What about the rages after a traumatic brain injury? What does a family do when the husband/father comes back from the war with this anger that is similar to “The Hulk”? How do they stay together? How do the children know it's not okay to “do what dad does” when they are feeling mad?
Anger is the fear in our home. The rages that last all day, the moods that make me out to be the one that has ruined anything and everything in life. What do you do?
My husband was such a wonderful, caring man. I fell for him because of the sweet and caring things he did for me. We were best friends for years before we got together, but now, I have no idea who he is. I miss him terribly, and just want him back ....
I am so in love with him, yet am so very afraid.
Quick and rapid changes in emotion — often referred to by psychologists as “emotional lability” — are common after a person has experienced a traumatic brain injury. Changes in brain functioning can result in difficulty with controlling the frequency or intensity of negative emotions such as anger or rage. Often, this consequence of brain injury is equally disturbing for the TBI survivor and their family members.
Many parts of emotional healing after TBI involve making changes toward acceptance of new ways of life for the whole family. While managing intense emotions may continue to be a long-term challenge for your husband, there are behavioral strategies he can use to put a tighter reign on his outbursts. Likewise, there are strategies that you and your children can use when your husband’s new post-brain injury temper flares up. Because every family, survivor, and brain injury is different, the best way to learn which strategies will work for you and your family is for the whole family to begin participation in family counseling.
The most important part of selecting a counselor or counseling program is finding someone who is familiar with traumatic brain injury specifically. Some of the approaches suggested in typical “anger management” programs may not work after brain injury and, in fact, may have the potential to make things worse. Through counseling, a therapist will help your family to:
- identify what everyone is doing now that may be contributing to the problem behaviors;
- learn new strategies that can be used when your husband experiences volatile emotions; and,
- practice those strategies over and over again until they become a part of your family’s daily life.
Also, a family therapist may either work with your children separately or suggest a child therapist to work with them. Your children can work in counseling to learn how to handle anger appropriately, despite what “dad does.” They can also learn from a therapist that it is brain injury and not their behavior that causes their father’s mood swings.
Finally, your family needs to have a safety plan in place. Your husband handles anger in a very different way now than he did before his injury. Relying on his love for you and your children or on his good sense and judgment when it comes to managing his anger outbursts is no longer a sufficient plan. A safety plan will give everyone an option if his behaviors were to get ‘out of control.’ Identify a place where you and your children could go temporarily if your husband’s behavior became dangerous. Additionally, during a non-crisis time and at a non-accessible location (library computer, friend’s home, etc.), look up information on how to construct a comprehensive plan for the safety of your family. Finally, you must be willing and able to call 911 for help if your husband’s anger becomes dangerously explosive. Hopefully, you will never need to use these safety resources. However, it is much better to have the information and not need it than to need the information and not know what to do!
About the author: Emilie Godwin, PhD
Emilie Godwin, PhD, LPC, MFT is a faculty member and licensed clinician at Virginia Commonwealth University, with a specialty focus on couples and family counseling after brain injury. Currently, she serves as the Family Support Program Coordinator for the VCU TBI Model System projects.
Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
I suffered a Severe TBI in 2009 after being shot in the back of my head... Half of my cerebellum was removed and I have a VP Shunt installed to drain my CSF because my third ventricle doesn't work.
Anyways, I have gone through cognitive, occupational, and physical therapy over the first 5 years and worked soooo hard to try reorient myself with myself.
The fear, frustration and pain lives in me everyday.
I want to be able to say that "I chose to feel that way" and not just be a slave to my "instability."
I started putting myself out there in the dating world maybe 5 years post tbi because I realized that a fulfilling life had to involve me connecting with others on a spiritual/emotional level.
I am in no way religious (despite being raised in a Christian home/ going 12 in a Catholic school,) though. I am very very spiritual, however.
After asking "god", the universe, spirit, whatever to help me "live," a girl named Sam reached out to me.
We first met online in 2015 and at that time, I was living in a dorm at Uni. I was in the mindset of getting romantic/sexual experience under my belt because I was embarrassed how my sexual endurance was affected... being in my mid 20's, sex seemed to be what I prioritized as whats important in a relationship.
When Sam and I were first talking, I sensed that she wanted a relationship and I recognized that I wasn't where I needed to be to satisfy her (physically and emotionally.)
I lived life on the surface; very superficially.
I was so confident when she first met me but I turned her away.
Shortly after, she entered a relationship and ended up not hearing from her until 2020.
By then, I burned out and dropped out of college 14 credits from getting my Bachelors in Communications.
I regressed and when I reconnected with Sam in 2020, it was immediately after I asked the universe to help me "feel."
I was tired of living a partially fulfilling life and then Sam reach out to say hi.
