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-Personal blog for Janika Banks.
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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

the Question


I think I've figured out that the flash drive thing bothering me so much was because I went through actual fail for several years. One of the reasons I started hoarding info on tech was because the brain crash was unbelievably sucky and tech became an extention of my brain, holding elusive thoughts and glitchy memories in place for me. And here I am on the other side now apparently almost traumatized by the shock of having gone through it. I don't think I could really see the overall emotional impact until that flash drive fail happened.

It's one thing to cut off feelings (all my life) or even memories here or there (blocking is a survival tactic), but it's another to have systems fail because of viral infection hitting an already faulty nervous system and being left with glitchy old strings of Christmas tree lights. I spent years rebuilding and reconnecting through a haze of meds and seemingly neverending illness, and about the time I've finally started feeling like I'm patched back up and clearing the debris field, I go through a very symbolic memory crash with that flash drive. Thank goodness it was only a stick and not my brain this time. All the same, I've been reeling through several days of flash backs and emotions, and even though I'm actually quite up for the most part, I'm realizing I've never really talked about what it was like back then. The closest I came to being really honest in public was blinking in the light on my spaz blog. Up to that point, not a soul in internet land and all the fandoms I'd been in ever had a clue. No one who met me after 2004 ever met the me before brain fail.

As I've recovered my cognitive function, I've also recovered some memories and reconstructed more out of a pile of rubble covered in brain fog. This last year has been marvelous and thrilling like I haven't felt in 11 years. Anybody read Flowers for Algernon? That. That was me. Only I started off with this brilliant IQness and a nearly perfect ACT score and plummeted to the black depths of not being able to count a little bit of cash buying a burger. I asked bank tellers and cashiers to count my money for me for several years. I couldn't dial a phone number without help. Nope, not one sign of any kind of brain damage, or blood vessel problem, or cancer, or anything else, just function loss and some outlying trigeminal nerve damage. And even now, every time I get a simple cold virus or even just too tired teetering on the edge of flare up, I go all glitchy again.

I feel like Rip Van Winkle. I've gotten to wake up for awhile and everything has changed, and I've gotta get all over the program before I fall out of step again, because surely this can't last. I feel like I'm racing the sad, and the more I can look back and see it now, the harder I run. And I don't think this is an irrational fear. I've already got four really big strikes against me and was barely into my 40's when the brain crash happened. I can still hardly believe sometimes it's all coming back on again.

Lupus and the Brain
Diabetes and Memory Loss
Lyme Disease and Cognitive Impairements
Fibro Fog and Dyscognition

Memory glitch, loss, fail, whatever you want to call it is such an incredibly sad and lonely thing to go through. It's bad enough living with prosopagnosia and not remembering faces, but to not remember times and events and which holiday is coming up next is like feeling lost all the time. And how do you say this to anyone? How do you tell people in the wake of your impact that you're flying blind in a ship that lost its core memory? Big nod of thanks to Douglas Adams for providing frames of reference via Grebulons and Hactar the Krikkit war computer. The whole Janika Banks tagline thing is about surviving epic fail. "I asploded. I'm ok. Like the Central Intelligence Core of the Krikkit War Computer, I'm everywhere, in the mists all around you." Because that's what it's been like since 2004, leaving people in the aspienado wake of my brain fail impact. You guys realize it's the mice's faults for building Deep Thought in the first place, right? (I'm also epstein-barr positive from an actual mouse bite. How ironic is that.)

I feel like I've got to say all the things before I can't again.
(Lyrics- Anni B Sweet)


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