Saturday, August 25, 2012


It's sad the way some people react to power, imagined or otherwise. It can be a heady thing, I know, but to allow it to turn you into a beast and, if others perceive you have power, make those around you cringe every time you open your mouth that's not okay.

Today I am going to my daughter's volleyball game. I love watching her play. I love doing something where I can support her. Today I feel strong, but inside I still cringe. I find myself wondering if something will happen while I'm there that will hurt me all over again. Will people recognize me? If they do, will they talk to me or ignore me? If they talk to me (which happened on Tuesday) is it because they have no idea who I am, or because they do know who I am?

And, the biggest question of all, will he behave himself? Last year, at one of my daughter's volleyball games, her dad chose to raise his voice at me and stuck his finger, literally, in my face for saying hi and giving hugs and kisses to my boys through the bars of the top area they were sitting in. At the time, I wasn't strong enough to defend myself and I didn't understand the totally ingrained fear reaction I had towards him. The fear of saying the wrong thing and making the "scolding" worse.

Today, I still only understand now that it is just that - an ingrained reaction. I don't remember enough of our relationship to understand where it comes from.  However, today I am strong. Today I will say hi to my boys if they are there without fear, because today I know what needs to be said if he does it again. "Yes, there is an order for supervised visitation. It is not a PPO!! Not the same thing. It is not an order saying I can't see my kids in a public venue. And it certainly doesn't mean that I need your permission to go where I want to go when I want to go there. You no longer control me. I know you can't stand that, just based on your behavior, but get over it already."

Of course, I say that now. Right now I'm sitting safely on my balcony with my computer in my lap. Once I'm there, instinct will most likely take over and I'll cower and cringe. I pray someday I'll be stronger. But, I also pray that when I am, I will never react to that power the way some people react to power over others.

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." - John Emerich Edward Dalberg

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Life's Little Problems

I've discovered something most unpleasant about myself.....I'm an avoider. I don't face the problems life throws my way until I feel "ready." Sometimes that means that for days, or even weeks, on end I will bury my head in the sand and pretend that nothing is wrong, nothing is going on. It took seeing that tendency in someone very close to me recently for me to face up to my own issue with it. I nearly corrected them on their avoidance behavior before I realized I do the same thing.

I don't want to be one of those people. I want to face the challenges life hands me head on, with my face set and my mind in "battle mode", ready to face whatever I'm dealt with a calm demeanor. That is what I will strive to do from now on. Even the issues I've been avoiding the last couple of weeks, which will be harder to face for having avoided them, I will deal with in a calm, rational manner no matter what happens. (Well, I'll try anyway, but "calm and rational" take a lot of work for me, so it might not work out as well as I'd like. All I can do is try and hope for the best.)

This is where I run into my favorite part of the amnesia....learning who I am and correcting myself where it's needed. I realize this is something anyone can do, with or without the startlingly life-altering event, but I can truthfully say that I see these things about myself differently than I did before. I would notice them and try to change them before, but they were far more deeply ingrained in me before. I'm still "learning" how to be me, how to be an adult, and these behaviors are much easier to correct now. Also, when I see these things, it tends to be suddenly, and with a crystal clarity that I didn't have before. I don't know if that's because I wasn't much of an introspective person (I thought I was, but I now know I was pretty shallow when it came to how I viewed myself) or because every day I remember something new and these revelations often come with the memories.

I may falter, and I may fail often at the endeavor of bettering my "ostrich" attitude, but I will continue to try no matter how often I bruise myself on the trail to successful change. That's one tendency I don't ever want to give up. My intense tenacity and stubbornness when it comes to improving myself.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Why I "Left"

Please note, this blog is not meant to be used for blame. It is not an excuse for everything that has happened. It is an epiphany, nothing more, nothing less!!

This has been weighing heavily on my mind of late. I've been wondering if I should say anything or let my mind clarify what has been bothering me first. of tonight, my mind is clear, but my heart still isn't. People will take from this what they choose. Some people will take from this the opportunity to blame. Others will realize that there is no blame being placed by what I have to say, only me relieving my heart of a burden I can't carry alone.

I remember why I left. I don't remember how or the events immediately leading up to and during my disappearance, but the stress behind the fugue is something I truly believe I understand.

I don't believe I ever made the conscious decision to leave, but I do know that the mind can only handle so much stress before it just shuts down. Some people just need a "day off" from the world. Some people hide in books, movies, or television, temporarily escaping from the stresses of every day life. None of that was enough for me. When that's not enough, some people suffer from a nervous breakdown, but others box off their life and go into a fugue state to escape what they can no longer process. This is what my subconscious did to survive.

I was drowning. Oh, not literally, obviously, but drowning in stress and the feeling of complete and utter failure looming on the horizon. I had been told by different people since my childhood that I was a nobody, a nothing, not worth listening to or believing, and definitely not worth the mud on the bottom of certain people's boots. I was still being told that by one person in particular every time that person would get angry about something they construed as insulting or threatening to their reputation or well-being. Being told you're worthless and a failure wears on you after a while. The feelings those words inspire get to the point where they are always inside you. You are so sure that they are correct that you start to self-sabotage to make it true.

Never was that more true that what happened April 9, 2011, for me anyway.

I felt like life was too much. I was exhausted, but determined to keep wading through the quicksand. I refused to give up. I thought this meant that I was a strong person. That this would prove to everyone once and for all that those naysayers were wrong. That I was worthwhile, but all I was doing was setting myself up for the biggest fall yet. I piled on more and more stress, but through it all I continued to allow myself to be verbally attacked and continued to make excuses for those attacks instead of defending myself and talking about my problems with people who would have gotten me the help I needed.

That day, I failed to turn in a school assignment that was due by noon. That was it. That was the last straw, I guess. I felt like I couldn't breath when I realized what I'd done. I was exactly what they had said I was. A failure. That was when I decided to step out, run to the store, get some ice cream, take a breathe, and start again later after I'd calmed down. (That's the missing piece to the puzzle. That's why I gave in to the urge to grab a snack. That is what I wasn't ready to remember. It's so small a thing in retrospect, but at the time it was the end of everything I was trying to build for myself.)

That didn't happen, though. Something else happened. I don't know what, but I am extra glad I am not that same person. Yes, there are a couple of people left out there that my reactions to are controlled completely by my subconscious. Those people who have ingrained fear into my reactions to them so deeply that I can't think about them without feeling it and an immediate need to protect myself the only way they would let me in the past, just obey. However, overall I am a much healthier person now than I was in my "past life."

Before, I would talk some about what bothered me, but then I wouldn't talk it through fully and would continue to worry about it, wallowing in my fear and eventual self-loathing. Today, I don't let stress rule my world. There is always someone who will listen. A friend, a family member, or my blog followers. No stress stays locked up inside. No decision remains unmade. No situation is allowed to fester. Apparently, when I was reset, my brain learned healthy ways to deal with the daily stresses that come with being human.

I've been told by two psychiatrists and a psychiatric nurse (in the hospital in Joliet), that I have less of a chance of ever experiencing another dissociative fugue than someone that has never experienced one in their life, and the chance drops even further if I can figure out why it happened and deal with the problems. Well, apparently my mind already knew the problem and started dealing with it before it let my conscious mind discover the truth. I am thankful to know that my friends and family will never have to experience what they did for those 3+ weeks that I was missing (with a 99.999% certainty anyway.)

If any of you are in a situation where you don't feel like you can talk to others about your stress, but you are drowning in your troubles, please find someone to help you before it's too late. Don't let what happened to me happen to you, or something different and just as bad. Please remember that there are people who care. I care. I may not know you personally, but I still care.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Sometimes we get a gentle reminder that life is fragile and finite. Softly, like the brush of a butterfly's wings, we are reminded that we will not be here forever and while we are here, we need to be thankful for anything and everything, the good and the bad. Sometimes those gentle reminders also show us how one very small incident, something we might consider inconvenient at the time, can change the course of a life.

Yesterday, because I misplaced my keys for a minute at my mother's house, I missed witnessing (or worse yet, being involved) in a horrific car crash. I was only a minute behind the vehicle that rolled on the interstate, but it took 10 minutes to get to where it happened because immediately traffic came to a standstill. As I drew closer, I knew it was bad. People in the opposite direction had pulled over and were getting out of their vehicles to run across the highway.

