Verbal Abuse

Hi, I'm new to this forum. I have a Brother-in-law who had a terrible road accident sustaining brain injuries when he was 19. He is now 59. He lived with my Mother-in-Law until she died in 2009. The problems began then. Unbeknownst to us, he was being kept by mother-in-law financially and had no benefits except £50 a week incapacity benefit which wouldn't cover his living expenses. I helped him get Disability living allowance, and a carer/cleaner to come in twice a week. Then he started to make terrible accusations to my husband about me, saying I'd broken into the house and stolen priceless jewellery, He said I'd also appeared in his shower and then magically disappeared. Apparently I'd shinned up a 6ft fence and over bins and got in without any sign of broken entry stolen stuff. He even got the police involved. My husband has been brilliant, telling his brother its all in his imagination, and he won't tolerate him saying these things, but he continues to repeat these accusations every time my husband sees him,

Other members of the family have been accused of stealing, breaking in, but its me that gets the majority of his accusations, its almost like an obsession. The family (there are 3 brothers altogether) have taken him to his GP who says he isn't unwell enough to refer him to a phychiatrist. His neurologist retired 3 yrs ago and since then hes seen a different locum every 6 months who know nothing about this obsession, paranoia because he won't let my husband go with him.

Its got to the point where none of us want to visit him. He is just about coping living on his own, but the house is a tip. He refuses to pay towards its upkeep and spend £10 a week on groceries, no heating or hot water. The gas board rung us because he had asked for the gas to be disconnected and electric also. The house belongs to the 3 brothers together, so my husband and his elder brother in France pay for any upkeep/maintenance.

I try not to get down about it, but it really upsets me. I don't want to tell my husband as he has been good and he worrys about his brother enough as it is.

Any advice would be much appreciated

20 Replies

  • Your brother-in-law obviously IS ill and needs psychiatric help. The GP is not doing his job if he dismisses this issue and I would certainly go elsewhere for a second opinion.

    Paranoia, which isn't uncommon after both head injury and in mental illness, usually responds well to medication. Does he have meds at present ?

    Regards, Cat x

  • Gosh it does sound like an incredibly difficult situation and I can fully understand why it is getting you down and causing huge upset for all. I am more than a bit taken aback at the GP's response that he is not unwell enough to be refered to a psychiatrist! It sounds to me that he certainly does need to be fully assessed by someone. There are lots of potential causes for his paranoia, confusion and behaviour which may or may not be related to his BI when he was 19 yrs old eg depression, dementia, or even an imbalance in his normal bloods levels because not been eating and drinking well etc. I am wondering how he has been in the 40 yrs since the accident and whether this is indeed problems that the accident/BI caused is how he has been since or whether its new and more recent problems. Is there another GP at his surgery who you all may get a better response from to get your brother-in-law more thoroughly checked out. Have his brothers been able to speak to the GP to actually describe, as you have done here, all the symptoms/problems he is presenting. Although the GP cannot give any personal information about him to his relatives because of 'confidentuality' but I think that they should be able to have an apt to explain in detail all the concerns and problems. Or how about writing a letter to the GP or even the Neurologist as even though it is locums they should reveiw or respond. Another possibility is to refer him to Social Services so that they can assess his needs and provide any help he needs to be able to manage a bit better. Also if they experience the difficulties that you have described then they also would be requesting that he be medically assessed.

    Best wishes

  • Thanks guys for your replies. Helpful just to know, people are out there just to talk to. I understand Muddled everything you say. You see, I swing between feeling so sad for my brother in law, - Graham. Its terribly hard for anyone with a BI and I do admire his determination to remain independent despite some other relatives in the family who think he should go into a home/sheltered accom. (he seems happy living in the house on his own) You see, the injury wrecked his life, no chance of marriage, children, just coping day to day is an acheivement for him. So to loose his independance would be taking away what little life he has. The GP's excuse was that many people have degrees of paranoia, but they don't need referring to a phychiatrist. My other brother-in-law Jim, wanted to take it further, get a second opinion/speak to the neurologist, but my husband believes we should go with what the GP says. But its got to the point where my husband and the rest of the family daren't visit him in case he starts shouting and accusing them. WE have looked at the possibility that someone might have broken in, but as there is no sign of forced entry and Graham won't let anyone in (the cleaner/carer left many months ago after he accused her of being after all his money) We changed the locks for him, and only he has a key, not even my husband or Jim has a key.

