I am currently in the thick of writing my memoir. I am far behind my goal but I feel like the slow and plodding steps I am taking now (mapping out scenes and structure) will help me write it better and perhaps more quickly in the long run. However all this writing, scene mapping and plotting has me recollecting a lot (obviously… I am writing a memoir and memory is in the name even) and I am experiencing a little brain injury glitch. A glitch? Maybe more like a hiccup. Like a sudden onset of hiccups, my memory seems to be experiencing a peculiar spasm that has me scratching my head. Maybe I should have a spoonful of sugar to get rid of these memory hiccups (I used to get hiccups frequently and oddly a spoonful of sugar gets rid of them for me). These memory hiccups are unsettling and confusing but extremely mild compared to other brain injury survivors.
I would like to talk about this “memory hiccup” in this weekly post that I am renaming #MemoirMoment because I unfortunately have been missing Monday postings so #MemoirMonday doesn’t make sense anymore!
Memory is fragile. And after some odd moments that I am calling “Memory Hiccups” I have realized how truly fragile my post-TBI memory is. The “memory hiccups” are that something that I knew as fact now enters my mind with a question mark. For example, Selby’s doggy cousin Bella was staying with us and Selby was acting jealous. Selby sat on my lap and Bella looked like she wanted to but decided not to try (wasn’t worth the struggle) and an added thought came into my head: “Selby is always the dog who sits on my lap, right?” I always get to the right answer (I think) but it’s the fact that I am questioning something I always knew as fact that is unsettling.
I also find myself questioning information I just learned. This is also unsettling and perhaps more so because this feeling has me questioning EVERYTHING! For example, when watching TV if the show just shares information (e.g. “The couple is from Washington, D.C.”) an instant question enters my mind (e.g. “Are THEY from DC or was another person?). Sometimes the questions don’t even develop to a literal question but the questioning feeling is there.
After talking through this new “memory hiccup” with my psychologist he gave me his theory. I showed him the “values” worksheet I had done for my memoir class and he thinks asking myself those big questions could have caused this. Perhaps. It’s definitely related to doing that worksheet because before I did it I didn’t have this symptom. However, my psychologist guessed that it was the value part of my “values exercise” that has triggered my brain to question every piece of information I learn/think. He thinks that because the exercise had me evaluating the values that I find important that my brain is assessing everything as a value. I’m not sure it’s quite that complex. My own theory is that this exercise has me thinking intensely and recalling stored away information and my TBI brain hired an inexperienced librarian to store new information after the brain injury and she keeps on pulling the wrong files. I have used this librarian analogy before and I feel like I am allowed to have a theory that I call a “faulty librarian” because I have a Masters in Library and Information Science so I know the importance a good librarian!
Whichever theory is correct it doesn’t matter, I just hope these memory hiccups go away. Soon.
Monthly Memoir Focus: Discussion of the Week- Write Second Half of Memoir
Note: If you’re new to my blog, I am working on writing a memoir about recovering from a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and coma that I experienced in September 2016. Each Monday (or really just each week) I focus on a different area of writing my memoir in a weekly blog post I called “#MemoirMonday” and now am calling “MemoirMoment.” You can read more about my memoir on my dedicated Memoir Moment page.
As I admitted previously I am very behind on my memoir. However, I don’t feel like the work I am doing is a waste of time. It feels very necessary. So I admit to being behind but I don’t feel guilty about it!
I have also started to participate in a THIRD weekly writing group virtually on Zoom through meetup. This is another “write-in” where we log on and write together (like my Wednesday, group) But this one has more talking and sharing which I like.
Am I becoming addicted to online writing groups? Maybe. I don’t think that’s bad though (tell that to Selby who doesn’t approve of time not spent in my recliner with her on my lap).