After passing the scene and saying a prayer for those involved and their family and friends I suddenly realized why I wasn't there when it happened. One little thing that at the time was slightly annoying and inconvenient saved me from something I quite possibly couldn't have processed (and, more frighteningly, couldn't have survived if I'd been hit.) How easily a life was lost. How easily my life could have been involved. I am now thankful for the minor inconvenience of having to look for my keys for less than 60 seconds.

I'm sure there are times we don't realize how the little things change our lives. Your son lost a shoe, your daughter can't find her favorite sweater, your spouse can't remember where their wallet or purse was set down last, the dog won't come in after being let out, etc., etc. These things frustrate us, but what if every one of these happens for a good reason, and we just never see what would have happened otherwise.

Sometimes we get a not so gentle reminder that life is fragile and finite. Hurtfully, like the swipe of a tiger's paw with it's claws out, we are harshly forced to face realities that as humans we try every day to avoid thinking about. We have a major annoyance or horror that changes the course of our life entirely.  I am human, so naturally I often wonder about my disappearance and amnesia. Why me? What good could actually come of my family's worry, my kids' hurt hearts, my ex-husband's anger, my friends' confusion and fear?

Just like the things I never experience because of the little things in my life, I may never know. I just have to remember to trust that God sees how my life would have otherwise been and He knows truly what's best for me. My life is where it is now. It is going in a direction that NEVER would have occurred otherwise because I am not the same person I was. The change to my life is so big it's incomprehensible.

Life is fragile and ever so changeable. For that I am thankful.

Friday, July 6, 2012

He Knows Best....I Just Have to Trust

It is always hard to admit that God knows best for us what should happen in our lives, but this song reminded me when my mind chose to try to forget. Everything that happens does so for a reason. We have to let go of our need to know all the answers and the reasons. Whether God chooses to give us the answers or not, we should accept that He loves us and puts obstacles in our path for a reason.

I rest in knowing He loves me and I don't need to know it all. I will most likely never know, and that's okay. I will follow the path that I feel He has led me to and if, someday, He decides I need more answers than He has provided at this time, I will accept those answer with as much calm as He can grant me.

It is enough to know that He loved me and took care of me while I was in the middle of my "black hole". If He can protect me through the truly unknown, He can lift me up and carry me through the new challenges I face today.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Shockingly, I Have Amnesia

Okay, I realize this isn't a surprise to anyone, but sometimes my life is going so smoothly that I forget that I have amnesia. There is so much that I do remember that I don't think about it every moment of every day like I did in the beginning. This is fantastic for me.....until my mother, speaking about something my brother posted online, says his middle name and I realize I didn't know it....or my sister, casually discussing where I used to live with my parents, husband, and kids, says something happened and I suddenly realize I have no idea what she's talking about....or someone asks me if I've seen a certain movie and I don't know what to say, because chances are good that the answer is yes, but I'm not sure and I don't remember the story regardless.

It's unnerving to realize how much I don't know about who I was. I know there are things I remember that I still have no emotional frame of reference for. I remember that things happened and that I made decisions, or that I was shy about putting myself out there, but I don't really understand why I behaved that way, or decided what I decided, or where that shyness came from. I'm not shy and I don't make decisions for the sake of hurting people who have hurt me and I don't hate people no matter their past behavior towards myself or others. That's just not who I am....but that is who I was.

Faced with these random statements from others about what has happened in my life and how I used to behave and memories of decisions I've made, I am forced to remember I have amnesia. Not HAD, have. It doesn't define my every day life like it did for the last year plus, but it's there and I am still dealing with the questions of who I really am versus who I was, what I don't remember and the possibilities of why those memories haven't returned, and how much I'm going to allow my past to dictate my future.

And I move forward every day, because (still sometimes) shockingly, I have amnesia!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Amber Who?

Heather and I have been watching a show that simultaneously makes me cringe and laugh at the same time. It's called "Samantha Who?" about a woman who was hit by a car and after several days in a coma, woke up with retrograde amnesia. Her family and friends just can't seem to grasp the concept of what amnesia really means and keep saying things like "Well, you remember!" or "You know what this is." It really makes me thankful my family didn't have to constantly be reminded that my old life meant nothing. That I had to relearn many of the basic functions to survive in today's society, and at the same time figure out who I was.

The biggest cringe worthy moments for me are when Samantha tries to pretend she doesn't have amnesia for one reason or another. Why would she have to be ashamed of what happened to her? It's something so outside of her control that it's ridiculous, but people make her feel like it's something to brush aside and just pretend it's not real or didn't really happen. It's something I've wondered about myself, too.  Why should I have to be ashamed of what happened to me? Why should I have to hide a huge part of my life in order to move forward? I don't, and I won't.

The best part of the show is that she learns something new about her old life every episode (she wasn't a nice person, in fact downright mean) and tries to change who she is now to be a better person. She is taking something crappy that happened to her and using it to change her life for the better. I have tried and will continue to try to do the same.

I highly recommend this show for anyone who wants to understand amnesia better (and get a good laugh in the process.) It had to have been written by someone who has suffered amnesia (or knows someone who has.) The things Samantha asks herself and others are questions I have lived with for over a year. Just as one questions gets answered, another question pops up to replace it.  It's a never-ending uphill battle, but it's one that is full of surprises, where nothing is commonplace, and every day is an adventure.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Man of Courage

Sometimes it is easy to let our fear of telling the truth interfere with the telling of it. Sometimes we worry so much about what others are thinking that we try to stop thinking something.  Well, today is Father's Day and that makes this the best day to say this.

Out there is a man of courage who was one long before the call was made. He was the one who stayed when things went south. He was the one that kissed his children, tucked them into bed, and told them that he and their mother loved them. He was the one who took them to school events, showed up for concerts, went to sporting events, and got to know the classmates, parents, and teachers. He was the one who played with the kids, fed them after school, and made sure they were bathed. He kissed them when they fell down and got scraped, he listened when they had problems with friends, he taught them how to ride their bikes, and he answered their questions when they wanted to know about anything.

He was there when I didn't step up to the plate and take care of what should have been taken care of. He was truly a hero. He still is. To my kids......and to me.

Happy Father's Day, Teague. Whether you see this or not.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Yes, I know I've been AWOL for a while. Sorry about that. Things are getting more hectic in my household as my sister and I prepare to move back up to Michigan. Add to that the job search (that's becoming a bit frustrating since nothing is panning out at this time) and a recently SUPER stressful issue I had with Friend of the Court that turned out better than it could have and not as well as I would have liked, and I'm left with a feeling of exhaustion that is impossible to describe.

The next few months are going to be trying ones. I have to come up with something to pay towards child support whether I have a job or not. I'm not against this, but it hasn't been working out very well yet. None of my endeavors have panned out. Being told that you must not be working hard enough to look for a job when I put in 10 resumes on a normal day, closer to 15 or 20 on a really good day is frustrating. Being told that your efforts to survive aren't good enough and if your family can come up with the money to support you, they should be able to come up with the money to pay something towards your child support is also frustrating. I feel like I'm being punished for the economy being crappy. I am also beginning to think that some of the people that work for Friend of the Court have such high job security that they've lost touch with the grim reality the rest of us are living in. It is hard to find a job. I'm applying for everything that makes sense around here, which is now only part/full time gas station attendants and waitresses. Still looking!!! Don't tell me I'm not working hard enough at it just because you don't like the results. I don't like the results either, but that doesn't mean I'm going to treat others like crap. I'm also looking for jobs in Michigan. That's a lot of places I have to apply to every day!! I'm working my butt off and being told it's still not good enough?!?!?!

*Deep breath* Sorry, rant over.

Now I'm working on crafting a lot of items to sell on Etsy. That and Avon are all I have right now and they are just going to have to be good enough. Pray, pray, pray!!