I took that as a sign because she was soo cute and bubbly and innocent.
She reminded me of the pure-side of myself that I wished to embrace.
She was very empathic and in tune with her emotions.
My outbursts, jealousy, anger and my inability to perform basic bf duties led to us breaking up and her blocking me/ changing her number.
I felt horrible and shamed myself for 6 months while asking the universe to help me learn how to regulate my emotions.
Then Kaity reached out to me.
She is a single mother of 1, very spiritual, a Reiki master and a self proclaimed medium/psychic.
Id have to say, receiving Reiki was a game changer for me.
After trying multiple medications, life style changes, my headaches have been constant and oftentimes unbearable.
Kaity performed Reiki on me regularly and I experienced immediate comfort. Less attention on my physical discomfort allowed me to focus on my negative behavior.
I got on antidepressants (again) and an anti anxiety med and found a therapist to talk these things/ new realizations out.
Therapists seem to have a difficult time focusing on anything but my tbi but since I'm clear enough to keep track of my goal (to regulate my emotions,) I appreciate therapy more than I ever had before.
I write my thoughts in a journal everyday.
I am hoping to find a therapist who specializes in tbi annnnd takes my health insurance.
We agreeded to take a break in order for both of us to get our ducks in a row. I had an episode in front of her kid (3 years old) and fear that he will immitate me since I am his favorite person.
I am so grateful to have met Kaity because she is the support system I need.
I just need to explain that to the "other me;) the one who lives in survival mode and blames anybody near him/me.
I am determined to heal but this is the most difficult thing I have ever had to do.
I actually burning out writing this and wish I could write in more depth.
Thanks for listening/reading/letting me vent.
Yori replied on Permalink
My husband has TBI 3 years ago and he has changed, he could not control his anger and outburst. He would cry and would ask me to help him because he said he just could not control his anger reaction. He is an economist but quit his job this year, he could no longer do his job and could not take the pressure of his job. The chaos in the city gives him triggers.He stopped seeing his psychologist after few months. I am always worried when I am at work and he is by himself, afraid that he might get into an altercation with others which had happened before. I do not know what to do anymore.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
Thank you... great advice, wish I had it when my kids were still growing...
Pretty sure my husband has CTE... it’s the craziest thing on earth to live with... he was a pro boxer when I met him...it’s only because of Gods Grace that we are still together... please let me know if I can help in anyway...
A replied on Permalink
I separated from my husband of 17 years after trying EVERYTHING - reasoning, couples counseling, compromising and letting myself be devalued, scared and anxious all the time.
I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t make a break until his anger got physical. Even then, I had hope that I could hold my family together even though we were all miserable.
Eighteen months later, my children and I are so much happier and lighter and healing a bit every day. I stumbled across an article on narcissist personalities and the parallels to what we have experienced with my ex is eerily similar. Seeing that others had recovered from relationships with that personality type and that we weren’t to blame has been so helpful.
My ex has insisted on fighting the separation in court and all judgements have gone my way. I’ve been awarded sole custody and his visitation is severely limited. Despite multiple judgements he still firmly believes that he is victim and we are mean to him. I’m more sure than ever that his perspective and behavior was never going to change.
Best of luck to anyone on this path because the hardest part is that no one seems to understand. But stay strong! Better times and peace can be ahead.
Rose replied on Permalink
Going through something similar feels okay now that I see many deal with this
Rebecca replied on Permalink
My Husband has TBI He is a total different person he was a very quit private guy now he’s loud and want to be very social and talk about a lot of unrealistic thing he wants to do and obese with finance ever thing he was before he’s total opposite now and I can’t find any information on this please help
HOLLY replied on Permalink
Hello, My husband sustained at PTI the 6th of August, in a tragic automobile vs pedestrian (he was the pedestrian), accident.
I am wondering if anyone can tell me what to expect or kind of know to look for, changes in his personality? Are the stories I hear about the anger outbursts true?
Im sorry for throwing so many questions at you, but, I am only 10 days into this nightmare.
Ellie replied on Permalink
This is a second marriage for both of us, we were in our 50s. 6 months into the marriage MoH had a massive stroke, and wasn't expected to survive. He did, it was a long recovery and physically he is not in bad shape. But mentally? The sarcasm, the sniping, everything is my fault, always. Some days I can't say, "It's a nice day" without getting an argument from him. He does nothing around the house, not even making a cup of coffee. I do the laundry, the shopping, the cleaning, cooking, and gardening, you name it. He doesn't work anymore, so I keep us both. He takes no part in the admin of family life, I do all that. But worse than all that, he spends $1000 on scam sex chat sites, trying to meet young women for sex, even inviting them back to our marital bed!. Heck, he's 63 and looks terrible, there is a lack of realism that I find hard to cope with. He says he will stop, and does for a couple of months, then it all starts again. Meanwhile I walk on eggshells, filtering every comment, to try to avert another argument. I can't leave, at my age, the future would be very bleak indeed.
