Changes in relationships after brain injury

Dating has never been what you’d call “easy” for me. Almost all of my girlfriends I’ve met over the internet. That’s also true of my most recent girlfriend, T. We met on Whisper a little over a year ago. Before I met her, I hadn’t had a girlfriend in over five years. Though in those five years I was a little busy doing my best to recover from my brain injury that I sustained in 2009. I’m still not fully recovered, but knowing that T loves me, and accepts me, in spite of my injury, has made all the difference in the world.

One of the biggest difficulties for people who happen to have brain injuries is feeling confident enough to approach someone and strike up a conversation. At least that was the case for me. And I imagine that’s probably true for many others with brain injuries.
I suppose I got lucky with my injury, because I don’t have outbursts of random anger like I hear affects so many people who have similar injuries. I just have some short-term memory problems. I can just see myself taking my girlfriend out to dinner somewhere, coming out and completely forgetting where I parked the car. But my girlfriend is very understanding, so I’m sure we’d just laugh about it (assuming we eventually found it!)

Now I’d like to talk about people who may have been in a relationship with somebody for years (or even decades) pre-injury. It should be obvious that when a spouse or live in partner experiences a brain injury there will be some responsibility changes around the house. And anytime there are big changes that can often lead to more stress and tension. Many survivors will have to give up household chores while they work on recovering from their injuries. I know that when I was in my wheelchair I couldn’t too easily have, say, vacuumed the house. But being understanding is a huge part of living with someone who has a brain injury. I’m so grateful to both my mother and my girlfriend, because they have each put up with so much from me. Though I’m also a pretty damned cool guy 😉

Those are my two cents for the day. Thanks for reading, good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow!

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