More Than Just a Memory Problem

After losing Barry, shock took my memory away. However, I was hurting too much to really care.

As the months passed, I noticed I can’t form a clear picture of Barry in my mind. That’s why I have so many photos of him everywhere. My councillor assured me that this was only happening because my body couldn’t cope and it was trying to protect me. She insisted that, with time, I would regain that image.

It didn’t stop there. I couldn’t remember Barry’s childhood, or other events in the past. Whilst my parents and Daniel recalled events clearly, I was left with feelings of greater loss. How could I forget these events when everyone else can remember them so clearly? Again, I was told this was temporary and that the memories would return as I moved through the grief.

At work, simple instructions became a nightmare. A long list of jobs would melt together and I’d be lucky to remember any of it correctly. I started writing everything down and have been quite open with this by telling those around me, “If you don’t see me write it down, assume it won’t get done.” Sometimes I do remember, but most of the time, I don’t. I have to constantly send myself emails as reminders to do things too. It’s so annoying, but no one assured me that this problem would go away and I’ll revert back to having a good memory where this was concerned.

Then, five or six weeks ago, I pulled into the driveway at home. I let the car move slowly down the narrow gap between the house and the fence and stopped, where I always stop, just before the garage. I sat there. And sat there. I couldn’t remember how to stop the engine from running. Confused, I took my foot off the clutch and the car jumped forward and bounced up and down several times before finally stopping completely. When it jumped forward in protest, the front of the car hit the corner of the brick entrance to the garage, and the bouncing up and down scraped the bumper a number of times causing a fair amount of damage. Never in my 27 years of driving has this happened to me before. I was shattered.

This week I was driving home from work and experienced a moment of confusion again. It was mere seconds, but a lot can happen in that amount of time. Nothing did happen, but that’s not the point. This shouldn’t be happening to me. I’m only in my 40’s. What if it happens again? What if next time it’s not only a second or two that I’m confused? Is this temporary too? Is it due to lack of sleep? Am I being stupid by continuing to drive? When do I step away from the car, hand my keys to someone else and say, “I shouldn’t be driving”?

Questions swirl around my mind, but no answers have been found. I told myself that if I experience something like this again, then I’ll stop driving until I know I’m not a danger to myself or anyone else. But is that decision a responsible decision? I have an appointment with my councillor this afternoon, I think I need to discuss this with her.

Why do I have to face this problem on top of everything else?


2 thoughts on “More Than Just a Memory Problem

  1. Gretchen

    I have been reading your web page for awhile as my daughter committed suicide on June 9, 2006. I just want you to know that I too suffer from what you wrote about so you are not alone. Sometimes I can’t even remember who I had spoken to 10 minutes earlier and can not seem to remember situations that have recently occurred. Maybe we are still so traumatized. I too am in my 40’s and have become afraid that I am suffering from Alzheimers. Your site has been so helpful

  2. I’m so sorry, Gretchen. I hope you are coping as best as can be expected. {{hugs}}

    Thank you for letting me know that I’m not alone with the memory problem. It truly is starting to worry me and, I too, thought of Alzheimers. I intend to see my GP and make sure that what’s happening is “normal” for my circumstances.

    I’m glad you find the site helpful.

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