Absent Minded? Spacey? Dissociated? Freudian Slip? Incipient Dementia?

The background for this blog entry —

I’m away for two weeks, visiting family, having fun. Sensibly, I wrote two blog entries before I left and sent them to myself so that all I had to do was post them. At least I though I sent them to myself, but I can’t find them in my inbox. So I have a choice: skip an entry or write a new one at the last minute. (Another option, I suppose, is to burst into tears, cry all day, and delete the entire blog.)

Why did I do this? I don’t know and I don’t really care. I have been doing things like this all my life and therefore I know I’m not getting senile. I suppose it’s the way my mind is wired, probably from the abuse, so I shall call it dissociation. I’ll use another adjective when I’m talking to people that don’t need to know about my background, just to keep life simple.

By now I have developed a lot of work-arounds. I make lists, I write down where I have put those lists. I try and put things in the same place every time. If I can, I will ask somebody to go through their own check-list with me. There is a master packing list and things-to-do-before-vacation list in my suitcase. I carry a running shopping list in my wallet and a mini-calendar of the things I have to do that week. These things help, a lot.

They don’t, of course, take care of everything. If they did, you wouldn’t be reading this now. There are always unwelcome surprises along the way.

For example, as I was getting into the car to go to the airport, a little neurotic voice told me to check and make sure I had my driver’s license. I checked, even though I knew I was being silly, and — guess what, no license. I ran upstairs and grabbed my passport, which, luckily, was where it belonged. I haven’t told anybody because I expect they would say, “Where did you lose it?” That would drive me wild — if I knew where I lost it, it wouldn’t be lost, would it?

Moral of that story; always listen to any little voice that whispers in my ear.

Mislaying things, double-scheduling, and forgetting to do things are all time-consuming and annoying, but I have learned it doesn’t mean I am stupid. Actually, I’m quite intelligent because I have figured out ways to compensate. I’m proud of having figured out all these little tricks and even prouder of having grown past the need to put myself down each time something gets messed up in the course of the day.

To make my point, I Googled to find a visual example of absent-mindedness. And look what I found! Michelangelo’s shopping list! It’s not just me after all!!!!





13 thoughts on “Absent Minded? Spacey? Dissociated? Freudian Slip? Incipient Dementia?

  1. I am still struggling with finding good workarounds. It seems like I cannot stick to anything I try. I really need to simplify…get rid of things in my life. It is good to “see” you again, Jean.

    1. <>

      Yeah, I know what you mean. Even now I drift away from whatever system I have put in place … like I have gotten bored with it. It’s frustrating!

      1. I will put things in place and then realize some time later that I have not been doing it. And I don’t even know when I stopped doing it. It is very frustrating!

        1. Do you put notes around, say on the cabinets saying “put the dishes away,” and then after a day or so they fade into the background and you don’t even notice them? So annoying!

          1. Since I live with others, I avoid notes. However, I will make lists of things I need to do and then forget to read the lists…or look at my planner or…. I finally have an electronic calendar that helps with some things, but not the every day. I really have to work on that part.

            1. Forget to read the lists! That is SOOO familiar! Now I have a Mac calendar that has my things to do that day pop up on my screen and when I do them I can make them go away. I put in daily things, like physical therapy, as well as appointments. It helps a lot.

    2. Yeah, I hear you about electronics…the very things I am trying to use less of. LOL I will just keep trying to find good work arounds…starting with organizing my office so that I can actually find things and, hopefully, not forget about them!

  2. I can relate to having to compensate for the dissociation. I get told all the time that I’m extremely organised – but people often don’t know why that is such an important skill for me. The most frustrating days are ones where someone else is using the body and then I have less time than I planned to get a task done. Or someone else loses my list! We’re working on co-consciousness at the moment so that the need to keep external reminders is less vital.

    It sounds like you’re doing a great job of accepting the reality of dissociation and working to function with it. That’s really commendable. I’m sorry that the blog posts that you prepared didn’t go to your inbox. Could they have gone to your junk, or possibly another email account? Or maybe you forgot to attach them? Whatever the case, it sounds like you handled the mishap with grace. That’s pretty hard. Good job. 🙂

    1. One great thing about a computers that it is harder to lose a list. Just as hard to remember to look at it, though! As to the prepared blog post, I forgot to send it or else deleted it by mistake before sending it. I also thought I could log into wordpress and see all my drafts, but of course they are on my computer, and even though I know my computer password, there is no way I can access it from here. I get so confused about what computers can and can’t do.

      Thanks for the kind words. Other survivors understand but others get frustrated with this kind of difficulty. And I spend more time with the others, so have to field a lot of sighs and eye rolling. It’s nice to get a compliment instead!

  3. well, I’m glad that it happened…not for you but for me, I needed to be reassured, again.
    I know that some co-workers whisper about my mom having Alzheimer’s, but as you mentioned, this absentmindedness has been with me all my life – and it isnt age either. One thing that I have noticed too – I have the recurring problem of locking my keys in the car when I have a client that is passing away – Im a caregiver for the elderly – at first it was upsetting, but now I know it is a signal for me to slow down a little, take care of myself. I just had a dear elderly friend that passed away – lived in the town I grew up in, which brought up ‘stuff’ but also made me thankful for the beauty that was there in nature and how it helped my dad too who was also abused.
    Thanks for sharing your heart and wisdom.

    1. I know what you mean by reassurance. In a strange way, I would almost it rather be Alzheimer’s than a symptom of having been abused, because then maybe I wasn’t abused, it’s just dementia. I know it makes no sense at all. But I guess it’s better to have one thing to deal with than two. I doubt if dementia would bring a lot to the party.

      That’s a good point about using absentmindedness as a signal to slow down. Gonna have to remember that! I do expect too much of myself and have trouble being realistic. I’m sorry about the loss of your friend. It must be really hard working with the elderly.

  4. You are doing good in hard circumstances. All people have to deal with such things more, or, less. That’s how a person should be not afraid of shortcomings, but overcome them.
    As for your work, I’ll just suggest planning carefully and very meaningfully and using something like Google Docs, or, Microsoft Office Online to have all your work organized in one place.

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