I am new to this site but am desperate for help/support.
I am looking for support for my partner and I. He ... - Headway
You have definitely come to the right place here, lots of BI survivors, relatives and occasional medical professionals look in.
Use Headway helpline too, I can say they have been a lifeline for many of us.
Others will confirm.
Feel free to offload or ask questions too.
Thank you so much, I try to understand but his behaviour and moods are changeable and I have kids from a previous relationship who struggle too. He is an amazing funny loving person but he doesn’t understand the behaviour of 2 pre teen children. He doesn’t remember his childhood and loses his temper over quite minor things. I know it’s not his fault but I feel like I am constantly explaining things the kids say or do (and they are normal kids... well behaved at school, people tell me that they are polite and work hard etc but when they get home from school tired etc they are sometimes moody and argue with each other like all my friends kids do. I correct them and give consequences when they are rude. They are not perfect kids but I do my best).I don’t claim to be an expert on children but I seek advice on how to solve problems with the kids and try to listen to them and understand them.
My partner will regularly react angrily to things they do, he mishears them and blows up over the slightest thing. He drinks a lot of alcohol and becomes argumentative. I talk to him about the situation when he is calm and sober and try not to overload him with too much at a time. I write things down and try to work out ways of explaining things.
Last night he kept the kids awake until about 2am because he was cross over something he misheard my son say. I was in the room and my son had said something daft... not even a bad thing (he’s nearly 13 and sometimes he does say obnoxious things and I do tell him off but last night he was just being silly and trying to make a joke with my partner.) my partner got cross and started drinking heavily and kept having a go at me. The more he drank, the angrier he got. The only reason he stopped raising his voice and having a go at me was when he was sick (due to the alcohol) and then he fell asleep. This morning my son quietly told me he didn’t sleep because of my partner shouting. I feel awful about the whole situation. This sort of thing happens quite often and I don’t know what to do. My friends and family don’t like him as they have seen how his moods are so changeable. When he is calm he is a lovely person. I try so hard to understand him but feel so alone and can’t talk to anyone about it because nobody understands.
Apologies for the long post, I am at the end of my tether and feel like him and I need some support from someone who understands.
Hi, this is really sad, as somebody else on here has said there is lots of brain injury support on the internet, go on facebook for example and look at the groups section, there are loads of groups for survivers and carers of people with brain injuries. You didn't say what caused his brain injury, that would be useful to know, then we will be more able to support you. If he has epilepsy, you have epilepsy action, encephalitis, the encephalitis society, there are just loads of support groups both on health unlocked and facebook as well as the support groups main websites.
Perhaps you could roughly tell us where you are located, not your address though. To be honest, if you can your partner needs to reduce his alcohol, that will not help at all, it will make things worse, depending on how long he has had the brain injury, the alcohol will stop the brain from healing. If he has epilepsy or has seizures the alcohol will make them worse.
Please feel free to ask questions on here, we will help you as best we can. Good luck and chin up
Welcome to the forum Horsemad - good advice from Shreds - this is a good place to be. Do you feel you could tell us a bit more about what's happening with your partner and you?
The Headway helpline number is 0808 800 2244 for immediate informed support and information (office hours) and there are also local groups you can contact -see the ' find local support' bit at the end of the page -
Hang on in there, we all look out for each other here 🌸x
Thank you so much, I have put a really lengthy (apologies!) part of an explanation above. There is so much stuff. He is a worrier and I am quite laid back. He gets cross easily and struggles to regulate his moods. He is either really really lovely/funny/caring etc (the ‘him’ I fell in love with) or he loses it. Social services have been involved because of things that have happened in the past. I don’t want to give up on him and I try so hard to explain things. He doesn’t have much empathy (not his fault obviously) and says inappropriate things. When he gets cross he shouts and swears and doesn’t care who hears. The next day when he is calm he either doesn’t remember or just says that it’s normal for couples to argue and laughs it off and carry’s on like nothing happens. He occasionally pushes me and has in the past pinned me up against the wall and banged my head. He is trying to understand the kids and apologises afterwards. I have finished things in the past because it’s not fair on the older kids (him and I have a 2 year old together who my partner adores) but he is always so sorry and gets depressed and has ptsd and I end up back with him. He tries to be more patient with the kids for a while but something happens and he is cross again. I just feel numb and don’t know what to do. I know his behaviour is down to his brain injury, he feels cross with himself that he can’t think like he could before his accident. He has depression and anxiety and I feel for him so much, just don’t know how to cope with it anymore. Thank you for listening, it means so much xx
This is pretty bad stuff Horsemad2, I don't like the idea that you and the children are at risk from his temper and drinking. I'm hoping a few others on here with experience will be able to share. I'm afraid it's scary, but if he bangs your head, it puts you at risk of a brain injury as well. Here is somewhere else that will give you support as well
I think Pinkvision is right that drinking and brain injury really don't mix. What caused his brain injury, and how bad was it?
