- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Just when things were looking up......
Over the past two years I have had ongoing problems with my mother-in-laws boyfriend. While his unreasonable behaviour is something that 'most people' could deal with.(read my brain injury background here & here) Unfortunately these situations mess with my often troubled emotive state and in turn with my sleep, routine and anxiety.(read some of my mental health background here) Despite sharing these things that I had been through with him and explaining my ongoing problems that i deal with daily as a result, he persistently ignore me and actively argue with me about these personal facts I was encouraged to share with him. Simply because I look fine and seem okay he refused to take onboard what I had told him.
To give some examples, I drove his car under his directions to where we were going. He who then directed me the wrong way started shouting at me calling me a stupid cunt etc. or when I was out with him and his boys his ex wife turned up then following this he was overly anxious telling me to lie to my wife followed by a sketchy drive home as he almost plowed his car into another on more than one occasion as he let his emotions overtake him.
These instances are just two of many things that put me at serious unrest and firstly caused me problems sleeping followed by the emotional unrest. Following these instances and others when I told him how I felt he never once apologised and I was told by my mother-in-law to stay away from him for 'some time' due to his anger towards me.
Another being that he turned up at my house at midnight blaring his horn and shouting to get my attention rather than taking his lazy self out the car to ring the bell, with no thought of my neighbours that includes a 3 year old who lives in the apartment next to mine. This was then followed by him swearing and blinding because minutes later he thought he had bust a tire that he had recently replaced. This was just another thing that caused me great stress as he came to my house, my space and blatantly didn't show regard for any others, as usual only thought of himself. Which caused me great embarrassment and discomfort.
Also he told me repeatedly that I had to check the water levels in my car once a month because he had experienced a problem with his car overheating, his car being much older than mine among other things. Further from this after telling me once he then stressed to my wife, mother in law and even my mum that I had to do this. All of whom know little about cars and became anxious with me saying that 'He said to make sure you do' in a somewhat concerned mannor. This situation caused me great deals of stress and anxiety and upon telling him to take a back seat about things that have nothing to do with him because it was causing me stress. He then took offence and got angry at me. Something that hurt me more each time something happen as it was never resolved. Which came to light that the idea of sweeping things under the carpet doesn't work as these things continued to happen.
Then there are also the little regular things that don't stress me too much, but in reality add to my bad feeling towards him. When I am talking to him sometimes he will just decide to start a new conversation with someone else, while I am mid sentence no less. There are probably multiple reasons for this, I tried to get past it. But I felt that it was seriously disrespectful and if there were other things going on with me or he did something else it would just add to what was winding me up.
That and the fact that when I mispronounce a word in portuguese he would just start laughing at me loudly and ask me to repeat the word over and over again. Again disrespectful especially when at time I would teach him english words and phrases but have the patience to try and help him pronounce everything correctly.
The final insult
So two nights ago we were out for dinner with my mother-in-law, her boyfriend, sister and her husband. During dinner he handed me his phone and said 'watch this video, I don't like it but I know you will' The video was of a serious car crash where it is evident that all the passengers are not wearing seat belts and are thrown out of the car like rag dolls. It felt like me was trying to get at me on purpose, laughing to himself. Was it arrogance like he had clearly shown before? But in the moment I just told him that no I didn't like it and if he didn't why was it on his phone. End of....right?!?!?!?!?!
So that was that, we went home. As I lay in bed the video went round and round in my head along with the memories of me conversing with the boyfriend about my problems as a result of my brain injury. Which often left me overly anxious about things like safety in various situations. A big one being driving, given my problems with his dangerous driving. That and the big one being the fact that my mother-in-law had told him that my head injury was caused by a car crash!!! Why is he provoking me?
So I didn't sleep so well that night, having taken ages to get over to sleep then not sleeping very deeply. The next day I tried to forget about the previous night. Which went fine all until...I was at the football on Saturday night where the 'supporters' behind me started tearing up chairs (those of my friends and myself) during which one of them hit me accidently, on the head no less... we quickly moved and watched the rest of the game. However this incident had ignited a fire inside me, the majority of my ill feelings were towards the boyfriend. Realistically not just about the video, but a culmination of that and instances that left me with similar feelings that happened once a month or so for a couple of years.
The more recent instances I had tried to tell him how he made me feel. Which he took insult to....even when I restrained any aggression in messages that I sent him.
