Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Memory Game

I have taken the past few days to mull over an incident that happened Saturday evening before posting about it. This one incident has raised several other issues, and I really just needed the time to understand myself how I felt about everything.

After Hailey's basketball practice on Saturday I dropped him off with W, his stepmother, for the usual weekend with his father. While there, W gave me two boxes of children's books that had belonged to Hailey. My mother purchased them for him years ago, so there was a lot of sentimental value tied up in those boxes of books. When Hailey's father and I split up eight years ago I left the books behind, along with almost every single thing I owned. Now that so much time has passed and we have overcome our differences, we are good friends. At this point there is no need to get into WHY I left almost everything behind; just know that I did.

So later that evening as we are heading to C's (Keith's ex, Bryan's mom, and yes, we are friends!) house for dinner, I told Keith about getting the books back and how happy it made me to have them. He asked me why I had left them to begin with. I said, "You know why." I told him that I had basically left my previous marriage with nothing more than the clothes on my back, to which he responds, "I just don't see what would make someone do that." And here is where I have the problem. Keith and I have been together for seven years. We have talked about my previous marriage quite a bit. He knows how and I left and he knows why. My first marriage had a huge impact on me. I brought a lot of baggage to our relationship from that marriage. We have discussed this so many times. SIGH . . . . . .

Naturally, I got a little ticked off with him and snapped, "Well, I guess you'd have to be in that type of situation to really understand why someone would leave a marriage like that!" On the inside, I was boiling mad. How could he possibly be married to me, and after seven years together have no clue as to why I left my first marriage the way I did???? He claims that he really just wanted to know in greater detail why it all happened. But I know better. I know that he just simply forgot.

He does not remember me telling him time and time again. He does not remember all the issues it caused. He does not remember how hard it was for me to work my way back up, starting over from scratch. Or does he?

Memory loss is one of the symptoms of PD, we all know it. Keith knows it too, but he does not want to admit that he is suffering from it. I have seen a lot of short term memory loss recently, though Keith denies all of it. This leaves me with only two other options - 1. he is just getting older, and you know they say that memory is the first thing to go, he he, ha ha, (just kidding) or, 2. he's just a jerk and doesn't really pay attention to what I say. Hmmm, which one? Which one?

I truly feel that Keith is suffering from some sort of PD related memory loss. We have conversations that a few days later he swears we never had. He has special daddy/baby moments with Rielly-Anne that bring tears to his eyes, then can't remember them later. He forgets where he puts things sometimes. He forgets appointment times. I could go on and on. And at one time I did. Not too long ago I pointed out to Keith all the things he was forgetting lately. I told him how concerned I was with his recent memory loss. He adamantly denied all of it. He made all kinds of excuses. So I dropped it. The very next time it came up, I casually and half jokingly made a comment about old age and memory loss. He became very upset. He said I was making him feel old and helpless and deranged, or disabled. So what does that leave? He's just a jerk then, I guess.

My husband is not a jerk, nor does he want to be. He is not old, nor does he want to be. And, although he doesn't want to have it, he has Parkinson's Disease. And right now I am backed into a corner with no way out. So I will play his little game of memory with him for as long as he needs. The next time he forgets something, we will dance around it and just pretend that it really is something else.

1 comment:

tim said...

Just stumbled across your site and thought I would comment on this particular post. Two of the things I used to be proud of when I was young were my balance and my memory, I could remember dates, times, faces and names. Both of these things have now suffered, I have been diagnosed with PD and whilst the balance issue I can hide to an extent the memory loss I cannot. Its both infuriating and embarrassing when my wife goes on about something that I should remember from our past and for the life of me no matter how hard I try I cannot remember what she is on about. Or I may take my medication but within 30 secs I have no idea whether I have taken the medication or not, I used to carry a notepad around and write things down but you can guess what I`m going to say here...the moment I put the pad down I would have no idea where I put it.
Cut the guy a little slack, its difficult to admit your memory is going especially to a loved one, its like one more thing you no longer have control over.
Hope this doesnt come across the wrong way its not intended to upset anyone :-)