I’ve never really like crowds. But now, unlike in my pre-bloody brain life, I can’t tolerate them. I can’t process high volumes of information in a timely fashion. All data comes in with equal value, whether it is a loud shriek or a soft murmur. All colors seem garish, blinding, and all tactile input is harsh to the touch. Everything is a blur, without shape, chaotic. I can’t make order out of the chaos. I have nothing to anchor me and my incoherent thoughts. My brain lacks the ability to file information away under recognizable labels.
Gus’s a funny little thing, a mutt, smarter that I could have imagined. He teases me, changing the rules of games as we play, laughing at me from the top of the steep hill in my back yard, squeaking his toy as he tries to tempt me to clamber up the slippery slope to wrestle the toy away from him.
I remember that they called for some sort of code. I remember wondering whether the code was for me. I also remember convulsing, and feeling a hand on my shaking leg and a voice saying, “It’s okay.” The next thing I remember was a near death experience, and then waking up to a dark room, puzzled.
According to Cindy, there was a crash cart. How did she know? Was bringing one standard when they called for a code? Did they use it?
A car full of Santas.
And…The Bloody Brain wins—the gains outweigh the losses by far. I wouldn’t want to repeat the experience, but I’m actually glad it happened.
All too often, during the first few years into my recovery, feeling of it hanging there by a thread was almost tangible—whenever the headaches were particularly bad, when a new symptom appeared, when I was on the verge of collapse from neuro-fatigue. I feared the possibility of another brain bleed.
At low tide, the sweep of the bay was just wet sand, rippled by the retreating wavelets.
The chilly, early morning walk was your idea.
We set out straight across the bay, heading for the rocks on the point,
But by the time we made it back the tide had turned,
For decades I didn’t file any of my sexual experiences under the label rape. After all, no one applied physical force—the sex was always consensual. Nor was I comfortable using the label statutory rape, even though when I was a minor, all my sexual partners were not. At the time, I knew what I was doing—I wanted it.
Granny was a story teller. Her stories mesmerized me. A few years ago, Dad gave me one of her notebooks, where she wrote about her adventures. Were her genes responsible for the writer in me?
And now you’ll need those wobbly super powers
Of stubborn guts and mental inner strength
To see you through the long, slow learning process.
Discovering what lost ground can be regained,
Using those special powers to weave the cloth anew.
I am so proud of you, my much-loved daughter.