I fell in love with a woman who has a TBI. I research everything everything. But I did not research TBI’s. As much as I am ashamed to say it out loud as to write it. the reasons why I didn’t –She looked “normal” I am disabled myself and worked with others who live with disabilities. I knew better. But most of my friends or people I new with TBI you could tell. With this woman you could not and the second reason why I didn’t research was because of my own ego and pride. I now I wish I would have. From the moment I googled I got answers to things that  that I didn’t understand what was going on. I understand now more on how her brain worked. And what I did wrong. But there was another element to this Her best friend came to visit.

 

My understanding there had been women who had coned, manipulated her and she didn’t trust herself anymore. When we both started having feeling for each other she said it felt different then all the rest she said that many times. And it was true. It did feel different and it was different. We had a beautiful time together. I took her on a date. Made dinner in the woods with a home made table and a pillow case that I colored red and white checkers (it took 4 red markers)to make a table cloth. Her neighbor picked her up and dropped her off. I had piano music playing. She asked me if I was sure that I didn’t change. I told her no. After dinner we danced and she cried in my arms and looked at me with tears saying she finally feels like she’s home. The full day that her friend was visiting she told me she loved me. I asked her if she was still afraid she said yes. Then things changed.  She was so afraid that I would change, it wasn’t me that changed it was her. I watched as her friend of 20 plus years manipulate her.  She became cold towards me. Talked about her friend helping me gett an apartment so we could date normally. I asked if that is what she really wants and she said no. She had so many people telling her what to do that she likes how things are going between us. A few days later she talked about me getting an apartment again. I told her that if that is what she really wants then I will do it. I would do it for her. She became more distant. Her and her friend started to ignore me, laugh and talk right in front of me. I knew her friend was telling her things that weren’t true.  But I couldn’t do anything about it. We had finally got some things done so I could live in the motor home on her property. I had asked and told her for over a month that I need help and she would forget or we would go and help someone else. But when things where done, I was in the motor home. She and her friend were in the house. Each day that went bye she changed. She would come out to visit with me and every time expect once her friend would call or come out to get her. It was apparent that her friend did not want her around me. One day she asked if we could spend some time together I said yes that would be nice . Then she got a phone call from her friend  saying she fell on the steps. I knew that wasn’t true she did it on purpose. They were gone all day to the doctors. Our time was cut short. Then I made a mistake. I did not know about fear and anxiety and how she couldn’t process it, recognized it and issues with self awareness. I brought up fear and her brain injury that it was hard for me. I wanted to learn how to communicate with her and I needed her help. We talked about feelings and it seemed for the first time she was feeling and talking about it. it really felt like we had a good conversation. What I did not know that her brain was over loaded and shout down. She was crying and said she doesn’t trust herself and that she doesn’t now how to follow her heart. When she left she was still crying and said to me that I am not a bad person she said I could never be. The next day her friend gave me a notice from her that I need to vacate the property in 8 days or the sheriffs will be called and I would be removed. She said I threatened her friends. And she felt uncomfortable with are conversation, it felt degrading. I was shocked. I love her I was crying too when we talked. I was bewildered. I never never threatened her friends.

It ended up that she and her friend cut my electricity and when she did it she looked right at me, it felt like she wasn’t looking at me she was looking at someone else. I had experienced that a few other times with her. She started telling people that I had come in the house after hours and her friend started talking about domestic violence. And when one of my friends called her, she could here her friend telling the woman that I love what to say. My friend told me to get the hell out of there as fast as I could.

 I am not allowed on the property I will be arrested. I didn’t do anything to her. I was always respectful. I have been accused of horrendous things that I never did and things that never happened. She hates me and now thinks I am like all the rest.  I never coned, manipulated, stole or lied to her. Yes I should have researched I know that now. I was told that if she were to find out and process the truth about her friend that she may never recover from that betrayal and her mind may be devastated. I would rather her hate me and believed lies about me then to have her mind injured  anymore. I would have happily gone and taken classes, groups, therapy, read anything to understand. I am ashamed that I didn’t research TBI, and now I have lost her. I know she still loves me, she has just forgotten. God put us in each others life. I know we could have worked out the other stuff but her friend there was nothing I could do. I have talked to others that have been in a relationship with someone with TBI and I know how hard it can be. But I am willing to go through what ever to have her in my life. I love her. I miss her. She has seizures and to know that if she was sick or in the hospital I would never no. It hurts so much. We where SO compatible.

I have decided to keep a journal of her and I what I have learned what I experience with her what I didn’t understand what I know now. Its not for her but for me. She would never see it. I know that there are so some many people that take advantage of and con others, I am not one of them, I was a true heart that would have gone through anything with her and when things got tough I would not have run away. I would have been true to her and stood by her through anything. The only thing I am guilty of is not researching TBI. I will regret that for the rest of my life I am so sorry.

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Comment by Debi on April 8, 2012 at 7:50pm

I would really encourage anyone who is looking to get involved with a TBI individual to certainly do research if for nothing else, knowledge. There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation readily available to individuals. I would encourage you to look to TBI patients and family members especially for any kind of information that they could share with you to better understand what one goes through for the most part as no two individuals are the same. The internet is a wealth of information as well as TBI Survivor websites such as this one. I have experienced someone close to me telling me I did and said things yet I know I wouldn't of done those things. So, one needs to be careful when in that situation. I wish you the best of luck and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to ask or convey them here on this website. We are here for one another. Blessings...

Comment by Shelly Mitchell on July 29, 2011 at 3:26pm
Matt- but why does it have to be so hard?
Comment by Shelly Mitchell on July 29, 2011 at 3:25pm

Thank you tami for writing.

No my friend doesn’t know about my journal. She doesn’t want me in her life. My journal is more of my feelings and conversations that my friend and I had before everything went to hell. i have read some stuff and talked to others I am coming to understand the signs of when she is over load in a conversation and where she goes when she feels anxiety and fear.. writing about how I felt about it now. knowing    Someone posted some video of DR. Brene Brown. That has been an amazing moment for me in my own life and my experience with my friend.

I know it is to late for her and I, well she believe it’s to late for her and I. I don’t. but I can still learn about my self in this . there are no support groups in where i live.

Comment by Matt Kramer on July 29, 2011 at 11:19am
dating for brain injury is difficult at best anyway
Comment by Tami Brown on July 26, 2011 at 9:54pm
journaling is great if you are doing it for yourself what does she think of you doing that it kind of becomes more of a medical log when someone else does it, and no to tbi are the same my advise to you is find a support group for caregivers and one for her good luck on the journey

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