Fickle Memory

 I watched a movie a year ago that no fraction of which rings any bells for me.

This tends to happen with me over and over again. I’ll have done, said, listened to, or watched something that I’ll have zero memory of.

This is memory loss… at it’s cutest and less-vile.
In truth, memory loss can be quite frustrating for the most part, but also VERY scary.
Knowing you’ve done something but having NO recollection of it is intensely troubling.

I can imagine how people with Alzheimer’s feel – in a state of constant rotation of memories – not knowing what’s happening now or in the past, but it all feeling present. I’ve had lapses where I thought something that occurred two years ago was current reality – but after snapping back to ‘now’ I felt as though I’d gone insane.

Having no control of past, present, or recent history in my own mind. MY mind.
The thing I rely on to hold my memories near and dear, and accessible whenever I want them – but I cannot.

That feeling of not being in control is infuriating and fear-filled. Sure, some parts of memory loss are totally hilarious, but most of it is a nightmare. A waking nightmare.

I won’t lie, I DO laugh at myself quite often. I try to make light of the seriousness of how horrible memory loss/amnesia really is. I attempt to see my reality as a painful but funny life-long joke. A series of comedies and tragedies aligned as what is my life now.

Seeing the bad and the good is my way of coping with this life of mine.

I guess the moral here is – no matter what’s going on, and no matter how painful it gets, find ‘the funny’… find the joy, the jokes, and the lighter side of a bad situation. 🙂

PTSD does partially define me..

Here’s my version of something I’ll link RIGHT HERE:

I wasn’t hurt just at the places I’ve worked. I was hurt by an entire lifetime of abuse. Not just by one abuser, but by all of them. I was hurt by invisible illnesses and numerous brain injuries that happened over the years – not just by abusers, work, or home accidents. On the outside, I do walk with a limp when my pelvic bone and hips hurt from sciatic and other nerves that have been damaged, but not all the time. I do wince from pain when it is so strong that it feels like lightning, hot and cold at the same time, erupting through me without any warning signal. I do have aching joints and every bone in my body always seems to feel like they’re broken. When we talk, I’ll smile, and most times we’ll laugh, because my pain is so great that I try my best to hide it. I try to be a great listener, but sometimes my amnesia-brain kicks in hard, and I can’t keep up with what you’ve said — but I DO try. You can look into my eyes and see both joy and pain.

I didn’t get hurt by a single abuser, a single accident, or a single blow to my head. I’ve carried emotions that don’t even have a place or a name, because of amnesia. I’ve also carried deep emotions from the abuses, neglect and upheavals of my life and those I love and care about. I tried to grieve at first but it was too overwhelming to handle. I’ve hidden, judged myself more harshly than I’ve ever deserved, and have spared those I love from what I’m really living day-to-day. I’ve held my own babies as they took their first and last breaths. I’ve held strangers in front of my old house who died because help wouldn’t come – because they were homeless and assumed druggies. I’ve comforted others who have struggled with heartbreaks and pains – just like we all have. I suffered in silence my entire life… from the age of toddler until the age of 33 – when I finally decided after amnesia freed me from myself and my past, that I couldn’t hide anymore.

No, I didn’t save people for a living, but I saw and went through atrocities just the same. I was helpless to save lives, and helpless to save my own. Unlike the lady who saved lives by choice and profession, I too have PTSD, but I fear it will never be something I can recover from. All the power of my own mind and willpower of my soul cannot erase what I’ve gone through. No matter how much I expose myself safely to the things that trigger my wounds/PTSD outbreaks, I never feel safer or more in-control.

While some people believe that they can accomplish anything – I being one of them to a point – there are certain things, no matter how much therapy or exposure can heal. I won’t heal from my memories being erased from my own mind, being attempted murdered by a lunatic driver who left me for dead three years ago, an abusive man masquerading as my savior(human-kind) thrashing me and beating my skull out of rage and contempt for himself and what he allowed to happen – and what he’d done himself to me for many years – to just be healed. Or the years of silence of the abuses I endured/survived as a child, teen, and young adult… by all who took advantage of me and used me.

Some things, ladies and gentleman, cannot be healed. This is why I’ve learned to live within my own emotional means, not over-stress myself, and not try too hard for anyone but myself. I’ve pushed myself harder than I ever thought possible, and I’m proud of that. I’ve overcome each milestone in the journey I’m on, and will continue to… but… there are certain things that just can’t heal. For me, there are too many. For me, I may die (hopefully an old woman) still without those things being healed. I’ve come to terms with that. I’m not ashamed to admit this. I’m proud that I can assume they won’t eat my emotions to the point of doing something terrible to myself. Trust me, it has run through my mind before – but it will never happen.

I love making others smile, and I feel as though I survived all of the horrendousness in order to help others – no matter how petty I believe their issues are, or how entirely similar they are to my own – they are important to the person going through it. Everything is huge, hurtful, and life changing if it is new. That’s the point. Get through “this” so you can get through “that next thing” and so on.