Last night, however, I was laying in bed just thinking about my life (what I can remember anyway) and what it would feel like to move back to Michigan. It will be wonderful to be home. Still, last time I was there I was completely overwhelmed by the flood of memories that came back to me every day, and those barely scratched the surface. Will it happen again? Will I find that I haven't remembered as much about my life as I have hoped? I know there are people on my Facebook page that I still don't remember. I may remember what part of my life they were from, but I don't remember them - their personalities, who they are to me. I'm sure there are places that I will go to/drive past/see in the newspaper/etc. and just be bombarded with memories of what occurred there. Am I looking forward to this or dreading it? I'll let you know once it starts happening, until then I can't define how I feel to anyone else since I can't define it to myself.

Also, I will try harder not to disappear on y'all again, but no promises.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Out of Reach

We all have things we want to achieve in life. Some of our dreams are bigger than others. It seems like, if we have small dreams we should be able to reach them with a little work. Days like today, however, it feels like those small dreams are even more out of reach than the big ones.  I have dreams of going back to school and getting a degree (in chemical engineering, no less.) That's a pretty big dream. I have a dream of owning my own home and having a "normal" life (well, as normal as MY life could ever be considering how crazy I am on a daily basis.) Also, a pretty big dream.

I have a dream of moving back up to Michigan, getting a basic office job or even just flipping burgers if it affords me enough to support myself, my kids, and my sister, seeing my kids, and living a simple life for a couple of years. Not too big. Not too unattainable, right?  Not so much.

I got a letter in the mail yesterday that may make all of this null and void if I can't get the problem fixed. It's frustrating and infuriating that people just can't think for five seconds. "Gee, I'm sending this letter to an address several states away. She probably couldn't swing a face to face meeting, since she can't even come up with the money to send a little bit each month. Guess we should set this up for an over the phone deal." 

Could I really lose my "little" dream that everything is built around right now because someone is not thinking? Yup, I really could. Things just feel unattainable right now.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Year of Encouragement

Now that I've recovered from my vacation, I need to get back to blogging. Yes, my body hates to travel, but thankfully it chooses only to inform me of this after I get home. Not that it took me the whole week to recover, but there was the fact that life goes on, things have to be done around the house, job applications need to be continually put out there, and my sister and I had a yard sale this weekend. All in all, two days of feeling like crap (one of which I actually took it easy for) was enough to screw up my blogging schedule royally!  So without further ado, here we go......again.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Panic Attacks

I thought I was done with them. I thought it was safe.  I thought I had this all under control. Sometimes, we have to be reminded that life just isn't that easy.  This past week I was on vacation. A very dear friend of mine bought cruise tickets for himself, my sister, another great friend, and myself. We all had a great time. It felt wonderful relaxing in the sun and have the opportunity to explore places I truly have never been before (as far as we know anyway *wink-wink*.)

Still, being on a ship with 3000+ other people proved to be even harder than I would have thought. The very first day we were all called to our muster station for emergency protocol briefing before we left port. That was my first lesson in how difficult the rest of the week truly would be for me.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bad Impressions

It has been brought to my attention by someone that I love that I have made a bad impression on some people by posting blog posts that are more personal than necessary. This person is my brother, and he is absolutely right.

I would love to say that I have posted what I've posted because it all pertains to my recovery, but that wouldn't be the truth. That's not to say that it doesn't pertain to my recovery. Learning to deal with the repercussions of my past is an important part of what I've had to do, often before I even knew what that past was. However, more often than not, when I wrote posts about my ex-husband and my past with him, I wrote those posts out of anger, not out of a need to explore how I deal with those memories.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Just when my problems seem to be too big to handle, something happens to someone else to remind me how small my problems really are.  Here I am with a loving family and wonderful, supportive group of friends surrounding and supporting me. I have a roof over my head, food on my plate, and love surrounding me. I read about people who have lost everything, their jobs, their homes, their families, and I think "I wish I could help." Then I start to wonder, how can I truly help?

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Truth is Out There

If someone was professionally diagnosed with ADD, would you believe them? How much respect do you think you would lose if you publicly denounced that person? How about someone diagnosed with depression or anxiety?  There are no physical tests to prove that people have any of these ailments, yet people believe when others say they have them.

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's My Birthday (Of Sorts)

Today is my new birthday. That's right, I celebrate today as the day of my new beginning. Today is the anniversary of the day I was officially "found". I had already been in the hospital a couple of days when I was identified, but today is the official day to celebrate!! Of course, for me it didn't happen until 5/5. That was when I "met" my parents, and my road to recovery really began.

TV - As Vital As Google

Here's something new. TV shows are starting to come back to me. Not overall synopses, but individual episodes. I'm currently watching Star Trek: TNG to relearn what I liked and why. Loving it so far. All of the sudden, I remembered (while doing dishes, if we want to make this even more random) the episode where counselor Deanna Troi has a baby. No reason to remember it, just out of the blue it popped into my head.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fact and Fiction

I have been told that some of the things I put in this blog are lies. Since everything I post in this blog is memories (in other words, not just things other people have told me, but stuff I have actually remembered on my own over time) this statement got me wondering. How do we tell the difference between real memories and memories we have created in our minds/fantasies?

How many of you have looked at a picture and thought "I remember that!" when in fact you are "remembering" a story that has been planted in your head by your mother (father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandparent) repeating what happened so many times that you built a memory around it? How do you know when what you remember is real and what has been influenced by others around you?

Monday, April 30, 2012


It is amazing how the smallest thing can trigger a massive surge of memories. I was going through my jewelry to put it all back in my jewelry box (it was all over the place) and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Not my jewelry, the memories. "So and so gave me that piece", "I got that for....", one of the kids "made that one for me", etc., etc., etc.  I love/hate it when that happens.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Life Stages (Again)

I've been thinking about the stages of life that everyone goes through whether they want to admit they did or not. We all go through selfish, yet strangely innocent childhood; awkward, neither here nor there preteen; angry/happy/angsty/every other emotion that you can have teenage years; think you know everything, but in reality you know nothing twenties; etc., etc., etc.

Of course, I've only experienced those listed above and a tiny bit more. It's not like I'm in my 80s with my life winding down and trying to figure everything out (although there are days when I feel like I'm WAAAAYYYY older than I actually am.)  It's just that, recently I had a very shortened and intense version of those stages of life and I have finally accepted that it was just as necessary as everything else that has happened. Not so much to understand me (which is what I feel God was allowing me to do with the amnesia), but to understand how other people relate to me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Based on this poster, I have a very large family. I have many people whom I've never met in person who still make me a part of their life. People who accept me for who I am, the good, the bad, and the really, REALLY ugly. They send me goofiness over Facebook or e-mail and tell me regularly that they are praying for me just as I am praying for them.  Some days the reminders from these people that I am loved are very needed.

It's so easy to let myself forget that I am loved. Some days I see so much of the bad in me that I forget there is good. I remember so many rotten things that, at times, they overshadow the good. Or the good things that I remember are twisted by other people in my life to be proven that they were just a lie, which is worse than an actual bad memory. Worse because it feels like someone has taken something beautiful and crushed it until it's unrecognizable, then poured bleach on it just to make sure the job was done right.

I have some very precious memories that, as they have returned to me, sustained me through some very dark hours. Then, recently, someone informed me that all the good memories I have of us together were a lie. They never really liked me, but used me to make their life easier because they were going through something difficult. Funny, but it sounds like I was displaying the love I had for that person, they just refused to accept it.

The love I have for this person has not, and will not, change. I still want this person in my life, with a changed relationship of course, but still there. I accept them for who they are, the good, the bad, and the really, REALLY ugly. I would do anything to see this person smile again, even if the only way for that to happen is to just leave them alone. (i.e. Still be there, but not invading. Keeping my distance, but being available when they decide they need me, even if it's just to use me to make a difficult situation easier.) And, most of all, I will love this person no matter what. Adding one more item, not there but most important, I will pray for this person to find joy and forgiveness.

