Meeting person who caused your brain injury

It's me again. I need some more advice. Through Facebook, I've just found the thing that struck me with her white, renegade jeep on 02/03/88. She's friends with her mum and sister, whose names I remember from court papers. Question is, what do I do know. I want to message her and tell her about how difficult she's made my life, to see if she cares, to try to make her feel bad. Has anyone any experience of contacting the person who caused their brain injury? What do you suggest I do?

Thanks

Rob

Oh, happy festive seasons to all.

19 Replies

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  • I find this post terribly sad. I don't know the cirumstances but am so sorry for you that you still feel so angry and bitter after all this time that you want to make contact for the purpose of making her feel bad....

    I would really urge you to think long and hard before doing anything. Even IF this is the right person (and you would need to be 100% certain) you would need to be very careful or you could find yourself in trouble.

    I would suggest you talk this through with a counsellor ...you may not get the response/result you want and could end up making yourself feel a whole lot worse.

    I really do wish you peace....

  • Hi Rob

    I hope you are putting this conundrum aside and perhaps engaging in some way with the festive season in what ever way is good for you.

    I agree with iforget that you shouldn't contact this person and especially through social media because you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law for harassment. Also there are duplicates of many peoples names on Facebook so it is possible that although you have tracked the name it may not be the right person. I assume as a result of the accident that it did go to court so she would have had some punishment (for the want of a better word) and also suffered having friends, family, neighbours etc know what she had done which one would hope made her feel perhaps ashamed and humiliated. I also think that it is quite likely she has never been able to not have an ongoing torment in her own mind as to what she did. However, I can understand that you struggle with the impact of your injuries you sustained, because of her, every single day of your life since. But I don't think that this is the right thing to do.

    I note you say your accident was in 1988 so that is about 26 yrs ago. I agree this is dreadfully heart wrenching especially as it is xmas eve that it has troubled you so much to now be making the post. It seems that those bitter and angry feelings have continued to eat away at you and you have probably continued to search for this person to be able to shove in her face the consequences of what happened and how it has left you. As iforget says - the chances are you will not get the response you yearn for and will end up feeling worse and more angry etc. Life can be s--t and s--t things happen that we have no control over but suffer the consequences which is so much harder if caused by someone else and not our own actions. I also agree that as this is continuing to torment you with anger and resentment (which is understandable when someone else's actions have damaged the rest of your life) that you need to seek counselling to talk it through. It is not good for your health and wellbeing that it is still 26 yrs on very much in the forefront of you thoughts and clearly you have probably spent many hours of the majority of days searching and trying to track her down over the years. I am not sure that you can ever achieve a complete 'closure' in these situations but somehow you have to try and manage it to be able to move on with your life.

    Don't do anything rash. I have to admit I am more than a little worried that after writing your post you convinced yourself it was the right thing to do and may have message her???

    Best wishes

  • Very Sad but a real life story Dont do anything to rash and try and have a nice Christmas .

    Life can change over night , blame can eat you up .

    Hope you have a Happy New Year .

  • Like others I'd caustion against, contact in that way, it doesn't sound like it would end up dignified and could well end up getting kicked off Facebook.

    I do understand the anger, I'm very glad that I have no one but myself to blame.

    Remeber (I assume) they didn't deliberately chose to do this to you, and unless they themselfs are a Sociapath the harm they caused you, will have caused them harm.

    Clearly nothing like your self, but very few people can just brush off such things, thankfully.

  • We had a letter from the person that caused the accident which damaged my husband so badly.

    It talked of how sorry they were & hoped we would both recover.

    I didn't reply & will not get in contact with them.

    It was an accident,pure & simple. They didn't deliberately set out to hurt us.

    Although I do feel anger, it's not towards them, just circumstances.

    We are lucky, still here, even if life has changed . Better to move forward if you can instead of looking backwards.

    Good luck for 2015 x

  • I understand your resentment, really I do, I harbour the same feelings, my injury the result of someone elses actions. Why should you have to live with the consequences whilst they get to forget about it and move on? I'm not saying you should contact the person but, will it change anything, or only amplify your bitterness?

    It's been very difficult for me to read this post.

  • Hi barny.

    Am sorry to here this post has provoked some of your own difficult feelings particularly on a day of xmas celebrations which can be difficult for us on its own. I cannot know what it is like to live with the consequences of somebody else's action and I hope nothing in my response to 'remember' was crass and provoked you as well. With my situation I have no one to be angry at, not even myself, as it was Bacterial Meningitis, cerebritis, cerebral abscesses and strokes that caused my brain injury. Not caused by me or anyone just damn bad bad luck. But that isn't easy either. I figure that however the BI is caused, if it's bad enough to affect day to day life then it can give us issues with acceptance.

    My thoughts are with you.

