Hello, problem after 2 car accidents (weird question, sorry)

Hello everyone,

I'm new here. I had an accident just over 2 years ago in which the car I was in got hit by another car overtaking in the fast lane of the motorway and the driver fell asleep. I was diagnosed with a head injury (not immediately) but didn't see anyone else as I had a new GP (I'd just moved) and she kept forgetting to send letters off/couldn't work out where to send me etc etc. I had an immediate change in myself when it happened, it was a very bad year (I won't describe it all here, suffice to say that finding this group and Headway's site has provided indescribable relief). 14 months later, I had another accident, a young chap drove into the back of our stationary car at 30 mph. I got very bad after that, not sure my brain problems got worse but I definitely got stressed beyond the point of no return with the car). I then got diagnosed with post concussion syndrome. I'm now with Poole rehabilitation unit and getting a proper diagnosis and lots of help.The problem I want to ask someone for advice about probably sounds really stupid but it's stressing me out so badly.

My partner smokes marijuana and it makes me terrified. I know that sounds quite ridiculous but I can't help it. I have tried to analyse it (which is almost impossible now to be honest) but I think it is to do with loss of control. I feel very vulnerable because my brain no longer works as it did and I can't rely on it to help me when I need it to. I feel that I would like my partner to be able to do that as much as possible and if he is smoking, he can't. He has problems with organisation and memory before he smokes so it really frightens me. He also grew it last year on our balcony, only a couple f little plants but I thought I was going to pass out from the stress. We live in a tiny town where that sort of thing would be on the front page of the paper if someone noticed and I don't know what happened to my coping mechanisms but I just don't have them currently. He has been driving while stoned (I found out by accident) and I feel I will never start to get better (the anxiety part of it in the car) while I have to worry about it; I feel endangered by this (but then again I feel terrible every time I get in the car). He is talking about growing it again this year and I now feel massively anxious again. The trouble is that I've tried to explain it loads of times to him but he tells me I'm being stupid and trying to control him, which I'm worried is how it seems, but this is not at all how it is from my perspective. He point blank refuses to stop. It just makes me feel completely unsafe, unsupported and as if I can't rely on him. I appreciate I am probably really a huge pain now since the accidents happened but I need someone to give me some perspective that I can understand.

Sorry to start here with such a stupid question :(

Thanks for anyone's input,

best wishes


33 Replies

  • Hi Fiona and welcome to the forum.

    No question is ever silly when you have had a brain injury.

    I would say dump him. If he refuses to understand your difficulties and anxiety it really won't help you to make progress when you are so stuck with worrying about his lack of personal responsibility.

    Please download the leaflets from Headway to help you plan your own progress and ring the Headway helpline tomorrow for a chat.

    Apart from post concussion syndrome have you had an actual diagnosis of the affected part(s) of the brain?

    Love n hugs


  • Hello and thank-you so much for taking the time to reply, I hugely appreciate it and am quite overwhelmed that such kind people have bothered to answer me and advise. I haven't had a diagnosis as the CT scan I had was clear and I didn't get sent to the right place; as it's quite late in the day after the accidents, I think that's what's going to happen now. I don't know what's wrong with me other than I am not me anymore and my brain doesn't want to work properly however much I try, or don't try. I'm crossing my fingers that the neurologist in the rehabilitation department will give me some good advice.

    You are completely right I think, in that it is taking such a huge amount of energy to get stressed, I can almost physically feel it making my head worse. The trouble I have now is that things which should be obvious to me, I don't trust my interpretations anymore after a lifetime of being very sure of myself, it's a bit grim. I'm never sure now if I'm over-reacting to stuff, or under-reacting, I feel like I'm guessing all the time. I've just started to have this have this awful gut feeling that if I let this carry on, I will never get the momentum up to start getting better. (Now I'm seeing the occupational therapist I suddenly see that resting my brain is very important whereas I've spent 2 years trying to fight what's happened, with zero success). I will ring Headspace tomorrow, and I can't really explain how grateful I am to you for your reply. Thankyou xx

  • Hi Fiona, welcome to the forum. Non of your concerns or feelings of anxiety or questions are stupid. You have really been through the mill just one car accident is traumatic enough yet alone two. Then add to it the lack of duty of care from your gp it was their responsibility to ensure you had a referral and had full support. I hope you have moved to a different doctors, as sometimes you have to search for the right one.

