Follow that runaway train…of thought?

I used to believe that I spoke and had thought processes like other people.  I would ruminate something, I would say it out loud, the other person would reply and there you have it!  Conversation.  So imagine, to my chagrin, when suddenly my friends and (most) family members could not understand me.  They would tilt their head to one side and stare at me, quite perplexed.  It was like I was speaking a foreign language.  I would then continue to explain my thought process, step by step, and then they would open their mouths slightly and melodiously say, “ohhhhhh,” whilst nodding their heads.  What had happened to my talent for great conversation?

As I said before, I can hold conversations with anybody of any age, any gender, on any topic.  So it befuddled me when it appeared that I was babbling incoherently.  It occurred to me one day that there were certain people who completely understood me and what I was saying.  My sister was top of the list.  My mother too.  My dad, most of the time.  My niece, however, gave me THAT look one day.  I gave her a questioning look back.  She calmly asked, whilst politely puzzled:  “What does Baba (grandma in Croatian) have to do with a glass of water?”  At first, this bewildered me.  Then the AH-HA moment hit!  Get ready for this doozy.

First, let me ask if you have ever seen the show Gilmore Girls?  I LOVE watching this show!  Why?  The amount of fast-talking conversation is incredible.  They jump from topic to topic in seconds flat.  Basically, they talk like I do.  There is no desire to scrimp on words and get to the point quickly.  It’s about conversation and language and using all kinds of words and comparisons and leaping from one idea to the next.  That was what my AH-HA was about.  I was speaking quickly, and as I spoke a new idea would pop into my head.  However, I might not say anything aloud about it, but then my next thought would be spoken out loud leaving a possible gap in the logical conclusion.  Get it?  No?  Ok, here is the train of thought explanation of the “Baba and the glass of water story”:

Me out loud:  Baba is in so much pain with her hip, but she just won’t let anyone help her.  She has to do it all by herself because she doesn’t want to bother anyone.

Niece out loud:  I know, even when I invite them over for lunch she says it’s too much work for me and that I have so many other responsibilities so why don’t we just come over to her place for a meal.

Me in my head:  She has always been like that.  So stubborn.  That’s why we never learned to cook because she had to do everything.  Even her brother-in-law told me that she won’t even have a glass of water in his home, but she expects them to come to her place for elaborate meals.

Me out loud:  Not even a glass of water!

Niece:  *dumbfounded look

Ok…now you are caught up with how my brain works.  There are the inner thoughts that are constantly in motion.  It’s like there are trigger words people say to me and my mind grabs it like a football and starts running for the end zone.  With every yard I pass, a new thought gets attached to it.  By the time I get to the end zone I have left the football field and ended up on the soccer field.  See what I mean?

I decided to do some quick research about this special phenomenon of mine.  With my Google prowess I typed:  the difference between male and female thought patterns.  DING!  There is quite a variance between the gender brain functions and thought patterns.  I will summarize it quickly if you don’t feel like reading about it.  Scientists study four primary areas of the brain:  processing, chemistry, structure, and activity.  With processing, it appears that males use more gray matter than white matter and with females it’s the opposite.  The gray areas are localized and lead to those gents having more of a tunnel vision so they focus on one thing until complete.  The ladies, with their white brain, basically have their brain networking with the gray parts.  Thus, women are able to multi-task fantastically.  Both are good in their own ways.  The rest of the article was interesting, but being a multi-tasker, let’s get back to the story.

I then explained to my niece how my brain works…as you now also know.  I still continue to speak in this way.  One day at my parent’s place my mother was telling me and my sister about this lady in the village.  The story continued about some surgery.  Then it went to some doctor.  Then something about pills.  Then how awful THAT man is.  She was shaking her head in anger and the rest of us just looked at each other.  My father asked, “What man?”  My sister and I burst out laughing.  We were prodigies!  After a few precise questions we finally figured out who she had been talking about.  Her whole story had involved words like “her” “that lady” “that neighbour” and “him”.  Once names were attached to the pronouns we had the final answer.  Way more fun than Jeopardy, but just as challenging!

Fast forward a few months.  I was visiting my niece again.  I was regaling her with some fantastic story and when I stopped she smiled and slyly said, “I actually followed that train of thought almost all the way to the end.”  Kudos to her!  I am bequeathing her with the gift of pursuing that runaway train…of thought!

