Surviving Injury

what happened. Telling the story helps one come to grips with it and also helps bring to the surface forgotten memories. • Help the victim and survivor label his or her feelings. It helps to more accurately describe what is going on inside. • Understand that it is normal for the victim and survivor to move forward, and then fall back as he or she progresses through recovery. • Help the victim and survivor process nightmares, flashbacks, and night terrors. Be available to sit with the victim and survivor following night terrors and talk until he or she can respond. • Give honest, reasonable recognition at signs of healing. Don’t give excessive praise or label the individual as “an inspiration.” The duty to be an inspiration or to be strong can be a burden. However, do notice each small achievement. • Encourage the victim and survivor to socialize, but don’t insist on it until he or she is ready. Offer to set up links with other injured victims and survivors. Volunteer to take the victim to support groups. Offer to help the victim and survivor attend plays, musicals, sporting events, or other activities he or she enjoyed before the crash. Try to re-establish hobbies, if possible. • Take care of yourself. Ongoing physical care of the victim and survivor coupled with worries about what the future holds can be both physically and mentally exhausting. Get regular medical check-ups, and spend some time each week with healthy people who love you. Maintain your social relationships and be with your friends when you can. Don’t be shy about asking them to help you with caring for the victim and survivor. Helping Children and Teens Cope with Their Injuries The love a parent has for his or her child is special. Parents

want to care for their child, to solace them, and to help them find happiness. Parents feel their child’s joy and find it almost intolerable to see their child in pain yet unable to help. In no other relationship is the protective urge as intense or compelling as in the parent/child relationship. When a child sustains an injury, it is not

It can be almost intolerable for parents to see their child in pain and be unable to help.

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