Sometimes the people we love the least is blood, but we love them because we have to. Sometimes the person we love the most is the one who loves us the least.  In the end, God will see us through. If we continue to love one another, than we are making use of the greatest resources He provided us with, EACH OTHER.
"I'm just like everyone. I like to feel togetherness with someone."Lucinda Williams

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

For ALL the People Who Make Me Cry

I discovered something tonight that surprised me. Mostly because I thought I had grown past it, but apparently I was VERY wrong. It still really hurts when someone makes it a point to tell people that they don't believe I have (or even had) amnesia. Scratch that. It doesn't bother me when someone doesn't believe me, it bothers me when they use that disbelief mingled with cruelty to make a joke out of my situation. If you don't believe what happened to me, that's fine. If you want to make it public fodder that you don't believe me, that's fine too. If you want to poke fun at me, that's okay. It's when you combine all of that with cruelty that it gets to me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Getting Better At This

It's amazing how God chooses to work in our lives. I though the decision to have a yard sale was just a way to consolidate mine and my sister's homes and make a little cash. God had other plans, obviously. Plans besides the devious "I'll completely wear her out moving around boxes for the next couple of weeks so that she won't feel up to doing anything come vacation time. Bwahahahahaha!!" (No, I don't really thing God is devious, it just felt like it yesterday when I couldn't move because my hip kept shifting in the joint. Not good. NOT GOOD!!!)

He is using this amazing opportunity of me going through nearly everything I own (some of the boxes of kids toys was just scary and I left well enough alone after one glance.) At first, it was really hard. I would look at some things and memories would come shooting into my head. Those were the easy things to take out and know what to do with. Then there were the items I would pull out and stare at for a while before I would shake my head and decide that I'm destined to not have any clue where it came from or if it held any significance for me. Those were the ones that made me want to cry.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Following Instructions

Yesterday was an interesting day. It was one of those days when I realize, yes I've come very far, but I still have so far to go. Maybe it's a confidence issue, maybe it's not. Maybe I'm just not introspective enough to figure that out. And, maybe it doesn't matter either way and I should just stop rambling about it now since it doesn't really affect the outcome of what I have to say here.

I learned (relearned?) yesterday how to fold down the back seats of my car to extend the cargo area. (Within that sentence lies the problem.) Sounds innocuous enough I suppose. That's really no big deal. I picked up the owners manual of my car, looked up how to do something, and did it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Yesterday I unpacked some things that just made me smile. A mug that I picked up when my oldest son and I went to Taquamenon Falls and another one that I picked up on Mackinac Island (both during the same class trip.) A mug that I got when my youngest son and I went to the zoo on a class trip. The kids hot chocolate mugs that friends gave us for Christmas a couple of years ago. My "Dragonfly Inn" coffee mug (well really soup mug, but I was really addicted to coffee!) that one of my best friends (almost wrote "besties" by accident. I really hate that word. I totally annoys me whenever someone writes in on FB. If you say it out loud it sounds like your calling someone a beast in a cutesy way. Ugh!) ummmmm......oh yeah....gave me for my birthday one year. Socks that I knitted for one of my boys. A sweater that I knitted for another. A hat of my oldest boy's filled with pins from that same Mackinac Island trip (I think he though it was gone, but YAY!! I have it.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


How many times have you fallen asleep wondering what tomorrow will bring, or thinking about your to do list for the next day. Well, I typically have the opposite problem. I fall asleep wondering about the past, thinking about all the to do lists that I have forgotten. Not just forgotten because of amnesia, but forgotten because I am human and had a really bad memory on a day to day basis. Last night, and I'm sure for many nights to come, this was more even MORE of a problem than usual  because I am currently going through everything I own getting ready for a yard sale. I will be consolidating my household with my sister's and don't feel like storing a TON of stuff while I get myself back on my feet.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Little Things

Happiness comes in small packages.

Meeting a new friend and being able to discuss things that have happened in my life, PAST and present, to help them better understand me.

Talking with my grandfather on the phone and knowing who he's talking about when he mentions different people from the church that I grew up in. Both who they are and what they mean/meant to me.

Going through boxes of my personal belongings from the storage unit and remembering when and where I got each item and re-examining the reasons why.

Talking to my kids on the phone and being able to say "Do you remember......?" (and sometimes hearing them say no, and smiling because I remember something they don't which means they couldn't have told me about it. Therefore I remembered it on my own.)

Remembering little things that people are amazed I remember (like the circumstances behind receiving something as normal and every day as a cup with dandelions in it, although that's maybe not so common since I am allergic to dandelions, but still.....)

Tasting something I've eaten before and remembering times when I ate that same thing. (Tastes are something I haven't been able to remember until I actually eat or drink something. I get the impression that's weird or something, but it is ME we're talking about!)

Tasting something I've NEVER eaten before. (Really just experiencing new things. I love new things!! My sense of adventure is at an all time high.)

Just waking up in the morning, because it's the little things that make me happy.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hard Relationships

Relationships are hard. Obvious statement, I know, but something that has to be rediscovered by someone who has forgotten what a relationship is. Not to mention the fact that, once I started to remember my past, I realized I really sucked at them.  I'm not talking about one particular type of relationship. I'm talking about all relationships. Parent to child, sibling to sibling, friend to friend, man to woman....none are easy, all are worth it.

Learning to deal with people patiently and in a steady manner in a matter of months rather than a lifetime is not easy. Even with my memories back, I feel like there are things I've had to relearn. Such as the ability to relate to people the way others would expect a normal 33 year old divorcee and mother of four to relate. I watch the people around me closely and wonder if I will ever feel like I've at least got myself back up to the standard that is expected, not by other people, but by myself.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Haunting Past

No matter how much a person tries to live their life, the past will come back to bite them. The more I remember, the more I find I have to regret. Every time something comes up that I need to forgive myself for, I have to deal again with other things that I've remembered and already tried to let go of and move on from.  That's the toughest part about how things have come back to me. I remembered good thing after good thing for the longest time. I asked the people who knew the truth about the bad things to please discuss them with me. It would have been the perfect opportunity to learn the truth, apologize, and move forward for all of us.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Public Eye

I have a post I have been writing for many days now. It is a difficult post made more difficult by the melodrama that seems to intrude on my life at regular intervals these days. It seems the more I write about the past (which is the topic of the post I've been trying to write), the more difficult it becomes to deal with.  There is a reason for this. I live my life very much in the public eye, therefore my past and present are scrutinized by my blog readers more than some others. I have placed myself in this position for a reason. Any personal information I put out there for people to read is put out there to try to help others. I do not ask for money to support myself or my family. I am not looking for fame and fortune by doing what I do. I am simply trying to let others who have been through what I've been through know that they are not alone.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My Daughter Gave It To Me Straight

Here is a link to my daughter's blog, specifically her most recent post "!!?". I want everyone who is reading this post to go there after just a few words from me.

These might sound like random thoughts from me, but they're not.

1. It takes two people to make a marriage and it takes two to break one. I have said this all along, as anyone of my friends can attest to. I have always stated that it is just much my fault as my ex's that we ended up getting divorced (except when I was at my angriest, then I would try to blame it all on him, but logic won out in the end every time.) I will always take blame that I am due. I will not take on more than my fair share. Please keep that in mind as you read this. I agree wholeheartedly with what my daughter has to say about the entire situation. Period.

2. I am correcting the mistakes of the past that I can as I am able. That isn't fast enough for me and it definitely isn't fast enough for the people I hurt, but I do what God gives me the strength and ability to do at this time. It is all in His time and His hands. No more, no less.

3. Forgiveness and repentance do not go hand in hand. A person can be very sorry for past deeds, words, and choices and not receive forgiveness. A person can forgive the actions of another person, whether that person is sorry or not. Repentance is between two people (the injured and the injurer) and God, for true contriteness cannot be attained without the prick of a conscience, which is born of the Holy Spirit. Forgiveness is between one person (the injured) and God, because He forgave us everything and only He can give us that power of true forgiveness, where we place the sins of another person as far as the east is from the west and do not throw it in their face whenever they offend us. He does this for us every moment of every day and we are commanded to love each other as He loves us. As I remember my actions, I admit and apologize to God and the person I have injured. I may not have apologized to their face, but will as soon as I am allowed. Not in front of a crowd, but to the person the injury was done to. Repentance is not a show of humiliation. It is one on one. As I stated, between two people and God. I do not ask for forgiveness, because that will only be granted when the injured party can place the situation in God's hands fully and let go.

