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Partner with brain injury - Carers UK Forum

Partner with brain injury

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Hi - my partner sustained a Brain injury from a car accident, he was the passenger. He has many different mental issues now, the worst being multiple personality disorder, as I never know where I am with him, he can be very loving one minute and totally distant the next, it's a killer for me, I'm not even sure if we should have a relationship. He needs someone with him at all times and he is full on talking unless asleep, but only sleeps 4 hours and then wide awake making loud noises in the house even if he wakes up at 3am!! It's very trying and no one knows or understands when I talk or try and talk to anyone.
Hi susan, my husband has a brain injury from a car accident where he was a passanger too. This was 18 years ago. It sounds like he has different problems from my hubby - every injury is different, depending on what bit of the brain is affected. Am I right in thinking that its still early days for you? I remember the early days for my hubby when he got full on psychosis and was afterwards very depressed. It is also difficult to come to terms with the new person, I still feel that I have lost my old husband, although in many ways it has become that much easier as everything settles down and you both get used to it.
Are you still under the rehab people and are they aware of what it is like for you? If not then go and see your GP and tell him/her what it is like for you - he may be able to help.
Also, you need to find a bit of escape. Is there someone who could sit in with him and listen to him while you have a bit of a break? Crossroads will do a befriending service in many areas.
Hi Susan,

life sounds very tricky for you.

Welcome to the forum.

Hi Susan, are you getting any practical or emotional support at the moment? Have you had any benefits advice? Sometimes people "slip through the net" which is such a shame.
Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply. Just to answer a few questions, Rob's accident happened in 2000, so it's been a while, I left him for 12 months after 9 years, but even in those 12 months I saw him everyday and he phoned and texted me constantly. He was so lost, I did have a break though and had some time to work through emotional issues. Rob had to cope on his own and started to appreciate what I did for him and has changed a great deal. I think he also learnt how to manage and this helped his confidence - which in turn helped him to relate to me more again.

He has mood swings which can be literally every minute some days, he is environment lead so we have to be careful who he is making friends with and this doesn't help has he has disinhibition which can be so inappropriate at times! His short term memory has improved but his sleeping hasn't. He gets obsessed about problems and he is paranoid about every single little thing. His injury was to the left frontal lobe. At first he was very aggressive and violent but he had improved and drink doesn't help.

We have been through a long drawn out insurance claim with Irwin Mitchell solicitors and rob is under The Court of Protection. Rob's one sister has been supportive emotionally but everyone have busy lives and sometimes I don't see her for weeks. My own friends don't understand at all and I try to keep it all on a light note anyway when I see them, so I'm not talking about rob when I'm not with him!!

You would not believe the scrapes he gets himself into, he has done everything he could possibly do wrong, but deep down and now again I see and he becomes himself again for a day and I cherish those days and they are what keep me going.

Thanks again everyone I was nice to hear from you all.
Hi Susan,

It's hard to accept when the person you knew turns into someone else. My husband is Bi polar, with psychosis when in an episode, he also is brain damaged due to an overdose in March 2012. I get good days and bad days, depends on how tired I am. But mostly I do okay. It's good that you have friends who you spend time with, that's so important. Keep up the good fight, your doing an amazing job. xx
Its difficult when the effects of injury are subtle. I find that because hubby is not in a wheel chair and can wash, dress and feed himself people think that there is nothing wrong Image
My hubby has been left with uncontrolled epilepsy and a sort of lack of connection between the theoretical/academic knowledge and actual experience. He can work out what to do in theory, but then have no idea when it comes to putting it into practise. He also forgets things that he has done, people he has met and conversations he has had, although he is very good at remembering facts, numbers etc. He too becomes obsessed with problems - I think its because he has so much difficulty relating to things in the real world - and it consumes his mind so that he is unable to think about anything else until it is resolved. He doesnt have disinhibition, but he does have an inability to tell even the whitest of lies. If you ask him something he will always tell the truth, even if its not wise or prudent. If he is persuaded not to tell somebody something he has been known to phone them up later and tell them the truth Image On the other hand, though, he will tell people all sorts of strange things that he really believes, because he has muddled up conversations and events in his mind. Image
I know what you mean about having to be careful about who he makes friends with. Fortunately he now has a lot of good friends who meet up with him regularly, but there can be real problems if he answers the phone and its a cold-caller who is very persuasive and is asking him lots of questions........

Can the doctors not help with the sleeping problems? And Im sure the mood swings must be really difficult to live with. I wish you lots of luck dealing with the insurance claim.
Take care.
I really have a hard time missing the intimate emotional connection you have as a couple, Rob is so fired up all the time looking for the next thing to do, not breathing or resting for a moment.

How do you cope with loved ones that change moods and say hurtful things, I find this very difficult to shut his words out. It's all on a fine line too as I get friends saying yeah that's just like my husband or that's a man thing! But obviously it's not just that its exaggerated 10 fold, but they only see rob for brief moments and he can behave normally for a while. Did have one friend stop a week and haven't seen her since!

How do you handle harsh words any coping mechanisms I can learn?
I can really relate to you with regard to the brain injury being subtle and you husband not being in a wheelchair and no obvious signs. The phone is a problem in our house, I've had to tell the school not to speak to rob about the kids, once we had a problem and the school phoned and rob was worried and panicking when I returned home and it took a month for him to stop going over it and over it. Hannah our oldest had never been in trouble before and it was just a silly altercation but obviously in our house it was blown out all proportion. So then I have to talk to the kids and explain over and over why he is behaving this way and then talk rob through all his feelings and explain calmly everything is ok about a million times! It's a good job I have a sense of humour otherwise I'd be in tears everyday!

But I've never spoken or met anyone in my position before and I relate to everything you posted about hubby's perception of theory and practice you summed it up so eloquently. Rob thinks he has no problems - it's everyone else. So I've not been able to seek support openly as he gets upset if I say anything about his injury.

Docs have given sleeping pills but he feels like a zombie next day so won't take them and anyway he says, you just need too much sleep he says to me!! Thanks for saying I'm doing a good job, you too sound very positive and in control of your situation and doing a great job!
I really have a hard time missing the intimate emotional connection you have as a couple,
Yes, intimate emotional connections has gone here too - I just have to enjoy the moments when he is the "old" hubby. To start with it was hard I seemed to be relating to him and then he would say something that was like a slap in the face Image I dont know if its got better, or whether Ive just got used to it, but I seem to be dealing with it - water off a ducks back and all that. Sometimes (quite often?), though, I feel more like a cleaner/housekeeper than a wife. I just plod on though, and try and find things outside the home. Part-time work is my respite and I garden a lot.
Dont you just hate it when you try and tell people what its like and they just think its normal? Image Image
It sounds like you are coping extremely well with the situation. How old are your children? Mine were 6 and 4 years old when it happened and it is so hard to help them. Right at the beginning I had one of the therapists say to me "once upon a time you had two young children and a lovely helpful husband - now you have three young children and no help at all" I could have kissed her.