Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Resetting the Rolodex of Memory...


People like myself born without a Corpus Callosum exhibit a host of memory and processing errors.   These errors range from not being able to access memories that are encoded, as well as sometimes not even forming said memories in the first place.

Like myself there are some with ACC that are so right brain dominant that we confabulate ( fabricate imaginary experiences as compensation for loss of memory. ) constantly and almost always without our awareness it is occurring.  The only thing pointing to there being any problem at all has never been recognized in myself,   but how others react to me and my communications and behavior. For some of us this causes us to judge ourselves harshly and over-discriminate our behavior, become self-deprecating in the worst way possible, believing ourselves somehow "less than human."

I would waste my life in angst and regret, if I spent it trying to "fix" or "cure" my peculiarity.  I would much rather focus every waking moment of my life on accepting, supporting, nourishing my best life possible.  

I have begun using a new authoring software.  I have been familiarizing myself with it and setting up and importing materials into the program as I began to notice something rather queer.  It allowed me to compartmentalize my writing in exactly the way I cannot  do  with my memory. It is designed that you have chapters made up of scenes (which are independent or joined to chapters) .  There are also acts made up of chapters.  There are characters, and locations, etc... just as in the timeline we call our lives.

A while back talking with a friend who works with DD folk like myself recommended a method to recover and properly order  my real memories.  

  1. Start with what you already have/wherever you are.
  2. What stands out when you think about that memory?  Do you see anything...smell anything....? 
When we can begin to develop a better "picture" about what we can remember, this attracts like/similar/congruent memories... i.e., at first we remember a person, then we remember their face, then we remember their voice...oh, I remember the room we were in, it had white walls...etc...  When recording my memories the odd thing I find is that actual memories are always congruent/ corresponding in character/ harmonious  with each other...

Confabulated memories, on the other hand seem to not stand up to this scrutiny within long term memories...because these are always grounded or anchored in something seen, felt, smelt, tasted or touched, all else is questionable. 

Honestly would tell anyone the mind is perfectly capable of creating a sensual reality outside of any bodily contact of the senses but within the mind alone

The congruity/consistency/ of real memory is different than confabulated memory to some extent, which this exercise bears out. There is no volition to deceive either ones' self or others, no coercion.  In fact in-congruence is the only thing that let's me know "something ain't quite right."  There are times I can change the outcome, but I cannot change that this is the way my brain processes and communicates to the world.

Getting back to the writing software...

It has helped me to "database" memories that I know for certain are reliable ones...with scene, characters, locations, etc...and slowly I'm piecing together my life from my childhood till now.  It is the most (personally) profound exploration of my little life.  Unlike confabulated memories, actual memories will be evoked by actual memories.  If I try to do this with a confabulated memory, often times, it just has an EEEEeeewwwwwwwww feeling,  or sometimes, just a little eww feeling!

For me, even my long term memory has always come and gone, as well as issues with working memory... it is worse if I do not get proper sleep, (it can be far worse.)

Confabulation is the dirty little secret of many with ACC.  

Not everyone with ACC has this, but many do, one some level or an other.  I don't mean to speak for everyone nor to offend, so if this does not apply to you, we'd all love to know your experience with ACC. We are all unique, even when sharing this common neurological trait!  A dear local ACC friend of mine and I joke about it, because it is part of her wiring too.  

At a certain point one must learn to accept it for what it is in our life.  I think I am aware much of the time on some level something might be hokey, but it is only in retrospect that I could try to see from people around me if I seem to become incongruent.  It can even look like someone saying something, while doing the exact opposite thing at the same time.  Of course this isn't how we with ACC see things (I can again, only really speak for myself.)

Before I learned about this, I had so much self-loathing and self-hatred, but now, I know, the current meat puppet's transceiver and processor, is literally missing hardware, and cannot process "neuro-typical" software (I'm waxing poetic, leave me alone, I'm on a role...)

Now the only thing I need be concerned with is being the best me I can be, outside of others' expectations that would pigeonhole me or put  me into a category or a box.

There is a phenomenon I go through sometimes, where I recover an accurate memory of the distant past...and it is to me exactly as if my chain of memories is Rolodex...this accurate memory starts working through all my "remembered past" in the background, then all of the sudden it will come up against an incongruous memory or thought, whatever, and it will kick that false memory out of the Rolodex, throughout all my current (human) history. 

I will admit to a certain sadness, when I think of all in my life that loved me but judged me because they didn't have this piece of the puzzle.  The worst yet, it that my family has been presented all this evidence medically, and they refuse to accept it.  I honestly do not know how I would have reacted and responded in their place.  This is not an acquittal, by any means.  The loss is their own, whoever they have wanted in their lives it surely wasn't me.  I move forward, hand in hand with chosen family and friends, fellow travelers.

Something else that occurs with ACC is issues with memory retrieval; they are there, but have no "pegs or handles" with which to recover them... These accurate memories going through the Rolodex and checking every entry also respond to related information in memory, evoking other distinct actual vs imagined memory.
I called it a dirty little secret above, because I wanted to elicit a response.., if their is one to be had, in the reader.  I'm not making a value judgement, rather I'm pointing to the immense shame and hiding that goes into confabulation, because although you know it is occurring there is nothing to do, it just is "reality"...I just personally feel this would be so abhorrent to the average person's sense of self / ego, that in most cases we even try to hide any knowledge of this from ourselves, in some warped sense that we should walk through life with our heads held in shame.  

I do not believe it has to be this way.  I will not live my life in such a way, nor will I permit others to debase, degrade or shame me.  This is the whole package the whole enchilada, the full Monty.  I am not broken I am whole.  Such is why even though I literally  have a hole in my head, I refer to myself as having a whole in my head!

You might say this new writing program has taken organizing my memories to a whole different level, and actually using it to remember more and accurately and uncovering false memories sometimes...the Rolodex.  What an incredible journey!

It is difficult to misunderstand someone, it is even more confounding to be misunderstood.  Open your hearts and minds to difference. We are the same, and we are different.  Walk with me a mile, see how I ambulate down the way, and you'll notice quickly I am not your average Joe.  I find it ironic that I have spent most of my life trying to avoid the limelight with all my might, yet some would accuse me of wanton lust for attention. 

If you, like so many of my close friends do, walk with me by my side, you'll notice relative balance and ease, for a while then inconsistency, out of left field, I will appear to be entirely innapropriate... say the wrong thing or at the wrong time, say one thing while literally acting out it's opposite...completely within my train of logic, but perplexing to anyone else... This much I have known most all of my life, but within minutes who I am will shift yet again.  You'll then see that I have no consciousness of guilt nor deception and what is illogical for you clearly isn't so for me, regardless of the "facts" of the matter.  If you are my chosen family and my friends you know that I am not my inconsistencies, they are resultant of my ACC.

The Peanut Gallery
There is this old crony, see, back in the Peanut Gallery of my mind; he yells at me in my father's voice calling me  a "psychopathic liar"  since as long as I remember.  He hardly bothers me any more, but once and a while I have to put him back in his room and send him to the corner!.

On a purely practical side this new software is enabling me to take tons and tons of already written materials, and better organize and format/plot/them/adjust etc....happy happy joy joy happy happy joy joy ! ! !

My love and thanks to all my friends and family, you know who you are
~Joseph

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