I'm not talking about the whiplash, or even the inconvenience of my car being in the shop for a month or the financial hardship of paying my $500
I'm talking about the brain injury – the "post-traumatic head syndrome" – that has been driving me batty for the last two months, and, if it's anything like the last concussion I had, will probably persist for a few more.
I'm going to write about that now.
You might think someone
There's a gauze cast over every experience – a stocking thrown over the lens, rendering the world in soft focus. It's not necessarily in the visuals of the scene per se (though blurred vision did come immediately following the impact), but in the experience of it. It's like listening to music underwater: you can hear that something is playing, but it's not very clear. You can't distinguish the details, but maybe you could hum along.
It's the feeling you have when you think you're sober enough to drive yourself home, and the next day realizing you don't remember much about the ride.
Your long-term memory hasn't been touched, but the loading dock for short-term
When your eggs have been scrambled inside your own skull, swished back and
Pauses, sometimes long ones, are necessary to conjure the right words, and now you speak deliberately and slowly, choosing each word carefully,
When you must speak, you get frustrated when you say the wrong thing, if you even notice it. You might tell someone the year 2001 when you mean 2011, and even when you're corrected (a mistake you don't realize, but you believe to be possible), you do it again and again.
You apologize for your lack of social skills, bad jokes and misunderstandings, but people who don't know you well just smile and say, "You seem fine to me!" Maybe they're being kind. Maybe they just don't know what a good talker you usually can be.
So rather than exhaustingly trying to explain your situation to people who seem to care but not really understand, you avoid social situations, the phone, and anything beyond key English phrases like "How much do I owe you?" and "Where's the restroom?"
When you're alone, you lose things. You're not sure where you are. You look for your cell phone while it's in your hand, again and again. You must occasionally stop to reconnoiter and assess the situation, realizing you've driven past your destination. You read and reread directions, instructions, ingredients, and other commonplace
In the absence of
You type out words that sound like the words you're thinking, but have a totally different meaning.
You type words that kind of look like the words you mean, but aren't.
You combine successive words together into a new word, sharing and swapping syllables like chromosomes recombining with each other's genetic material, creating some new, unique beast.
Dyslexia manifests in numbers and letters. You see it happening, but you can't stop it. All you can do
At first, you think your brain just needs to rest. You take naps, and you don't dream – a welcome relief. You don't go out in public much, for fear of forgetting well-known acquaintances' names, and being unable to recall your favorite bits of trivia and bar talk.
Drinking alcohol doesn't help, because your brain is already drunk. A single sip of wine
When I was 2-3 years old, I had terrible temper tantrums – screaming, wailing, writhing fits on the floor that my parents could not explain. Thinking I was emotionally disturbed, they sent me to a child psychiatrist, who reported that I had "a lot of anger." Shortly thereafter, my parents discovered my progressive near-blindness, and the tantrums could suddenly be explained as my way of expressing frustration over it, since I didn't really have the words to articulate it at that young age.
But back then, I never knew what it was like to see. I thought the world was blurry.
Now, I know that it's just my bruised brain that's making everything blurry. I know how sharp I can be when everything is clear. And I'm afraid I'll never get back to that point.
My whole life – despite crisis, abuse, assault, poverty,
And now I'm struggling.
Fortunately, the head syndrome hasn't affected my more sophisticated intellectual processes: I'm still a smarty-pants, but now I have this stronger desire to prove myself,
I shouldn't have to explain this, but I will – for those who can't explain it themselves, for those who understand, and for those who don't.
A Kick in the Head, Part 4 - Conclusion
It Got Worse