[originally written in February 2010. I found it recently and figured I’d post it, just so I have it].
Almost four years ago I was in a car accident that left me with brain damage. At the time, I was just confused a lot and couldn’t keep my life straight. People began noticing a change in my personality and I started feeling like I didn’t know who I was anymore.
I begged my dad to let me see a neurologist, I could feel my head wasn’t right anymore, ever since the accident. After eleven months we finally went, and I found out the damage to my brain had left me with a few minor impairments, my memory included.
Now, almost four years later, I’m still missing about two years of my life. I can’t remember chunks of about a year before the accident, and I barely remember any of the year after the accident.
From time to time I’ll have a flashback. I’m sure there are many people in the world who have flashbacks for whatever reason in their lives, but since I don’t personally know anyone who does, I just know what mine are like. I assume some people have flashbacks just like I do, and maybe others have flashbacks that are more intense like in television shows.
It’s not often that I have a flashback, but when I do, and when it’s happening, no one knows except me. It’s not a big dramatic moment, I’ll just suddenly have a memory, or find myself thinking about something from the past that I didn’t remember before. It feels like learning. I usually feel the emotions that are being felt in the actual memory. Happy memories make me smile and sad memories will bring a tear to my eye, but I wont start crying or laughing out loud in the middle of the day. Its all very subtle.
I had a flashback today for the first time in a long, long time. I was actually beginning to think I wasn’t going to have them anymore. I thought maybe my brain had rediscovered everything it could and the rest was just gone.
It wasn’t a very significant memory, but I guess they never really are. They’re just little details of a day, or a feeling I felt towards something I don’t even remember knowing about in the first place. But it’s something, right?
Most people who know me today know about my brain and my memory loss and how much having brain damage changed my life. Strangely enough though, it is the people who I knew at the time of the accident that don’t know about everything I went through and where I am today. It took about two years to really determine the amount of change I went though, and by the time the treatments and brain therapy was over, a great majority of the people I knew during the time of the accident were no longer in my life. Some times the people who are currently in my life ask me
“Do you ever want to call up your old friends and explain to them what happened, and explain to them that you honestly have no memory of your friendship with them at that time, and ask them why you aren’t friends anymore?”
The answer is always no.
I figure, if our friendship didn’t last through whatever it was that it went through during the times of my life I can’t remember, then it’s probably not worth reopening. Some find that hard to believe, but in my damaged brain, it makes more sense that way. Yes, I’m perfectly healed now. I have a brand new life due to my brand new personality experiences and I’ve found people who love the person I am. These are the people who matter.
[It has now been 5.5 years since my accident and I still feel the same way. My brain is in 100% working order with about 78% of my memories regained and am completely uninterested in my life from before the accident, and for that matter, I don’t think I’ve had a flash back in 6-9 months or so now. It really is quite rare].