I used to be really smart. So sharp, quick with arithmetic and witty. I always felt as though I could conquer any sort of intellectual problem. I was confident in helping others to understand complex concepts; my classmates always came to me for help and I would gladly and competently assist. I was confident in my ability to perform academically.

I feel that since this whole sexual abuse thing has reared its terrifying head, that is an aspect of myself that has been relegated to the past. I feel foggy, slow, muddy in my thinking. I can’t do math in my head anymore. At times, finding the right word is a struggle. I have to think a great deal before I speak. I don’t remember a lot of things.

I used to have the greatest memory (or so I thought). I could remember exactly what a person said, what they were wearing, etc. Now I question all of that. I can’t even remember things that happened one day ago. My wife tells me about something I said and I have no recollection of the conversation. Or she shows me something and I appear to respond, only to show her the same exact thing five minutes later, as if she hadn’t already seen it. I can see that this is alarming to her. The other night, I made the comment that sometimes I enjoy dissociation, the feeling of numbness and blank space in my head. She got freaked out and said she doesn’t like it when I dissociate, it’s like I’m a different person. “You’re not there.”

I don’t know what’s happening or what has happened to me.

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