So at 4am on Sunday morning I still couldn't sleep with everything circulating in my head. Like previous time I knew a message explaining how he had made me feel would help reduce the weight on my shoulders. Unfortunately I was not in the best of states when the message was sent and after explaining the situation and how I felt about it I finished up the message up with 'I have told you about how I don't have a fully functioning brain, and it directly affects my troubles but luckily enough you have a fully functioning brain but I would prefer if you actually used it'
After this I slept but woke with a fire in my belly...
The fire in me turned slowly into rage
Upon waking up when I turned on my phone to see no messages. My wife was out at her mums house, so I continued recording some xbox footage for my new youtube channel which took up most of my attention and anxieties.
Later when my wife arrived we spoke a little but not about the message, she then quickly went for a sleep. So I took myself to the pub to divert my attention and feelings. By this point I was seriously having doubts whether the message was actually sent.
But then I pulled my phone out, which had accidently been on silent (oops) Which had numerous missed calls from my wife and messages saying she was really worried about me, to get in touch asap. On returning to the house we began to speak about the message and reaction etc. What I was told was that her mother had asked me to stay away from him for a while.
The fire in me spread from my belly over my full body. I knew I wasn't going to get any rest until this had been resolved. I was concerned that if we didn't talk this through then my anger would quickly turn inwards because I had not been addressing my emotions. For me, my mental health and the possibility of getting back into a good routine I new this had to be spoken about for once. I wanted to go to their house, my wife didn't like this idea so she suggested speaking over whatsapp voice messages which would give us both a chance to think about what we were saying and avoid conflict. Something to which he agreed.
My message: I sent a message saying: 'Hi Marco, the message I sent you was because I have been feeling really bad as a result of you showing me that video, it made me remember my accident and other related things and I didn't like this. Further The last two nights I have had real trouble with my sleep which are a result of this, something I have told you about the problems with my brain, emotions etc. So, I don't like this situation.'
I sent the message with a calm voice, a message my wife very wisely got me to send her first to make sure I didn't say anything that would aggravate the situation, because I was in a highly aggravated state...
Following several minutes and several messages being recorded, then deleted, then recorded again. I honestly had high hopes for an apology, but that certainly wasn't to be.
His reply was 'Stuart you are an infant, I can't believe how infantile you are! I can't be bothered with you anymore and don't want anything to do with you again'
In the moment one thing happend, I saw RED!!!
My initial outburst came with picking up the stool I had my feet on and throwing it across the room while screaming 'FUCKING CUNT'
Immediately after I did calm down, but nothing like any previous outbursts. While my conscious returned, it was overwhelmed by the rage that was flooding my whole body. I told my wife that I had to go there to speak to him and that she could come with me if she wished. She did come with me, suggesting we called my mum who had experience of me in such situations, with these uncontrollable feelings of anger. However by this point I was determined that I was going to thrash this out...
Upon arrival at the house, my mother-in-law invited us in. Knowing me as the calm, logical person that I am 99% of the time. She then told her Boyfriend that I just wanted to talk. He walked into the room looked at me then turned away. I asked him 'why did you send that calling me an infant, I was just telling you how I feel.'
He looked round at me and said 'you are an infant'
I was trying my utmost to stay calm but I was struggling...
I asked again 'but why, I just want to talk'
'You are an infant, that's my opinion'
At this point I started to lose it, I said 'do you want to see how an infant acts' as I walked right up to him and barged my body into him.
At this point my wife and mother-in-law tried to intervene, the both put themselves between us and tried to restrain me as he continued to mutter something about me being an infant.
All that was in my sight was his big bald head as two bodies failed to push me away. To my surprise my fists started flying only landing on his head. one fist of his which came back to catch me on the cheek, in the moment something that I barely even registered.
After 2 or 3 punches the women had managed to pull my arms back which caused me to move away. The boyfriend quickly exited the room.
By this point the rage had subsided.
Mere moments after the boyfriend started crying and telling my mother-in-law to get us out their house.
Honestly I just felt numb, when I waited by the door to leave. I then hugged my mother-in-law and apologised to her for this situation.
As we drove away all I felt was relaxed, the fire in me had gone. This was usually blinded by guilt but this time the guilt was not evident. While I was thinking and saying that I knew what I had done was bad, was not how I felt. I couldn't say that I felt any regret. For something that had been built up over two years it felt like it had finally been released.
Honestly my entire life I had never put myself in a situation like this and purposefully avoided it in the past. I can say with conviction that this has happened as a result of my emotional difficulties that were a result of my brain injury.
