Sunday, January 04, 2009

Cold as the dickens

1/4/09 Sunday
Yesterday I was unusually clear headed and wasn’t the “grumpy bob” (Cherie’s term for it) I sometimes am. In fact I enjoyed having a sense of humor, joking and laughing with Cherie. Of course it’s when I’m with Cherie that I am relaxed the most and we laugh a lot. Making Cherie laugh is a highlight for my day anyway.

Last night there was a show on PBS that made me realize a lot. It was about how the Jews who were in the movie industry in Germany when Hitler took control of that country. As I watched how these people struggled to survive and how many of them went on to be not only successful but a powerful influence in Hollywood, with many becoming stars and acclaimed directors, I thought how my issues paled in comparison. Here they are overcoming odds and losses that far exceed anything I’ve been through. Recently my depression has escalated to the point of despair, where I thought that my dreams and ambitions were pipe dreams that I would never be able to achieve. So I’ve been thinking there was no sense in chasing that dream and should just resign myself to just existing, to planting a garden that I couldn’t keep up with anyway. What a poor attitude, one that is self fulfilling in achieving the failure I feared. Like the bible says, “What a man fears shall happen to him”. (Or something like that, a bob paraphrase) It can be hard to stay positive when surrounded with your failures. This inability to stay focused, this inability to follow through or finish a project is listed as a common problem in pretty much all the literature I’ve read on Traumatic Brain Injuries. But that doesn’t make feel better though it is a little comforting to know I have a lot of company. Anyway, I need to renew my attitude, to get back to a positive place where I can dream again.

Anyway, I woke up clear headed and actually felt the sensation of hunger. That’s something that pretty much disappeared with the brain injury though it does show up every now and then. It’s just like other senses that were diminished from the TBI, suddenly they are accentuated, sometimes almost overwhelmingly. I’m glad that doesn’t happen as much as it used to. The one that bothers me most is when my ears start hearing every sound. We all have a filter of sorts that helps us screen out sounds like an air conditioner. Our minds can tune it out. I was at Lowes one time and that filter stopped working. Every conversation within hearing distance was registering at once along with every other sound in the place, the forklifts, carts rolling along, the click of a man’s boots, cash register’s beeping, receipts being printed up, and…well, you get the picture. So I figure being hungry is a good sign. I got hungry yesterday afternoon as well and that was a good day.

Unfortunately both Cherie and I are still pretty sick so we decided not to go to church. I can’t see having both of us with our hacking coughs steadily interrupting the service or Sunday school. Plus sharing this cold isn’t a good thing to do either. Cherie’s been sick for two weeks now and me for a week. Jen said it might be bronchitis but I don’t think that comes with diarrhea or a fever.

Ever since Christmas I’ve been worrying about what to write my dad, and if he would even look at it if I did. He said “Send me your number” but I wonder if that was just to get rid of me. There is so much I want to say but what will work, what will help open the door? Will he even open the letter? Then I worry about what might offend or upset him, what will close the door. What makes this hard is I really have no idea what he has been told or what he thinks happened and why. I know he mentioned my being a heroin addict during our one heated conversation a few years ago. Do I explain how that happened? Will he just think I’m making excuses or justifying myself? I want to explain everything, to send him everything I’ve learned or recovered in my memory about my fall. Hell, I want to tell him all about my first divorce from Cherie, about the seventeen years I spent with the second wife, Barbara, about everything because he wasn’t there. That’s my fault as much as his as I wasn’t writing or talking to him except on rare occasions and it’s been that way since I ran away from home at fourteen. So I want to tell my dad who I am for he really doesn’t know. And I really don’t know who he is. That is something I dearly want to know. I want to know what he’s done and where he has been. I want to know about that whole side of the family, about my heritage.

It’s a shame all that I had written disappeared when my hard drive crashed. So I need to start writing the book all over again and should start writing about the specific events I can clearly remember, or at least partly see through the clouds of my memory. Some I don’t want my dad to know because I know it would upset him and he would despise me. He already does that.

All these things have been rolling in my head since Christmas. I need to do something because it’s going on two weeks now. It’s cold as the dickens out and the north wind is blowing the curtains inside our bedroom window. I’m not going to start a fire as we have already burned half our firewood and there are still two cold months to go, actually January and February are the coldest months I think. I’ll fire up the wood stove when Cherie comes home but till then I’m staying under the covers to be warm. I’ll let Ben come in tonight because it’s going down into the low twenties.

Well, it’s time to feed Gretchen and check on the others so I need to put this laptop up and get out from under these covers.

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