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Transmogrified, Evil Villain…

Life is great!  I am happy!  Cough…Happy!  Cough cough!  What the heck is going on?  Hmmm, there is a wee tickle in my throat.  Ahem, ahem…cough cough.  HACK-COUGH!   My nose is itchy.  What is this?  There is leakage from my nasal passages.  Grab a facial tissue and blow my nose.  Blow again.  One more time!  Phew!  Think I got it all.  Great!  Wait a minute.  I can’t hear anymore.  What is going on?  I don’t have a fever or anything.  What new strain of evilness is this?  Yes, it appears I have a cold.  If it is so normal then why do I feel so AB-normal?

I have become a transmogrified evil villain!  I am usually the upbeat “Pollyanna” type rooting for everything good in the world!  “You can do this!”  I exclaim.  “Live in denial!” I yell to myself.  This self-lie usually works to trick my body into thinking that I am not ill.  It’s not real.  I can get past this.  Yet, here I am on day 9 (yes day 9) and I have managed to get hearing back in one ear.  The Super Cough has diminished to a mere whisper of its previous potency.  My bruised ribs have finally stopped screaming at me so I guess I actually did not crack any ribs in cough-a-lot episodes.  My sinuses…oh my…those beauties made my eyes look like fish eyes…all bulgy and watery.  Why am I describing my ailments?  I believe it is vitally important to share information that might make others feel better about their life situation, knowing that there are “others” like them.

To be honest, the reason I bring up my gross illness is because I have become a horrible human being.  I have become an uber, ugly, vindictive “reality show” type personality on the person I love.

When you get sick as a parent, you are not allowed to show weakness.   You are the doctor.  You are the nurse.  You are the most patient and understanding person in their lives.  When they say their teardrop hurts their cheek, it’s a reality you need to remedy to make them sleep.  However, when the children are out of the house and you become ill, you finally get to plead illness (and insanity).  Who gets the brunt of your illness woes?  Your bestie!  The person who will always be there for you through thick and thin.  It’s true right?

Think about it.  Wiseguy told me right from the beginning that one crucial element of a good relationship is:  COMMUNICATION!  For those of you who do not understand what that means, I shall simplify.  If there is something that is bothering you and you are holding it inside instead of talking about it, that means you are NOT communicating.  This would be a perfect example of my parent’s household.

In my parents house if you were upset, you held it in because there was no point in discussing issues.  Parents were always right.  Siblings?  No talk…more about actions and getting even (bwahaha!).  So, now I had to learn this “talk” thing.

For those of you who were taught manners and behaving properly and “be sure not to offend anyone” this was a difficult task.  After several years I got the hang of it.  It’s not about yelling and picking on each other, it’s actually discussing things, in adult words, no F-bombs.  It’s sharing thoughts, ideas, opinions.  It really does work.  Well, it works while you are both of sound mind.  When one gets sick, sense and sensibility gets thrown out and the evil “sick” monster takes over.

As previously mentioned, I have been the caretaker for many.  If I did get ill (i.e.”West Nile Virus), I still had my father-on-law come to me whilst I was lying on the couch and ask me: “What’s for dinner?”  Yes, it’s true.  When children get sick, parents don’t get timeouts.  It doesn’t matter how tired you are, the children are most important and one day you hope you will have time to sleep.  So, here I am, 20 years later, sick myself, and I am incorrigible.

I have been apologizing to Wiseguy on an almost hourly basis!  Why?  Because I am yelling at him for not speaking loudly enough for me to hear him.  My ears are plugged.  When my one ear canal finally opened up I complained that he was talking too loudly.  Even better… he now has whatever ailment I have and I am complaining when he can’t hear me!  I am agitated.  I am irritated!  I can’t hear properly.  I keep throwing verbal darts at Wiseguy.  He can do nothing right.  He made me a beautiful breakfast and I complained about the pan he used.  Cruel!?  For sure!

So, this little story is two-fold:

To Cold Sufferers:  You are not in your normal state of mind.  When you find that you are going crazy and verbally assaulting those you love, remember to apologize for being an intolerable pain.

To my hubby:  You are the best!  You should get hazard pay for dealing with my psycho-sicko mood swings.  I’m here for you.  (I hear you coughing right now.  Thanks for letting me share my unhealthy goodness with you!  Bwahaha!)

P.S.  Although I am of the elder-world, I find that many children’s books can simply explain life’s difficulties.  As adults we find “big words” to explain our life situations.  Over the past few days, in my whiny state of mind, I thought about how “horrible” I felt and recalled one of my all time favourite stories.  It made me laugh out loud (nowadays known as LOL):  Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Do you have a favourite storybook?  If so, what is so special about it?