    Graham says my mother in law collected many Diamonds and Rubies on her annual holidays abroad and they were worth millions of pounds and were in her jewellery box, and I've taken them! In reality my mother-in=law had the

    usual costume jewellery and trinkets which women collect over a lifetime, worth only sentimental value at best. Graham wants to have them all, but

    I know my mother-in-law wanted them to go to her 3 granddaughters. We've so far given in to Graham because he gets so angry about keeping them for himself. We all care about him, but his accusations are tearing the family apart. No one will go near him now. Just before my mother-in-law died, we caught Graham being verbally abusive to her,swearing and telling her she should be in a home, saying that she was p**** pot (she needed the toilet more like many very elderly people) I think she hid alot of his outbursts as she felt she had to look after him. Since her death his mental health has got much worse. People in their small town all look out for him, but if they stop to ask him how he is, he just swears at them. Social Services were informed about him, visited once 3 years ago and haven't been back since or had any contact with us or him. To say they were useless is putting it mildly.

    I really don't know what else to do.

  • Hi Barney,Feel for you in this situation, especially as it's obvious you care for your brother-in law, when his own blood family are losing patience with him. My first thought before reading other replies, was whether or not with the death/grief and loss of financial support from his mother, has caused him so much stress that yes the mental balance (especially with the long-term effects of a BI) has now tipped him over the edge. personality changes can happen to many with BI.

    it sounds like so much has been suppressed for so long and now perhaps it's coming to the fore. If your mother in law was ill before her death, perhaps it dawned on him she would not be around for ever and then thought, oh no what I am going to do?

    Having read other replies, as Cat said, yes he definitely needs proper help and very soon, but not just stuffed up with medications ad infinitum. Does he drink alcohol regularly because if so, that won't help his brain either. I can also relate to the missing (stolen? ) items, I generally know or remember now where I put things, but not always tidily - then if I know someone is going to come and see me, like the social worker, who invariably is coming to translTe a letter I've seen or get me to provide info for a form she needs to complete for me to sign. Days after I'm convinced she's taken the info back with her when she shouldn't, I don't imagine she steals anything but can I find things I've tidied up, no never immediately, just forgot where I put them, look everywhere times over, must even see what I'm looking for but it doesn't always register.

    Sometimes, hours or days later everything is back where it should be cos I've found it all again. If things are genuinely missing do you think graham may have let strangers in the house who have knocked at his door?

    If your husband is set on agreeing with the doctor only, why don't you show him these replies, there are many of us here who can empathise with what Graham and you are going through right now. Also phone Headway helpline,, it's on this website, they do read the posts and I know I and many others have been very appreciative for their advice and support. I do hope you manage to start helping Graham soon.

  • Thanks Sambs and Barny 1 for your replies. Any advice is much appreciated. I must say, I have been touched by the way some people in the small town where Graham lives have tried to help him. He has and still is targeted by those scam junk mail companies (mainly from abroad) who write saying they will send him a million pound + if he sends them an administration fee, or he will be entered into their lottery if he sends money. To someone like him - who has told us frequently he wants to save a million pounds up, its a dream. He started giving them his bank details, and they took D/debits out of his account. Luckily the ladies at the bank which he visits daily went to school with the brothers and went out of their way to block these D/debits when they realised he was being scammed. Graham has a guy at the community office in the town who is a retired volunteer who he goes to for advice on everything from benefits to how he can save pennies on weekly special offers at Morrisons!! This guy- David- seems to have infinate patience with Graham and seems to be one of the few people Graham trusts. Even the local solicitor, another man that grew up with the brothers offered to settle the distribution of the jewellery, proceeds of his mother's car sale with a meeting, without charge. He knows Graham wanted all the money and jewellery, as he had been to his office numerous times telling him so, but managed to persuade him what was fair, and what his mother would have wished.

    I do understand that his accusations and lack of empathy are a symptom of his BI. I've told Mike, my husband this, for him not to take it personally. I always say its not the real Graham talking its his BI. Mike understands but says he finds it hard not to take it personally. He says Graham is repelling everyone (no family members other than Mike will visit him) When my mother in law died I also missed her. She was a strong character, Without realising it I sunk into a depression. When Mike suggested someone needed to help Graham get some financial aid/benefits I saw it as a way of helping me take my mind off my depression, and I felt I was doing it as a kind of thank you to my mother in law for all she had done for Graham and the family.

    Without us realising it, She kept Graham on an even keel mentally. Not living with anyone has meant he's losing his grip on reality.