I'm so sorry - I'm not surprised you are at your wits end. a virtual hug from me for now, and for being able to ask on here, and please keep talking 🌸 xx
Thank you so much, I need all the virtual hugs I can get today! He has never been physical with the kids and if they are annoying he tends to take it out on me. He had a nasty car accident about 20 years ago. He almost didn’t survive, lost an eye and spent many many hours having his head stitched together. It’s a miracle he survived and, when I met him, he was living independently in his flat. His parents help him a bit with things but he does amazingly (considering his injuries). Thank you so so so much, I am completely out of my depth and feel like I am going mad trying to cope and keep everyone happy. Just want to cry, he is so lovely sometimes but other times I feel like he hates me. X
I'm so sorry that this is happening to you Horsemad12. I think brain injury or not, this is not your fault, and I am very worried for you staying in this situation where you are at risk from violence. I understand that he is lovely sometimes, and that you love him, but from experience, an abusive man will be lovely at times. But there is a strong risk that abuse will increase,
He obviously had a very traumatic time, and others here will relate to that as well. But I think for you to try and manage the situation and keep everyone happy while staying there is too much. Teenagers are tough at the best of times - but you shouldn't be at risk because of them being normal. Have you anywhere you could go? X
He has his own flat, he is there at the moment being sick. I feel like I am walking on eggshells when he comes over atm. He hasn’t been violent for a while but last night he grabbed my jumper and put his face in my face and spat at me to shut up when I was trying to explain that my son was just trying to have a joke with him. When I tell him to stay away because I can’t take it anymore he cries and tells me it’s not his fault he has a brain injury and makes me feel guilty and I let him back in again because I am stupid. Then he is really nice for a while and the cycle starts again x
Oh no, this is a terrible situation for you to be in, I'm very worried for you. You have done really well to recognise there is a pattern to this, and to ask for help.
Please will you try the Refuge helpline - or use their message service if it's difficult to make a call? here's their phone number 0808 2000 247 and their link
You are totally right to get help. Your partner needs help as well, but please make yourself safe first.
You don't want to be at risk of brain injury yourself (and you also don't want your teenagers to grow up thinking this is all okay.)
There is an organisation for people that abuse their partners called Respect 0808 802 4040
But first will you just do one small thing for me and ring Refuge?
And let me know how you are?
Love and hugs 🙏 x
Booze and brain injury is a cocktail called disaster. Sorry to be blunt. May be a discussion about drinking and anger management would be a good idea especially if children are involved. GP, AA, psychological services will help.
Thank you and I agree. Strangely enough he was the one who told me that he shouldn’t be drinking because alcohol effects him more due to his brain injury. This was a few years ago but since our son has been born he has been drinking more. It’s like he has post natal anxiety or something. The last time he pushed me over (the kids weren’t around fortunately) he pushed me on the floor and stood over me and threatened to stamp on my head. I told him I couldn’t take it anymore and he spoke to his doctor. He told me that the doctor said that he was stressed because of Covid and everyone was feeling the same. He said the doctor couldn’t offer him counselling or any more help. He hasn’t done anything like that since and said he was cutting down on his drinking, this lasted a couple of months but recently he has got the taste for vodka again 🙁 when he drinks he doesn’t make sense and will argue about anything. He says that he had counselling but he doesn’t need anger management as it’s me and the kids who make him angry. When he is cross he says i am mad and am a useless parent and it’s all my fault.
