We are a wounded warrior family, and when I tell people I am my husband’s caregiver, I immediately let them know he has all his limbs. Part of this is from my guilt in knowing so many who do not have their limbs, and probably guilt that he came home and so many I know didn’t.
The other part is that the wounds he has are all internal, and when people meet him, they immediately question how I could be a caregiver. Or how he is wounded.
This feels like a fair question to me given how I feel the conversation must happen in order to build bridges of understanding. For my kids, it has been a different journey.
They are now well versed in trauma, seeing me carry him on my back when his back goes out, watching him no longer be able to do the things he loves because his body is broken, and the deep, darkness that a TBI (traumatic brain injury) can bring.
It is hard being teenagers who just want normal, and know that will never be the case. It is hard for them to explain why he forgets or needs help with small and big things. It is hard for them to understand. It can be even harder having this conversation with their friends.
And yet. They give it all they have every single day.
I can’t possibly fathom how they have felt so many times. And while they talk to us openly, we also know they hold so much in, too.
A couple of days ago, my daughter drew this. And she wanted all those mil kids out there...those like her...to see it.
And she inspires with her truth.
This piece is called “The TBI Hole.”