    I also understand about loosing things. The onset of middle age means I frequently mislay things and can never find them until weeks later - so Sambs I get what your talking about totally!!

  • Hi again Barney, thanks for adding the extra info, makes it sound like I'm a counsellor, I'm not, it's just in the genes to analyse the whys and wherefore of situations, whosever it is, including mine. The scamming or otherwise post comes to Graham concerns me, here in France we all have individual external post boxes fixed securely on the wall or posts in gardens, which have a lockable door with the post slot at top of the door. we don't have letterboxes on our front doors. I'm sure I've seen similar on sale in the UK. a good hardware store or garden centre might sell them there. Our come with 2 keys of the Yale variety, which means extra could be cut if necessary. also one of those signs that say no junk mail might help. I know it's law there that mail has to be delivered by the post office, but someone trusted to have a key might be the answer, possibly on a daily or 2 day basis to have a quick look and give Graham the proper post, discarding the junk before he sees it, with a small bin for the recycled junk mail close at hand, to go straight into.

    I don't want to sound uncharitable or specifically accusatory, but if the person chosen/sent to be the carer was unknown to you all,a dis his most regular visitor, in his vulnerable state, there is the possibility that person is helping themselves to things in the house. It is not unknown for that to have happened. I saw a documentary not so long ago, where the family had a hidden camera put in a bedroom and captured evidence of a regular carer/cleaner - not sure which - taking money from their mothers handbag which was kept in a wardrobe. I know it's also possible Graham is imagining it, but nothing to lose by making sure valuables are securely locked away, and if not, then the hidden camera may be the answer, not necessarily a cctv but there are ways with small videos.

    On the other hand, If it can be proved to Graham that things aren't missing, it would mean less stress for him and you and your husband. If things are being stolen then you have the evidence for going to the police and they would then deal with the culprit. Hope those ideas help.

    Is Graham eating well, because if not, then taking drugs and unbalanced eating regime will make his health and mental state worse. I know, I've been there and slowly getting more normal, back to nearer where I was 18 months ago mentally. I now feel I know who I am, before it was like I was watching me from a distance not knowing what I was doing. I woke up one day and couldn't remember anything, what day it was, what I'd done the day before or where I was. I had to put the television on freesat for it to tell me the day and time. It was very frightening, sometimes I've fallen asleep on the settee and slept for hours, waking up when it was half light but was it morning or evening half light, I really didn't know. I have only just in last 3 or 4 months, started to dream occasionally again at night. So anything you can do to make Graham feel safe and secure again, will be to the benefit of you all - big ask I know, especially if you both still work and if you still have depression.

    After many months of research, for my own health problems, one thing I have found out is that medications can leave toxins in the liver, these toxins are carried by the blood flow to the brain, causing similar symptoms to and effects of brain injury. Check out his meds on the Internet when he gets them. I really hope things start to improve for you all and don't forget we are all here for if you need to offload any time. Shirley xx.

  • this is cruel but you could get him sectioned on the grounds of his mental health.

    one day instead of swearing at them he could become aggressive.

    sorry having a bi myself and my gp describes me as being rude and aggressive i feel terrible typing this

  • Maybe someone HAS been in, maybe it's TRUE? Some people in some families DO steal. And People should be BELIEVED even when it sounds 'impossible'= because stealing DOES happen.

    We with ABI also lose things, can't remember etc., unsure. I KNOW someone moved my loft hatch but my son didn't believe me.

    There are many other odd/nasty things happened, some I AM sure of others (coz of my memory) not sure of but pretty sure, not 100%.

    One day I came back (I think, can't remember now) and STINK = on surfaces, shelves etc. Likesomeone had been in and SPRAYED something. I cleaned up best Icould but some shelves, clothes and bin-bags (not wiped/cleaned) still STINK really bad, YUK, sick smell, chemical.

    And funny smell today as opened door and shower up on thing = I leave it down now coz drips. Pretty sure I left it down but hardly ever 100% about anything now. And THINK someone's painted blue pain on my pic.

    But WHY would anyone DO things like that - oh and take yogurts/socks? Can't be possible can it, now point? I must be a liar, deluded, a nutter then coz I can't prove anything.

    files on my PC were changed, calls/emails intercepted. Emails/letters apparently from a person not using THEIR voice/style. Can't prove it. Probability says 'not true' but sometimes (rarely? how can we know?!) it IS. But we get drugged,punished, told we're WRONG/deluded coz not 'known' or 'common' or 'likely'.