Sept4 replied on Permalink
I am feeling very Similar... The unpredictability and scared feelings for many unusual "normalcy" but for it's getting progressively worse in rational, or empathy almost think there's something that needs addressing.
Again no one wants to believe the things that he has done that make me feel deep inside he can't help it ..but at what cost do I keep loosing my 12 yr old. my other daughter, whom has been threw quite enough for her age. I held on, for the fact Janessa would be born and didn't think after leaving him. He would go to any extream. To corner me into staying with him. He has made me so isolated and uses his disability when it fits for his advantage. I've told him we need to co-parent & be civil for our daughter let alone an almost 2 yr old.
I'm fed up and tryed to suggest a cognitive test. He has had 6seizures and most were hidden due to his parents want him to drive. I do too, but somthing makes my instinct say I need to know how to help but in a healthy way of options I have none left.
I have the baby full-time and even set it up so he could be at my home twice a week to care for her. . things didn't go as I hoped. I felt that he wasn't parenting or really spending time with our baby.
I had cameras to view from my place of work. He was aware and there not hidden!
Fast Forward since I was ordered to let the baby go with him accompanied by one of his parents. Even that failed. in less than 60 days our daughter has returned twice with laserations on her head. Aug 15 and today he "says she fell off her toddler bed". .. the prob. Is today it was the same story. What makes me worried is how big it was and how his story seems not to fit. His mother even seemed reserved. Only to protect her son or cover up the truth. I'm so Torn on how to make sense of this progressive behaviour with our baby and protection for my other daughter. Almost scary enough no one should live like this for anyone involved. He has had reconstructive brain surgery and TBI in 2013. Our daughter was 5 weeks early, due to that 1 year later we end up in Boston children's for 18 days she almost died in dads care. The court ordered me to let him have his time. I'm scared the way things change with TBI. I'm realizing there's no stability and in this case many things you wrote really set home
I noticed l, Every 3 months it seems to cycle.
common in TBI and there different outbursts and hurtful actions . On. Repeat and he doesn't see his repetitive actions as any real"issue.
Courtney replied on Permalink
My 40yr old husband has had multiple concussions with high school/ college football, several bad car accidents and work injuries to the head. We have seen a slow decline in areas over the past several years, but as of recent we are seeing a quicker decline with Loss of words, not know what day it is. Remembering things that have not happened. Gait is off at times. Vision is becoming affected. He does random things that does not make sense then the next day has no memory of doing what he did, his mood swings are becoming an issue. We have an appt with a Primary Dr next week... but this all sounds so unbelievable for a 40 yr old I do not know how to describe all this to a Doctor and be taken serious. Any suggestions as to what is happening or how I should handle I would appreciate the feedback.
Cash replied on Permalink
Sounds like my husband I’m who is 40 he had a brain Aneurysm and a motorcycle accident. It sounds like your husband needs to go see a neurologist more than a general doctor
Rachael replied on Permalink
My husband had brain surgery one year ago, just 4 months after our son was born. :( His frontal lobe tumour was operable and not cancerous but the surgery to remove it changed him from a sweet and gentle person to a man who angers very easily and blames me for any and all challenges we facing as a family. There has been zero intimacy, emotional or financial support from him for over a year. I can’t stand that he angers so easily in front of our now 18 month old, sweet natured little boy. I do not feel equipped to handle this new life. I feel so alone, and his family is in complete denial of his personality change, so they are of absolutely no help. I want to separate from my husband and feel very guilty about it, but at this point I am feeling completely overwhelmed and suffocated by my new life. I suffer from Postpartum Anxiety and have since our son was born. My husbands rage triggers my anxiety. I feel so badly for our sweet little boy, being that he’s stuck in the middle of all of this. Every time my husband starts an argument- which is daily - I just keep saying to myself “I want out of this relationship so so so so badly “. :(
Jackie replied on Permalink
Hello, I’m just wondering what you decided to do? This is my husbands second TBI in 5 years but this one is the worst. Skull fracture, brain bleed and a fistula. Drs were very surprised he was not in a coma or paralyzed. He was hospitalized on 2/20/20 for 10 days then released himself AMA. Since getting out of the hospital his rage has been crazy. Had to call the police (which did nothing, only angered him more) I had to leave the house for a week with our 4 young children because he was so verbally abusive and starting to get physical. I wasn’t going to put myself in that position. I’ve been home with the girls for the past 4 days and he is not as bad but still just mean. I can’t do anything right, he yells at me for everything and he also yells at my kids and talks to them like he’s talking to his grown friends. Our kids are 10,6,3 and 2. Before the injury we were rocky and on the verge of divorce. I’m at a moral dilemma to stay or go. I don’t want to live this life.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
Get away from him.