It's definitely not all your fault- please don't believe that x
Thank you, he says really cruel things when he is drunk and angry. Afterwards he says I drove him to say those things because I don’t listen to him (I really do but I also listen to the kids too) I only have a small house and can hear what’s going on. He says that nobody respects him and I should make the kids respect him. I do tell them to be polite but often I will hear them say please/thank you etc and he doesn’t hear it... then he gets cross at me for taking their side when I mention that they were being polite x
It's definitely not your fault. If the GP won't do anything there has to be other options with alcohol abuse. May be there is a local group to contact or a national help line to get started. Does his brain injury service have contact with him? They may be able to help. I think if he is ok behaviour wise without the alcohol then it's the alcohol that's the issue not the brain injury itself. I really wish you well. You are strong and doing the right thing by trying to find help and advice.
Hi Pinkvision, and Horsemad12
The important thing is making that first step to tell someone.
If he could be persuaded to contact these people without risk to Horsemad12 herself, they may be able to help. Family and friends can call the Respect phone line also - it's 0808 802 4040 9 am - 8pm
(Though the first call for a woman being abused should be to 0808 2000 247- the 24 hour National Domestic Abuse helpline - but if you are in an emergency, remember to always ring 999)
Thank you, I had a domestic abuse worker assigned to me in the past following him getting drunk and out of hand. I thought things were improving but it’s so difficult atm. I will talk to him about phoning for advice if I see him tomorrow. When he is calm he is quite open to a conversation about important things, I just have to word it carefully and write down what I am going to say. I am so appreciative for any advice and support given... life is so hard atm. I won’t see him today as he is hungover and needs to sleep a lot. I feel really mean as the house is really peaceful and relaxed (even with 3 kids at home!) today and I am not missing him at all. I know it’s not his fault but it’s just difficult x
I'm glad you are having a lovely peaceful day today Horsemad12. Perhaps you could ring both phone lines and get some support first to help you talk to him?
This is hard, and I can see you are trying to do your best for everyone - but I think it is not just a brain injury that he is dealing with.
If he is depressed and anxious - and a lot of people are at the moment, even without brain injuries, perhaps he needs to go back and talk to his GP about that and the problems he is having with drinking and get his meds adjusted -though he shouldn't be drinking with antidepressants.
If he's drinking very heavily as it sounds, it's not very good for his health generally.
If alcohol lets him hurt you, and he can't stop, he does need help with that - because it is not ok for him to hurt you, or push you, or spit at you. (And it's not good for your children to see this.)
What do you know about his brain injury and what problems it left him with?
Thank you for talking about these difficult things - try and keep in touch and post here, so that other people can give you information about brain injury as well and support you 🌸 x
Thank you, how can he get help from his brain injury service please? His behaviour has become increasingly controlling and angry in the last couple of years. He feels that he is letting his son down because he can’t work and picks at anything to do with his son that he isn’t in control of. He is hard work sober atm but lots worse after a couple of drinks. He did drink before his accident apparently so I think alcohol has always been a bit of an issue. Thanks again for listening x
Hi not sure what your set up is with your brain injury service, you should be able to just phone them and ask to speak to someone. That's how it works in my area. I am registered as a permanent out-patient though and support of a kind is available on request. See if it's the same where you are.
Clearly here is good place! And welcome!
Other options are your local Headway group?
I have just read through your post with my heart in my mouth and feeling sad for you. Your situation seems very difficult at the moment and I would advise you same as the the others to seek some advice/help asap. None of this is your fault❤️
Do you have 3 children? 2 from a previous relationship and one with your current partner? Just reading your post I have to say that I feel immensely sorry for your pre teen children, you say they are good kids and polite etc so it must be so so hard for them to deal with your partners behaviour when he is being abusive and creating a hostile environment (they must think ‘why do we have to be so polite but he can do as he pleases). Please think of your children and the effect that this will have on them long term, they don’t want to see their mum who they will undoubtedly love very much being put through this, even if they don’t see it all they will be very aware of what goes on.
