TBI

‘Why bother? Nothing’s left.’ I was a washed-up, homeless junkie injecting meth into my arm.’: Veteran launches organization to end veteran suicide after battling addiction, ‘your life is worth living’

“When that picture on the left was taken, I was in the height of my meth addiction. My only concern was my next high. It’s how I dealt with the war and the loss of my father. I burned every bridge and friendship I’d ever made. I didn’t think there was anything left of me worth saving, so why bother? I was wrong, so wrong.”

‘He was so nervous. From the darkness of the hallway comes a little curly haired boy, weary of all these people.’: Couple adopts twin survivors of shaken baby syndrome, loses son just 2 years shy of being in his ‘forever home’

“We heard about twin boys with Shaken Baby Syndrome. It was a super stormy morning, we ended up having to pull off the interstate. I was dying to get to them. Everyone held back tears as long as we could. Malakai was scared. He had no idea who we were. He’d hardly look at my husband. He passed away less than 6 hours after saying goodbye to his siblings. I still would have driven to a teeny tiny town in the pouring rain to pick he and his twin up to bring them to their forever home.”

‘You are so strong, little man. We love you.’ This 2-month-old had been brutally attacked by his dad.’: Military couple adopts ‘warrior’ shaken baby survivor, ‘He is a true testament that love conquers all’

“They admitted to feeling some sort of ‘reward’ at watching him lay lifeless. None of the abusers had any explanation. We were preparing for him to pass away. But then, something happened. We’ve been by his side, loving him. Finally the day came, termination of rights for parents – we thought it would never happen. This bittersweet day, we also learned just exactly why our son was so fragile.”

‘It was at the hands of his babysitter, who was a family friend. Yes, we knew her.’: Mom ‘petrified’ after learning babysitter abused infant son, insists her shaken baby survivor will still ‘have the absolute best life’

“I was at work and received a phone call. ‘Eli is asleep but kicking his feet and won’t wake up!’ I called the ambulance since the sitter had not, and left work immediately. I was petrified by what she told me, but totally confused. He was fine just a few hours before. When I got to the house, he was seizing with his eyes rolled back. The EMT made a comment I’ll never forget. ‘I’ve never seen anything like this. I have no idea what is going on.’”

‘We found her gravesite. ‘Do you want time alone?’ I was overcome with emotion. ‘I want you with me.’: Widow finally feels ‘peace’ visiting late fiancee’s grave 30 years after fatal car accident

“As we approached the cemetery, I unexpectedly started crying. I’d spent so many painful, isolating days here. I hated this place. It had become a prison within my mind. The emotion hit me, and Shelly grabbed my hand. It took time for us to find Dana’s grave. I started to feel panicked, surprised I had lost the ability to walk right to it. Shelly gave me a big hug as I was, once again, overcome with emotion. I felt a sense of freedom, finally at peace.”

‘I woke up and saw him. ‘Who are you?!’ A rush of panic took over my body.’: Woman gets engaged to husband again after traumatic brain injury causes memory loss

“‘Laura, it’s me!’ He’d say over and over. ‘Who is ‘me?” I felt like I’d just woken up to the marriage, and felt no attachment to it. I’d stare at my wedding rings with anxiety, resenting them. I felt trapped. I knew the right thing to do was to stay with him, but the thought of that pained me. I had to make a choice. I couldn’t stay in a marriage I didn’t remember choosing. I took off my rings, approached my husband, and said, ‘Brayden, I want to date you.’”

‘I yelled, ‘My baby can’t see me! What’s wrong?!’ They looked at me. ‘You know EXACTLY what happened to your baby. You shook her, threw her against the wall and bashed her head on the floor.’

“She appeared sleepy, so I laid her down in her crib. I figured since she was sleeping, I could wash my hair, but something told me to check on her again. ‘Momma someone tried to kill my baby, momma my baby, who hurt my baby?!’ I fell to the floor in tears, but her father appeared calm.”

‘He’d hit me in his sleep, blackout while driving on the highway and scream. ‘If you don’t get help, I’ll take our baby and leave.’: Woman’s husband suffers from PTSD, traumatic brain injury post-military, ‘never gives up’ on their love

“After the military, he slowed down to a ‘desk’ job. His brain would wander and he’d start having flashbacks. He was trying to find his place in the world, but couldn’t. What they don’t tell you about being the wife of someone with PTSD is that it’s like losing the person you fell in love with, and not being able to mourn. That person is gone. The mistake I made so much in the beginning was trying to force him to be who he was instead of just loving who he is.”

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