Ellie replied on Permalink
Rachel, he will not get better, and maybe will get worse. You need to protect your sanity and the sanity and wellbeing of your new baby. Leave.
Kassh Montague replied on Permalink
I am a 30 yr old woman, who has only been married for 4 1/2 months. 2 months to the date after I got married, my husband was in a bad car accident, and now suffers from TBI. I love this person with everything in me, and now he is a complete monster toward me. He is never physical, but what it does to me mentally and emotionally is the problem. His words and tone is now very angry. Everything I do or say is a problem. He is just MAD all the time. I still try and do my part as a wife, because I know that he don’t mean to hurt my feelings. He says things now that I don’t even know if he realizes it, but I can tell you he has seen the change in my attitude, but he don’t see how he has added to the change in me. I am sad all the time, and now I am having dry bad anxiety, and I can’t even tell him, because I am afraid that he will see it as a weakness. I am in desperate need of help, but he has completely snatched the happiness out of me.
Maribel replied on Permalink
My husband is a police Detective, he was in few car accidents and 2 yrs ago he was hit by a motorcycle while directing traffic, what u describe is exactly what I’m going through, I’m trying to talk to his Dr. but I think they don’t believe me because he presents normal, I’m worry about his safety.
Unfortunately I don’t know what else to do, I do need help I’ve been dealing with this new man si ce his 3rd car accident.
suzan replied on Permalink
My husband also was in an accident. Every thing that you described is me and him. I tried just walking away, ignoring his mean comments or arguing back. Nothing helps. I'm thinking that I will see someone soon, like group therapy.
Kd replied on Permalink
My alcoholic husband of 49 years suffered a TBI 9 years ago. He was legally drunk rode his motorcycle and crashed into a tree. Somehow he survived after spending 43 days in ICU and facial reconstruction. After 3 months of recovery and brushing off all the therapeutic support he went back to work and continued to drink for four more years. He finally spoke to his primary doctor about the drinking and went on Antabuse. In his 5th year back his job was abolished and he opted to retire. During the time he was at work he had several minor accidents with their vehicle, fell several times off of ladders, and had anger issues with co workers. Now 4 years into retirement it’s gotten worse the anger, the violent reactions, fixation on doing things, and aTIA it’s all I can handle. I hate what my life is like dreading each day, afraid what he will do, ashamed of how I feel about him now, and tired. His primary doctor has retired, the one he goes to now Is of no help. He did send him to a neurologist who had a MRI done which shows brain atrophy has gotten worse since his TIA in 2016. So very tired of all of this with only my son and a good friend to share with who do not live near by if it weren’t for our dogs I’d have left a year ago. At my age I’m financially dependent on his retirement to keep them healthy.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
My husband suffered a TBI almost three years ago. His anger is up and down but lately it’s gotten so much worse. I’ve watched him get angry at people he has always loved. We’ve been married almost 34 years. Lately he’s been losing his temper at me. Once for not recycling correctly, once for me asking if the outdoor hose was hooked up so I could water the garden. He gets so angry and yells and tells me that it’s my fault that he has to second guess himself. He tells me that I’m stupid and to not talk to him. It breaks my heart. I’m trying so hard to be patient and understanding but he’s wearing me down. He stays angry for long periods of time and then doesn’t talk to me. Please help me decide what I need to do!
Chris replied on Permalink
I totally understand. My husband is 41. He was hit by a semi and got a TBI and has never been the same. This happened about 15 years ago now. The day after we brought our 2nd child home from the hospital. Things have been a rollercoaster since. My son is now 17, and daughter 15, and they have seen so much of this it makes me so sad! I never wanted to leave though, or I take that back, I did want to leave, bit felt I shouldn't or couldn't because of his injury. It's not his fault is what I would say, and still say. But that does get old. It is so hard to just keep going in this circle. Bit if he would have been paralyzed, I would have had to be there to help him physically, so I have to be there for his brain now. I guess. I really don't know. But I keep doing it. And all o keep feeling is more and more sad. I don't even really want to talk. It just causes fights. I do everything wrong.
Sam I Am.... replied on Permalink
I let my self-care fall away and it took two of my own meltdowns before I realized I needed to get on it. I absolutely have to tell him to stop. Calmly and thoughtfully I tell him...this is not ok. Sometimes it works, other times it fuels his rage. I make sure I dine with a friend once a week and I do an overnight away once or twice a month at my sister's. Lots of planning. Lots of discussion. Husband of 18 years....6 years in post TBI. His accident changed everything. He can't drive, or work. I am taking my first vacation in six years....without him. So sad but necessary. Nothing fancy, piggybacking on a friend's vacation and crashing on their couch. Self care. Do something for you. I have always said TBI is not for the faint of heart.
