Does head injury as a child change how you grow up?

I attend a BI group and there is one man who goes there who (trying not to sound mean) doesn't fit in. He is over friendly and always negative about things. He had his head injury when he was a child around 5 years old I think. Everyone has welcomed him and supported him. With me he has been over friendly he is old enough to be my dad but he has made it clear he likes me a lot as in would like to be more than just friends. I have told him I have got a boy friend to try and make him see me more as a friend but honestly he is still over friendly. Cuddling me holding my hand kissing me. Generally wanting my attention by being childish, sticking his tongue out, tapping me and moving away as if it wasn't him and putting his arm round me in hope I'll do the same. I have been ignoring this behaviour. He has text me saying how much my friendship means to him and he has done some silly things in past meaning suicide attempts and wanting to meet up. I have avoided meeting him outside the group as I don't want him to get any ideas that I want to be in a relationship with him.

Yesterday the woman who runs group asked me if this man had been texting me. She said he has been texting other women in the group wanting to meet them too. I'm assuming it's all in friendly way as he is lonely and I know it's not nice feeling you have no one, but he seems to be so desperate to be with people he's pushing them away. Also the woman said she isn't sure if this man fits in the group with having BI as a child cos no way of knowing if it has changed who he is. I think she's saying this more as I think he makes others uncomfortable and he just ignores what people say. Like I would love to meet people who go there away from the group as friends but I wouldn't be comfortable meeting this man away from the group.

19 Replies

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  • You are probably very wise to keep your distance. You don't want him reading things into a situation that aren't there. He could be very hurt as he sounds very vulnerable and it would be very difficult for you and the rest of the group if there was a misunderstanding. Maybe the women who runs the group needs to have a quiet word with him.

  • Yea I think she's going to next week and get him to delete everyone's numbers from his phone. It is harder as he is vulnerable and just wants to be with people and have people there for him. But he goes about it in wrong way. I am going to tell the woman anything he does or says to me that I'm not comfortable with now as it seems everyone feels same way about him. I think it's just his personality and attitude that's the problem not something he's likely going to be able to change.

  • Youve obviously encouraged this guy by giving him your number.

    Youre going to have to tell him you dont fancy him, youre not interested in him and you dont want him to text you.

    Block his number

  • I have told him I'm not interested in being in relationship with him and I only gave him my number to be friends. Giving someone your number does not mean you want to be in relationship with them. Ok sometimes it mite but not often. Also ok yea I did give him my number but others in the group haven't who he has been texting. The woman who runs group has everyone's number and added everyone to a group chat on what's app so that is how he's got other numbers. He has now been removed from the groups.

  • I say this cos i made the mistake a few yrs ago by giving this lass from my group my number.

    She was ringing all the time and i had to get someone in authority to tell her to stop and if i got a text or call then i had to ignore it as the lass would be encouraged if i did react.

    It stopped overnight

  • Yea I'm just going to ignore him if he texts any more now. Feel horrible cos I know it's not nice being ignored and left out but can't help how you feel. Now I know others feel same as I do about this man I feel better. Would be so much easier if he was nasty to people least then it would be easier to say how we feel to him.

  • I can't honestly say I know whether having a BI as a child affects how you grow up. But my feeling is that its more than likely. Even if you aren't affected by the BI itself then the whole experience of getting and recovering from a BI can be traumatic in itself. I got my BI when I was 14 and feel it has certainly affected my attitude and personality. It sounds like this man is very lonely and is clinging to those he gets to know through the group. My personal opinion is that it would be a shame to expel him from the group. But he needs to know there are boundaries he mustn't cross and it is for the group leader to make that point. Maybe he/she could also point him towards other activities that might help him etc so that your BI group isn't the sole sociable event in his calendar.

  • I agree he is lonely and that is the main problem but it is how he's dealing with that which is putting people or me off him. I do have sympathy for him as I feel I'm a lot like him as in the group really is most of what I do in a week. I want to see people more and hopefully meet a partner. But I don't push myself onto people like he is. I'm more talk with them and see if it seems right time to ask to meet up outside the group. There are a few men there that I am attracted to but no one there knows as I treat everyone the same friendly towards them as mates.

    Also I'm not sure what things they could get the man doing so the group isn't the only thing in his life as I would like to do something else too but don't know what. Mite talk to the 2 who run group next week see if they can think of anything.

  • It 100% affects how you grow up. It affects all of your perceptions and all of your learning. All the behavioural, interpersonal stuff 'normals' learn as kids is missed. Interpreting situations becomes almost impossible because you never learnt how to do that in the first place.