Sending lots of love to you and I hope he can get some help as you clearly love him very much x
Thank you so much for your reply. I totally agree with what you are saying and that’s why I have asked for help. I have made it clear with my partner that if he behaves inappropriately in front of the kids he is not welcome. He waits until they are in bed then he starts. I know that doesn’t make it ok but generally the kids hear nothing. I bite my tongue and speak to him the next day, just have to make sure he speaks quietly... he has been doing this but last night he was louder and more hard work (hence why I have asked for advice). Yes I have 2 older kids from my previous relationship and a toddler with him (a little surprise as I am old and didn’t think I was able to have more children). He doesn’t live with me, we tried but it went horribly wrong, and he goes back to his flat when he needs some space. I always put the kids first and the kids know this, we talk all the time and they try to understand but i feel like I am constantly explaining things to everyone and trying to make the situation better. I am in tears writing this as I feel so guilty about everything. I can make everything ok with the kids as they are amazing and sort of understand his injury but he is always cross or upset about something and it’s always my fault. X
Oh I’m so sorry for you, and your kids do sound amazing and very understanding bless them. I’m glad you have asked for help, that is the first step. This is also a great place with many people on hand to offer advice and kind words.
Do you think he has got worse over the years you have been with him? Alcohol will absolutely be a huge factor in all of this, has he ever sought any help for it? Does he receive much support for his brain injury also?
Unfortunately you can only do so much to help him and it sounds as though he needs professional help. You can be right by his side with all the love and support it sounds as though he gets from you all.
But I would tell him that he has to seek help otherwise you’re not sure you see a future. I would just worry as your children get older and they mature and resemble adults (teenagers look more grown up these days than ever before or maybe I’m just old 😂) that he may become violent with them if they were to talk back to him at some point (all teenagers do and rightly so if he were to speak to them in an unacceptable way, they have a right to stand up for themselves and pull him up on it).
Can you sit down and talk to him and tell him he needs to go to the gp? Xxx
Hello Horsemad12, firstly you have my greatest sympathies and secondly please stop blaming yourself, this situation is definitely not your fault. I hope this does not come across as too harsh but I am pleased that your partner has his own flat and due to the potentially recent difficulties perhaps it might be an idea to suggest a time out to him - a brief period apart of say a week or so so that you can both have time to reassess the situation clearly without interruptions. You stated that he is open to conversation when he has not been drinking so perhaps you could come to an agreement together. Specify to him that this time out does not mean that ultimately you wish to separate from him but just a time to think of the best way forward in the future. Explain to him that his drinking and misinterpretation of the kids jokes has created bigger problems than he may be aware of. Whilst on this subject you could also suggest that he tries not drinking during your week apart as you believe, as do many others, including me, that he should avoid alcohol altogether as it is damaging not helping his recovery. I hope you can both come to a suitable agreement together which will hopefully lead to a better relationship in the future. In closing your partner needs to be aware that it takes a long time to recover from brain injuries. I also know from personal experience that alcohol serves no purpose at all in your recovery and should be avoided at all costs.
Hello Horsemad12, I feel for you my husband is 13months since TBI luckily alcohol not issue, our toddler was 2 and teenager 14 at the time now 3 and 15 but I understand the behavioural issues and how quick it can esculate. My husband was physical the first 3months home even towards postman but this was purely post traumatic amnesia and was difficult to manage keeping safe, but verbal continues which makes this journey difficult but improvement since February as he is gaining more insight and will quietly take himself away which is now progress for his BI Team to now work on, but it still doesn't give me any lea way to cope with what the hell has happened or happening properly.
I haven't friends or family they walked away, so been solo since May 2020, though the support was getting shopping only, I always paid up despite financial hardship that continues. I haven't seen anyone since August or September 2020 apart from professionals even that has been absent until recently as visits stopped during lockdown. Literally like yourself on own trying to manage, but we are seeing progress and I am fortunate he is managing behaviour best he can at this stage.
However, I attend all medical appointments with my husband due to his recovery stage and behaviour can be difficult which majority is still home visits. Have you attended GP appointment with your partner, so they can get bigger picture of the impact its having? I question the GP outcome.
Were still sussing out our new journey so I have no answers; but major issue your end is alcohol that needs to be stamped out, or he does elsewhere not in your family home.
I knew the risks when I brought my husband home last year but still ill prepared what it actually involved and I did refused residential several times, , but despite the difficulties safety was priority and if that short period continued longer, he would not be in our family home, this would of not been in his best interest with recovery not moving forward, or our children's needs.