4. My ex-husband is off limits as far as I and my children are concerned. My daughter has made a simple request, and that is that my ex and I put our differences aside. I have tried in the past to put out a hand of friendship, but was rebuffed because I hadn't apologized for past wrongs. I understand that now. At the time I didn't and I chose anger as the path to take. That was wrong of me, and for that I apologize. I do not apologize for telling the truth of myself or of him. The truth does not indicate blame or anger. I do not blame my ex for my bad decisions. Things happened that were a part of my justification for bad decisions at the time, therefore they are brought up in relation to my making bad decisions. That is all. Those things were not said to give other people room to blame him for anything or to lead people to believe that they or I have a right to remain angry. The past is the past. Letting go and forgetting are not the same thing, but I didn't intend to throw the past into his face. I have forgiven him and I stand by statement #3. His sins are as far as the east is from the west as far as I am concerned.

5. Be honest, in good ways and bad. I don't want people telling me all the time what a wonderful person I am. I like to hear the good things (don't completely stop telling me good things because of this post!), but too much of it an I may start to think I'm better than the average person. I am human and make human mistakes. When I am a horrible person, or have done stupid things, I want to know about those mistakes. Since I woke up in the hospital, I have wanted to know everything about my past, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I'm not saying I'll be great upon hearing horrible revelations about myself. I don't take things well, like some people think I do. I kick and scream and cry, in the privacy of my home, then I show a brave face to the world. I cope because I must, just as my kids do every day. They are strong, especially my daughter. I am proud of her for that, but ashamed of myself for forcing her to become what she is.  It's not "handling things", it's merely survival.

Now, if you haven't, please go read my daughter's post. Every horrible thing I've said about myself is true and it seems there are a lot of things I still need to remember. All of this has put me where I am today. I would never ask things to change, because only God can see the overall picture. Still, sometimes I wish I was in the passenger's seat, just so I could have an idea what the destination is for this particular leg of the journey we call life.

Friday, March 23, 2012

I Realize Now This Needs To Be Defined

If you have amnesia, how do you remember so much, all of a sudden? ~ Mike (commented on "Everything Happens for a Reason")
If you have "amnesia", how long did it take you to recall all these details? ~ Mike (same post, same person)

Same person, same question. I think it was rephrased to not come across as rude or hurtful (if that was the case, thank you. Very kind. If that wasn't the case, well thank you anyway because that's the way I choose to interpret it. I'm happier that way.)

I guess, based on the fact that someone needed to ask this question that amnesia needs to be defined.  I am left with the definite impression, due to this (these?) questions and other comments people have made to me, that some people are left with the impression that if you have amnesia, you have it forever. Also, people tend to believe you only "have amnesia" until you start to remember things again. Then you no longer have amnesia, even if you still have gaps in your memory, no matter how big. Well, those are incorrect assumptions. This is going to be a rather boring post, just warning all those who care to know.

First, I'm going to give you the Webster's Dictionary definition of amnesia:

1 : loss of memory due usually to brain injury, shock, fatigue, repression, or illness
2 : a gap in one's memory
3 : the selective overlooking or ignoring of events or acts that are not favorable or useful to one's purpose or position

I don't know if I agree with definition number three. That sounds more like denial than amnesia to me, but I'm not here to change the facts I find, just to honestly "report" them.

There are many types of amnesia, just as there are many types of cancer or diabetes. Just because you have amnesia doesn't mean you're going to fit into one category of "amnesiac". Also, definitions of amnesia are necessarily vague. It is a very personal illness. It effects everyone differently and recovery rates vary from case to case.  The two I was diagnosed with were the initial case of Dissociative Amnesia and Transient Global Amnesia.  

I think, when people think of amnesia, they think of something more episodic that you either "recover" from or you don't. There is really not much of an in between because you are missing a specific event. Once that event is remembered you have "gotten over" your amnesia.  This is usually directly related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  This is not what I suffer from.

There are permanent types of amnesia. They aren't always permanent, but are the least likely to see recovery from the condition. These are Retrograde Amnesia (no recall of the past, occasionally reversible, caused by physical brain damage) and Anterograde Amnesia (poor short term memory, occasionally reversible, unable to form new long term memory or that ability severely damaged, also usually caused by physical brain damage.) Neither of these are something I suffer from.

The reason I give two distinct forms of amnesia is because this all started with the Dissociative Fugue. I dissociated from my personality and life and disappeared for several weeks. This type of amnesia is almost always a stress related episodic amnesia. The length of the fugue is a case by case issue. There is no set pattern to these incidents. Total amnesia after an episode like this is normal. The length of that lack of long term recall varies from patient to patient. Recovery is complete when the patient's personality reasserts itself.  I have "recovered" from this type of amnesia as of May of last year. The chances of an episode occurring again in a patient is no greater than it happening in an individual who has never had an episode, even less if the cause of the episode is identified and treated appropriately.

This leads directly into the second type of amnesia I was diagnosed with, Transient Global Amnesia. This is a total loss of long term memory, although other cognition (mental abilities and quite often personality) remains intact. Anterograde amnesia was initially present (those first few days in the hospital are way more than a little fuzzy), but that was a temporary side effect from the Dissociative Fugue. Confusion and anxiety often accompany the reversal of an episode like that in patients. TGA can last anywhere from a few hours to several years. "Recovery" can be sudden, gradual, or somewhere in between. Once recovered, re-occurance is very rare. Especially if it is caused by psychological factors that are identified and treated rather than physical factors that we as humans have no true control over.

In my case, my memories are coming back to me and have been coming back to me all year. However, they come in spurts. Many of them extremely overwhelming and difficult to process. It's like living several years of your life in a few days. Exhaustion is a natural extension of these recalls. I do feel that most of my memories have returned in the last five weeks. Still, I don't feel "recovered".

I put recovered in quotation marks because there is always more to recovery than memory recall. First, I always feel there is a lot I don't remember. I often wonder if I will always feel this way. Will I always wonder what I don't remember? Probably. Nobody remembers everything, and that's okay. In fact it's completely normal, but for me there is a fear of not remembering something due to continued amnesia rather than natural human tendencies. Recovery is not as simple as getting memories back anyway. Having had amnesia will always affect a person. People think, "Oh, she has her memory back. We're all good now. She needs to just move on with life as 'normal' and just not worry that this happened in the first place." That's okay. They need to move on with their lives. I, on the other hand, cannot walk away from the reality of what has happened to me anymore than someone who has "recovered" from cancer can just not worry about it ever again. You have to continue testing and treatments to be aware if issues start to arise again.

I hope this helps you all to understand. Just because I have amnesia doesn't mean that I don't remember anything. Just because I remember stuff doesn't mean I don't have amnesia. Recovery is gradual and painful, not quick and mostly painless, like pulling out a splinter to make the pressure go away. There is no black and white in this. There is no "Now she has amnesia" then "Memories starting to return, crisis over." It's ongoing and something I will never "no longer have" because I have to live with this for the rest of my life.

There. Defined.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Taking Things to the Extreme

I had a couple of friends reminding me after "Everything Happens For a Reason" that self-destructive behavior is normal under the circumstances of my past. However, I do have this way of taking things to extremes.  I always say that it makes me sick when people use their past as an excuse for their poor decisions and bad behavior. If I sat here and blamed what had happened to me for my choices, that would make me a hypocrite.