    That doesn't make dealing with him easy, nor should it make it your burden to bear though...hopefully you can find a solution that suits everyone!

  • Its a tough problem, for sure. And I'm sure those who run the group don't want to lose members because they are put off by this man. So hope they come up with something. Best of luck.

  • Just reading through this post and was thinking as its a group bi gathering would it not be an idea to get the group to speak about it with this chap well at least the girl who runs it. If he's being clingy to all the girls in the group and not the men surely thats a sign that its an attraction issue and not a lonely issue otherwise he would be clingy to the men too.

  • Yea good point it is more him wanting to be in relationship rather than be friends. He does say he's happy being just friends but his actions indicate he wants more than friends. I have been thinking about other week the man who runs group was saying there's nothing stopping us meeting each other (us who attend there) meeting up outside the group meaning as mates and I'm wondering if this man took this wrong way or is wanting to meet people cos of what was said. I think he would see it as just friends but for it to have been mentioned others must be uncomfortable with how he is as well.

  • My hunch is it's less when he had the injury more what congtivily has been damaged, understanding people is a complex skill and you can loose it, mine I'd say has been mildly impaired.

    I can see that if you have a injury and don't get a to experience child/teen/adult interacting with others, that is going to alter ones interactions with folks, and jokes/flirting is I find the most difficult, I often look strangely at my wife/work colleagues/etc when they joke, or flirt.

    This all said, this guy's behaviour isn't acceptable and frankly is sexual harassment and will soon or later (or possibly has) end up hurting others and also is going to end up with police contact unless he can learn to understand, sounds like some input from neuropsychology would be the thing?

  • Yea sounds like it is bothering others. Makes it harder cos he is so friendly so does make you wonder if it's just you being bothered too easily. Now I know others feel the same as I do I will mention anything I'm not comfortable with to the woman who asked if he'd been texting me. He has text me today asking how I am but I'm not replying. Only replied before so it wasn't awkward when we meet at the group. Now I know others feel same it will be better.

  • I think its essential you and the others are honest with him, gentle but honest.

  • The woman is going to have a word with him probably next week. There is another man who attends who said this man has started texting his gf being over friendly so the woman is going to have to say something to him. Also I felt horrible having to say this but yesterday the woman who runs group told everyone that one of women wasn't there as her partner had died. This man was there so is aware. He has mentioned to me before he has feelings for the woman who has lost her partner. He told me a while back when her partner was alive. I have told the woman who runs group to keep an eye on how he is towards the woman as I think he may try to come onto her. I have no idea if he will but he does come across as over friendly and obviously the woman won't be interested in anyone else til she comes to terms with her loss.

  • It's very difficult. As Roger said I think you have to be honest with him. I was 11 when I had my injury and although I remember having some friends pre-injury I've never really understood friendships. I have lucked into a few but that's about it. I'm even married to one of them now!

    I wish it was normal to come to explicit understandings with people...like erm, are we friends now? It sounds ridiculous and infantile but I just do not get interpersonal dynamics at all and it seems like this is also the case with this guy - again what Roger said about this makes perfect sense.

    The guy clearly doesn't perceive the boundaries, helping him to understand what they are will be doing him a huge service. Plus the other stuff people have said 👍

    Edit for clarity: boundaries is more than just we're friends, it's also as a rule of thumb the following behaviour is appropriate between friends...the following behaviour could be misinterpreted if you're dealing with a friend of the opposite sex, etc...

  • Yea I agree he doesn't seem to know the differences between friends and relationships. He has asked me if he can hold my hand before and kissed me on lips in friendly way. It is hard as it's a case of what people are comfortable with. Like in the group everyone is friendly and open with each other and occasionally do hug in friendly way. I have been comfortable with everyone except this man cuddling me purely cos I know this guy has feelings for me and I don't for him.

  • Well update this guy hasn't been to the group this week and not spoke to woman who runs group about him. I am wondering if they have stopped him attending after what I told woman about him having feelings for woman who lost her partner other week. I've spoke to a woman who has not been for a few week and she has admitted she has not been cos of how this guy makes her feel uncomfortable. I have encouraged her to tell the woman who runs group how she feels. It's becoming more obvious that if he is still going to be attending they need to have a word with him and tell him how to not behave with people.

    I know how it feels to feel left out and not wanted, but with how many feel same way about this guy proves it's not just someone being over sensitive. Well next week is a day out which I'm not sure if this guy will be on so could be week after before we see him.

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