    Nothing is totally secure, locks & passwords won't keep out anyone with expertise who really wants to break in/hack. Some carers DO abuse, attack and steal from vulnerable people, we are targets and sadly we're often not believed same as people (men,women and children) who've been raped/abused.

    I have experienced physical and psychological abuse (and neglect) from many people including being beaten round the head by guardian as a child. The physical abuse is FAR easier to deal with than psychological attack but there are no scars, we're told it's OUR fault, 'can't take a joke', 'too sensitive' and so on. Our experiences belittled and denied and ignored. So in the end we shut up.

    So NO point me going to police or telling anyone about moved hatch or other things coz NOBODY believes me same as after my bungled op = 'doctors/hospitals don't lie' so I've been branded the liar and yes: the branding DOES burn only no physical scars on the outside.

    I've given up trying to tell people what I need coz they all ignore me. That's what happens = we shut up: too exhausted and broken. Silenced. I am. Too late.

    Listen,believe, check if true/possible BEFORE you brand us a liar. Shouldn't be up to US to always have to prove our innocence = too difficult. Supposed to be innocent til proven guilty, actually, but NOT true in mental health and YOU try to prove you're sane = impossible!

    And people lose their liberty for saying/believing things which are 'different', get locked up, drugged and have to FIGHT to get out. By then too late: lost home, possessions... Can NEVER be compensated for those traumas, not EVER, can't be undone or 'healed'.

    Unsure about CCTV though =like all of it good and bad. Depends who's controlling it and purpose, all very tricky but can understand why some families resort to that when loved one being abused. But WHO protects those without friends/families? ALL of us and the state should obey our will = IF we can agree on best interests, which some of us won't, ever, hmm...

  • Hi muddled, gosh that all sounds very tough on you and distressingI understand what you are saying, some of that's happened to me, nothing like as bad or as you are having though. The smells yes, and especially the computer stuff. Have you had anyone in fixing your computer, it's possible they've put a programme in it to have remote access and control There is a real probleme with mine and now am getting sorted with help from an expat forum. No problem with this tablet I'm using now, which is an iPad and Different OS.!

    My probs are on one running on MS. OS, so it could be true and not imagined by you. Sometimes When i was using other one, cursor used to suddenly start moving across screen when typing and sometimes on re-reading would finds words had changed or were missing. I also kept downloaded pdf's of bank statements on it, so financial info available. Now I don't do online banking, very paranoid about security, although I had Rapport security for that. I also had Norton Internet security. The worst of the problems were all during the time I'd been using an expat retired IT, he made a lot of money from me coming here to fix, then not fixed I'd find. I stopped using him May last year, but still probs happened. Too many to list. He took asvantage of my vulnerability, and people do, the French and English!

    With the smells, don't discount the possibility it could be neural damage to the brain cells controlling your sensory perception. But if not and someone is doing something, think about who has a key to your home and may come in when you are not there. can you afford to have the lock changed? Also, don't keep appointments listed on your computer, have a notebook or diary that only you see. It's a question of trying to assess everything and see what you can do by your own actions, to prevent them Happening again. Change your internet router so you have a new password. Use a different computer. I know my suggestions cost money, but if it works, and gives you peace of mind, then it will be money well spent.

    just be careful what confidential information you give out, if you can. if your computer is hacked. The other possibility of course is that that you have unknowingly downloaded something, like a Trojan! Do you have good internet security on the PC? I have been told it's unlikely my phone has been tampered with, I don't get weird phone random calls but as they'd be in French, chances are I wouldn't understand :-)

    You are in good caring company here on Headway, we don't and won't laugh at you, or tell you you are lying. We all have our own demonstrate whatever variety to deal with and the support you get on here is genuine, because we understand what you are going through.

    Take care, eat properly and keep in touch if you need or want to.

  • It sounds like a very difficult situation. I don't suppose you can ever tell how a brain injury you've lived with your whole life will affect you in older age? But without speculating, it sounds like after his mother died he went into a depressed state. Understandably, his whole world has fallen apart and he doesn't know how to cope, having lived in a structured and supportive environment for 40 years. I think it would be wrong to put him in a care home, however, staying at home may serve as a reminder of what he's lost and do him no favours.

    I can't understand why his GP won't refer him for help, does he already take psychoactive drugs? It might be worth considering, they can activate the frontal lobe part of the brain, which is probably impaired in him since he's paranoid and angry.

