Family relationships.: Hi this is really hard to... - Headway

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Family relationships.


Hi this is really hard to write about. Im having lots of problems with my three adult children and their partners. There is always some argument going on and usually someone or a few of them not talking yo me and they keep saying its all my fault. I have no filter and even though I try to ve careful in what I say I still cause offence. Its got to the point now where even when Ive not said anything, im being accused of saying something, or they are twisting innocent comments and making them seem nasty. I have no leg to stand on, as they use the fact I have brain injury and memory problems as a way to justify their behaviour. In a weekly basis im told how horrible and nasty I am and its really getting me down. My Neuropsychologist has offered to meet with them to explain how brain injury works and give some tips but they are all refusing saying its just a cop out and a poor excuse. No one else has a problem with me, Im often with my husband or mum when Im later accused of saying something insulting yet strangely neither my mum or husband remember me saying the comment im accused of. Do any of you struggle with relationships? How do you deal with it please? Xx

13 Replies

I do wonder how your relationship with them was before your TBI.

If it was all good, they may be struggling with loosing part of their mother. I think we often react in what is an illogical manner when we through strong emotions into the mix.

I think having someone who is impartial and can explains things may be the best approach, as there's less chance of punches being thrown

I've mentioned before that I've interviewed TBIs with their partner present and whilst exploring symptoms etc, partners would breakdown and often apologies, I've no idea what for though.

Hiya,thankyou for replying to me. Yes I had a good relationship with my children before the bi, the usual stuff but nothing major. It is just one family member that causes it, I have three children 2 sons and a daughter. I have a good relationship with my eldest son and his wife and my daughter still lives at home and we are close, its just my middle son and his fiancee. She causes all the trouble, shes only known me with bi, and we used to get on great, but I got quite sick and unable to help her out as much with babysitting etc and she started causing trouble. She drags the others all into it. Shes refusing to talk to an impartial person saying bi is just an excuse! She mentally runs rings round me. Im exhausted from the battles. Trying to undrstand the new me whilst all this is going on is impossible, they literally live round the corner. Im withdrawing from both of them at the minute, Ive stopped all communication I dont knoe what else to do?

I'm sorry you're having to deal with those kinds of relationship situations. I find I am better able to express my feelings about something if I first write them out. Like what would I like to say to my children or whoever and then write it out. You may not even end up giving it or saying these to the people. However for me it really helped me sort out my feelings I was having about situations etc. Soon after I sustained the brain injury, at work I called my staff in and told them they would probably hear me swearing, getting upset or saying things that normally I would never say. I told them it has nothing to do with what they are doing, not doing , saying or not saying - it is merely my inability to be able to do what I can no longer do and I haven't been able to figure out how to deal with it yet. And to please not to take any of my words or actions personally. That really seemed to help very much. Then after all this I still have to accept the fact that some people, children and family will never understand or accept what has happened and will lash out in the most cruel ways. I find removing myself from those situations as quickly as possible seems to work the best. I look at it this way - since I have no control over how anyone else is going to feel or what they are going to say to me, I have chose how I am going to deal with whatever that is. When they refuse or are unable to accept what has happened it is sad and I have to move on and not let that affect me negatively. Another phrase that seems to work well when they say something that isn't true and I know I don't have the ability to successfully set the record straight - then I just say something like "thanks for letting me know that". And then I move on to something else. Wishing you better times ahead.

Lisa-Marie70 in reply to sca2013

Hi, thankyou for replying and for the great advice. I like that about writing it down, Im going to start doing that. At the moment Ive stopped all communication between my son and his fiancee, its hard and upsetting but I cannot defend myself and Im under constant attack. If it gets resolved I need to put in some boundaries such as not being alone with them so i have a witness to the conversation and also asking that person to step in if the conversation becomes personal or Im oversharing. Its the only way I can see myself being able to have a relationship with them both. Please tell me there are some positives to bi!! Im not seeing them at the minute. That bit about just accepting what they say and moving on is very useful, Im dwelling on it all and feeling guilty all the time, im letting it all be negative. Thankyou for your words of advice, theyve given me things to ponder in and put in place.

sca2013 in reply to Lisa-Marie70

Sounds like some good ideas you have to deal with things now.. Hmm positives about bi. It gets you to realize you can actually survive given the very crappy hand we got dealt. It is miraculous that we can even do what we do. If someone without a brain injury actual had to go through what we do everyday I am convinced they would probably kill themselves because they are not anywhere close to the warriors we have become. And we meet others going through this, that we would never have met before, that help us cope with life in ways we never thought were possible.

I've certainly lost friends but the ones which I trust are really nice people, however none of them truly understand.