Have you ever been violent towards a person?
Have you been physically violent towards someone?
Further post incident
Does the brain injury excuse my behavior? Hell No!! While I'm sure things like this happen regularly everywhere whether it is because of a neurological condition or not, it is in no way acceptable.
But how do I feel now, as I write this? Part of me can't believe that this happened, but its happened and thats it. While I don't ever want to act like that in the future sadly I don't feel guilty for the act. Only for the repercussions which will become evident soon. That and the feelings of both my wife and my mother-in-law.
I feel like I should feel some remorse towards the boyfriend, but I don't. I feel like I should try to understand his point of view, as he clearly has some emotional problems of his own. However when I try to, these are clouded by the multiple times he has acted in unreasonable (in my and others opinions) ways that have caused me great troubles. Then on multiple occasions trying to explain to him to take more care around me resulting in verbal violence directly to me or to others about me I honestly feel like he got what he had coming to him.
He persistently failed to control his emotions in my company over a long time. Something that resulted in me having to control my emotions which was very difficult and left me with a mess to clear up. All until all the frustration and anger I had building up over all this time finally erupted.
Every action has a reaction
I should not have acted how I did, I could give you 101 reasons that possibly added to why my feelings were so fierce but that doesn't excuse it.
While there is the logical reason that I have gone on about on how I have been left with ill feeling (to put it lightly) on several occasions which has built up over time there are other factors that I'm sure add to it like:
I am currently reducing medication that I have been on for 4 years that could have been working either way in this situation. i.e. About two (or so) months ago I started feeling noticeably violent, more in the way of thoughts. Not necessarily towards people , but it was something that I was not used to and left me feeling quite uncomfortable. Upon my own research I found that this was a possible side effect of this medication. When I look my life around this time when these feeling started I was in a much better place with myself and my life. That combined with the fact that when I reduced the medication by 12.5% 3-4 weeks ago I felt a difference quite quickly in a reduction of this thinking.
In the last few weeks I have been spending a fair part of my time recording and editing videos. Something that takes a fair amount out of me. Which in the past always resulted in me being left with a rather short fuse, even for the shortest time weekly spend with increased concentration. While I am better than I was in the past and even when I was working here combined with the other factors it probably has a bearing.
A difficult situation
As I described to my wife before she went to bed, following my injury whenever I had someone in my life that was causing me stress, doing more bad than good, I did one thing and that was to cut them out my life. In whatever way was necessary.
However, in this case it is not that simple. Today I am married, we live in our home. Which is a mere fifteen minute drive from my mother-in-law's house where her current boyfriend lives too. My wife is very close to her mum, personally I have (hopefully still) a good relationship with her. Her boyfriend can be a decent guy, too much time and he becomes too full-on. which is fine, manageable. However these incidents that I talk of that leave me in a mess are troublesome. I have tried spending extended time away from him, I have tried telling him how I feel neither of which work.
I feel like I need to learn to switch off from his 'shite' as I have learned to avoid situations e.g. following the time I was left tailing his car across the city when he didn't bother using indicators and made multiple last minute dodgy lane changes and turns. From which my wife I and I stuck with only the sat nav if we were unsure of a route. However on an emotional level I don't know how to learn this, or re learn this. Which is even harder for me with severe frontal lobe damage, when the frontal lobes control your emotions.
But all said after this incident who knows how things will go from now on, hopefully the best for everyone involved.
I don't know when I will be able to but I do feel I owe him an apology, however that is something that after all he has put me through would not be sincere (for now anyway) Maybe I will feel sorry in the future, hopefully. It would be more than he ever offered me.
after being a victim of violence I have acted violently
So today I found out that he called the police after we left and I have a restraining order and therefore cannot go within 200m of him. Which could be more difficult for my wife to spend time with her mum. Other than that slight reservation I am actually quite pleased that I now have to stay away from him.
My wife had a conversation with her mum the following day, I can actually say that I think her mum has a decent understanding of my situation as she is not mad with me. She told my wife that heaven is in charge and made this happen, some good will come of it.
Unfortunately the boyfriend has gone and told all my wife's family even against my mother in law's wishes. Realistically the people that hurts are my wife and mother in law, not me (directly) Not to mention that he has not given any context, just that he I was mad at him so I turned up and assaulted him. He is making himself out to be the victim here, fair enough in this case. But I have been a victim to his emotional bullying for the last two years, which was possibly not even on purpose just stopped him admitting his own problems.
Lets see what happens...