  • I think contacting the person would be a mistake. It wouldn't alter the past and what happened and it could get you into trouble. She already has to live with what she's done and that's probably punishment enough.

    It's impossible to move forward if you live in the past and constantly revisit what happened. Easier said than done, I know,

    Maybe write a letter containing all the things you'd like to say to her to get it out of your system, then destroy it and try to move forward.

    It does sound like you would really benefit from talking to a councilor. 26 years is a long time to hold onto these emotions.

    The New Year is just around the corner, new beginnings!

    Take care

    Alice xx

  • Don't know the circumstances, and my accident was completely different, with only my drunken, stubborn, foolish self to blame!

    Like a lot of the responder's, I feel very ill at ease about you contacting this person. I believe I understand your desire to do so, and have some understanding of the frustration and mind set that has fueled this! I can see little good that could come from this, other than you getting it off your chest of course, and I don't want to minimise that; I do however see the potential for many negative outcomes. I will leave it at that, nuff said! and get on with my festivities, hope you had a good day, and will have a happy New Year, and solve your conundrum! All the best, :) Neal

  • Dear Rob

    Two days before Christmas thirty-five years ago, I had a linear skull fracture and other injuries caused in a horse riding accident which was caused by a car. This resulted in temporary swelling of the brain.The driver drove off immediately afterwards. I came round fully two days later and spent Christmas and the rest of the week in hospital. Nine months later I was prescribed drugs I should not have been given and my weight doubled. My engagement to a lovely man broke up and I did not ride a horse again for eighteen years. I had ridden for twenty years prior to the accident. They never traced the car diver. In 1992 I woke up one morning in 1992 unable to walk and was later told following x-rays, that I had Spondylolisthesis L 4/5 and S1 as a result of the impact to my spine when I hit the ground all those years ago in 1979. I have had mobility problems ever since. I lost my business partly as a result of the spinal problems. It did not stop me returning to work (voluntary) however in 1993 and training as a CAB Welfare Rights and Debt Adviser and then getting a paid role so that I was able to help others get the state benefits and other things they were entitled to.

    For many years, particularly when the pain was really bad, I wanted to find the driver and tell her what she had done to me. The accident changed my life and it took me years to get rid of the anger I felt about it. I continued to have battles with my weight because of the drugs I was wrongly given, having affected my metabolism. I was not supposed to have been given even an aspirin for at least two years after the accident as the surgeon in 1979 could not understand why I was not at least slightly brain damaged. I simply had a bald spot and a slight bump to show for it, I was wearing a riding hat, which had protected from a far worse injury. I married someone else on the rebound after my engagement broke up and this marriage failed in 1996. I am now married to a lovely man who is very supportive.

    As somebody else has replied, this may not be the same person that you have found on facebook.

    In addition, what good would it really do after all these years? Leave it in the past. I would echo the other advice that you speak to a counsellor.

    May God bless you in the coming days and in the New Year

    warm regards

    Susan

  • I'M SORRY IF THIS POST LOOKS LIKE I'M BITTER & ANGRY BUT I AM BITTER & ANGRY.

    MY BI WAS AN ABI SO IT'S NOT THE BI ITSELF THAT HAS MADE ME SO ANGRY BUT...

    MY UNCLE, WHO WE WERE AL VERY CLOSE TO, WAS KILLED BY A DRUNK DRIVER 5 YRS AGO.

    . THE WOMAN SPENT 5 YRS IN PRISON BUT SHE IS NOW OUT WALKING THE STREETS GETTING ON WITH HER LIFE WHILST WE WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO.

    IT MADE ME SO ILL I WAS BACK TO HOSPITAL TERRIFIED THAT THE STRESS COULD TRIGGER ANOTHER BURST ANEURYSM (DON'T EVEN KNOW IF STRESS CAN DO THAT THEY HAVE NO REAL IDEA WHY I HAD THE FIRST ONE) . I COULDN'T EVEN GO TO HIS FUNERAL.

    I WOULD NEVER EVER WANT TO MEET HER -SHE MIGHT DERIVE SOME SOLACE FROM THE FACT THAT WE WANT TO TALK TO HER. SHE DESERVES NO KIND OF SOLACE/PEACE OF MIND OR RELIEF SHE MAY DERIVE FROM SUCH A MEETING.

    YES PERSONALLY I'M FINDING THIS VERY HARD TO GET PAST EVEN NOW SO GOODNESS KNOWS HOW YOUMUST FEEL ABOUT THE PERSON WHO CHANGED YOUR LIVES SO DRASTICALLY.

    JUST BE CAREFUL THAT MEETING THEM DOES'T MAKE THINGS WORSE FOR YOU PERSONALLY, TO HELL WITH THEM. YOUR HEALTH & WELLBEING ARE WAY MORE IMPORTANT.

    YOU'VE DONE SO WELL THUS FAR DON'T LET THIS PERSON RUIN IT FOR YOU.