I hope you speak to your children's school about home so they are supported, despite how they present away from home, and health visitor for toddler. You need to be a protective barrier for your self and children . Your partner is making choices on drinking whilst fully recognising the consequences of his actions you cannot reason with that continuous pattern
Hi Horsemad, I have read through all of this thread. I am a retired RN (MH), violence reduction specialist.
I found that my anxiety increased the more I read.
Brain injury does not excuse your partner's behaviour, drinking does not excuse your partner's behaviour. Saying he does not remember after I find it a bit of a stretch, he may not remember details, but he will remember the jist of what happened.
His behaviour from what I can gather is escalating, the violence towards you is becoming worryingly dangerous. You say that social services are involved. They don't get involved if there is no concern.
You take a lot of the blame on yourself, abuse is definitely not your responsibility. Your responsibility is to your children and yourself.
Every time your partner acts out it damages your children. He may not lay hands on them. But never knowing if an argument is going to break out, is a major stressor, this will have long lasting effects. Your children's view of what is normal is being skewed, and this could influence how they act later in life.
Your eldest son is 13, he is developing, and as he grows he will become stronger, more aware of threats, this might lead to a flash point where being shouted at is no longer as scary as acting to defend himself, his siblings, or you.
Your partner has seen his GP, and reportedly been told that there is nothing that they can do, no referrals to drug and alcohol services, no psychological therapies. The only reason that these would not be offered is if someone refuses to engage.
The level of potential danger to you is growing, and you need to think of this as a mother who still has children to care for. The physical threat may render you unable to forefil that role.
I have avoided the phrase 'domestic violence' but that is what we are looking at. It is something that cannot be resolved within the relationship, however much you love your partner. You can never know what is happening in your partner's thoughts, and you cannot change your partner whatever you do.
You have mentioned that your partner has his own flat. You need to be strong for your family. You need to ensure you and your family are safe.
Your partner has to take responsibility for his behaviour, brain injury, PTSD is not an excuse, and is never a reason to be allowed to act the way your partner does.
You have said that you have separated a few times. Now I would suggest that you separate again, probably not what you want to hear, or do.
You need to set some very strong boundaries. He lives in his own flat. He is not welcome at your home. You will maintain contact, but at the park, the cafe, never the pub. Your partner needs to get help around his drinking, and also about his anger, no excuses!
If your partner does not evidence that he is attending recognised support around his issues, then for the sake of your children you must act in the best interest to care for your children and yourself without your partner.
Ok I introduced myself as a retired RN etc, but I grew up with violence, I couldn't escape, but there came a point when I stood up and defended myself. I was the only one that was targeted, my brother could do no wrong.
But it has left me with a fierce mindset of defending people I care about. Until I was in my mind twenty's, I was that angry young man, when I started to learn about behaviour.
Fast forward, following my brain hiccup, my ex wife was the abuser, financially, emotionally, and psychologically. At first I didn't recognise it, that slow drip drip, and the fact my on brain injury hadn't resolved. But as I did become aware, I said no more, when her behaviour stopped reaping rewards, she left, and eventually filed for divorce, stating my behaviour was unreasonable. The judge saw through her, and refused most of her claims and demands.
I have probably been a bit blunt. I have every sympathy for anyone who has a brain injury and PTSD, but I have worked with so many people, sadly after they have gone too far.
It is a very hard situation you find yourself in, and hard to get out of. The community here are with you, this is a safe place to share anything that worries you, it will never leave this forum.
I really do wish you well, and hope that I have given you something that helps.
As you have found, there is a lot of support for your predicament on here.
Sadly, I must start with a warning. Given how volatile that your partner is then there is a risk that there will be a flashpoint involving yourself, your children or the neighbours calling the Police because of the level of shouting. If the Police arrive on scene and there are children involved there is a duty to report the details to the Children's Service of your local authority.
This would be the point where things can escalate very quickly for yourself. If the Social Worker believes you knew about your partners volatile nature and that you exposed your children to any risk, they may take immediate action and remove the children from the home until they assess the situation fully. It can happen in hours then sadly you have a very difficult and different battle on your hands.
