Sunday morning on our hike up Bluemont Hill through brambles, bittersweet, and bushes, I told Katie something that I’d been hiding since returning to Manhappiness. I told her that somewhere between entering Texas and leaving it – and all of the events therein – I lost large chunks of my memory.
The things that I am typically good at recalling were largely lost to me.
I had been so ashamed and afraid and embarrassed by this, that I tried to hide it from even her and the kids and framily I love and trust.
What brought this into the conversation was that late last Monday evening, I realized that several pockets of memory have bubbled up to the surface.
Pockets of memory. Bubbling.
Not zipping, zinging, racing, or teleporting with laser-like intensity (dang it.)
But bubbling up…at least.
This diminished capacity was one of the worst post-trauma realities. I’ve since described it as “trauma-induced” alzheimers. On top of all that was lost, my few smarticles, too?
So I determined to continue reading voraciously. I also decided to forgo applying for high-decision and high-stress jobs until I could 1) sort this all out or 2) accept that I will never be that person again who could juggle ideas, strategy, relationship-building, and energy into a life of service.
What causes the bubbling up of memory you may ask?
I think our early morning walks (slogs sometimes), good patient friends, time, the Konza, kayaking, Monday night dinners, tears, and any minute enjoyed with the kids has helped immensely. All that reading, too.
But the tipping point to the greatest retrieval seems to be…(sheesh-just writing this makes me break out into a sweat), when I encounter especially horrendous flashbacks during my waking or sleeping hours.
Last Fall, Katie and I joined a “restorative yoga” session in which – ninety seconds in – I flashed back in the quiet and vulnerability of the sustained poses. Oy. Apparently, Katie noticed I was in distress while I thought I was holding it together. I kept telling myself that I am brave, strong, funny, and very very feminine! I could not leave fast enough.
But then I noticed something a few days later: a remembering.
MLK Day was a hard day. Along with the collective remembering of a nation still undergoing pains of equality, respect, and we’re-all-in-this-together, I had one hell of a flashback. A series actually that began with a profound sense of despair.
I stayed in bed and under the covers most of the afternoon (not my normal gig.)
And later, I reached out for help.
Late that night and into the morning, a trickle of remembering began – good stuff and normal ordinary details from before I left Kansas the first time.
Something else that I’ve noticed in this post-return clearing-of-the-fog, my preferences have changed. Crazy good changes.
I am beginning to enjoy cooking. (I know!)
I care less of the chattering of folks who seem to gossip and judge. That’s their problem.
Madi gave me a wee bit of make-up and a tutorial and I like it! It requires a few extra morning minutes, but I like how I feel afterwards.
Right now, I enjoy doing the small things that keep a small office moving forward. It’s interesting to sit on this side of the desk.
So, if you’ve wondered why I cannot remember your name, but know your dog’s name and birth date, or if I’ve stumbled through a remembering and hurt your feelings, I apologize. It’s not all trauma-related, but it is annoying to encounter a blank stare.
And, as a result of last nights litany of crappy scary rememberings, I’m expecting more details and changes to bubble up.
Still searching for the North Star.