You are each in your own way a hero and my heart hurts for each of us. This is the new normal. It is not bad for me, it is just different. Praying for those of you who are so unhappy. It all sounds so cliche...There is help, we are out here you are not alone. One day at a time. Thanks for sharing your stories. Forward. Ever forward.
Deedee replied on Permalink
You say I am not alone but I feel so alone, I have reached out to a few doctors but no-one seems to hear my words, maybe because brain injuries are not the norm or not so easy to figure out. I too feel I cannot tell anyone of my husbands habits since his brain surgery because it involves inappropriate behavior and I am dying inside, —of all things, I am and have always been shy, private and he wants to go to nude beaches now, he was recently in the hospital from seizures and the nurse told me he was speaking and touching them inappropriately, I wanted to crawl under a rock and die— but then he is the sweetest person and is happy and kind , I have told a few doctors about his behavior but so far no-one is even trying or perhaps they know there is nothing to be done? I am so very sad, mad and have lost my best fiend of 30 years. It’s been three years now since his brain abscess and I am afraid he will never get better.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
hi I am new at this my husband suffered from a brain injury about 6 months ago well he has totally changed ( split personality)..I don't have anyone to talk about this I was dealing with it by myself his family didn't help none and now my marriage is gone down hill I don't know what to do or no one just to talk to I just wish that I had some one to talk to I am just so lost and scared for my husband is there some one that can help me and HELP HIM
Catherine replied on Permalink
My situation is very similar to these posts. My partner has TBI from a small airplane crash in July 2014. It's a miracle he survived at all, many brain and body surgeries, tons of rehab and amazing progress. But the pattern of poor memory, and discussions that end with his raging directed at me, followed by childish accusations that I am mean to him. That usually follows with him apologizing, that he misunderstood whatever was said earlier. We tried seeing therapist who eventually said he didn't think our relationship will "make it" so he's mad at that guy and I am a little too as he made that comment at the end if a session, which was really bad timing ...my sweetie became quite agitated as we left the office and "thought" I said I won't drive him home (we live in the woods about 30 miles from town and he doesn't have a license due to TBI) but of course I drove us home!! Just as I reach my breaking point and consider breaking up, he has a couple of days when he is quite mellow and clear, and it seems like the sweet caring guy I fell in love with is still in there. The next day he is angry, defensive and creates these elaborate made up stories...has anyone else had this happen with the person chronicly telling lies and complete untruths?? I am online researching if there is any support groups or chats, then I found this one. I am so isolated and frustrated, one day I'm feeling I can't keep doing this and then the next day I find a little bit of hope to go on...looking for a therapist for myself now. Finding waiting lists of 4+ months!!! Btw, I really appreciate all the comments made by others..sending hugs and strength to you all.....C
Anonymous replied on Permalink
Yes I totally understand how u feel, I experience the same thing my boyfriend also has tbi due to a car accident he does exactly what your husband does. It could be 3 hrs of he is so inlove with me to bam I’m a bitch and mean to him. He breaks things throws things calls me names always threatens to break up with me and I can never do or say anything right when he gets like this. It’s very hard not to just say I’m done. I also remember what he was like before his accident I just hold on to the good and pray the bad will leave. Thank u for sharing It helps to know I’m not alone in this.
Marie replied on Permalink
My experience is likely due to CTE. After 30 years the brain injury resulted in increasingly angry outbursts/personality change and eventual physical violence. Strangulation became his norm.
PREPARE TO DEPART! That angrier version of your beloved partner is the new reality. Takes much courage and education to understand that your only option is: Prepare to depart. I've elected to NOT stay in contact with him. Departure is what saved me from further hell/abuse. Departure is a very wise thing to do.
Life need not pander to another's abuse, no matter what the cause. Peace can only be obtained with a decisive course of action that involves departure from the regularity of violent + extreme behavior. LEAVE HIM NOW and let your recovery from crazy commence.
Melanie replied on Permalink
This is so scary to read!! I recently learned that back @ 20 years ago, my husband was diagnosed with CTE due to 30+ concussions he sustained playing ice hockey and football.. I fell in love with him @ 10 years ago and we literally were soul mates. Best friends. My family loved him. We had the best of times and he was so sweet and caring. Suddenly the past 6 months have been hell.. physical , verbal, and emotional. Physical incidents have escalated to involving neighbors and a weapon! He has changed so much and I don't know who he is anymore. He drinks excessively and doesn't remember any of the incidents (so he says ) until I show the physical signs. We are a blended family so the kids are frightened as well. He has moved out (a week ago per my request) and begs and begs to come back. He recently informed me of the CTE and I am scared. For him, for me, for all of us. My heart tells me one thing (leave) and my mind tells me the other thing (stay and help). I'm torn !
