Strange New World PDF

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    08-Apr-2018

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    The beginning

    I woke up in a semi dark room with lights and bleeping sounds, in my mind

    only seconds before I had been standing at the top of an outside fire escape;

    it had been a good day I had spent with friends so where was I now?

    The topic of conversation over a game of chess that evening had been our

    favourite, where did the human race come from, were we left here by another

    race of beings and deep cosmological questions, big bang theories and does

    god exist or is she/he just a fictional character developed over the years to

    make humans think that sins are there to be forgiven. (I know we are sad but

    there you are we enjoy a good debate.)

    I could only move my eyes at this point and my vision spun me around for a

    few seconds before I could focus on anything and if I leaned to either side I

    spun like a top. (This I now know was due to Occipital lobe damage.)

    All I could see when I did stop spinning was tubes and lights, which I may

    point out looked the size of fire hoses.

    My mind started to wander and then it came to a hell of a conclusion. Thats it

    I had been abducted by aliens. I cant tell you the panic that I felt on realising

    my dilemma then I started to struggle, suddenly I was surrounded by beings

    then it went dark.

    Well as you can guess I had not been abducted at all, but I had fallen from an

    outside fire escape come entrance, which just happened to be an old metal

    one god knows how many feet up and knocked myself out in the process. I

    sustained a three quarter fracture to the skull and lost copious amounts of

    spinal fluid, which probably did not help the old grey matter one bit as once

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    When I next became aware of someone or something next to me I noticed

    that I had hold of something that was over my mouth. I was trying to tug it

    away, then whoever, (or whatever), was next to me was trying to restrain me,

    I pulled at whatever it was, and then it went dark again.

    I now know that I had been on a ventilator and had been giving staff at the

    ICU a right old time, so they sedated me quite a lot in order to stop me from

    pulling out pipes, drips and whatever else I could get my hands on.

    I felt better the next time I woke as the ventilator had been removed, however

    I still assumed that my theory was correct and was quite confused when

    daylight came as nothing I had ever seen before was right there in front of me

    and I still feel like it today two years on but on a much smaller scale. I still

    suffer from vertigo even today but with some easy exercises it stops for a few

    weeks.

    I remember hearing other peoples voices, the familiar sounds of human

    speech. I remember thinking that they too had been taken by aliens and even

    more confused when my partner turned up to visit. In fact I was beginning to

    think that everyone had a part to play in this abduction theory. Perhaps they

    were cloned or brain washed. (Oh my God!)

    Acceptance and trust, apart from a cool head, is something any one in this

    situation must have, but how and when you are ready to accept what you are

    being told and trust the right people is very hard and takes an incredible

    amount of time patience and energy.

    Imagine waking up in daylight to see your ex-partner walking towards you as

    you lay in bed. You know (think) you have not been involved for two or three

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    years. Then bit by bit nothing makes sense. In reality you are told that you

    had spent at the most a week apart, most confusing and that seven years

    together was more like it, not three at all .

    The flood of questions in my mind echoed from ear to ear. Did the aliens

    really get me? Are these people real? What planet am I on and how the hell

    did I get here? And why the hell me of all people?

    The question of why me only began to open up once I had been taken back

    home. I had wandered about the house and found a computer. I was told

    that it was mine and that I had bought it when I did my degree, to which I

    asked, what bloody degree? I could not remember doing a degree. I found

    weeks later that I could turn the computer on. I sat looking through files and

    documents that I had no idea about. I opened some files and to my utter

    surprise found that I had a degree in Psychology with Astronomy and space

    science at Glamorgan University. (Wow I wonder how I did that.) To my

    amazement I was shown a video of my graduation in the year 2000. I sat

    there agog, I was speechless and bewildered. The person wearing the cap

    and gown looked like me, but was it really? I felt that it was not.

    I could not believe my eyes. Even today I still wonder if these are false

    memories planted in my head, but why that would have been done I really

    have no idea. The weird thing is I feel homesick and I want to go home, but

    where do I go? Do I really belong here on this strange world?

