TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

To My Husband’s Attackers – One Year Later

by

Jasmine Oldham

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Oldham, Jasmine Caregiver 071115You’ve been on my mind lately. Frankly, you’ve been on my mind most of this year. Do you realize today marks a year since you attacked my husband while he was walking in Toronto? Doesn’t it seem odd that your actions almost ended my husband’s life, and you haven’t even seen it?

I wonder about you. I can’t help it. When we’re in the city for appointments (don’t you know that all the brain-injury specialists are in the same city in which this happened), I watch the eyes of the men we meet. I wait to see if they recognize my husband – if they are seeing the ghost of the man whom they thought they murdered a year ago. I don’t know that I’ll ever stop being curious or watching for you. It just makes sense that we will meet; the police assigned to this case are kind and smart, and the world isn’t as big as you might think it is.

My husband and his friends were out for his bachelor party. I know they told you. I know you knew I was waiting at home for the love of my life. And yet, my husband and his friends barely talk now. Traumatic brain injuries have a way of breaking up friendships. Our first year of marriage was spent in doctors’ offices and rehab clinics, instead of having vacations and adventures.Oldham, Jasmine 071115

I wonder at your group dynamics now, and I am curious if they parallel ours. Have you pushed each other away because you can’t stand seeing your friends as the monsters from that night? Or, do you hold each other close – keeping tabs on each other to make sure the secret stays secret? Which of you will be the next with a boot to the head for saying the wrong thing? And that girl. Does she worry each time you all go out that you’ll be arrested? Or beaten? I wonder if she struggles with panic attacks each time a phone rings? I did. For months, I relived the voicemails detailing your attack on my husband.

When we meet, I hope you tell me you’ve counted the days. I hope that night changed each of your lives and convinced you to spend every day paying penance for the life you hurt. I hope the aftermath – living with that secret – haOldham, Jasmine 2 071115s propelled you from the boys you were a year ago to men. I hope you’ve done something stunning with your life.

Of course, I hope you approach the police and confess. I’m not going to lie and say that’s not a wish. But, even on my most optimistic days, I can’t see any of you being strong enough to step up and accept the consequences. Nor, can I imagine any of you with enough compassion to want to put us at ease and offer us closure. (If you want to prove me wrong, by all means contact the police at the 52nd Division – http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/d52/).

At the very least, let this monumental, awful thing that rocked our world rock yours too. Don’t be so callous and immature not to realize the gravity of what happened that night. You stole the life we were planning on. Oldham, Jasmine 3 071115Let that change you. Become better. Make it up to the world. Instead of letting your actions of that night define you, choose to make it the catalyst for a good life. I hope one day you can look back and say that that night you realized how powerful you were and you chose to invest your life in helping others instead. And, I hope when we meet, you can tell us that we’ve been on your mind too.

(Disclaimer: The views or opinions in this post are solely that of the author.)

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Comments on: "TBI Tales . . . A Letter to Attackers Jasmine Oldham" (10)

  1. Ventura Manzanares said:

    I can’t imagine how strong you are, and so brave. I send you love and hope. I lost my girlfriend almost 40 years now and still think of Sheila often. We met through our daughter’s, who were in the Grade school in Denver, Co. Sheila was a teacher at another school, raising her girl Kelly by herself. Kelly had the brightest red hair, and she was so smart and cute. I was raising my girl Shawna by myself, and the girls played and would walk home together. Our homes were only 6 blocks apart. I left Sheila’s house around 10pm. Her ex-husband broke into her house and used the claw end of a hammer, and struck her head 14 times, she died in minutes from the attack. I didn’t find out until the next day that she had been killed. I don’t know what became of little Kelly, but I prey for her and Sheila all the time. My TBI was caused by carbon monoxide gas, when I was 4-9 years old. I have suffered all my life. Now I’m 62, and finally figured out how to live with it. I have this attatched entity that comes over me, like a dark heavy cloud, from the top of my head, face to my chest and it pulls at me, down and down. I have to sleep it off. I get the yawns and dry heaves, nausea, and dizziness. It lasts for hours and comes in waves. Sometimes 3-6 times in one day. Then I go days and weeks without a problem. I’m cold alot of the time, and shake inside off and on and my ears ring all the time, pulsing with my heartbeat, in 2 different Frequencies in each ear. That’s the worst part, it never stops. My head rings from the time I get up and goes all day until I sleep. The only time I don’t hear it, is in the shower. It makes me crazy somedays. Like always having to step over it to hear whatever I listening to. Well those ate my 2 stories, thank you for reading about me. I wish you the best, you’re are a princess warrior and I have much respect for you.
    Love. Ventura
    venzar@hotmail.com
    760-847-7936

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Broken Brain – Brilliant Mind and commented:
    TBI hurts everyone involved. This is a moving testimony from someone who knows all too well.

    Like

  3. Those of us living with TBI on a daily basis understand the complications and problems involved in finding competent medical care. Our lives are turned upside down and nothing is ever the same again. Thank you for telling this tragic story. The cruelty of other humans never ceases to amaze me.

    Like

  4. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul in this story.

    Like

    • Amy, thank you for your comments on Jasmine’s very powerful letter. I am sure she will appreciate your kind words.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski
      survivingtraumaticbraininjury.com
      donnaodonnellfigurski.wordpress.com

      Like

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