Jennifer replied on Permalink
I am glad you made him leave before things got worse. You have to protect yourself and your children. You are not alone! Find support by going to counseling and domestic violence victim groups. Stay away from him! Trust me, please!
My husband used to treat me like a queen and my son and daughter as his own. My kids adored him. Then, about 4 years ago, he got robbed at gunpoint and beaten within an inch of his life. He literally had a cracked skull.
Things started taking a turn for the worst about 6 months after. At first, it was subtle things but, as time passed it was like he became possessed by evil. The lack of compassion, no remorse or empathy, no memory of things he said or did, blaming others for everything, the evil look in his eyes and smirk on his face when he knew he upset me and drinking more. Depression, high blood pressure, lack of sleep and appetite. I could go on and on. I let it be my excuse for him but, I was wrong to do so. I kept taking my husband back and trying to work through this nightmare because I thought it was only affecting me. I was wrong! My kids were always scared and always worried about him hurting me. That isn't normal!
Then this past Monday, he got drunk and instead of just hurting me, he attacked my daughter as well! I tried to protect her and ended up getting hurt by him but, he went too far! He went to jail again but, I highly doubt he will ever remember or admit what he did to us! He never does...even when he isn't drunk! It's like a complete blackout?!
I have never been so scared on my life and I will never forgive myself for letting him stay all these years. He is gone now but, the damage is already done. My kids are heartbroken, confused and emotionally destroyed. They love him but, never want him back again and I will protect my kids at whatever cost!
Of course we both know our spouses need help and they know it too. But guess what, neither you or I can do anything to help them! They have to figure out how to help themselves!
All we can do is protect ourselves and our kids and try to help each other through this process.
God bless and protect you and your children.
Cindy replied on Permalink
My husband of 27 years has always been a wonderful, helpful and loving man he suffered a seizure about 2 weeks ago and had a small bleed on his brain it was very scary for all of us he has been released from hospital and now he is very irritable about everything he doesn’t do the things he used to do befor this happend like he just gets up and goes to bed and don’t say anything he doesn’t say he loves me anymore when I talk to him he gives me looks like he don’t like me or even want to talk to me he is always giving me hateful looks and I don’t know what to do I am only trying to help and he is just hateful towards me I can’t get him to do anything around the house anymore and I don’t know what to do I am so upset about how he is treating me we have never gone to bed without each other and now he doesn’t seem to care if I am with him I could use some advise in the situation please help
Belinda replied on Permalink
My husband of 17 years has a TBI. We are 3 years in. We have 4 kids. It's a long lonely sad road. You lose the man u love, the kids lose there fun loving dad, no friends left. No hope for any more improvement.
How long do you take the horrible behavior from a man who does not even know he does it? How long do you watch your kids suffer with name calling and bad behavior? Knowing full well that if you're not there his life will go downhill fast. It's a horrible place to be.. lonely...
Wishing for the old personality to come back... I go from "I can do this and stay" to "I can't take any more" at least 3 times a day. Sometimes I think death would have been better, then I feel bad all over again for thinking it.
TBI is an invisible demon that no one understands unless ur living it...
Anonymous replied on Permalink
Xmas eve here 2019. I'm so sad tonight. It ALWAYS flares up at xmas. For 10 years now. I threw the Night Before Christmas book on the floor and broke the spine because I was pissed that Dad was being an ass. Son went to bed,sad. He's getting g worse. And I know that if I leave him he'll hurt himself because I'm the only thing keeping him grounded.
Rhonda replied on Permalink
I totally get everything you are saying. Along with the guilt of feeling this way. There is no easy solution. I feel so isolated because no one around me understands. All I can do is pray that God will take care if us!
Anonymous replied on Permalink
hi I am new at this my husband suffered from a brain injury about 6 months ago well he has totally changed ( split personality)..I dont have anyone to talk about this I was dealing with it by myself his family didnt help none and now my marriage is gone down hill I dont know what to do or no one just to talk to I just wish that I had some one to talk to I am just so lost and scared for my husband is there some one that can help me and HELP HIM
Aren replied on Permalink
My husband also has a tbi, and we also have four young children. He never sees his own behavior. It is always my fault or the kids fault. When asked all he talks about is him, his feelings, his perspective. He cannot see anyone else outside of him/ He is paranoid and irrational, always thinks I am cheating on him or lying to him. But he lies all the time. Justifies his self-centered choices. He calls the cops when I get upset with him, he is always the victim in his own eyes, no matter how he has acted towards us. I ask him to help around the house and either he doesn't do it or makes me wait forever. When I talk to him and try to explain my feelings or perspective he just stares at me in blankly hostile way, instead of listening he focuses on my eyes or face and then says I am mean and abusive to him. I am so frustrated and at my wits end. Every day I think I cannot handle this anymore. My kids are suffering too. I work and go to school, I have to leave my kids with him all day. He barely remembers to feed them, or just gives them junk behind my back like I am his mother rather than his wife. I have become some villain in his eyes, and he does not listen to me. I just want a normal husband, I hate feeling this way, but people don't understand until they have lived with this!