    LOOK AFTER YOURSELF.

  • Thanks for your helpful replies. I've given up on the idea of contact. I've decided to get therapy instead, to help me come to terms with my injuries and move forward a happy, confident person. It could take a while, but here's hoping...

    Thanks for the support.

    Rob

  • Rob I think you have made a very sensible decision to seek therapy to help you find a way to move on with trying to find a way to live with what happened and make the best of your life. Yes it will take time and a lot of therapy sessions and will not be an easy journey. But hopefully will enable you to express that anger and then for it to not be continuing to destroy your life day/week/month after day/week/month that then add up to years and years. You are still allowing her to be controlling and damaging your life through your continued obsession with anger and wanting revenge. Life sucks and yes she should suffer for what she did but you can't do anymore than what the court decided (as rubbish as the system deemed the consequence to be). Don't let her ruin any more years of your life by making the most of what you can do.

  • VERY WISE & HOWEVER LONG THE THARAPY TAKES IT'LL BE WELL WORTH IT.

  • How about contacting these people:

    restorativejustice.org.uk

    I think they can mediate a meeting between victim and perpetrator.

    The purpose: to help the person (and maybe others = educate) the results of their actions, hopefully to try to prevent the same things happening over and over again = learning.

    Yes, accidents will always happen and nowhere is free of risk but people should (and many wish to) face up to the consequences of their actions - for example if they were careless or systems failed = then those who created the systems that don't work or protect us would (or should) wish to know.

    I was knocked off my motorbike about 35 years ago: the driver hadn't stopped at the give way/stop sign (I had right of way) and ploughed into me. The bike (and my chin and left foot) were badly damaged, I was knocked out briefly, but the eggs I'd just bought hadn't smashed!

    After my brain got damaged (and other bits of me) in hospital during an op/anaesthetic I contacted the hospital over and over again: I needed to know what had happened to me and for information, what had gone wrong and why couldn't I swallow without a big click (and throat very sore), why was my vision suddenly so bad and my short-termmemory gone, jerky walking etc. I was TERRIFIED.

    But I'd asked next morning after the op in Ward Round why had I woken up in the operating theatre gasping for breth but nobody would answer me including the responsible person: a consultant surgeon, though I'd never met him before.

    Then the surgeon (who I had met who'd jabbed me hard in the guts) looked at me and announced 'it did not happen in theatre' - but I knew it had. He was lying to me and nobody else said anything other than I could go home, I was dismissed. I was abandonned.

    Then after me ringing the hospital frequently for a week (during which I was told my medical records 'could not be located, they are floating round the hospital) I eventually got a phone call from the man responsible (but not on site that Sunday) for his trainees: the 2 anaesthetists.

    He fobbed me off with a long and tedious story about an anaesthetic he'd had as a child which he'd thought had gone wrong but it hadn't (minimising/denying my experiences and injuries) and said he'd arrange a meeting.

    The 2 anaesthetists, him, PALS and me. PALS bloke sat by door and said nothing throughout, 'support' = NOPE. I asked loads of questions, none were answered, I was lied to, blanked and dumped. This was important, vital for me, I was naive I thought they'd just tell me what went wrong and get me info and care fast, how stupid I was. But you would, wouldn't you, when it's doctors?

    This meeting could and should have been the time (actually Ward Round, the day after - if not before), the VERY latest they should have come clean and owned up - but they didn't. She (the less experienced anaesthetist) looked very shocked but the male one was arrogant, sulky and surly throughout, as he had been pre-op, he shouldn't have been allowed to be an anaesthetist nor in the caring professions nor in a place where communication is vital = he was useless at all of it. Why had nobody picked up on that?

    The consultant refused to answer questions, announced I had suffered only psychological injury (therefore he implied that I was imagining my injuries), refused to make his trainees answer, PALS bloke sat there like a pudding and I was dumped again. They were all (except PALS bloke who did form for getting my med records and said he'd arrange counselling,not ask me what I wanted/needed - I was utterly exhausted and shaking by now, had been crying) hustled quickly away by a man in a suit who just happened to be there outside the door (had he been listening?) just as the meeting ended. They all rushed away,no thought or care for me (oh but PALS were getting me counselling, oddly it turned out to be with a woman also trying to discredit me, icy cold, conniving and desperately interrogating me about my past searching for things to blame my then mega stress, fear and anxiety on - she couldn't find anything, ha).

    And I was left to walk out (I can still see all this), along the corridor (saw a sign for medical illustration on a door) into the weak winter sunshine. I sat on a wall over the road and felt blank. All for nothing. More lies and denials. I was thrown out and left to get on with it. No info, no help, nothing. Abandoned again.

