Of all days, I chose today to empty out my purse. I was worried about the buckle breaking under the weight of my laptop and the assortment of grad school books and brain injury literature I’ve been carrying around.

As it turns out, the buckle broke anyway, just as I was heading back to the hospital after my grad class. That leaves me here: sitting in a hard plastic chair in the ER at 1:30am after hours of trying to calm down TC while simultaneously carrying around my defunct handbag. With no computer or book to keep me occupied, I sit here with my phone, dreaming about my bed, fighting to stay awake.

I haven’t yet mentioned or written about the assault on this blog. To be honest, I try to steer my brain away from those thoughts. Right now I can only afford to be focused on the present. Thoughts about what brought us here and fears about our financial/emotional future are far too grim and scary to confront most of the time.

But I’m angry. I’m frustrated. I’m in total disbelief of the situation. A few thugs needed some cash one night and went about it by bashing in my husband’s brain and crushing every plan and dream we had made for our future. They stole a crappy iPhone, a credit card they couldn’t even use, and my entire life. Anger doesn’t even get you to the starting line as far as I’m concerned.

However, If you take my anger and multiply it by infinity then you may come close to approaching TC’s mental state. I don’t take his anger personally (although “I hate you” is never fun to hear). I’m a public school teacher. No name I’ve been called in the past week compares to the abuse I’ve suffered at the hands of children over the past few years. If anything, I share in TC’s anger. His anger is totally, completely, 1000% justified – regardless of where it is directed at the moment.

It’s the pain that eats away at my remaining heart. Watching someone you love suffer in physical pain and severe mental anguish is an agony without adequate descriptors. It’s in our human nature to protect our loved ones from pain. Every parent who has ever spent the night awake with a crying baby knows what I’m talking about. It’s unbearable to witness pain of this magnitude.

Whether TC understood he was headed to rehab today or mistakingly thought he was going home, he was surely disappointed by the outcome. When I arrived at his new room just before 9pm tonight, he was fiercely trying to escape his restraining vest. The nurses had put this vest on to prevent TC from getting out of bed. As he struggled to strip it off, he took with him most of his hospital gown. All of the movement caused his trach to pull out from the hole in his neck, leaving a rather unsightly wound. Back to the hospital we headed, but not before fighting him tooth and nail to cooperate with the rehab doctors and nurses. It wasn’t pretty, but here we sit, in the ER, TC passed out from all the excitement, and me silently screaming for a hard drink.

First day of rehab complete. Let’s hope for a more successful tomorrow.

11 thoughts on “Anger

  1. I applaud both of your courage, strength, tenacity, and love. And I'd just like to point out that I'm astounded by the progress in just this past week. Best wishes – a concerned neighbor.


  2. I've been amazed by all the positive energy in your previous posts. I'm angry about the whole situationa and it doesn't effect me directly. I think you're right to focus on the present, but can only imagine how difficult that is. Can you take any time for yourself? An hour to get a good workout, go shopping, something part of your life pre-assault to give yourself a mental break. -another concerned neighbor


  3. You all have every right to be angry. You can use us all to get the anger out. Don't hold it in. Admit it, expel it and re-focus! It doesn't mean you won't still be angry or outraged during this experience, but it can help you let it loose in a “safe” place and then get back to the job at hand. We are all very much in support of you even though you do not know us.
    Love and prayers, and an open ear that can handle your “yelling & screaming” for you!


  4. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Please know that there are many people who admire your courage and strength. I don't know that I'd be able to remain sane throughout an ordeal of this nature. To the extent you can, please continue with your updates because I know this story will have a happy ending.

    Brenda M. Lewis


  5. Abby,
    I don't know you, but I've been following your family's story since the attack (I was friends with Claire's husband in college). I can't imagine the feelings that you have about this situation. Some thugs valued your husband and your family's life at maybe a few hundred dollars. You and TC have every right to be angry… really angry. I'm amazed at how you're handing everything so far and that you haven't allowed anger to be your predominant feeling. I hope that both you and TC continue to heal physically and emotionally. I know that it's not much to offer — but I hope you find some comfort in the fact that there are many people who love you/know you/know of you/don't know you at all that are all pulling, praying, thinking, loving, and caring about you and your family.


  6. Abby, I have yet to sit down and read your words without crying. My co-workers ask me why and I explain your situation. I know somewhat of what you are going through. When we were in 5th grade my cousin was in a horrible bike accident. She too had much damaged to her brain. I remember her yelling at the hospital staff, cussing, trying to break free and lashing out at anyone and everyone around her. I was scary to watch, it took a months before she was able to come home. Sadly, she chose to give up on recovery, she's 40 with the mental state of a 19 year old. I know with the support of you and everyone else TC will come out of this and be a stronger man. Everyday I pray for you guys. I know in my heart you guys will get through this, stronger and better than you ever thought you could be. I know I am far away, but know that I am here for you should you need me. šŸ™‚ You are doing an amazing job. – Katie Ward


  7. I am impressed and inspired by the level of honesty you are able to put down in this blog, and your ability to find clarity about how you feel. I hope it's therapeutic for you in some way.


  8. Abby,

    Please know that many of us who have never met you are keeping you and your family close to our hearts. I am a newly wed and have yet to read any of these postings without crying for you and TC. The brain is a tricky thing. While healing, one day it says “ok let's have a good day!” and the next it gives you the finger. Your husband is in there, and there will be better times to come. You have every right to be angry. very angry. Thank you so much for sharing all of these very personal moments with us. We are all behind you. Let us know what you need- I'm sure many of us who are local would do whatever it takes to help you out. Warmly, Liz


  9. Abby, I'm sorry today was a bad one. I hope tomorrow is better. You are in my thoughts each day. The anger came later for me, too. Take care.


  10. Abby, My son goes to the school where you teach and not a day goes by where you are not missed, thought of with love and admiration, and lifted up in prayer. Put one foot in front of the other and all of us, your friends – family members – and especially your neighbors, will following right behind you.


  11. Oh my gosh. Your kind words are the best kind of overwhelming. We are clearly surrounded by the most loving friends, family, and neighbors possible. Thank you for reading. And thank you for supporting us every day!


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