Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘memory dysfunction

Biography of memory failures (November 22, 2008)

Did you experience a harrowing moment of memory dysfunction?  If you didn’t yet, then it is as well: you have lost your memory and there is no benefit to retrieving “difficult” memories.

It is these series of memory dysfunctions that set you thinking “What are the boundaries on reality, composed reality, dream, fact, virtual reality, conviction, belief, faith and absolute truth?”

 Let me tell what happened this afternoon.

It is a Saturday afternoon; the Independence Day of the Republic of the State of Lebanon, recognized by the UN since 1943. I watched briefly the military parade that has been discontinued for many years.

I got up at 4 p.m. to piss after vivid dreams film; it was somewhat dark and raining outside; dad had the kitchen light on.

I was so convinced that I was getting up from my long night sleep.  When my hand watch marked 4 o’clock I jumped to the conclusion that it was the battery of my watch that was getting low on power.  I tried to go back to sleep but my brain wanted to recall what I did last night before I went to bed (Remember, I write my diary).  I tried hard to recall but I failed.

I tried all the possible alternatives of my daily behavior in the evenings like writing, reading, watching cables, visiting my sister Raymonde and her kids, or any hint to hang on to and then proceed from there chronologically. Nothing.

I panicked. Is my memory starting to fail me for good?  One fact retained my attention: mother is up too early and usually she goes to sleep early morning because of multitude of pains and nightmares.  It dawned to me to consider the alternative that I am waking up from an afternoon siesta and the facts matched and I was relieved.  

If the memory indicator failed to point to the check list of chronological events, or the list was temporarily  erased then who would I be now?

Here is a section of my autobiography on my memory failures or what I suspect to be related to memory dysfunctions in me.

I have started writing my diary since 2004 as a series of typical days before this decision turned to a full fledged daily detailed “diary” since the war in July of 2006.

 In July 12, 2006 Israel invaded Lebanon for the hundredth time, killed over 1,500  Lebanese civil citizens and destroyed all Lebanon’s infrastructure and every house in south Lebanon.  I started writing my diary because I sensed that my episodic memory might be failing and I had difficulty with the semantic memory in recalling names, not quickly enough, even the ones I am familiar with.

I do have a vast general knowledge, but lately I feel that I can benefit greatly in providing answers if the format is in multiple choices for recognition.  Mother still has good episodic memory at the age of 83 but her instant recall of names is very bad.  Many times mother is telling me a story or a current piece of news and she fails to remember a name and her hands shake with frustration. Often, I figure out whom she talking about but the irony is that I cannot retrieve the name too from my memory bank; a silence is broken until one of us recall the name or the silence period lengthens enough to fake that the matter is irrelevant in the first place.

Mother reminds me of many events that I had completely forgotten, even my personal accidents that I should have retained, like car accidents and nears death occurences. Mother told me about Joseph Hayek who rammed my opened car door and almost injured me; I asked her to give me more details until I had a feeling that the accident happened.

I usually tell mother to continue her story with more details so that I might recover part of the situational episode.

Dad has still excellent memory, episodic and semantic but his hearing is failing, so does mother though she would never concede to it.

 Dad is ashamed of asking me to take him clean his ears, so is mother but more vehemently!  Thus, the writing process might be a good exercise for saving my remaining faulty memory connections and keeping them alive a bit longer.

I read in the Lebanese daily Al Nahar that German scientists have located the gene AVPR1A number 334 responsible for the abstention of 40% of the males to marry or to stick to their vow to marry.

It appears that this gene is also the cause for autism or the closing up of the mind to society and thus living inward.  I think that I strongly have this gene and if I submit to DNA analysis then the result would be positive.

I believe that my ranking in schools and university has declined sharply since I was 17 years old because my memory started to decline.  I guess my persistence in continuing my higher education and even earning a PhD in engineering might be due to my inner and stubborn anger to defying my memory faults.

For example, when I focus on any subject I can comprehend the mechanism; a few days later I feel that I know the general process but I need pointers to recall the process and refresh my understanding of the subject.

I have lost many friends because I failed to recollect their names or worse calling them with the wrong names.

When I returned to the USA after five years of absence I have this guy who calls me excitedly as being a long a dearest friend of mine and I could not remember the name or even put a face on the caller; the guy was one of my roommates!  He was very frustrated when I met with him; the irony is that I still could not remember him even with his face but I had to take his accounts for real because his recollected accounts matched realities.

In gatherings, a bloke would turn towards me for some reason and say “you should know him; he was kind of intimate with you“. What can I say?

Names are more often than not a blank in my memory; a picture can certainly help as long as it is not updated!

Thus, when I salute people I do not try to name them!  I guess that my inability of memorizing songs and poems and jokes has strong foundation.

 My asocial behavior might be due to my failing memory early on, which has corrupted my discourse and robbed me of quiet and convincing communication moments instead of irritated and truncated paragraphs.  An excellent memory is necessary for mental effectiveness, for social gathering, for telling jokes, for recounting events in details, and fundamental for efficient communication and making friends.

I don’t like talking on the phone or any instant feedback on audio-visual medium: I lack verbal intelligence. I feel that my verbal memory is too slow to communicate any sense in a timely fashion.

My sort of communication is to listen and query what the other person is saying.  In a gathering I look stupid and redundant and ignorant of the substance or fundamentals of chatting and delivering small talks or maligning others or memorizing and delivering jokes.

I know by experience that when sometime I am dragged into heated conversation that I make a complete fool of myself and never finish sentences and alienate everyone in the audience.

Well, I better stop chatting; who cares?




November 2022

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