Anonymous replied on Permalink
So like my life 10yrs in ive worked constantly bought up two children who have witnessed his anger irrational selfish only his feelings matter no empathy, if I could afford to I’d move out but he doesn’t think like others and wouldn’t sell the house
RachJ replied on Permalink
Reading your story is like reading my own, I’ve been with my husband for 22 years and am so desperately sad, his injury was four years ago and in those early days I felt I could take on the world for all of us and would stand by my husband no matter what, these days I just don’t want to wake up, I currently have a black eye, scratches and bruises and my self esteem is at rock bottom, my children are scared of him but don’t want him to be alone, we’ve used all the strategies, safety plans, medications and councilling and still the rages over the smallest thing (I suggest he doesn’t take my car- he has no license insurance and is unable to drive or his coffee is to milky or his football team loose... you get the idea) no one other than professionals outside of our household know how bad it is as he seems to control the rage when with others, he just shuts down if he can’t handle a situation but with me and the children he lets rip. He used to be remorseful but over the last few months just blames me or our eldest (who has now been diagnosed with attachment disorder and ptsd due to the difference in our family and this just breaks me) i just don’t know what to do, as an hour after the rage he loves me and the kids so much it then makes me feel awful for thinking of leaving but it happens so regularly now, almost seems worse than when he was first home from hospital- if anyone knows what to do to make this better please help as I really don’t want to leave this man who I’ve loved since I was 15 years old but the man who hits me and shouts abuse at me isn’t the same person
lonely TBI wife replied on Permalink
This is exactly what I am going through right now. I am only 50 years old and over two years ago my husband suffered sudden heart failure due to cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart)...he survived but the damage to his brain has seen little improvement. I struggle to get through each day and do not feel that I can continue for the rest of my life this way. I feel like the stress and unhappiness of the situation is taking its tole on my health. I worry that the tragedy of his heart failure is going to take both of us if I don't save myself by getting out of the relationship. At the same time I have no idea how he will manage on his own and I feel guilty about that. I agree 100% that it is a horrible place to be and terribly lonely...
Meghan replied on Permalink
I just want you to know... we are also 3 years in. On his bad days, my husband says he wants to be alone. That he cant handle me.
I do everything I can to help... this is killing me. On the days when he is bad, he doesn't even want to be around my son. We have an appointment on the 15th with the TBI counselors on base. Praying for help. I love my family so much.
Julie replied on Permalink
I understand. My sweet loving husband died when he got TBI, and I’m living with someone I never would have married ever since. He was in such a horrid mood tonight my teenager cried at his stomping and slamming and said he’s forgetting some big life events- I don’t have the heart to say “this doesn’t get better.” I understand exactly what you are saying. Don’t feel badly. We are the only ones who will lift ourselves up for our children. “Still, like air, I rise,” No ones life is perfect and I will not let this stranger control my moods. I will find joy everyday in my life and teach my children to do the same. I rise, I rise, I rise. And I hear you and my heart aches for all of us.
Andrea replied on Permalink
My husband has an ABI (acquired brain injury) from H1N1 Influenza. His brain injury responds very much like a TBI which is why I am here.
What about caregiver rage? I have been left the only one bringing in money, cleaning the house, anything. Physically he could do some things but he is always moody and angry and he feels he should not have to "he has a brain injury" after all.
Before all of this he was loving and a wonderful partner. :(
I can't seem to find any support for ABI caregivers. :(
Alicia replied on Permalink
My fiancé is the same. He used to be such a sweetheart and now he blames me for every single thing. And the drinking is a big problem. Just tonight he got upset at me because I didn't tell him he was out of beers and the liquor store was ready to close. He left and went to a bar and I'm the only one that makes income and we have a huge credit card debt. The part that kills me is the fact that next morning he is a sweetheart again and ask for forgiveness and we're back together like nothing happened. Every morning when I leave for work I kiss him and tell him I love him. All day at work I just want to be with him but once I get home at night and he already have been drinking the nightmare starts again and I just want to get out of here. He says people with TBI are high likely to have drinking problems but it seem that he just accepts it and doesn't care. "It's a fact" he says. It's been 3 years full of challenges a lot of good things happened and bad too. I was getting into the drinking too. Horrible fights. Verbally and physically. I was losing myself but I got back into the road. Every day is a survival thing. As a friend I can't leave. He pretty much has no family. I'm the only one there when he gets symptomatic (migraines, nauseas, dizziness) but as his girlfriend I feel in a cage.