You have two very difficult decisions to make:
Either you tell your partner he can not come inside the house and you meet up some where like a park our somewhere else like a cafe when they open again. However, there is a risk that this will cause and immediate flashpoint or one down the line when alcohol is involved
or the better solution
You Contact Children's services by yourself or via an agency and explain the situation and seek their protection and support. There are many agencies that can support you people have mentioned the National Aid helpline which is very good. If you contact Children's Services then it can be demonstrated that you have done the right thing by identifying the risk and taking action and making contact. This will then prevent any potential action against yourself. Children's services with the Police have the powers to put in various orders to prevent your partner from attending the house or making unsupervised contact with any of your children.
It may sound very drastic but it is the first step to get protection for yourself and children and the help your partner needs. Children's Services will work with Adult Services to get help for your partner. In some Counties, through various initiatives Adult Services have better access to services than his GP.
I worked for many years adjudicating complaints between the Public and the various Social Care departments and have seen how quickly things can escalate and in some cases take 10 years to resolve. When you think of how precious a child's formative years are, that is quite a sizeable proportion of it.
I apologise as I know this has placed and immense burden to make a decision which will not be easy but has to be made, As PairOfBoot and myself have found, delaying can have dire consequences.
Hi horsemad, hope you and the children are ok, I have been in a relationship like yours, my husband was an alcoholic. I think you are using his brain injury not to leave him, I think your partner has enough problems with brain injury without the alcohol, and if he’s not prepared to stop drinking you and your family need to be out of there. I stayed with my husband, he eventually gave up drinking, but then started cheating on me and that was final straw. My children were affected by his drinking, but I didn’t see it at the time, I would have gone earlier if I had, your husband is being mentally abusive when he is drinking and you and your family need to be out of there, I hope I haven’t been too blunt, my daughter says I’ve lost my filter button .
Hi this is my first time on here .. I had a tbi 5 months ago and didn’t recognise the person I had tuned into . Mentally and physically in pieces .. my anger was thought the roof !!! But ... Horsemad12 This is his problem and he needs to change it ... I have been that angry person and still can be but I work hard at fighting it and spoke to GP etc ... Pre my accident I was a complex needs mental health support worker ... very different from this but there is no magic wand ... He has to want to be different and work at it ... take your children and walk away ... loving him won’t cure him it will prolong his issues .... he may turn the corner but only when he sees is himself ....
sorry this may sound tough but I’ve been an abused lady and know the damage it can have on you and your children ... I also know the anger and aggression from tbh and still in it, but He has to fight this not You !!!
This is just a part of your life story not the end ... Change it x
Hi horsemad,so very sad to hear your situation.this group has been my friends/lifeline for five months now.these people have comforted me and given the best advice.I'm begging you to listen to them now..you cannot go on like this,it is time to put your kids and yourself first.please seek help....
Being a caregiver is tough. There may be some local support groups and/or online groups that can help with caregiver issues.
Hi horsemad, hope we haven’t scared you off and that you and your family are all ok, you haven’t replied for a while and we worry for you. Even if your not ready to seek outside help, please be strong with your partner tell him not to come to your house when he is drinking, even though you said children are in bed, I would bet any money they have been awake and lay listening to what’s going on, please let us know you are ok, take very good care of yourself and children, love Alice xx
Hello horsemad, hope you are ok, you’ve been on my mind a lot and hope you and the children are well and safe, please let us know love Alice xx
Well done for sharing your experience and how you feel, that is a good step.
My wife has a brain injury too, and we have kids under 10 also. I can relate to a lot of what you are going through. However the issues you have experienced around physical abuse are very alarming, this is something I can't even imagine.
You must be under alot of stress. Trying to be the main parent whilst under this intense level of stress is not feasible in the long run.
You really need to focus on what the best possible achievable outcome is for you and your kids.
I'm sure you've already weighed it up, but splitting up might be one of the outcomes you should consider. It is something I have considered.
I've basically had to accept that my wife's brain injury has ruined her life, but I will not let it ruin my life or my kids lives. That is something I can prevent.
My wife has her needs met by carers. This is a big help. By law you are in no way obligated to look after him, the local authority must look after him if he requires social care.
Is your partner able to look after himself without help? Can he dress, bathe, use the bathroom, cook, feed himself, stay safe at home, clean his home, go shopping, go out socially, maintain his family relationships and meet his parenting responsibilities?
Feel free to private message me if needed.
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