Traumatic Brain Injury Temper?

Describe for me a frustration event that, that will cause traumatic brain injury temper issues.

Actually the best one is when I’m with the kids and they’re all talking to me at once.   And I try to get them to, you know, try to get them to do something really simple and they won’t listen to me. I start to get frustrated.

Or another big one is I have this thing about people bothering my stuff.  I just tell them just to pick it up and move it out of the way.  Well the kids don’t understand that and they’ll usually just knock it over or kick it out of the way; that gets me frustrated because you know I have a hard time sometimes understanding they’re still just kids.

You have a child of your own?


Does he understand better?

He understands a lot better when it’s just me and him.  When he’s with all the other kids he seems to forget a lot of things.

Do you think that it’s him forgetting then or is it just you deal better with just one at a time?

I definitely do better with one at a time. If I have each of the kids one at a time, the older girl or one of the other boys or my son, we do awesome. Usually two’s about the maximum I can handle at a time.

Next in Part Fourteen – Return to College After Severe Brain Injury

By Attorney Gordon Johnson


About the Author

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