    Sorry, gone on about mine. Hurts SO much, 9 years on now and still no info or med care. Never got to court, tried. And the meetings I'd had with some of those actually involved (though missing the scrub staff/Operating Theatre Practioners and Recovery nurse,nurses from the ward from before/after) wouldn't tell. I'd thought at first the consultant anaesthetist was going to help me because he gave me his mobile number and said I could call. But later his phone refused my text asking another question and calls from me were rejected.

    I think the lawyers/medico-legal at the hospital (and Complaints Dept?) told them not to say anything which might be used against them or something, right to keep silent? And/or their own fear, self-protection?

    Dunno, but that meeting still replays as do all the lies, denials, fobbing off, abandoning me, over and over. At any point someone could have said STOP, let's see if she's telling the truth but even my GP didn't. He later said (like he was telling me something I didn't know,so odd because it was what I'd been telling him and all of them for almost a year by then): 'the hospital bamboozled you.' I knew that, he'd heard I knew that, all of them had. Ahh but they thought if they all sang from the same song-sheet, repeated the same lies, everyone did, and refused me examinations and remedial care I'd either die or give up - or what? Oh, that I'd believe them because 'doctors don't lie' and 'you can trust me because I'm a doctor'. Nope, you have to EARN trust.

    Yours, maybe look at site (if got net), contact them.

    Also tell your story to Headway: they have lots of people's stories on their main site.

    I tried to educate, best I could while trying to do my own rehab.

    But a meeting/contact without help: might be very dangerous, of course it might not be but a big risk.

    Maybe help for both sides separately first to decide issues and professional help to get those issues over and try to get healing for all sides?

    I wish you all the best.

  • In my ramble (sorry) forgot to say after bike accident the man who'd driven into me came to my home (in those days, still now?!) he was given my home address and he knocked one day and gave me a bunch of flowers and said sorry. It was a nice thing to do (more to this story but won't go into it now) and yes, made me feel a bit better = because he had realised what he had done, I told him my injuries and I BET he was forever far more careful at give way signs. And maybe he talked to others (I did) and they too learned from it.

    Trying to say: accidents, errors and mistakes happen, it's how you behave after that counts. Learned from it or not? To not learn and then not try to make changes (make the world a better place) is unforgivable. But for that you need the truth about what happened and why plus a MEMORY and we here know how hard learning is when that old memory dysfunctions! Large bodies like the NHS have no excuse: so many memories/systems,but maybe that is part of the problem and simplification is required.

    See An Organisation with a Memory (document) and the follow-up one showing the nHS was still not learning. About time they (people do) I mean (it, entity as a whole) did. Way past time, still waiting for my (metaphorical/virtual?) bunch of flowers, a huge 'sorry' from them all and to SEE in practice the changes they have put in place and how they're working out.

  • Well done Rob wise choice. Take your power back, work on what you can control - you first. good luck with finding a suitable therapist. Keep us posted.

  • Hi. Your post is really weird as my OH is going through the same scenario. Hit by a guy 3 years ago who was

    drink driving and went to prison.they released him early and said he hadnt to come within a mile of our house (that has elapsed) but two weeks ago i think i spotted him in the local pub (, which we go to just on a saturday )and he was also there again last night. OH hasnt got any memory of him or accident but i saw it and it is playing on my mind as to if it is him! Police told me previously to 'put it behind' and son says'leave it 'but OH's life has changed since accident and a bit of me wants to confront him so know just how you feel!

  • Rob,

    I haven't read the other comments as I don't have the energy,

    I also just spent best part of 10minutes looking for this post again as I backed out of it by accident!

    I know the name of the lady who completely changed my life.. I know her name through my court papers. I have no memory of my accident at all, however the people who were there at the scene have no pleasant words for her. As I've been told she cut across the road I front of us.. Car including myself my two sisters and my friend. She had her daughter in he car with her and as she hit us it knocked our car onto its nose. She and her daughter we both fine. I was left fitting and unconscious, my parents quickly attended the scene and did everything they could for all of us. While she stroledl over the road to get a coke from the petrol station. She never asked my parents if we were ok. She was on holiday and the whole thing was an inconvenience.

    For the following 3/4 years I didn't feel angry as it was an accident. My parents and family never forgave her callous attitude.

    After suffering 5 years of depression, pills, isolation, pain, fatigue and complete persanality change I'm now very angry. I now wish she had to sit and read every medical report on me, sit with me when I cry, get angry, don't have answers. Take the pills I take everyday. To have the ball and chain of my unseen Brian injury so she understands. I want this because I've never had a sorry. Ive never seen or heard from her. She got points on her license and a £200 fine. I lost everything I knew. I was 15 and she took my world.

    I know that if I was given her address I would write to her, I would think long and hard before doing so but I would, because I want her to know what she did, I want her to tell me she's sorry. That's all.

    I know it's not the 'right' thing to do, but for one day I might feel better.

    Good luck, keep me updated on what you decide.

    Charlie. X

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