Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's a shame

2/17/08 Sunday
The valentine’s social turned hard for me. I was fine when we walked in the door. But it didn’t take long for things to get overwhelming for this brain I am stuck with. All the conversations around, answering questions from people who know me but I can’t quite remember, trying to figure out what I was supposed to go was too much. I sat down next to Don or someone else I was familiar with to hopefully reduce the stress and keep the slowdown I could sense from getting bigger. Having Cherie next to me is a strength at these times but the room had divided up with the men on one side and women preparing things and visiting on the other. When it was time to get in line to fix your plate it was announced that couples were to not sit with each other. This came as a blow to me. I waited till nearly last to get in line.

Was in bad shape by this time. When I got my plate fixed and headed to find a seat someone asked “Where you going?”. “I don’t know” was my honest answer. They invited me to sit next to them so I did. By now the sound of all the conversation was a cacophony and I could hear each one of them and couldn’t tune them out. I just sat there concentrating on my plate though I wasn’t really eating anything. It must have been obvious to Cynthia because she suggested to Cherie that she sit next to me. I am grateful for that but was already gone. We were going to leave early so she had us tell how we met and about our first date, as everyone was to do, first. I don’t remember a first date. We just saw each other every day at the college. I so wish I was lucid so I could tell of our first love but really couldn’t talk well. By now I felt naked, exposed to all, embarrassed. We stayed to hear everyone else’s stories, and they were good ones. Then we didn’t wait around but headed out the door right away. Cherie drove home because I wasn’t in good enough shape to drive.

It’s a shame that we couldn’t enjoy this wonderful time. It also reminds me of how much I depend on Cherie and that I can be a burden to her. I don’t want to go to church today. Just embarrassed. Cherie makes the point that everyone there understands but that doesn’t help. I’ll just stay home and safe. There is plenty for me to do here anyway. Besides that there is something wrong with Carman kitty. We don’t know what but his eyes are dilated and he seems to be in pain, just hunkered down in a corner under the desk and won’t come out. We occasionally hear a long plaintive meow from him. We wouldn’t go to church anyway because of this.


Eric said...

Bob, I'm sorry to hear that your experience at the fellowship wasn't a good one. We weren't there due to a prior commitment, but I can assure you that nobody there cared about anything other than your well-being. That group should be -- and is, I think -- a sanctuary from having to worry about what others think. I've known most of those folks long enough to feel comfortable in reassuring you that you don't ever have to worry about such things. If that wasn't the case, I would never have mentioned the group to you in the first place.

Bob said...

Eric, I have no problem with folks there at all, in fact they are very loving and caring. It's just embarrassing for me to have these seizures anywhere in public and makes me extremely self conscious. Please don't interpret that as in anyway a cut on them. One of the results of my brain injury is paranoia and deep insecurity. I recognize this but can't change it.

cherie said...

Just a note from the wifey, What Bob wrote was in no way intended to slight the class at all. He was just expressing how the whole episode felt to him and I even reminded him while we were sitting there that there was love in this place and he didn't have to worry. He does anyway and that (along with a certain amount of paranoia) is a part of the brain injury that is always misunderstood. I wasn't sitting next to him and didn't realize how "rough" he was doing and I'm grateful to Cynthia for catching it and telling me I needed to be there for him. That's a true friend! Please know that we love being part of the class and are grateful for the relationships we have been developing. We are blessed to be allowed to be part of such a great group!

Eric said...

I obviously wasn't clear in my comment. I didn't construe ANYTHING Bob wrote to be a knock against anyone in the class. I was simply trying to reassure Bob that he has nothing to be embarrassed about, because no one is going to judge him.

I know it's much easier said than done, though. It's like telling someone who's clinically depressed to cheer up. It just doesn't work that way, does it?