  • Thanks Barney and the others for your reply. I'm interested in the psychoactive drugs, it might be worth mentioning to the Docs. As you say its very difficult for me, I'm stuck in the middle. Its clear that Graham has an obsession with hoarding finances, he hardly spends a penny. His utility bills are ridiculously low hence Southern Electric contacting us, having listed him as a possible 'vunerable customer' He pays no council tax because of his 'mental impairment' and very little on food, and lives in the house with neither of his brothers asking him to pay anything. He won;t pay TV licence, but I think this is because he doesn't have the capacity to concentrate on TV and doesn't seem to miss it. But his benefits now are generous so he just hoards it all at the bank. We've begged him to keep heating on in winter, but when my husband visits he's sitting in the freezing cold because he says he wants to save money. I'm inclined to agree with Jim, my other brother-in-law that Graham desparately needs psychiatric medical help. But my husband is adamant while Graham is only upsetting family, and not outsiders he should be left to live independantly and thinks he's coping ok. Graham was taken off long term drugs about 2010 because his neurologist said although they were the top drug in the 1970's for his condition, they feared long term use now showed they could be harmful. Now all he's on is vitamin B6 injections. My husband was the brother who stayed every night by Graham's bed for 6 months after the accident until he came out of the coma, he said although not particulary religious he prayed constantly he would pull through. Having said that he is devastated by his brother's accusations and shouting outbursts and the way he shows no feelings for anyone/zero empathy. He's also concerned Jim wants Graham to go into a home/shelter housing so he can sell the house and have his share of the proceeds. He feels he has to protect Graham I think.

    Thanks again, it really helps to get another's perspective on this problem, its good to talk.

  • Unfortunately, lack of empathy/emotional connection towards others is one of the traits of a frontal lobe injury, I know this because I suffer from it myself.

    It could also be a learned behaviour. For example, he may find social encounters to be very difficult because he can't follow conversations properly due to memory problems or that people speak too fast and it confuses him, making him very anxious. Over time, he may have avoided people and become socially isolated and has lost his social graces, causing much misunderstandings and eventually leading to paranoia.

    Try to understand that his lack of feeling isn't something he can control, so don't blame him. It could be related to his brain injury, but he could also be depressed which could also be related to the injury. He needs to see a psychiatrist, if you present your case to the GP as a family, I don't see how he could refuse to refer him, especially since he's used psychoactive medication in the past. If he is found to been depressed, he may be placed onto an SSRI antidepressant, the latest class of antidepressants that have been around since the 80s or 90s. I think it wouldn't be wise to unsettle him, at least until his mental health is more stable.

  • Hi Barneyspal,

    I have to agree with others that your brother in law is suffering and needs help.I am very surprised by the GP's attitude.His condition makes him vulnerable and puts him at risk.Someone should be assessing him and looking at what support he needs at home.

    I have a friend/neighbour who has memory probs and suffers delusions.It has been a struggle but we are slowly getting all the info and help that he has needed for a long time.Please,please stick to your guns and fight his corner-money is tight,the services can appear quite dismissive (we have been asked to cover allsorts of aspects of care but had to decline due to work commitments)and it often seems that they transfer the responsibility to friends/relatives where possible.At the end of the day,there comes a point when it cannot all be dealt with by us and specialist services are needed.As previously mentioned, a different GP often lends a new perspective-our friend is under a new GP and he has been brilliant.

    Hoping you can get the help he needs,

    Kind regards to all, Angela x

  • Hi Barneyspal,

    Many thanks for your post - I'm really sorry to hear of this extremely difficult situation with your brother-in-law. It's certainly not an unfamiliar situation and finding ways to get him the support he clearly needs is difficult.

    The guidance given by our members is excellent and I'm sure this will be a great help. I just wanted to add that you can also contact our helpline on 0808 800 2244 or to talk it through with a member of our team.

    Best wishes,


  • because he was supported by his mum there wasnt a problem someone he trusted and knew would look after him, that safety net has now gone.

    when a person has a brain injury they change.....the person they were has gone and theres a new you, inc mood swings aggression loss of memory to name a few........mum adapted as they always do....what your husband is seeing is how his brother really is!!!

    even 40 years ago if he d been referred to a psychiatrist he would have ended up in psychiatric hospital dribbling.

    i dont know if he s on any medication but a referral to a psychiatrist must be pushed for.

    i had a stroke in 2012 which left me with a frontal lobe brain injury...totally different to the person i was aggressive rude constantly swear only go out with my wife.....great life....but ive got the support of my wife and my local headways group. probably be able to find your local one on this site.

    the problem is because you havent suffered a bi ( and i wouldnt wish it on anyone ) you can never understand why he is the way he is.

    at your local headways group you will find people with bi s but more importantly for you people who support someone with a bi.

    good luck and merry xmas

  • Hi Barneyspal,

    Iv just been reading through your post and the threads and it sounds extremely tough for you and your family. Your brother in law is very ill and needs help with understanding whats happened to him, his personality and everything about him has changed and he's probably a little frightened too. I know I was.

