“So my boyfriend’s pretty much the only one who gets it. Unless you’ve had a brain injury, people don’t get it. They can’t help it, but they just don’t.”
I nod as I listen to Sarah‟s story, knowing exactly what she means. Besides my family, who has seen me through my entire brain injury, I have few people who truly understand my trials in surviving and recovering from brain injury.
Though it’s difficult for my fellow brain injury survivors and me to receive the proper social support from individuals without brain injuries or support groups that don’t fit our needs, we still recognize that there’s something different about connecting with others who have had similar medical experiences.
Finding people who can comprehend and relate to the magnitude of our experiences is rare, and we value our relationships with those folks when we do find them. For as many destructive accounts of social support I found in meeting with survivors, there was an equal number – 16 of 16 – with descriptions of encouraging experiences. These experiences seemed to occur from social support offered by other brain injury survivors or by individuals very close to us.