So, I need to clarify something to all of you. I blame only myself for my past. My decisions were mine. I could have risen above circumstances, but chose to let my circumstances rise above me.  I also refuse to look at the past and beat myself up for those bad decisions. I have to forgive myself in order to move on with my life. That is my choice now. I forgive all. I forgive myself and I forgive those around me who made poor choices that effected me. I cannot forget because I am human, and to forget the past is to doom yourself to repeat the mistakes of that past. I choose to no longer let that past and those past mistakes rule my future. I allowed that for too many years and I am done.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Don't Expect Much

Sometimes, I just want to sit in a corner and kick my feet and scream my head off (kinda like that kid in the store when her mother refused to buy her the chocolate and then actually had the guts to discipline her when she slapped her mother. I just hope my mother doesn't drag me out of the "grocery store"(a.k.a. the living room) kicking and screaming when I don't behave. Applause to that mother by the way. Don't see that enough these days.) My tantrum would be for no other reason than that sometimes I feel like life is not fair. Nothing horrible has happened. In fact quite the opposite, good things have come my way lately. However, sometimes I want that piece of chocolate along with the quiet, little, good things that come my way. (Mmmmm chocolate!!! Giving up chocolate for Lent....tough when you're a chocoholic.)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Everything Happens For a Reason

My mother sent me a forwarded e-mail that I want to print and hang in a place where I have to see it every day. I want to put it on my calendar that I have to read this every morning before I start my day and every evening before my head hits the pillow. I have to remind myself all the time that God has a reason for everything that happens, everything we consider bad happens for His good just as much as everything good happens because of His plans. We can spend our lives bitter and angry about the "bad" things that happened, or we can trust Him to take care of you in all things. Here's the e-mail:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Angry Comments...{Tsk} So Sad

"Did you ever think that you used to hide who you really were from your family? Amber, you are the pathalogical liar here. The only people who you have fooled about having ANY amnesia are your parents, sister, and brother. Even your own children are seeing who you really are without your ex-husband saying anything. YOUR actions speak VOLUMES alone! Wether you choose to see it or not... "  Anonymous

Above is a comment by a "reader" to a recent blog post of my "Carried Away".  I put reader in quotes because I'm pretty sure I know who left this comment or at the least who they associate with. There is a group of people out there who believe that everything I say is a lie and make it a point to try to convince me I'm a worthless piece of crap every chance they get. I want to take the opportunity to say....{cough, cough} YOU ARE PATHETIC!!!

I'm Screwy, but OK

Does anyone else find it as weird as I do that my fight or flight instinct is pretty skewed (made fairly obvious by my last post), but I still managed to make my way home. No I didn't do it the easy way, probably because I never do ANYTHING the easy way, but I still made my way home. As much as my subconscious wanted to get away, it didn't want to stay away. I'm not just talking about family. For Pete's sake, I was in Georgia and I still went back up to the freezing weather up north. Obviously, I missed it or something.

Well, I'm doing it again, only in a more conscious way. I am moving back up north. Going back to home sweet home. I realize it's been warm up there this week, but that's what we call a freak weather event. Winter is not over in Michigan despite signs to the contrary. Down here in Georgia however, it is spring. Albeit, temporarily with summer type weather, but spring in March! Me being the glutton for punishment that I am, I am voluntarily moving away from this beautiful weather. All because I love my kids.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For

Sorry it's been so long between posts. I needed some time to reflect what has been coming back to me lately. I wanted to remember my life and why I reacted to things and certain people the way I do and I got my wish. Unfortunately, now that I remember I realize I shouldn't have wished for that. It's like being caught between a rock and a hard place. I know how horrifying it is to not know your past, and I know what it's like not to want to know.

My psychiatrist pointed out to me once that I chose to leave my life. Not consciously, but it was still a choice that my mind made. Whether I chose to leave due to a physical threat, a mental threat, or just something I perceived as a threat, my subconscious chose to leave the life I had because it couldn't handle something in it.  I think I know what that was now.  I left behind every plastered on smile, every heartache I had caused and received, every hat I was wearing that was weighing me down with a life full of lies. I hated myself and what I had allowed myself to become, and the more I pretended the opposite the harder it was to move away from the lies. I was so busy pretending I was happy that I was making myself miserable.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stress Management

Did you know that if you suffer from mild depression medication may not help you?  My doctor flat out asked me if I want to be on medication and I think she was please when my response was no. Please, don't think I hold it against people who decide medication is the best treatment option for depression or that people should take those that are available. Quite frankly, I am happy that medication is available if needed.  I just don't think I need it.

I do believe, however, that I suffer from mild to moderate depression, with some bouts bordering on incapacitating. I also believe it is manageable with a good support system and a lot of effort on my part. Yes, I could choose to make this all easier and go on medication (if I could afford it, which is just another thing adding to my stress pile these days), but we cannot guarantee what effect that would have on my memories returning. Depression medication is designed to change the way your brain functions, and my brain is functioning differently enough, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!

Monday, February 27, 2012


Flooding is a form of psychotherapy to help patients overcome phobias, where the patient is exposed to their source of fear for longer and longer periods of time to help them learn to cope with and control the panic response.  Flooding is what I call an influx of memories, when I am hit with so many of them I have difficulty coping.  The last few weeks have been very hard, partly due to stresses outside myself and largely due to a flood of memories that has been growing day after day. 

Don't get me wrong, this flood of memories is a good thing. I love getting memories back of my children and family and friends.  I feel like I can participate in conversations with people about things I've experienced in life without feeling like a person outside of herself. For almost a year, I've felt like I was a stranger looking in on my life. Now, I'm starting to feel like a person who is truly getting to know herself again.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Carried Away

Have you ever missed having something you never had (or in my case, don't remember having?) Sometimes you can feel something deeply and get carried away by the emotion that goes along with it, even if it doesn't make sense to have that emotion since it's the vague memory of a memory. Just the impression that there is a memory there can haunt a person.

The ones that I've been dealing with are anger and sadness.  I'm angry because there is one person in my life that keeps saying things that aren't true. I know they aren't true because they are the exact opposite of what everyone else is saying. This person claims to know me really well because we've known each other for years, but that same person keeps saying things like "you are acting exactly the same way you always did" when everyone else in my life is telling me I'm acting like I did before this person came into my life.  This person causing so much anger and sadness is, I believe, a pathological liar. I honestly think he believes everything he is saying, but I don't believe anything he says.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Who Can Understand 'Em?!?!

I don't get teenagers. I know I was one once. In fact, what memories I have of being a teenager are fairly recent things.  I believed with my whole heart the following.... My parents sole purpose in life was to make mine difficult.  Especially my dad (who I couldn't get along with, it just wasn't possible) who I considered a tyrant of the worst kind. Everyone hated me, including myself. No one could really understand how I felt about things (even though there were literally millions of other teenagers in the world) because I was the only one whose life was confusing and difficult.

I think we get the idea that I was a very self-centered teenager.  I am getting the impression that most teenagers are.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

When I Was a Kid....

Did you ever get tired of the phrase "When I was a kid..." growing up?  I know I did. The stories about how great and difficult life was back in the good old days got less and less believable as I got closer to my teenage years.  As an adult, however, I have a few observances I'd like to make, and all of them about President's Day.

Yesterday was President's Day, and I had some errands to run so I went downtown and drove around to different places, passing a few parks along the way. After a few minutes I realized how sad the sidewalks and parks looked. They were empty.  All of them.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hold On

A friend has passed away. One that I've only seen twice since I disappeared, but treated me with kindness and love throughout my entire life.  Now I sit here, close my eyes, and focus on her face. The flood of memories that are welling up surprise and delight me, but at the same time the tears come. Tears of joy that I was one of the privileged ones that loved and was loved by this woman, and tears of sadness that I won't have a proper opportunity to get to know her again. It is a reminder of something I had started to lose sight of....we have to hold on.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hope Not Lost

How do I give hope to those that need it? It's something I've wanted to do since I was found. I want to help people realize how much them not losing hope that I would come home safe and sound meant to me. How much that thought keeps me going every day. I want more than anything to give back to the worlds what was given to

I always knew growing up, you have to give something to get something. I've realized recently that you have to give something to GIVE something, too. Not in every circumstance. I could volunteer at the local hospital or clean up local parks. I could dish out food at a local soup kitchen or knit caps for cancer patients. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities locally where I could give hope, and I am more than willing to give of my time there. But, what I really want to do is give hope to the families of the missing. I want them to see the face of someone who came home and realize that their loved one could easily do the same.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Remember You

Today, I was driving back home when I was struck by the random thought that I should call a friend of mine to hang out with tonight. I call it a random thought because, this isn't one of my Georgia friends, this is one of my good friends from Michigan that I've met once since I lost my memory and haven't reconnected with outside of that one meeting. When I reaized what I had done, I was sad and happy at the same time. Sad because, I was once again confronted with the little things in life I have lost with my disappearance and amnesia. Happy because, I remember this friend of mine.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I Bet You Thought My Brain Had Melted or Something

So, I did it. I made it through the first three Star Wars films.  It was grueling work, but very worth it to have a conversation with my 10-year old son that I was able to contribute to and understand without having to ask a million questions that normal mothers probably never have to ask.  Questions like, "Who's Anakin Skywalker?" and "Why does Yoda talk like that?" (I realize that noone knows that answer to that one, but I didn't before I realized he just always has.)  Here are my opinions of the first three movies. 