    All that you have said about your partner and the drugs, questioning if its right and what people might say etc. I think deep down you know the answer to your question. What you have to do is think whats best for you, you have to think whats going to be good or harmful to your health. Only you can really answer that question. But please take comfort in knowing that you will always find everyone on here very supportive to you x


  • Angie thankyou so much for your lovely reply, it was so kind of you to bother. I've been stuck with what to do re GPs..I felt so cut off and basically terrified, it was only after the OT said two weeks ago that my dr had been remiss and I should change, that I realised I should. I was clinging on for dear life as she was my only point of contact (or so I thought) for getting help, so I didn't want to do anything to alienate myself, plus I've found it so difficult to explain how I'm feeling, I couldn't face having to do it again with another stranger and risk maybe someone even worse. I think (now I can see myself writing this) that I've probably been frozen with fear and I just needed the right people around me!. So yes, I am going to change doctor.

    Yes, you are right. I must know deep down what is right in the other situation. My problem has been (well it still is) that I feel so unlike myself that I can't trust my own judgement of situations (or it feels like I can't, it might just be my perception). Reading your reply and the others, has really, really helped, thankyou so much again xx

  • Fiona I totally understand the fact that you clung onto your gp, I did the same even though she wasn't doing anything for me. I felt like I had been thrown into no mans land by consultants and I was just desperate to have any support. If anyone offered me any support I found myself continually thanking them and clinging to them. But then I realised that any action that was being taken was coming from me so I took on everyone. I tried lots of crappy drs and believe I use to work with a lot of drs so I know goods ones can be rare in some areas. But I am now with an amazing surgery that offer support and genuinely care. So go on line research surgeries, ring some up and ask questions, and you'll find the right one. You have taken a huge step by coming on here and telling your story. You will hear from some amazing people who will be more than willing to chat to you.

    Regarding your home situation you say you don't trust your judgement, but your gut feeling is still there if you just listen to it. Please think of your health and welfare, ask yourself the question are you getting support and care. Is this situation having any affect on your condition, then you will know. I write it down if I need to work out a problem or a decision, then its in black and white infront of me, try it.

    I'm always around if you ever need a chat, and I'm glad our messages have helped. We all want support and offer it too xx

    Take care flower x

    Angie :-)

  • Angie you are so lovely (having a bit of a relief weep here). I think my brain is used up, haven't written so much for a year; I will finish my reply tomorrow. A huge, heartfelt thankyou xx

  • Your welcome sweetheart, just remember they're good positive tears. Sleep on it all then wake up tomorrow determined ;-)

  • Hi Fiona I just wanted to check in with you and see how you are doing :-)


  • Fiona, if you could afford to support yourself, would you be prepared to live independently from your boyfriend ? The amount of stress he seems to be causing you could be detrimental to your recovery and, if you're able to live apart, I'm sure your state of mind would improve big time.

    Marijuana seems harmless enough although it's been linked to psychosis, and growing it can be a serious offence depending on the quantity. But if your boyfriend has no regard for the anxiety his behaviour is causing you, then it's only you who can address the issue I'm afraid............because where he's concerned the weed will always come first.

