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Jack Sisson's TBI Blog
A hug is duct tape for the soul.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
The Crash of a Family
Years ago, I remember, I read some quotation to the effect that "just because somebody's handicapped doesn't mean he can't be a jerk."
I myself am hearing-impaired, and understood exactly what the quotation meant: the handicapped, or the disabled, or the special-needs individual, or whatever polite term you want to use -- all such people are people first, and handicapped second. They have the same kinds of neuroses that other people have; the same things (plus a whole lot more) make them angry; and so on. They can be just really difficult to live with.
Ditto, those who live with them. Being a caretaker doesn't somehow magically endow you with superhuman powers of forgiveness, patience, generosity. It doesn't require you to be a saint, and it won't make you one.
Graphic evidence of the clash of human failings -- exaggerated by a disability -- comes from Jacqueline L'Heureux's article, "Do We Have to Crash Our Marriage, Too?" from the Fall 2007 issue of The Challenge, a print publication of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA). BIA has graciously permitted us to post a copy of that article (599KB PDF) here on sossisson.com. The article begins:
I never saw the truck coming, stopped on a freeway under a knock-your-eye-out blue sky. My back would freeze for months from the monster grille I never felt mount our car.Think non-TBI'd family relationships are harrowing? Wait till you read the rest of L'Heureux's story.
Note, though, that the piece is not unrelievedly grim. L'Heureux concludes with some helpful tips, among them these:
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