Advice for gf of newly paralyzed man

Advice for gf of newly paralyzed man

Posted by Tara6362 on Nov 6, 2015 10:14 am

Hello, I am looking for some advice. My boyfriend just had a terrible accident involving his motorcycle and another car. He landed on the car's windshield, and it left him paralyzed from the hips down.

The doctor's are confident he will walk again, but it will take time and intense physical therapy. He is in the hospital now. I spoke with him and he is in a very bad place emotionally. He wants to cut off contact and not speak to me until he "figures things out on his own."

I am devastated for him, and for our relationship. I just need some advice and how to best support him through this. I want to give him space but I know he will need emotional support as well, at some point. When I asked him if we would ever speak again, he said yes. I am so lost and sad...can anyone give me some advice?

Re: Advice for gf of newly paralyzed man

Posted by Jenn on Nov 10, 2015 2:42 pm

Hi Tara,

Thank you for reaching out I hope you are able to get some feedback from others in the community. To address ways to support your boyfriend during this difficult time the Reeve Foundation does have a team of Information Specialist that can provide helpful information and resources along with connecting you with some support services. Please feel free to call or send a message through our online form.


The Reeve Foundation also offers Peer Mentoring as well. The Peer & Family Support Program (PFSP) is the Reeve Foundation’s national peer to peer mentoring program. The goal of PFSP is to provide critical emotional support, as well as, local and national information and resources to people living with paralysis, and their families and caregivers.

Take Care,



Re: Advice for gf of newly paralyzed man

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Nov 25, 2015 2:58 pm

hi Tara,

I am Dan Gottlieb the psychologist who hosts the "healing the heart and mind" discussion.

I am so sorry to hear what has happened to both you and your are right in understanding that he is dealing with significant trauma right now. Being an active young man, his losses are especially devastating. When many of us became disabled, myself included, we wonder if we are just too much of a burden to our loved ones. We send them away out of love, out of fear and even out of shame.

I felt ashamed of my body and my lack of mobility so I wanted to be alone also. But my loved ones came anyway. They loved me enough to visit just as long as I wanted them to and no longer. In hindsight, I wish I could have told them not to reassure me with words like: "it'll be okay" things will be better", you are still the person you are" and things like that. When I heard my loved ones and say those things, I felt very much alone as though they didn't want to know how I really felt, they just wanted to make me feel better.

Be gentle, stick with him. Even if it's from a distance, you can email or text every couple of days reminding him that you are here for him, loving him and you will be there when he is ready.

Meanwhile, you have your own grief to deal with as your losses have been devastating also. You also need to care, understanding and love. Please allow yourself to receive what you need.

And please please keep us posted. And if you can, chime in on the "healing the mind and heart" discussion.

Please take care of you

Tag Topic

Subscribe to Topic

Would you like to be notified of updates to this Discussion Topic? Subscribe and you'll receive email updates of new posts.