    (Reading back over this work, as I am now, a year on I realise now that I am

    stuck here. Not much has changed in the emotional department I still feel

    homesick (12/1204) and nothing feels real. My feet and hands feel as if they

    belong to someone else and so does my face somehow,

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    Today it is not a question of what I see per se but of what I feel. I really do not

    know if something is real because I do not get the feelings that it is. Forgive

    the vagueness of my explanations but this is new to me also.

    The nearest analogy that could illustrate this feeling is like living inside a video

    game, anything could happen at any time weird monster machines lunge

    toward me from out of a wall. Lucky for me, I have had my partner with me on

    many occasions who has reassured me, for example, that the coke vender at

    Gloucester Royal wishes me no harm and it is plugged into the wall socket so,

    no it can not go running about after me.

    One particular event at the hospital involved such a machine. We had been

    to the Neurology department, on leaving we had to pass through a reception

    area where a Coke machine stood at the end right by the exit, I had not

    encountered it on the way in as it was behind me and out of view plus I had

    not turned around.

    On the way back out however things took a turn for the worse. Suddenly I

    saw it. It seemed to be a swirling mass of colour with long trailing arms

    flowing out toward me, and boy did I panic. Then, unable to move I froze to

    the spot pointing and blubbering about some strange creature. Logic and

    reason had vacated my brain and so I was half dragged half coaxed down

    toward the beastie with the waving arms and swirling things, I felt awkward

    and embarrassed to find out that it was in fact just a coke vendor. It had

    taken sometime to be convinced and I was showing physical signs of anxiety I

    was starting to hyperventilate and sweating to the point that my shirt was

    stuck to my back. I was scared for my partner, myself and all the other people

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    in the room. I had felt helpless and still remember the fear in me, however, I

    have no clear recollection about the event. The recollection that I have is only

    the feeling, not as one may expect memories to be. For example when one

    thinks of a white sandy beach and a clear blue sky images appear in the

    minds eye. In my case I remember only the feelings that I had experienced I

    have no images of what actually took place, just tabular Rasa (a blank slate).

    I tend to think that this type of phenomenon could be a knowledge based

    attempt by the brain to understand something of which it has no meaning for.

    By this I mean, if I had been a god fearing individual would I have seen a

    different pattern such as a demon if I had sinned or even a divine entity within

    the mish mash of colour that I perceived as a strange creature. Who knows?

    When our brains pick up on incoming information it automatically looks for a

    familiar pattern to help it to understand what it is looking at. This is why some

    people when looking at the patterns on their curtains and carpets they see

    faces and other familiar shapes appear. Another example of this is cloud

    formations that look like ships or sheep. If ships had not been invented, then

    we would not recognise the ship like shape in the cloud formation.

    From psychological studies of infants and neo-natal studies, it has been found

    that our brains are genetically pre-programmed to look for a face. People will

    tend to see, in other things, familiar patterns and the brain will pick out a

    memory that will be the next best fit, and my brain picked out an alien

    substitute image because my visual cortex and my eyes had both deceived

    my memory due to the injury my brain could not make out the information

    from the external world. Mmm, wonderful.

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    This problem on its own is, in my opinion a bugger to deal with, however mix it

    up with balance problems and you have another problem again but that is

    another chapter and best kept for later.

    Depersonalisation/reality displacement.

    I searched for information about this disorder after being advised that the

    feelings that I were having is possibly due to reality displacement. I asked my

    GP and he suggested that it may be referred to as reality displacement or

    some type of depersonalisation disorder quiet often associated with serious

    head trauma.

    At first I found very little under that particular heading. It was only by chance

    that I found a link to a website called depersonalisation.com.

    Perhaps it helps that I have a little knowledge of the psychological and

    physiological workings of the brain, then again maybe not. I am not quite sure

    if its good thing as ignorance seems blissful sometimes. I exhaust myself

    searching for an answer in the hope that everything will turn out alright, but it

    is a long hard struggle and I feel the effects badly.

    I think it is harder to accept that I have had a brain injury rather than have

    been abducted and thrown into another universe because there is hope that

    one day I will escape and arrive back home, but if this is all due to brain injury

    I feel I am stuck with it. Does that make sense?

