I would describe myself as a consistently competent and resourceful soul; I was never destined for great genius, but I have always been able to learn and adapt to meet any challenge that came along. The result is not always pretty, but its usually successful. Problems are challenges that I normally enjoy and thrive on and if I'm brutally honest, I'm not very good at failure. I tend to sulk.
Brain injury is 'other', it is different, it exists on a separate plain where the normally resourceful and competent person is completely helpless.
What do you do when your husband, a 42 year old intelligent man, refuses to get out of the car when you are in a hotel car park in the dark and rain? You're 120 miles away from home, it's Boxing Day, he's shouting that he wants to go home, and he is so overloaded and tired that he cannot hear anything you say. He is literally unreasonable.
You're not his health professional or carer, you're his wife. You're tried and frustrated after a challenging Christmas (well, a challenging 14 months actually) and what you really want to do is leave him in the car and go to bed with a large gin.
No, scrap that, what you REALLY want is to have spent the day walking on the beach and then sitting in a pub on the Quay getting squiffy, talking and laughing with your pre-injury husband. Fat chance.
I've looked in my toolkit again and again and no matter how many times I look I simply don't have the skills or the resources to solve this problem. It's exhausting and frightening. It's just too big and unwieldy a problem to solve; it's like trying to nail jelly to a wall.
The only thing that keeps me sane is reading the inspiring stories of other survivors and their families and the knowledge that, although it will never be the same as it was, it will get better than this.
So Happy New Year to those survivors and their families and also to those of you with a huge, jelly like problem to solve. Don't give up.
Oh, and if you have any suggestions as to how I deal with these situations I would be VERY interested and grateful to hear them!