We all know that we change over time. When I look back at my teen years I cringe really. I was a typical hormone fuelled and self centred teenage male. How I ever gained and kept a girlfriend is beyond me! It certainly wasn’t my dress sense, style or coolness. I was never in the ‘cool kid gang’, My friends were kind and made me laugh, that was the prerequisite for being a friend of mine, not coolness or being in the right group. We never got any satisfaction by picking on people, we had more fun including those sort of people into our friend group.
When I think about my teenage self and my girlfriends, I want to go back in time and give myself a slap. Now I am the father of two daughters, I realise how much hurt they would have felt at my casual loss of interest and just suddenly disappearing off of the scene, bastard. I think back to the girls who were my girlfriends and I think how could I have been so selfish and mean to them. Bloody teenage boys.
As I got older I have always made treating people decently as my priority, even at the cost of my career on occasion but despite this when my wife and I first moved in together I was still suffering from lazy Mummy’s boy syndrome, and had to undergo some personality and habit correction therapy to stop me being lazy and expecting to be waited on hand and foot.
Following this therapy I learned to cook and clean. My one attempt at using the washing machine ended in some unplanned colour changes so I was banned from using the washing machine (Phew, that was close but I didn’t do it on purpose).
So I live my life now trying to be considerate to others and to be aware of what is going on around me…..however…..
Personality changes seem to have happened!
As I write, I am seven weeks post operation and my family think that they have noticed some changes in me following my craniotomy. I was warned that my short term memory might be affected but the operation has had an unexpected consequence.
A few weeks ago my Mum in law passed away. We have lived with her for two years since retiring and of course I have known her since meeting my wife who I met 41 years ago. I considered us close and yet I was unable to cry or even mourn properly. I felt that I needed to but something stopped me, as if I had lost the ability to be upset or at the very least lost the ability to empathise.
It’s not a nice feeling and on occasions I feel an almost tangible numbness in my brain where I should be feeling upset or sad. I have had the privilege of being with both my Mum in Law and my Father in Law at the end. I sobbed like a baby when my Father in Law passed and felt a terrible sense of pain and loss. I didn’t think any less of Mum in Law and yet I couldn’t cry. Of course I felt sad but there was something blocking my ability to show my emotions. My wife said that at the end, I seemed distant from the situation while I thought that I was very much ‘in the room’. I guess she meant that I wasn’t as upset as she would have expected.
I am now trying to be aware of situations and my reaction to them. It feels a little like having your head stuffed with cotton wool, a fluffy, fuzzy lump of nothingness where my emotions used to be. Will it ever change? I don’t know and have not read anything about if recovery from this kind of effect is possible. Can my brain rewire itself, I hope so.