Today is


An introduction to the stories about an individual with brain injury

There are eight stories here in all. The background story covers the period from the time of the severe brain injury accident, up to the time when I started to work with him. The next introductory story tells of the lead up to the time when I took the position as coordinator with Barry. The main stories however are the four which deal with the first couple of months of my work with Barry, when I was beginning to ‘get the hang of’ what needed to be done. These are essentially about just Barry and I, how we responded to each other and how we managed to find a way forward. It was of time a intense contact and there were moments which were painful for both of us. However, without this coming alongside I could never have been in a position to know what needed to be done for and with Barry subsequently. The final couple of stories deal with work which he started to do without me, while I was coordinating what was being done.

Parts of the stories are in italics: I wrote them towards the end of 1998, at the end of my first year of working with him. I always kept journals, daybooks, photographs and I used these to refresh my memory, particularly about details such as how long particular jobs took him. In the ‘background’ story, the word in italics are directly transcribed from a video which I made of a presentation by Barry and his mother. The non italicised comments are the result of thoughts that I had over the next year as I tried to make sense of the experience. I include them because I believe that they add depth to the stories and they trace the reasons I had for doing what I did at the time.

The cast

The protagonist: Barry
The protagonist’s mother: Margaret
The protagonist’s sister: Brenda
The protagonist’s family name: Williams
The protagonist’s advocate: Carla Simmons
The protagonist’s flatmate: Freddy
The protagonist’s girlfriend: Theresa
The protagonist’s first workmate: Patrick
The protagonist’s facilitator: Magda
The old lady the protagonist does the job for: Rose.

All the names used are fictitious


Next page - Story 1 - The accident





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