Another Seven Truths - The Ripple Effect of Brain Injury in Families
1) Resentment and jealousies from siblings arise when parents give special attention to the sibling with a brain injury (Siblings can feel that no matter what they accomplish, it won’t measure up to “overcoming a brain injury.”)
2) Siblings can feel “left-out” or not as important to their parents as the sibling who had a brain injury. Often their feelings are justified.
3) Siblings suffer losses with their sibling who had a brain injury, their parents and family life. In addition they feel guilty for feeling jealous or resentful.
4) When a spouse suffers a brain injury, roles in the marriage can change or be reversed. If the husband was injured and can no longer work to support the family, the wife might have to take on the breadwinner role, and the husband might assume the domestic role. If the injured spouse isn’t able to work outside the home, nor able to take care of the family and home responsibilities, the healthy spouse becomes burdened with all of it. The entire family dynamics are turned upside down.
5) People can survive without intimacy, marriages might not. When someone suffers from exhaustion, their body can shut off sexual appetites, to conserve energies for rest or recovery. Without effort and planning, intimacy can be neglected. If a spouse takes on a parent role with the spouse who has a brain injury, it can confuse sexual relationships.
6) So much attention can be given to the adjustments, families can forget to take time for fun. It is important to regularly plan and schedule time for fun.
7) It is important for the entire family to learn about brain injury to gain a good understanding. If family members do too much to help the person with a brain injury, it gives the brain injury survivor the impression that they are not capable and stunts their growth. Educating the family helps reduce the frustration and miscommunications that are part of the transition.
Answers 4 Families and Lessons from Lois grants permission to reprint or post this material as long as this full signature line is included:
© 2007 Lois McElravy, Lessons from Lois Speaker and freelance writer, Lois provides life-changing insights and strategies gained from her personal experiences of adjusting to a sudden life change and adapting to the challenges of living with a brain injury. Her message provides family members, care-givers and professionals with a deeper understanding of brain injury. Lois inspires and motivates survivors to accept their new reality, redefine their life purpose, and feel happy. You can learn more about Lois and read her personal story at www.lessonsfromlois.com. Phone: 406.251.2887 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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