Carol replied on Permalink
Wow! Thank you so much for writing. I have felt so alone. My husband has had 2 ABI. After the first, he went back to work etc. The second was a benign tumor and the combo has left me with someone who is a stranger. I have spent 8 years like this. All he says is “no”. I’m becoming a bitter woman! He is an old man. We talk about it- we moved- which strangely helped, I think. But I need more breaks. He thinks this is normal. Do I have to spend 30 years like this?? OMG thank you for sharing .
Lisa replied on Permalink
I know exactly what you are experiencing. My husband had a TBI 20 years before I met him and then ABI after bacterial meningitis (frontal lobe brain damage). He was a loving, supportive man before his illness. We were married four months when he became critically ill. He woke from his medically induced coma not knowing who he was or me. We are in year four of his recovery. His intense emotions of anger and rage are frightening. The way he talks to me breaks my heart. ABI patients and families are forgotten. I have been in counseling and that has helped me. Some days I’m in for the long haul. Other days I can’t imagine being in this marriage. I understand what you are feeling. And I am sorry.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
Thank you all for sharing your stories. I have been with my husband for over 7 years. He has become very child like in the last couple years. If i am not there he just sits and waits for me to come home even if i am gone for days. I often think what the old him would say or do to help me. I am having an affair because I am so lonely. I am forced to dance as an exotic dancer because he cannot manage money or support himself. I wish I could tell my 19 year old self how fast this all would go downhill. Hes beat me, held a gun up to his head. Some days I feel a million years old. But yet most days he is sweet and caring and helps with domestic chores. It is to the point where he needs professional help but I have no where to turn and no money to fund it. Also my own mind is slipping because of all ths trauma. Losing someone piece by piece while they are still alive is the most painful thing I have ever been through
Mary Robbins replied on Permalink
You are not alone sweetheart. Losing someone piece by piece is so demoralising. However bars you work, you know you are destined to fail, but you have to look after them because you love them unreservedly. ❤️
Mark replied on Permalink
I suffered a tbi on March 2013 and I didn't notice my anger but my family did. It is difficult to control and as I was never an angry person I get exceptionally defensive if someone or anyone criticises I.e. in work or even family at home when suggestions are made of what they think I should do. Over time it has got easier but the "hulk" rage or "red mist" as I call it does appear sometimes but I generally walk it off or vent it out with someone who will listen and then within an hour it's back to normal or as normal as a tbi survivor can be. It's like learning to walk again even after almost 5 years new things and old things appear and sometimes like anger I have never had to deal with it before so it's like living in an experiment! I tend to get away from people when I am angry because I don't trust myself because it's a new emotion and I don't know how to deal with it sometimes.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
I can completely relate. Our son is 10 years post TBI whch he suffered when he was 17. Being a 17 year old is tough enough without the TBI. Those early years were so difficult, it is painful to talk about and his labile emotions were only the half of it. Impulsivity and short term memory loss were major factors. His good friends dropped him to be replaced by users who would use his forgetfulness against him. It was devastating to watch. What helped? Hyperbaric oxygen, neuropsych sessions, court ordered anger management classes and tons of patience which we weren't always successful at providing. Now I find it strange that at the time of his accident no one offered us, his parents, counseling as we needed it as much as he did. He was finally able to graduate college and is successful in his job. I think he has learned to monitor himself and has finally achieved some insight into himself.
Andrew Bateman replied on Permalink
Sometimes neuropsychological evaluation is vital. I recall one couple made a breakthrough when we shared the findings of an emotion perception test (that had been failed). Anger was being triggered because he thought she was laughing at him, where she was actually scared. Confusion of facial emotion expressions is not uncommon. A different more direct strategy helped as in truth he did not want to scare his partner. She held up her hand to say "I am scared", to explain why initiating safety plan mentioned in this good article. Hope this idea helps!
Jo replied on Permalink
Brilliant idea, I will share this strategy with our neuropsychologist as my husband's anger outbursts are linked with him thinking I am treating him/speaking to him like he is an idiot. Far from it, but his temper scares me. Prior to the TBI he was kind, empathic and a very loving person. He does get his own facial expressions mixed up, and I am now wondering if he misinterprets how people talk to him - cadence etc. He has receptive/expressive dysphasia and receptive auditory dysfunction. We are just over two years out from a very severe TBI.