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Heard today my brother had a heart attack yesterday

What it says. Apparently he's " fine" according to my SIL and doesn't want visitors or any fuss - I can believe that completely. I've tried to be understanding and supportive of her, after all I've been there twice with my own husband. What I'm struggling with is how detached I feel. This is the only blood relation I have contact with and yes, I'm a little bit upset but actually I'm ok. I feel like I should be devastated because I love him to bits, he's the only reason I still have a home and an up-to-date mortgage since falling almost 2 years back. I've been out looking for employment since and not getting anywhere, he still helps me out when he can.

And yet I feel, IDK, nothing really. Distanced, detached? I almost cried, but couldn't quite do it.

I've lost most of my friends in the last few years, I just expected to "feel" more for someone I love being in such a bad place.

I hate this limbo, just want my old self back :(

9 Replies

This is the only place I can be truthful, please don't slate me for that- I feel bad enough already.


I can empathise completely. My brother, who I adored, died 16 months after my SAH and he was also my only sibling but, like you, I was left numb & pretty troubled by my lack of emotion.

I kept reminding myself how bereft I would have been pre BI and telling myself ; 'For God's sake woman, your brother's died..........Wake up !!' But I couldn't even cry.

People have commented many times on Headway about their lack of emotion since their brain injury, and the guilt it brings, but even the guilt feels like merely going through the motions.

I've supported my sister in law & family ever since in whatever way I can, which is my way of showing my love for him, and a kind of penance. But I have to keep reminding myself that this lack of emotion is not my fault and I was kind and caring to him when he was alive ; so I'm doing the best I can.

Don't beat yourself up about something which is way out of your control. xx


Thank you for replying, it's a difficult thing to try to explain to anyone.


It doesn't say anywhere in any rule book that you must feel loss by crying or being devastated etc.

people all react differently to stressful situations please don't beat yourself up. Why not just go and take your brother a get well card at the hospital. You don't need to stay long but at least you have shown you care. I've no idea who came to see me apart from my very good friend and childminder Cally.

I know sometimes when you don't feel well, you can't be bothered with other people, also his wife maybe trying to make sure he is kept as peaceful as possible after a pretty scary event.

I wish you all the best and would never think of slating you.

I didn't cry till our shared birthday when my dad died of metastatic brain cancer in June 08, and that is in October.

Just remember everyone is different and be kind to yourself.


Thank you. I felt awful when I wrote that last night. Now I just have to wait and see what happens after his tests today.


I was in agony with an abscess on my tooth a couple of weeks ago, but my husband who has a TBI, just looked at me as if he couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.

Before the accident, he was the most compassionate and sympathetic person.

Now, if it's not him that is hurting, he's not interested!!

Quite strange and for me sometimes difficult to understand, just the way it is


I can be quite cold now, it's like your brain measures your own level of trauma against what others are going through and then says "so what". I used to be the "go to" person for sympathy and advice, now I'm so wrapped up in my own recovery that other peoples problems are a step too far for me.

It's my self preservation I hope and hopefully the old me will reappear eventually, meanwhile I feel so guilty about being so selfish.

Don't feel guilty, although the fact that you are questioning the way you are reacting now tells me you do really care. Love Janet xx


I just want to say thank you to all who have replied. I have a few *real-life* friends who I know would support me, but I haven't mentioned this because I know they'd go overboard with the sympathy and, as bad as this sounds, it would make things worse because I coudn't even begin to explain to them how I'm feeling right now.

Janet, I understand completely how you feel. I love my friends and love being a part of their lives, but the slightest sign of pressure and I feel myself withdrawing because I truely can't take anything else on board. And I have to say...you took time out to reply to me, it says to me that you still care.

He's ok btw, has to stay in over the weekend till he can have another angiogram on Monday, but looking better.

Thank you all for being here x


Sorry to hear about your brother... and I can totally empathise on the rest... Since my TBI I am less connected...doesn't mean I don't care because my loved ones are important to me and I appreciate them on every level.

I often wonder if it is because I use so much brain power, energy, emotion etc just getting through one step at a time, one word, one hour that when it comes to the bigger stuff I am running on empty and its as much as I can do to move through it all...

I have felt bad when accused of being uncaring...but then even that is gone once energy is needed to do something else...

It kinda feels like I live in a little bubble...that's how it seems anyway. Sometimes/mostly I am okay with it, other times not so much...

Hope you get good news...


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