    I hope you'll find a way through (or out of) this problem before long m'love. xx

  • Cat..thankyou. Yes, I would (the problem is I don't have enough money but the worse bit is I don't feel able to live on my own at the moment even if I did have enough money, I don't feel too great. I'm one of the ones that doesn't think smoking is harmless and yes, it comes down to me to do something. I just wanted to check I'm not being an over-reactive nag..but what I've realised between posting my question and replying to the answers, is that it doesn't matter that much if I am because if it's making me feel worse than I already do, I shouldn't be around it. I appreciate you telling it to me straight (and kindly) very much. I'm taking it on board, thankyou again xx

  • Fiona, is there the option of returning to live with parents ? x

  • Hi, I was thinking of that as a temporary measure but stayed here because I was waiting for the referral to the rehabilitation unit to come through, they live a long way away. And my son lives down here; he is at uni but has learning difficulties and emotional issues due to that and he needs a fair bit of support. I think/hope as my support system grows, I will find the tools to rearrange my situation, I'm feeling more hopeful now than I was yesterday that's for sure xx

  • You have many issues to consider so it's understandable that you're stuck for the foreseeable future. I wish you all the very best Fiona in whatever path you choose.

    We're always here ................. xxx

  • Thankyou so very much. Onwards and upwards/sideways/downwards but definitely onwards xx

  • Fiona, your life is difficult enough without the extra stress your partner is putting on you. If he is smoking dope to the extent that he is growing his own, his own brain is going to get fried and he will be no use to you at all. I think you need to leave him, even if it is only until he realises that you are more important than his drugs.

    Now about you - have you had some counselling to come to terms with the awful things that have happened to you? It would probably help your stress enormously if you had someone independent to talk it all over with. Also could you find a yoga or relaxation class? It would be good for you to learn some relaxation strategies for when you are feeling particularly anxious. Have to spoken to the people at Headway, they can help you - they will know the best things for your mental health and can advise you on whether you should ask your gp for referrals to other specialists.

    Lots and lots of luck


  • Jan you are so kind to have taken the time to reply, I so appreciate it. Yes, the answer is coming through loud and clear :) I feel an overwhelming sense of relief. Never in my life did I think I'd be asking other people I don't know to do my thinking for me, sorry. I'm also relieved that my question isn't as stupid as I'd thought it was which makes me feel like I can trust my own reactions more.

    I haven't had counselling yet because the first person I was meant to see wouldn't take me on because I was having these crippling headaches and had to postpone an appointment; he wanted to take me when I was well (which seems a bit nuts now I think about it) and then my GP didn't know where to send me so I've been floundering about a bit. I am starting with the psychologist who is part of the brain rehab team, at the end of April but the thing I want to do most is the peer support group as I feel a bit like an alien these days and need other aliens to talk to :) There is also a meditation group for brain people as part of the rehab..yoga was the core of my life before the accident but my shoulder got mashed up so I've only just started again regularly and you are right, it is the best thing ever :) I have to do a different version now but yoga is always about beginning where you are so it's ok!

    Thankyou so much Jan xx

  • Dear Fiona,

    Perspective: You seem to be wondering whether your reactions are rational or some abnormal reaction due to your accidents. From what you write, I can tell you that your concerns seem fully rational. You have some big challenges from the accidents and all the things that go with pot growing and smoking present some additional threat to your peace-of-mind and well being. Your stress budget is full.

    In support of what Angie noted, I will add this. Your post is very clear. You know the nature and magnitude of the impact that this is having on you. I suspect that you are conflicted because you care for your partner and also fear being alone. Those are real concerns too. If you feel like there is more room for dialogue, get some help in making the situation clear to your partner. If you are sure that that route is closed off, then you need to start making peace within yourself to prepare to act on what you know is the right thing for your recovery and your future. There is no Good Fairy, no reason to expect that an ideal situation will suddenly emerge. Some of our life transitions are just plain hard. But if you fully honor the better future you know you deserve, then the tough times between now and then will be bearable.

    It is great to hear that you are getting the help you need at the rehab center. Build on that momentum!

