My brain is still more disorganized than it was before Dave died. I marvel in an almost morbid way, at the dementia-like symptoms I still exhibit. They'd be funny if they weren't so embarrassing and worrisome. I wish I could laugh them off but I feel shame about them. I feel like there's something wrong with me. I feel like I'm in a state of mild to moderate disorientation WAY too often.
I was talking with my guy the other day about a friend of his, Charlie, who was coming to town and how we'd go out to dinner with him when he was here. In the pause between that conversation and the next, I looked at my calendar to confirm that evening was free and saw "Charlie" in my calendar as an appointment for that day. "Who's Charlie?" I said "And why is his/her name in my calendar?" In a matter of seconds, I'd forgotten what we were just talking about.
Poor guy must've thought he was losing his mind too, hearing me say that. Turns out I had added his name to my calendar when we first discussed this dinner a week or two ago and forgot about it. Then, I was actually able to not make the ends meet up in my mind RIGHT after discussing it again. It was like a completely clean slate.
How frightening. A good friend of mine said that in the year or so after his wife died, he told his therapist he thought he might have brain damage to which his therapist responded that it was completely normal.
It is a form of damage to the brain. Trauma is. It's what happens when our brains try to comprehend that which simply doesn't make a bit of sense. We have to make sense of something we can never make sense of.
Maybe my symptoms are more about low blood sugar, a ditzy brain in general, lack of sleep, or too much on my mind (I am an introvert after all), but I suspect I still have some damage from the trauma. There's still a part of my mind trying to make sense of something when I'll never be able to.
After experiencing too many deaths of my most important people, I've had enough trauma to the brain to warrant some episodes, but they don't cease to worry me.
I feel I can't trust my mind. I've taken to writing most things down, but I forget to write them down sometimes. So I forget to write down what I'm afraid I'll forget. Awesome.
I've considered just writing a daily record of where I went and what I did with accompanying reminders and to-dos so I can go back to it to find the threads and tie them up, but that hasn't happened yet. I'm too scattered and not disciplined enough.
I'm prepared for the fact that my brain might never be the same, but I hope I find some relief in the years to come. For now, it's a chance for me to work on accepting myself with all my flaws and allowing myself room to be forgetful and confused without feeling unworthy or shameful.
I'm intelligent AND forgetful. I'm bright and disorganized. I'm capable and I fuck up. It's not either or.
And anyway, I provide some entertainment for those who get to witness my "moments".
People who spend time with me get to learn to be patient with people with memory problems. You're welcome.