Overgrown Paths vs. Road Blocks…
In which I detail one of the ways I know it's the mTBI & not aging or something other natural forces.
Despite a recent incident in which I made it extremely clear that the "me too" occurrences that compare my mTBI issues with aging and such were offensive, aggravating, off-base, and needed to be shelved, I still f*cking encounter them.
IT IS NOT THE SAME. The symptom may appear to be the same from someone on the listening end of my complaint. But LET ME ASSURE YOU, it is not the same on the actual experience end of things.
Let me detail one of the ways I know.
Almost all of us has had that "tip of the tongue" can't think of a word moment. Right? I'm familiar with those. I've had a few.
Those feel like you're wandering down a path to that word and the path becomes overgrown with bushes & weeds, and you need to dig through the underbrush to reveal the path to the thing you're looking for.
At least that's how it feels to me. There's something foggy, something obscuring the word. And the experience has that "tip of the tongue" feel to it, you ALMOST have it. And, if you're like me, you don't get stuck on some other word instead.
Since the accident, I have had word issues of a completely different nature.
In these, the path to the word stops dead. Bridge out. Road closed. And I can push up against that all I want, and can't get any closer to it. There's no underbrush to shove aside. It's somewhere on the other side of a ravine I can't cross.
I swear, that's exactly how it feels. Road closed. Bridge out.
Except instead of there being a sign that says "road closed," it says another word, – or in a few cases two words – that relate to the word I'm looking for in one or a few oddball ways.
Let me give you one of my favorite examples:
One of the earliest occurrences came about a year or so ago, in a discussion about pesticides, agriculture, Monsanto, and whatnot.
The word I was looking for was "Roundup," the pesticide.
I could not think of Roundup at all, but instead, kept getting "downpour" from my brain.
Look at the two words: Roundup. Downpour. ROUNDUP. DOWNPOUR.
Look at the letters they have in common. Say them. Listen to the cadence: ROUND-up. DOWN-pour. Listen to the sounds they have in common. Think about them. Note the "up" and "down" relationship, too. roundUP. DOWNpour.
So in this discussion, as I tried to think of the word "Roundup," all I kept getting back from the brain search was "downpour," and nothing else. Not a single hint, or other letter to start with. Just downpour.
Until I finally said, "I know this isn't right, but all I can think of is 'downpour'…… Roundup. It's Roundup."
In the nanosecond I decided to say "downpour" out loud and the brain command traveled through the various nerves to make my mouth do so, I jumped the ravine to the correct word.
Let me repeat that: I get completely stuck on a word with no way around and one or two very clearly NOT the right word words, and I get miraculously unstuck when I say the WRONG words OUT LOUD.
This is unlike any sort of "tip of the tongue," "just can't think of it," "there's a word for that," word memory brain fog issue I've ever had or heard of.
See? It's not the same. The apparent effect to an observer may appear the same. But the reason & experience of it ARE NOT.
Some people can't read a sign because they're near-sighted. Some people can't because their eyes are excessively dry. Some people can't because they're partially or completely blind.
Same overall effect, very different reasons why & experiences. So cut it out.
It's common for humans to try to find ways to relate. Sure, I get that. And in the cases where I'm tempted to, I make sure to think, "there's probably more differences here that I can't see or understand than similarities to my experience, so I should bear that in mind as I try to sympathize, and I should NOT EVER TRY TO DISMISS OR EXPLAIN AWAY THE OTHER PERSON'S EXPERIENCE WITH SOMETHING SIMPLER BECAUSE IT'S WHAT I THINK IN MY UNTRAINED UNPROFESSIONAL NOT-MEDICAL CASUAL OPINION."
Try it. Your friendships will be better for it.
Not one single one of us has any idea what it is to be inside someone else's brain, shoes, body, mind, or what not, with or without injuries or diseases or conditions.
I've been dealing with this mTBI for over a year now. I KNOW the fucking difference between a brain-fog missing word and a bridge-out. I'm sorry to hear that you, whether it be in aging, general flakiness or peri-menopause, experience some things that appear similar. I, too, may have experienced some things similar to that. But this is different, and I don't have the time to explain everything written here every time it happens. Because that explaining takes a lot of brain power that I don't have to spare. Got it?
So, let me reinforce, that I have a whole other experience of it that is, in fact, completely different, thanks. I have a LOT of self-awareness about this, and I'm working with actual trained medical professionals on it. So those trump your "me, too!" no matter how similar things might appear from the angle of your point of view.
Please make a freaking note of it. Because you're driving me nuts & stressing my brain out, and I don't need any more of that, particularly from friends.
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author / artist rambles on about painting, writing, cats, punk rock, vampires, ska-core, mTBI, comics, and life in general.