    All the best,


  • Dear Taia,

    you've summed up exactly how it is, and exactly how it needs to be. A fantastic thing I'm taking away from this is that I feel able to trust my judgement, even if I can't actively feel sure of it. It is good to know I am making sense at least. As for the issue itself, I'm trying to look at it in this way, of putting my recovery at the centre of all. Before my OT started seeing me a fortnight ago, I wasn't able to see that I should even do that, let alone make a start. So asking the question to this (fantastic) forum seems now lie a huge positive step forward. You are right though, I have a problem in that I'm not very well and feel unsafe on my own (currently) as my planning and remembering skills have deserted me but I'm now thinking that that mustn't stop me doing the right thing for myself; maybe help arrives once you make a brave step.

    Can't really thank you enough xx

  • Hi Fiona. Your partner is being very selfish in my opinion. You have a BI through no fault of your own yet he is effectively causing one for himself. He probably thinks the drugs are helping him but actually they are causing him (and you) more problems. And the fact he drives while stoned is incredible. Not only is he endangering his life but also those of other innocent road-users. I know you love him. But I would be asking myself if its really worth carrying on this relationship with someone who cares more about himself.

  • Yes! I totally agree with you! it's really bad and the irony is just too stupid. We just come from very different places it seems, and I associate drugs with bad, out of control things now, and he thinks it's harmless. My situation is so different from his now, I don't think our views on this will ever meet so I'm going to make good use of the fantastic support I've got here and move forward myself. Thankyou so much for bothering to reply, I really appreciate it xx

  • I'm sure I speak for us all when I say you are more than welcome. Take care.

    Lulu x

  • Hi

    BI or no BI it sounds like you need to move away from this relationship. Do you have friends who can help support you through this ? Some other independent counsellor ?

    Looking back ( oh isn't hindsight wonderful!) I can see that I was in an abusive narcissistic relationship and from what you have described I would say it is along the similar lines ( though very different ) - the essence being that HE thinks HE is always right , says that YOU are doing the controlling - when all along we are (were) seeking just to be heard,cared about etc ...

    Can't muster the energy to write more today - but look at what others have already said too ..... you have choices ( difficult I know) , but YOU count and You must look after yourself.

    Take care

    K x

  • Hello and I'm so sorry not to reply sooner, I got really tired but so appreciate your reply. Yes, it's not very good really, when you put it like that. Part (or a lot) of the trouble is this weird thing I now seem to have where I'm not sure of my own responses, even when I'm feeling things quite obviously. I was very on the ball before but can now very easily get caught up in thinking I've got things completely wrong when maybe I haven't at all. I've partly allowed (accidentally) the situation to get so bad because I just don't have the energy or inclination to talk to people much any more and the thought of having to explain to friends seems so overwhelming I haven't been able to face it an have been worried about talking to a counsellor who doesn't understand what's happened to me; I definitely don't feel like I did when I saw a counsellor in the past, plus the talking thing again. Slowly slowly though, and I feel more confident now I'm in the rehab system, and more confident again since confiding my worries on here. So just in myself there has been a change, even if nothing outward can change immediately. I really appreciate you telling it like it is, it's a big help for me xx

  • Hi

    Wonder if you have shared this issue with any close friends?

    Or if you think a break away from him for a few days alone might be possible/give you space to think.....I use a day trip to the seaside for thinking sometimes.

    Also the last counsellor I saw had had some headway training about brain illness/injury. Maybe your local group could suggest someone? It was helpful for me to share with someone who understood the complexities.

    Take care

    Ps...just thought...is there anything like women's resources centre nr you ? They may be helpful too

  • Dump him .... no relationship, let alone one with a BI survivor should be as selfish.

  • He's probably addicted? Did he smoke pre the accident? And where you okay with this at this point?

    I'd be fairly stressed and freaked my self, but equally if he's addicted and you where at least okay before? He may struggle to change assuming he wants to?

    Realationships even with out drugs how ever minor and brain injuries are complicated, have a think about want you want and him, and don't make any rush judgements, I agree with others doesn't sound a great place to be.

  • Hello Roger,

    yes he did and no I wasn't, not at all. The situation was resolved, or so I thought, by him getting a diagnosis of copd (lung disease) at which point he stopped. His father died of the disease last year in the most horrible manner possible but he has started smoking again late last year while I was really ill with severe headaches lasting weeks; I was bed bound and he got started again. There has been an element of lying as well but he convinced me it was because I wasn't laid-back enough about it to be honest about. So I tried to be more laid back but honestly, I can't. After 2 years, I think a shift is just starting to happen where I try and look to the future and accept that I've changed (and will keep changing and may one day change back or even forward into something better than before)..I've spent two years feeling totally in despair for where the old me has gone, and willing it to come back. The shift I've just had (from getting support from a rehab unit and now on here) is something I want to keep going with as I feel there is hope again..so if I've turned into an uptight boring person, well, so be it. That's the new me for now. You're right though, he is totally unwilling to change, and will defend his right to do what he wants vehemently. I don't have the energy to fight it. This has been a very enlightening 48 hours. Thankyou so much for bothering to reply, it's really, really appreciated x

  • Ah nasty old thing, COPD my mother has it, mildly though it will get worse.

    Sounds like he's in denial frankly, clearly smoking is going to kill him, and there is other ways such as eating it in cake, if the hit is important to him.

    Sounds like your both in need of some support to be honest!

  • Ah I'm so sorry about your mother Roger, it really is a horrible illness. Have you heard of oregano oil? if you buy a very pure one and dilute 4 drops (maximum, it's very powerful) in a bowl of steaming water and inhale once or twice a day, it can completely allay symptoms/progression. It's a miracle oil for so many things but particularly for copd. If you want to read more about it, there is a website called earthclinic (won't put the link in case it's not allowed) where lots of people have used it to great effect (look up 'copd' in the index). Your mum may not be into alternative methods but it can remove the need for inhalers etc. My partner, having almost 'cured' himself using it, decided he was well enough to go back to his old ways but your mum probably has a lot more sense :)

    Yup, your advice is great, but I have the issue of feeling extremely scared in a car when someone is stoned, or has been, so eating it may be much better for him but not so much for me. Sadly, he's completely resistant to the idea of counselling for himself (I think it's a cultural thing, he's not British). I'm on the lookout now for myself though. Thanks again :)

  • Hi Fiona, it sounds as though you have managed to sort out your problems well through this forum. If your partner is smoking his weed indoors, you are getting secondary smoke which is not doing your brain any good at all, yet another reason for getting out.

    Do keep on the forum, it's a great place to be and there is lots of sensible advice on here. Let us know how you get on.

    The very, very best of luck for your future - which I hope will be a good one.

    Jan x

  • Thanks so much Jan..no, he wouldn't smoke inside, it really is relatively minor I suppose..just not to me. Yes, this forum is a very wonderful place, I feel like I've got a new home xx

  • No it isn't minor. You should be expecting support from him of all people. Anything that affects your emotional wellbeing after a bi is important.

    Keep us updated with how things are and lots of luck.

    Jan x

  • hello Fiona

    I hope that you are feeling better with all the support from everyone in this forum.

    Life can be difficult at the best of times, even without brain injury. The fact that you are here trying to work through your challenges is really positive.

    I was involved in a road traffic accident Jan 2016. Since then, I have faced some very challenging moments, learnt to rebuild my physical strength up, deal with behaviours of people that can be draining, learning to communicate better and make better choices for me as I now am.

    Some key tips that have helped me to take care of my own wellbeing, which you may find useful are:

    Do more things that you like

    Explore new things that you think you might like, as you now are

    Do visit your local headway group

    Speak to Headway staff to see if they run a support group

    I hear that Nordic walking is really great for the brain and body

    I was given a wonderful tip about creating a vision board to visually represent what you like, want and where you want to go

    Some members at my local Headway group that have inspired me by doing stuff like:

    Joining a local rowing group


    Visiting galleries

    Playing the guitar

    Playing board games

    Best wishes,


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