    As Steve has suggested above give your local headway centre a call they will be able to point you in the right direction and help. N

  • Thanks for your posts, Steve55 and Mxman. Its been a while since my original posts. Just to update you. A letter was sent to the GP outlining the family's concerns about 3 months ago. The GP said he was away for a fortnight and then he would personally visit Graham at home and assess him. We haven't heard anything since. As my husband Mike, is snowed under with his job, and Graham seems to be on an even keel (No outbursts) Mike hasn't pushed it.

    The thing is we have long periods where we don't here from Graham and he seems to muddle through, and he never mentions the accusations. The outbursts now only happen when one of the family visits or he speaks to one of us. My husband went to see him because there was a few odd jobs needed doing round the house and Graham was in good spirits and didn't shout or accuse anyone, he was really nice and in a good mood. But we suspect this was was cos he wanted stuff doing round the house!! He's not daft! However bad things are, We always have him over for Christmas dinner, and because he's getting a free meal, and is in our house, not his own home, he's always very jovial, and generally good in a good mood. You wouldn't know there was ever a problem between us. It's like 2 completely different people almost. He's no trouble when he's like that, and its nice to see him enjoying normal family life, we have a laugh and a joke, and even a gossip about what's going on in the town. sadly it never lasts.

    I try to understand how hard it is for Graham. I sometimes get the impression he only has these outbursts when he's frightened of loosing his independence or feels somehow threatened by family members coming into his home and trying to help him. He maybe thinks we are going to put him away, and I understand totally that is his biggest fear, and in that respect my heart breaks for him, because of his BI he's had a Sh** life really.

    Mike doesn't know i write on this forum. He's quite old fashioned. I don't know whether he would approve. I think he prefers to keep what he see's as a family problem private and not let outsiders know our business. But I've found this group a huge support.

    Thanks again and Happy xmas to you all.

  • barneyspal because of our bi we dont know we ve had an outburst, we dont realise we re being aggressive.

    i cry for no reason thats one thing i do know because i feel the tears rolling down my my cheeks and my eyes welling up.your in law on the other hand once he s had his outburst he s forgotten he s had one, also i put things down and forget where ive put them, which is quite possibly whats happened to your in law.

    my wife had a melt down because of my behaviour, Gp referred me to a Psychiatrist who in turn referred me to a Neuro psychiatrist.

    if you are worried about your in law and his mental health issue , you could always make tentative enquiries with social services.

  • Hi Barneyspal,

    Its always tough for family members and loved ones as it was still is for my kids and wife but we've learnt about what Bi is and that helps. My personality is coming back slowly and that is helping every one. This forum has been such a fantastic help for me and I'm sure it is for others too so don't feel you shouldn't talk here if it helps you. Have a great Saturday. XX N

  • Barneyspal-

    Please, please don't cut yourself off because of what other people might think of you, in seeking out support, or contact. There are various services and agencies failing your brother-in-law, and it's not for you to carry that burden of feeling you're not-helping-enough. The medics shouldn't be brushing him off, and adult services in social care really ought to be involved, reading through the impact that the poor mental health related to the brain injury is having on his day-to-day life.

    It sounds very much that your late mother-in-law shielded everyone else from how he wasn't-coping, so he, and the rest of the family are processing a double-loss, the actual loss of your mother-in-law, and the loss of the pretence that he was able to manage.

    I'm brain-injured, so I can superficially empathise with his paranoia, and irrationality, I have frequent flashes of utterly misplaced rage that people at work are trying to trip me up, or my husband is doing things purposefully to annoy me, I've had to teach myself to step back from my first impulse in pretty much everything, which drains me, but lessens the impact on those around me.

    Don't feel that you have to carry this on your own, talk to, or email Headway, they're used to the myriad ridiculous behaviours of brain-injured people, and they know where to signpost for support, for your brother-in-law, and the rest of you.

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