#1.  It was okay. The special effects were good and the acting was something I could handle.  I wanted to shoot my television after a while thanks to Jar Jar, but decided that it wasn't my televisions fault that he was so annoying. Then, I wanted to shoot Jar Jar, but since he's a fictional character, I had to just get up and do some kickboxing instead. It helped, but not enough. I still think it's weird that a 9-year old Darth Vader built C3PO and that he was actually being passed off as some sort of virgin birth or something. Maybe I misunderstood that part. Easy to do as, by then, my brain was in defensive mode. "We just need to get through this. If we can survive this, we can survive anything!!" And, indeed we did. I chose not to tell my brain at that point that we had 5 more movies to go.

Missing Person Alert: Vicky Burross

Please be on the lookout for this woman. She is missing, just as I was. Keep her and your family in your thoughts and prayers.

There can be happy endings, folks. I'm living proof of that.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What Was That?!?! (Hint: It's name is Jar Jar)

Well, I did it. I watched Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. It was........ummmmm, unexpected. I vaguely recall Star Wars from when I was a kid, and although everything I watch from when I was a kid is way worse that what I recall, I'm pretty sure Star Wars Episode I was actually a mockery of the original Star Wars. The whole movie was unrealistic in a way that was rediculous even for sci-fi. I think my brain is in shock.

Don't get me wrong, the kid was cute. (Although, since when did Anakin Skywalker build C3PO. What a load that is, huh?) I really like Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, and kinda like Natalie Portman (I understand she did an excellent job in Black Swan) but a few big names didn't make the movie better, just more disappointing. In the end, all the movie succeeded in doing is making me just really confused (not that that's hard to do, but SOOOO not the point right now.)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Back In "School"

I have been given an assignment.  My assignment is as follows. Tomorrow (Wednesday) and Thursday I am to watch one Star Wars movie each day. In fact I have been told to watch all of them starting with Episode I and going through in order. I am under orders to do the same with all of the Star Trek TV series, but that isn't part of this current assignment. Thursday night, I am to call him to discuss the storyline thus far and which at this point is my favorite character. I am sure at that point the assignment will be expanded to include more movies before the next time we talk on the phone.

Adventures with Friends (Including Family)

I love doing things with my friends. It makes my day when I can go out and enjoy some time with people who know how to laugh together and poke fun at each other without getting offended. My friends are my lifeline. They keep me from letting depression get the best of me. They force me out of the house when I don't want to go, because they know what's best for me (well, they like to think they do and it's cute so I let them get away with it.)

Every moment in life is special. The time you spend with the people you love doing new's a big deal. Even doing not so new things, like the occassional jog or tennis "match" with my sister, walking with my friends, or just going to grab a bite to eat is something to be treasured. Value what you have when you have it, enjoy what you do when you are doing it, and, above all else, smile. You never know when you'll lose those moments. They are to be treasured!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Getting a Grip

Some days I wonder if every day is truly a clean slate. You can't really go back and erase the past and start each day afresh. So, what does that phrase really mean?  It's something I've had to really think about in the last couple of days. 

One of the hardest things I've had to deal with is remembering the stupid mistakes I've made in my life. Mistakes that have made people laugh with their ridiculousness. Mistakes that have embarassed me even though people didn't really notice.  Mistakes that hurt myself and those around me. Mistakes that led to the worst decisions anyone could ever choose to make. I've had to come to grips with the reality of a life poorly lived.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Clumsy Enough to Wear Padding (or Really Glad I Carry What God Graced Me With)

You know a teenager who has recently gone through a growth spurt when you see one. They're gangly and at least slightly, if not completely, uncoordinated. They never seem to know where to put their hands and their legs are so long that their feet don't ever seem to land where they expect them to. Well, I can sympathize. Learning how to coordinate myself in this body has not been easy. I fell asleep in the body of a child and woke up in the body of a 32 year old. It's bound to throw anyone off, I'm sure, let alone someone who wasn't that coordinated to begin with.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Nothing Like the Script

Do any of you realize that we aren't following the script? What do you mean "What script?" I mean the script that follows the plot of a poorly written Hollywood movie. Don't you realize that if you have an illness, you're supposed to miraculously recover? Or, if you have hard time in your life, everything turns out perfect in the end, even if you break the law?! Or, if you have amnesia, someone comes back into your life and suddenly you remember everything and you live happily ever after?!?!

 I watched part of a movie last night that just makes me realize just how wrong we're getting it. In the movie "Overboard", a woman falls off a ship and ends up in the hospital with amnesia. A man she was rotten to finds her and pretends that she's his wife. He takes her home and hilarity ensues until her real husband comes and gets her. As soon as she sees him, she remembers everything and they leave her new life behind. In the end she leaves her husband to live the rest of her life with the man that lied to her about who she was, because in the movies it's okay to be a rotten person if in the end you love someone.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


No, I'm not talking about myself. I'm talking about all those opportunities that have been missed due to the messed up nature of my life. In case you are wondering, yes I am a tad bit depressed. Today is my middle son's birthday. Today I missed an opportunity to be with my child because of everything that has happened. Today he is hurting because his mother isn't there to hug him and bake him a cake and sing him the stupid "Happy Birthday" song in person rather than by voice mail on his dad's phone because he isn't with his dad, he's with his aunt, who I'm apparently not allowed to have contact information about. Yes, I'm a bit bitter and angry to go with the depression I can't seem to avoid on holidays and birthdays no matter how much I try. I'm not depressed for me, I'm depressed for them. I'm not angry at God, I'm angry at myself, at the stupid weakness that put me in a position to miss all of the important moments that are happening in my children's.

In a way, I'm still missing. I'm missing four huge pieces of my heart. They're in Michigan, where I can't be right now. They're in a household where I'm not welcome. They are my children.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Some days I wish I was pretty. Not drop dead diva gorgeous, because those women have to sit in wardrobe, hair, and make-up for hours and still don't look good enough, so they end up getting photoshopped/airbrushed to look better. I just mean pretty. I realize I'm not ugly, but everyone has those days that they aren't satisfied with what they see when they look in the mirror. I wish I could look into the mirror and see who I was before all the crap I can't remember happened. Or, better yet I want to look into the mirror and remember how I earned each and every laugh line, worry line, stretch mark, scar, etc, etc.  Then I could see the pretty behind the face.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I now have a Pintrest page.  I've been waiting for an invite for a while.  I don't have much there yet, but I will add as the mood strikes.  Here's the link.  I'll be adding this link to my "Laughs" page, but it won't always be funny. Some pins will be goofy, but some things will be pinned because they say something to me, about me, or about something important to me.  Feel free to check back periodically.

Lots of love!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Curiosity Did NOT Kill the Cat (Contrary to Popular Belief)!!

We all know how curious children (and cats apparently, though I can say from experience that nobody beats puppies for crazy curiosity. "Oooo, that dog is 1000x bigger than me. I should really check him/her out!" "Oooo, something made a scary noise! I'll jump and be scared for a second, then go and see if it's an axe murderer or something even more interesting!" "SQUIRREL!!!!" Curiosity may have killed the dog rather than the cat. Cats tend to have a much higher sense of self preservation than my puppy. If cats have nine lives, dogs should have like 90. They'd go through them before they turn 1, I'm sure of it. Now where was I? Oh, yeah....) tend to be. That's because the world is such a mystery to them. Every second of every day is something new. Even if it's something that's been experienced before, it's never exactly the same twice. Now, imagine going through that same feeling of intense curiosity with all of your adult cognition and recognition abilities. Ahhhhh, welcome to my world, my friends!!  So lovely to see you again!

