I have discovered that one of the fallouts of grief is, shall we say, a certain degree of cognitive dysfunction.
I forget things. Lots of them and all kinds of them, and when I know I am supposed to remember them, my anxiety levels go sky high.
I have a final exam in one of my classes this term, and today I realized that I needed to ask my professor for some leeway. I probably just need a quiet room and the assurance that I can take extra time if I need it, but I wanted to warn him that I had a complete meltdown during a final last year (although I did well, I was completely unable to assess at the time whether what I was writing was anything close to what was being asked of us), that I have no way of predicting what will happen, and that if disaster strikes I might need an alternative course of action.
It will probably be all right. I got through Hebrew by taking my tests in a quiet room away from the rest of the class. But I just don't know. And while I didn't go into the details today, the fact is that most of my classes raise topics and issues that for me are swampy breeding grounds for PTSD.
My professor could not have been more gracious, which enables me to calm down considerably for the remaining four weeks of the quarter.
The Lovely Daughter suggested last night that I can be, ummmm, somewhat disdainful of how little people know about grief. (Me? Really? Sarcastic and disdainful? Is that possible?) "Did you know, Before, what you know now?" she asked. "Nope," I said.
One of the things I didn't know was that my brain cells would dissolve, or move around, or something. Whatever it is they do, it's not good, and it goes way beyond the usual midlife muddle. If you were reading my other blog a year ago, you know that I kept getting lost. (I have lived in the same city for over 30 years.) I'm much better now, but I do forget entire chunks of things, or I just find myself immobilized in the face of stress..
Sometimes I forget that it happens. In a class discussion on baptism last week, I managed to leave with maybe two seconds to spare before I burst into tears.
It's just one more thing: to know that in addition to all the things you have to deal with, you have to remember to be aware in advance of the possibility for emotional and mental mayhem when you do deal with them.
Anyway. It is very nice when other people simply take your word for it and try to help you out.