    This scenario reminds me of the drunk searching for dropped keys outside

    under a lamppost, even though the keys may have been dropped elsewhere it

    remains a more easier task to search under the light than in the dark, even

    though that may not be where the keys are. Get it?

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    I feel like a fish out of water and I feel the need to be with my own kind,

    perhaps as time goes on it will become easier to cope with I really do not

    know at this stage, perhaps I am dreaming lets hope that I wake real soon.

    Micro lapses.

    Accompanying this reality displacement and adding to the problem, is what I

    can only describe as micro time displacements. To illustrate, my partner and I

    had to visit the hypermarket at Cardiff gate. After travelling about fifteen miles

    I became aware that I did not know where we were, I had no recollection of

    getting into the vehicle let alone leaving the house.

    I tend to think that these micro time lapses are due to a backlog of incoming

    information being sorted in my brain as it seems to happen when I am in a

    situation where there are various types of stimuli an example of such a time is

    when I was taken up town shopping.

    It was a sunny day; there were endless crowds of people, there were streams

    of traffic, noise and bright sunlight and shadows. Shadows cause many

    problems.

    As any paint artist knows, if you want to illustrate depth you need dark

    colours. Shadows usually mean stop there is a hole. In my case I cannot

    afford to make any mistakes, if I fall down a hole Im not going to be a happy

    bunny, so what do I do? Quite simply I stop or step over most shadows,

    which I am sure amuses most other pedestrians but it jars my bones when I

    step down or up a curb that is not here.

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    another way, if the car seems big I stay on the pavement, if its small in size I

    run.

    On other occasions we might meet people that want to stop and talk, this

    irritates me beyond belief because sometimes I feel they are not familiar to

    me and even worse if one person changes place for another, i.e. they swap

    places whilst talking to me and I get distracted, I tend to think that the one I

    was looking at has changed into someone else, and that is scary.

    What is annoying is that people think that because I no longer have the palsy,

    I am fine and back to my normal self. I know I am not, I am aware of changes

    although I find difficulty in explaining all of them.

    Another thing about conversing with people is that I find it hard to keep up

    with what is being said and often people talk over me as I take so long to

    answer. Sometimes people speak for me and finish of sentences. Often the

    opposite of what I mean. A nice little example of how it sometimes goes for

    me is the little story of three old women sitting on a bench outside:

    First old biddy: Isnt it windy?

    Second old biddy: No, its Thursday.

    Third old biddy: So am I lets have a cup of tea!

    I have come to realise that if I close my eyes I can take in a bit more and get it

    right, that brings problems within itself as it is considered rude to close ones

    eyes whilst being spoken too, and it is dangerous when walking and talking.

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    Unlike the old biddies I am not deaf my hearing is finely tuned and if anything

    is hypersensitive to sounds. You may be surprised to find out that people

    tend to over emphasize words as they would to a deaf individual, this I do

    tend to over look, as it is sometimes amusing.

    I sometimes feel that I am like a bad egg, undetected on the outside and

    rotten inside, you cant tell until you see inside it. It is frustrating and

    infuriating and just to recap nothing seems real, sounds and smells are

    different sometimes to the extreme, I have this constant feeling that I should

    be somewhere else, I try to believe what people are telling me but there

    always seems to be doubt in my mind as to their veracity. Is there a plot?

    Am I being controlled by something else? Are these people or a figment of

    my reality? I cant make up my mind on many issues. And the noises in my

    head are awfully distracting as well as annoying.

    Even going to the toilet and taking a bath has its problems. I mean to say

    what if I think Im in the loo and Im not? What if I am sat on a shop display in

    B&Q? (Stop giggling!)

    Bathing has always been fun for me it is way to relax and unwind and play

    with our animals with the bubbles etc. Now I dread the thought of getting in,

    as it feels drastically unlike it did before. The bath feels hard and cold against

    my skin and the water around me makes me gasp for air. Showering is not so

    much a problem so its not like I have problems with hygiene as I will shower,

    but I do have an awful problem staying in our bathroom upstairs, again I have

    no idea why.

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