Facebook "Like" Button Doesn't "Like" Me

So, the Facebook "Like" button I added to the blog is not connecting you to my FB page I set up.  If you want to like the page to receive notice of blog updates in your newsfeed, go to the Amnesiacs Journey page on Facebook and like me there.  Sorry about the mix up, but I had to input the code in HTTP by hand to make it work and obviously my less-than-savvy technological knowhow got the better of me.  I'll look into getting it fixed on the morrow.

Update: All better now. "Like" away my fine friends (and strangers.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Away From Home

I love staying the weekend at my sister's house.  Just like I loved being up in Michigan by myself. Most of you may be thinking "Well, of course you like being away from your parents. Your 33 years old, for pities sake. You need to get away before they drive you into pulling a Dr. Scratchansniff." (Actually, you're probably not saying that since most of you probably don't know who Dr. Scratchansniff is. Although if that's the case, I'm very disappointed in you. Didn't any of you watch Animaniacs. He's the P-sychiatrist who pulls all his hair out the first time he deals with Yakko, Wakko, and Dot. Still not ringing any bells? Fine, just watch this clip. Challenge of the day...imagine my dad and Wakko in a room together and try not to laugh.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I am now on Twitter. Don't expect to see anything profound or moving on there, but as things come to mind throughout the day it gives me a place to share it. My Twitter handle is AmnesiacAKG (duh!) if you feel like looking me up.  Looking forward to Tweeting at y'all!


Life is full of challenges. It just is, and we accept this because if we didn't.... well, then our lives would just suck. Sometimes, just getting up out of bed in the morning is a challenge.  No one person's challenges are easier or harder than the next person's, just different.

We have to remember that challenges make us stronger. If getting out of bed is a challenge because you're not a morning person, then every morning you get up early and do what needs to be done has strengthened you. If you're depressed, then every time you face another day with a smile (real or pseudo) has strengthened you. If you have low self esteem, then every time you put yourself out there in any way, shape, or form has strengthened you.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Normal Life

I find myself wondering, what is a normal life?  I saw a movie the other night where everyone in the movie had mental health issues. Is that normal, rather than the definition our minds automatically attempt to assign to it (which would be married with 2 1/2 kids, living in a cookie cutter house, with a white picket fence, in a neighborhood full of the same.  BOOOORING!!) At least I can say my life is always interesting. I can't say much else about it (seeing as there are still huge chunks I don't know much about), but it isn't boring.  Therefore it isn't normal?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Old Friend, New Friend

"We'll be old friends until we are senile. Then we'll be new friends evey day thereafter."

All I can say is, thank goodness I'm not senile. I don't think I'm ready to make new friends of my old friends every day of my life.  I'll just have to look at this as practice for old age.

Someone once asked me what it was like meeting my friends and family for the first time again.  What I think they really wanted to know was "What was it like for them?" Well, I'm not fully in my own head, so don't go asking me to crawl around in someone else's head to try and understand them.

Monday, January 16, 2012

In a Crowd

Sometimes it's easy to feel like just a face in the crowd. Ignored and alone. Wwhen you have social anxiety disorder, you feel alone and crowded at the same time.  When you're in a group of people, you feel like everyone is watching you, just waiting for the chance to strike out. Everyone's a danger, everyone's a threat, but none of them care about you as a person. At least, that's the way I feel. It's both a crippling fear that leaves me alone wanting to lock myself in my room and a feeling of being disconnected from everyone around me when I don't.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dream a Little Dream

It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul.  When you close your eyes to sleep at night, is your soul reflected back into your mind?  Is that where dreams come from?  I examine my dreams closely because they often reflect what I am thinking and feeling. I have found fears that I was unaware of and/or unwilling to face by keeping a dream journal.  I keep as detailed of a dream journal as I possibly can, trying to note objects, people, and events in the background of the main action.  If they're detailed enough for me to remember, they might be significant.  Admittedly, I've gotten bad about keeping it since now I have a puppy chewing on my chin as soon as she gets a hint of the possibility that I might be starting to wake up (my favorite Ryanesque statement).  After a while, most of my dreams are too hazy for me to detail even the main event, let alone what was behind it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Let's Start at the Very Beginning......A Very Good Place to Start

Doe, a deer, a female deer.
Ray, a drop of.......Woe, wait a minute. That wasn't supposed to happen. I meant the beginning of my story, not a song whose words (if you stop and think about it for a minute) are pretty silly. Really "a drop of golden sun is more like "AHHHHHH! THAT'S REALLY HOT!"

This is better.

You cannot understand someone's journey without first knowing where that journey started. Well, I hope you're prepared to be disappointed because........DA DA-DAAAAA I DON'T KNOW HOW IT ALL ACTUALLY  BEGAN! (Amnesia, remember.)

We do know some things, though. We know that I suddenly and with no warning (redundant much?) left my home in Michigan with no possessions beyond my wallet, car keys, and the clothes I was wearing (just so we're clear about the lack of nudity) and drove to Georgia. It is commonly believed that I was trying to reach my parents home, possibly having been frightened into running by an attack.

Letter From a Reader

I received a letter today from a reader, who gave me permission to share it will you all.  I am copying it word for word, since I feel that she shared some powerful words of encouragement and insight.  Originally she was going to comment on one of the posts here, but it turned out to be too long, so instead she gets her own post.  Yay!!

"Thank you so much for sharing your story. That took a lot of courage and you have helped more people than you probably will ever know by doing so. If anyone is being a hater, putting you down, making fun, etc. just know that it isn't you who has mental issues, it is them and they are just jerks not someone who is truly struggling with a disability. Always remember this~ Those who judge don't matter and those who matter don't judge!

International Sensation!!

I'm happy to report that my blog is being read worldwide!!

My Viewing Stats 1/10/11

Monday, January 9, 2012

When You're Ready......or Not!!

I've had to ask myself over and over again, "When will I be ready?" It happens every time something new comes into my life or when somethng goes out of it.....

When I was in the hospital in Joliet I wondered when/if I would be ready to leave. Eventually, my life line in the form of my wonderful doctor, Dr. Lucy Ibrahim, was leaving for a conference and the last thing I wanted to do was be in the hospital without her around. I had to decide if I'd rather leave with the parents I barely remembered and didn't know in their current masks (read - old age) or stay in a hospital where my most comforting face was "abandoning me". I'm not being melodramatic. What 6-year-old doesn't feel like they're being abandoned when their parents take a vacation without them. At that point in time, that was my mindset at that time.....six years old.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Support in Small Packages

I received an e-mail from  Jenny Lawson tonight. It wasn't lengthy or flowery, but it meant the world to me. It was six little words, but from someone who has been through really hard times and been honest and open to a wide audience about that to someone who just realized that is what she needs to do those six words made my night.

Whether it's a hug, a smile, a pat on the shoulder, or just a single encouraging word, just remmber friends and family, support in the smallest packages can make the biggest difference.

Sending you ALL such love!

I Should Have Started This Months Ago

Have you ever lost your keys or forgotten what you did yesterday afternoon?  All normal lapses in memory, right? None of these are a big deal or at all frightening, right? WRONG!! It doesn't matter how big or small what you've forgotten, it can all get overwhelming and scary. I have been wracking my brain for months trying to come up with a way to help people out there suffering from amnesia, and this is the best I can come up with for now. You are not alone in your struggles!!

When I first started looking for support after being diagnosed with amnesia, I couldn't find much. A couple of forums on medical websites where people get on occassionally and talk about what they've forgotten, but for the most part people don't talk about what scares them day to day. How to get through the worst of the dabillitating depression, how to make themselves do something fun without constantly worrying they'll forget it tomorrow, or how to laugh when there are people around that can never have any chance of understanding unless they go through something similar themselves (which you would never wish on your worst enemy, let alone someone you love.) That's what I'm gonna do here. Sometimes I'll laugh about stuff, sometimes I'll cry and whine about stuff, sometimes I'll just be straightforward and matter-of-fact about everything. It all depends on my mood of the day.

GROUP HUG!!!! Friends make everything better.

GROUP HUG!!!! Friends make everything better.