Michael was assaulted in 2012, resulting in traumatic brain and spinal injuries. He cannot remember anything about the incident, but he doesn’t focus on the past. Attending Headway Norfolk & Waveney’s Gorleston centre weekly, he is only looking forward.
His film tells the story of his brain injury, not just from his perspective but from the perspective of his mother, younger brother and the wider family network. Like the ripples in a pond when a stone is thrown in the impact of a brain injury spreads across the whole family. His film shows how these ripples moved through his own family and introduces some of the work staff at Headway Norfolk & Waveney have been doing to support them.
It was not the immediate physical impact of the brain injury which was the hardest for Michael and his family to deal with, it was the impact on his cognative abilities. His personal development programme has focused on mood management, cognative rehabilitation and more latterly vocational rehabilitation as Michael prepares himself to return to the world of work.
‘What I’ve learned from my time at Headway hasn’t changed by brain injury, but it has changed the way that I deal with it. The mood management group taught me that I was taking my own anger out on others. Just understanding that makes a big difference and from there I have learned strategies that have reduced the impact of my anger on others, especially my brother, allowing me to build important relationships again.’