I've eventually decided that's probably an unobtainable goal, so your children can't have any idea what's actually going on.

I was lucky as my daughter was very young and grew up forgetting her old dad and only knowing me but she also had explanations about my less than perfect behavior. Now if she sees me beginning to wilt she'll make sure I stop and don't become Mr. Grumpy!

Reasonableness is a two way street.

Hi thanks for replying, lost my old friends but they were from work so when that stopped so did they but like you I have goid friends now who bless them try to understand but I dont understand my brain and new me so how I expect anyone else to is beyond me!

Im a usually happy positive person, the bi hasn't affected that part of me, i just dont have a filter and literally the mouth engages before the brain so I can be tactless and impulsive. I need to learn how to stop doing that and think before I speak but my brains like a naughty three year old, it listens to no one and does what it wants to! Xx

Hi all, thankyou for replying and your honesty and advice its clear that bi has an affect on relationships, Again I felt like I was the only one suffering from this. I had a good relationship with my children beforehand, I was always a very capable and strong person, resilient, and sorted problems out, since the bi they dont seem to like the new me. I look the same, Ive tried saying to them " if i say something you dont like or harsh just say, mum that came out a bit harsh, was that what you meant? What are you trying to say? But they wont. It all comes from one person second sons fiancee. Shes only known me with bi as theyve only been together three years but she runs rings round me! In my old life it wouldnt have happened or I would have sorted it out face to face but Ive tried this way and I thought I was apologising for any confusion and wanting to sort it and she left here happy and smiling but less than a minute later got to her house and was crying to my son saying I had been nasty and insulting.

I love my children dearly, my daughter is only 21 and still lives at home, I have two sons both with families. I just dont seem to be able to communicate with my sons fiancee which is so frustrating as up until December we have had a great relationship and with her now saying she believes bi is just a cop out how can I reasonably deal with this problem? Shes not willing to speak to the neuro psychologist either. I just dont want to lose my son and grandaughter but thats what's happening. Apart from this relationship problem every other person in my life is loving and supportive and understanding. Xx

It seems to me that dynamic could happen without a TBI and she's using it as the cop out. I'm fortunate my daughter is of a poor opinion regarding the young men at Uni, not helped by her doing a 'Man's course', Robotics, I think her disdain scares them.

However if she made a bad choice, I'd certainly not criticise him but make sure my relationship with her stayed strong and expect her to deal with him (God help him!!).

I definitely agree, the tub is jyst an excuse for them, they use it as a weapon. Your daughter sounds amazing! My daughter also leads in a man's job, she's only 21 and the assistant manager in a plumbing and heating company and drives a forklift! The only female in the company apart from head office! We obviously raised strong independent women. I wish your daughter all the luck in the world. Xx

I realised how easy it is to manipulate someone who has BI. My partner ex took advantage because he could not hold all the information of what was happening over time, of what was said and what was going on. He did write things down but only what she told him. This meant he did not have the full picture of how he was being taken advantage of. His teenage daughter can also occasional pull a fast one say she was given permission to go out when I know she did ask. I told the kids not to pull a fast one as I don't have BI and I will ground them.

Your idea of having someone you trust around is a great good one. I'm around for my partner no one take advantage now. Your husband and mum are there to support you with just the basic facts so you can decide what you want to do. It sounds as if you know who is the problem and you'v got a way to deal with the situation. Thankfully your not on your own dealing with this.

Hiya thank you for replying, and sharing your story, I'm sorry to hear you've all had similar issues, it seems there are a small proportion of people out there who will manipulate vulnerable people, thankfully they are a minority but not much fun when they are in our family. Like you protecting your hubby, mine and my other two children and mum are doing the same to me, it's good we have support, I feel useless going into battle with the others, I can't win they run rings round me, I expect that's the same as your hubby? Thank goodness he has you to stop it. I feel sorry for people who don't have anyone good on their side, I cannot imagine what that must be like.

I hope things carry on improving for you all, mines going to take time I think....... it's still in the angry stage on their side, I'm just taking time out. Xx

Since my BI 2 years ago one of my big issues is over thinking & it goes on &on playing in my head like a stuck record (4 those of you who are old enough to know what a record is lol). If this is how you are & your son's fiancee's words of your bi is just cop out keep playing over & over leaving you feel fatigued I totally understand. Only someone without a BI could say something that low, let's hope they never know what challenges we are faced with daily. Not knowing who you are & having to learn all over again is not someone trying to 'cop out'. BI Survivors are trying to regain what has been lost from an injury that should have killed them. I think maybe your son should be the one you should talk to, then maybe can educate his fiancee. You don't need her playing in your head

Take care & stay strong

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