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Heart Break…

I have arthritis and fibromyalgia, plus nerve damage and bone degeneration disease – so I always feel like an old lady …. (I have more than just this list – but this is what I’m sharing right now.)

My specialist (rheumatologist) told me that light yoga and resistance exercise was best – but to never push it too far or I’ll damage myself worse.

 

I used to think my Dad truly understood, but two days ago he really discouraged me by saying that “{I} have NO idea what age feels like yet!” – I mean, he almost yelled this at me. I about cried, got angry, fell apart. I did nothing. I just sat there in a state of stunned. I just sat there at his table… waiting for my body to react to what my mind and heart felt in that moment – but nothing at all happened. I didn’t tear up and cry. I didn’t say anything that my throat felt obligated to say. I didn’t argue or tell him off. I just sat there, stunned and feeling the pang of heart break.

It’s so very hurtful that the people who I assumed understood me the most just dismissed the very real and horrendous pain I’m in — pain they’ve barely even tasted. Pain they haven’t aged into yet. Pain they’ve felt temporarily during illnesses, broken bones, and injuries that healed — even with scar tissue. They don’t know how it feels to be in constant turmoil physically. Their illnesses cleared up and they got better. Their broken bones were set, slowly healed, and even with scar tissue – they healed. They just don’t understand – and that hurts.

It broke my heart. I feel emptier. I feel invalidated. I feel as though I’m never going to know anyone who truly understands all of this. Not just my amnesia (ongoing) – but the physical torture each day brings me. Being imprisoned in a body of hurt, and a mind of lost-ness. It is agonizing, and I always make it through each day. I’ve not given up in any entirety. I’m still here fighting – no matter how alone I am.

I hope to NEVER make anyone else feel that way. To feel as though they’re partially understood. To feel as though they’ve been invalidated and misunderstood. To feel like they’ve been ripped from someone else’s heart and mind through dismissal and a betrayal of thinking they’re understood – but then suddenly jolted away from understanding into outright derailment. I NEVER want to make someone feel like I do right now. Heartbroken and alone.
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Consistently Incosistent

I’m not talking down about myself when I tell people that I’m definitely consistently inconsistent. Sure, it sounds like a demeaning thing to say about myself, but really I’m just being super honest. Not everyone likes to admit their flaws or to really look at themselves accurately/honestly, but I find comfort in recognizing and admitting my limitations as much as I like figuring out that I’m good at things. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, is what I’m really trying to say.

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Recognition of my flaws and assets are just something that ensures I’m living a genuine life. It can be uncomfortable and sometimes downright depressing at times to realize I’m really, REALLY, bad at certain things, but I do enjoy knowing what my limitations are – and that I can be honest with other people about them so they don’t wind up getting disappointed by me. It’s good to let people know that I’m not always going to be able to keep my enthusiasm or inertia going because of my physical issues, and cognitive limits.

This way, they’ll know that even though I want to follow through on every single thing I set out upon, I’m not always going to be able to complete my personal goals. Nobody gets their feelings hurt, and nobody sees me as a failure (nor do I see myself as one) when they know (and I accept) my limitations. “Honesty is the best policy” isn’t just a random turn of phrase, it is true. I don’t go around proclaiming that I can do all the things I’d like to, because I’d be a liar. Others would mistrust me and see me as a flake if I claimed that. So, I tell them the truth, and accept my own truth, and nobody gets hurt.

I see people (with brain injuries, and without brain injuries) consistently trying to validate why they let someone (or themselves) down about something, when instead they could have been introspective and honest enough to admit they’re probably not going to follow through with their task(s) and they wouldn’t have promised to do so in the first place. It seems rather simple to me that honesty is better than lying about abilities you don’t actually have.

Part-time abilities (is what I call it) is when you can sometimes accomplish things that you cannot always do. Even then, honesty comes into play when others are involved on whatever “thing” it is you’re doing. If you say you’re going to, let’s say, paint a picture for someone – if you can sometimes accomplish that in a day, but not always, DON’T tell the person you’re painting it for that you’ll finish in a day. You don’t know for sure that you can, so don’t give them that kind of false-expectation. It seems like a small thing, but once those expectations add up and aren’t accomplished time and again, they’ll stop trusting what you’ve said, and expect you to fail. Instead, tell them it’ll take you two weeks, and if/when you finish it ahead of time, they’ll be pleasantly surprised. 🙂

That’s how I approach my tasks. I always allow myself the time necessary for my limitations, and then some. That way, when I accomplish something ahead of the time-frame, I feel really awesome about myself, and nobody is left wondering why I haven’t done what I said. I try to be a ‘woman of my word’ and to not make a liar out of myself.

I truly think if more people were self-aware and honest enough, their lives would be easier, less stressful, and the people around them (or themselves) wouldn’t be disappointed as often as I see it happening. I struggled with this reality for too long – when all I really had to do was be true to myself, and be honest to those around me.

Thanks for reading. — Until next entry — 😀