Gransnet forums


Mental health about a brain injury

(10 Posts)
Corryanna Sat 10-Oct-20 17:50:29

This is a mental health issue as in my title, I hope this is the best place to ask opinions?
Years ago I was in a fatal RTA, resulting in a coma, brain haemorrhage and on life-support. My parents instilled in me that I was nothing special to not have died and should appreciate life more. I had a very strict, old-fashioned upbringing and was truly miserable at home, looking forward to when I could leave school and enjoy my life. I loved school, worked hard and had many activities out with my family. In the 70s there wasn’t the aftercare for head injury people especially in the very remote place I was born and bred in. I was determined to leave home despite my head injury and eventually I qualified as a teacher, met my now husband and my in-laws took me to their heart and at last I felt part of a loving family.
Now I am semi-retired with more time on my hands, I have been thinking over the past, the RTA in particular. I never became reconciled with my family, I did try and have forgiven them but I am truly the black sheep!
I have always had little things wrong with me physically (numbness, shooting pains) and certain mental blanks (e.g. I can read the same book again as I don’t remember any of it from the 1st time, dates of famous people in history, the meanings of words) I did ask the 1st doctor how would my brain injury affect me? He said probably part of brain I did. I asked what part of my brain and he shrugged his shoulders.
I feel bitter that my parents didn’t take better aftercare of me and it’s driving me mad. Do you think it would be stupid or selfish to contact Headway to help me? I know I should feel fortunate to have lived a happy life for last 30 years but there’s always this niggle. I wasn’t given time to grieve properly after the driver died. My parents point blank refused to believe me when I said that I couldn’t and didn’t remember anything for about 6 weeks after. I do remember my father waving his finger in my face saying “Don’t you ever say you don’t remember again”
Sorry this is so long, just be interested if you think to contact Headway is wasting their time or not.

Nannarose Sat 10-Oct-20 17:57:32

I would definitely contact Headway. They are very helpful.

welbeck Sat 10-Oct-20 18:03:45

you have got nothing to lose, contact them.
but as to the original incident and aftermath, remember how much things have changed. there was not the understanding then as now, and any kind of disability was shrouded in shame and often hidden away.
so apart from their strictness, your parents were ignorant and rigid, and maybe fearful of the taint of mental impairment. what would the neighbours think.
good luck in your endeavours.

Starblaze Sat 10-Oct-20 18:08:24

I think you should contact them but I also think it would be a really good idea to get some counselling too.

Traumatic upbringings can also impact brain development. Depression and anxiety can also impact memory, recall, concentration etc.

I'm so sorry you have been through all that and you should be so proud of everything you have achieved despite it.

Delila Sat 10-Oct-20 18:29:29

Yes, please do contact Headway. It’s not too late. For family reasons I have some understanding of the uncertainties and isolation you may feel about yourself and the lasting effects of your injury. Things have improved and I’m sure you will receive the help and understanding you need.
Sending you my very best wishes.

Chewbacca Sat 10-Oct-20 18:35:31

Corryana the fact that you've searched out Headway, on your own volition, indicates that you feel that they would be of help to you, so I'm another that would strongly urge you to reach out to them. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. I wish you the very best.

Luckygirl Sat 10-Oct-20 18:37:19

I worked for many years in an NHS head injury service and the after effects can be very long-lasting. Please do contact Headway - I am sure you will find them very helpful indeed.

There was less understanding of those effects and ways to help people with them many years ago, so now is the time to redress that - never too late! smile

sodapop Sat 10-Oct-20 19:36:53

I agree with others, contact Headway you have nothing to lose and all to gain. Things have changed a lot over the last 30 years. Counselling may also help you come to terms with your parents attitude they were a product of their time. Good luck Corryanna

Corryanna Sun 11-Oct-20 13:02:26

Thanks for all replies, I was expecting a harsh response (that I was feeling sorry for myself) so appreciate your thoughts. Time to contact Headway and, more importantly concentrate on my lovely grandchildren, something my parents chose not to do, despite my husband and myself giving them ample opportunity.

Luckygirl Sun 11-Oct-20 17:01:52

Some of the after-effects of a brain injury can be quite subtle and difficult to define. Only the person who is suffering them truly understands how debilitating and troublesome they can be.

Science has moved on a great deal - and a referral to a neuro-psychologist would help you to pinpoint the bits of your brain that have been affected and the best strategies to help you deal with them. She could do some very subtle tests on you that would bring this information to the fore.

And Headway give lots of support - so do get in touch with them.