For over a year I was consumed with taking care of my daughter, Aria, but in the back of my mind, I carried vestiges of what happened when I got the initial phone call about her accident. I couldn’t shake the sound or feeling of breaking glass raining down inside my brain. And no matter what I tried to tell myself, I couldn’t dismiss the vision I had of the girl sitting at the airport. I tried chalking it up to lack of sleep and coming to terms with the new normal in our house. Still, I knew deep down inside that something was seriously off.
I was experiencing changes that I couldn’t account for and didn’t understand. I kept having flashes of someone’s past. I didn’t think it was my past because I had worked so hard the last twenty-five years, at not having a past. I couldn’t remember anything in a congruent way that had happened to me before the age of twenty. I had memories of times spent with friends in the last few years of being a teenager, but my past before then was as dark as any black hole in space. I unconsciously followed the rules that had become as natural to me as breathing. I knew not to remember, not to talk, and that I had to protect my family at all costs. I did these without thinking.
I found that I couldn’t concentrate for more than fifteen minutes at a time. I was anxious, moody, and depressed. I was beginning to think that something was seriously wrong with me and knew it wasn’t physical. It was as if my mind was slowly slipping away and I couldn’t control my thoughts. I believed I was going crazy.
Trying hard to keep any remnants of my denial intact, I told myself I was just sick and exhausted. But, I was plagued by one physical symptom after another. I was diagnosed with the flu, sinus infections, colds, pneumonia, and unrelenting fibromyalgia. Yes, I was physically ill but I knew that something else had to be brewing. Whatever it was, it was manifesting very loudly as physical.
Six months after I first noticed my concentration and mood changes, I also realized that my thinking was off. It was as if I couldn’t make any decisions. I became so impaired that simple tasks at work were becoming impossible for me. I was more skittish and hyper-vigilant than usual and began to mistrust everyone. My nightmares increased and became much more vivid. Everything about my thinking was off. I didn’t know that I was having flashbacks almost continuously because nothing was a trigger, yet everything was a trigger.
Excerpt from Untangled…
Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph