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Brain injury blog by survivor

Brain injury blog by survivor



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Brain injury blog by survivor

Brain injury blog by survivor



Order of events becomes disorientated thanks to brain injury

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People accept that thanks to my brain injury, my memory can be like a sock with a hole. – Most of the foot is happy enough, but if you focus on the toe who is forced into a strip act, that’s a different story. The bit that seems to be harder to accept, is that I can’t always be sure of the order of events.

I would be a terrible police witness.

The more you question me to try to get me to pinpoint the details, the worse I get. Even when it’s a subject I brought up I can quickly realise I am more sketchy than I thought. For example, I might have done something, like found a website that’s really useful and be recommending it to someone. Should they ask how I found it in the first place, I might be confused. A third person may try to remind me they told me about it. Whilst I might remember we briefly spoke about it, I’m not sure if that was before or after I came across it.

It’s not that I don’t want to give credit where it’s due, I just can’t be sure that it happened in that order. So in this instance I would accept they are right and move on. After all that’s a stupid thing to argue about anyway. But what if it was something more important?

If I start to worry I’ve done something wrong, I can picture the events but start to panic about which came first. In my local area there are lots of serious pot holes on the roads. Recently, when driving in the dark my partner James drove over one that was so vicious it bent his alloy wheel. I think the same one got me, but just threw my tracking out. I mentioned this to James’ Dad. He asked why one of us hadn’t warned the other about the offending pot hole.  Sensible question, but then my brain froze.

“Oh no, could I have prevented the damage to his car…..?”

I couldn’t even remember when James and I had talked about it and decided we could have been victims of the same gaping hole. Who had brought the subject up? I knew I would have been about to commence the long 3 hour + journey to see my Dad. But was that before or after James’ damage? I didn’t care if James had done it first and not warned me. I was concerned I had caused him inconvenience and money.

James and his Mum swiftly changed the subject to something less contentious. I was clearly floundering and my distress was obvious. Later as James and I discussed it, we realised it might have been the same day. He leaves before 6 am for work, and that day I left at 7.45 am. We didn’t get the chance to speak until the evening. That’s when he said how he pulled over because his car was making a terrible noise that morning. He thought it was a slow puncture to begin with. Anyway, it was neither parties fault. The first opportunity we had to warn one another was too late.

I imagine my behaviour looks like that of a guilty party.

My active imagination starts to misread the situation.

Judge Judy always says “If you tell the truth you don’t have to have a good memory.” So when I’m saying I don’t know, does that make me look like I’m hiding something?

Maybe I need to watch less of that program and actually get a life. I seem to be always assuming the worst. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to that. Perhaps it’s partly my own frustration at not being able to be certain of the facts. Maybe that holey sock will be darned one day, and that toe can warm up.

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Do you struggle with the order of events? Do you also feel like a criminal at times?


2 replies on “Order of events becomes disorientated thanks to brain injury”

Yes, I REALLY struggle with sequence of events, what order things happened in but can get some right too. But my ‘islands’ of memory are often extremely sharp and detailed (I can remember the weather, what I was wearing, who said what, what I said, eyes looking at me whilst telling lies+, the rooms/corridor often), it’s the relationships between then I can get wrong.

Since my brain injury I’ve lost my history, of course I didn’t remember ALL of it but I could tell you mostly what year we went on holiday to where & loads that we did (SUCH hard work to try do this now), what years I was at art college (I took year/s out) and when I did (year/months) all the different jobs I did. I can still remember loads of all the places I’ve rented to live in (and house number) but now forget some (varies) but not always now WHEN that was, months/year = all my past has been muddled up (before & after my brain injury) so I have no sense of the continuity of my life any more and this can be very disorientating – it was so solid before, now it is like shifting sands, islands that appear then disappear under the waves with no compass or sense of direction, everything fluid and in flux.

I think people under-estimate the ‘invisible’ effects this has on us – including our confidence (& having to try to be alert about whether what we say is true or saying different to what I know = yes I DO that sometimes, awful and NOT on purpose.

I noticed after op (where/when I got my brain damage & other injuries) that the clock on the wall would either be still, hands didn’t move for ages when it felt like hours had passed or else time had flown by without me feeling/knowing it and suddenly hours had passed when I looked at the clock but I felt as though only a few minutes had passed – SO confusing and weird and I haven’t found this spoken or written about anywhere after brain injury – I can’t be the only one so I assume people haven’t got the words, aren’t believed, or it isn’t considered an important symptom of anything (especially brain injury) so is dismissed and not even written down = or ALL those at different times for same person or different for each of us, but I BET lots of us went through this (and some still do) but if even more injured than me wouldn’t even notice or be able to say.

Lets’ change all this and help everyone learn about common (?) but less-known (because of neglect & discrimination?) symptoms of acquired brain injury – however the brain damage was caused, thank you.

Hi Jenny, yes I agree, the more we tell our stories, the more we raise awareness and understanding. Plus I think it helps other survivors to know that they aren’t the only one experiencing a particular symptom.

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