Below is a link to my published article that starts with a version of "A Round Thing That Starts with a g" piece posted here a few days ago, but includes more.
A Year that Started with the Wrong Kind of Bang Has Ended; What Comes Next?
Poetry? Passion? I hope so
Just in case you do not like the style of Associated Content, I shall also add the entire article below.
A Round Thing that Starts With the Wrong Letter
A year that started with the wrong kind of bang has ended; what comes next?
(On January 6 2010, I suffered from a Stroke. On January 6 2011, my husband & I will be getting Divorced.)
I few days ago, I had a little after-dinner issue that made me feel like crying. Such feelings are nothing new throughout a year that began with me suffering from an unexpected Stroke, but I have been continually recovering and improving, to the point that I think most people who briefly interact with me might not even receive an inkling that anything has affected my brain powers at all. A big part of me really likes that, but it also has its challenging aspects.
Although my reading and writing skills continue to improve, they are still significantly slower than they used to me. Although every month I seem to remember details better, I still do not think I could work a regular job, because after I initially came across as pretty intelligent and productive, how could I explain my inability to memorize new things with quickness, efficiency, or finesse?
And how the heck would I explain my trouble associated with handling easy little words? Food stuff is one example of my easy little word problems. My ongoing issue with food stuff words is what made me feel like crying the other night. Even my poetry used to be brimming with strange and specific food-oriented words, to the extent that a few people thought I had made up my last name, COOK, to fit into my own poetry-fest.
A few nights ago after dinner, my mom handed me a yummy piece of homemade gingerbread (I had to concentrate while typing this to get the word gingerbread) and she put something on it; some white stuff that I cannot remember the word of. I asked her what that white stuff was called and she told me, but I have already forgotten the word again. When she told me the word, I started to tell her what it reminded me of, which was another white thing atop another dessert thing and...
See what I mean? I couldn't think of the word of a dessert product that I have partaken of many times in my life. And I couldn't think of the word of the white stuff on top of that dessert product. Oftentimes, I can think of the first letter of a word even if I can’t think of the whole word. So I said something like "that round thing that starts with a g" and then I began to feel like some sort of an idiot. I was seated at the kitchen table with a group full of people and the best descriptive phrase I could muster was “that round thing that starts with a g".
As it turned out, I didn't even get the first letter right this time. As I tried to describe the dessert product a little better, my mom finally asked if I was talking about Cinnamon Rolls and YES that is what I was talking about. The main reason I had even brought up Cinnamon Rolls was due to an attempt to talk about the white stuff that sometimes appears on top of them, but it took me so long to make it to the word Cinnamon Roll, that after that, I felt overly stressed out and dumb and pretty much just gave up.
I was among a group of people and could not even manage to describe something as well as their little kids would have been able to describe it. I felt like they most likely wanted to play with the kids, rather than spend half an hour trying to concentrate on a disabled adult attempting to figure out easy little words in order to say what I was trying to say, when what I was trying to say was simply a very small description of a white dessert product atop my mom's gingerbread that tasted like a different white dessert product atop some Cinnamon Rolls. I could hardly think of any of the words for a small description that should have lasted about one minute long.
Unfortunately, that is nothing new when I am trying to talk about food (or names or other brief descriptive words), so sometimes I just don’t even try to talk about those things, especially in the midst of group settings as opposed to one on one. Sometimes I find myself worrying about not being able to think of some easy little word in a public setting (which has happened before) and then how the heck should I explain that? I don’t wish to be frequently telling semi-random people who I barely know that I suffered from a Stroke almost a year ago.
It is very frustrating and upsetting to me sometimes, being someone who used to be able to describe things interestingly, uniquely, and EASILY and now I often can't. In addition to the little words, there's the fact that I can't write significant book reviews anymore; I can no longer specifically describe my own viewpoints on stuff like poetry, art, feminism, and much more (and since I would have to concentrate long and hard in order to think of more specific words, I just typed 'and much more').
Overall, I have been feeling less depressed, less negative, and more willing to shift my own style of verbiage around. But every once in a while, an exchange that ought to consist of a simple, easy, quick little description goes awfully wrong and very much bothers me. Sometimes I worry that I am NEVER going to be able to communicate as well as I used to. Sometimes that really makes me feel like breaking down and crying.
Several other things have also made me feel like crying lately; one of them is my upcoming Divorce. I recently realized that my Divorce Court Hearing is scheduled to happen on the same date that my Stroke happened last year. I did not choose either of those dates.
My husband could hardly handle my Stroke for even a few months, even though he was not the one who lost part of his brain. He suggested that my personality had changed, but I think the only parts that really changed about me where my problems with maneuvering easy little words, my unfortunate inability to work a regular job, plus the fact that I stopped drinking alcohol as often as I used to. I guess it could be tough when a partner who often was a fun party animal was suddenly overly worried about her own health. I was worried for valid reasons, though. Nobody knew exactly what caused my Stroke and I did not wish to risk my recovery. I understand that the whole situation caused difficult, challenging aspects for my husband too; but I don’t really understand why he often acted as if it was just as difficult for him (or even more so) as it was for me. He told me that others were paying too much attention to me and treating me like a baby. He blurted out the word Divorce and offered me unhappy threats until I went ahead and left our home together and then finally filed for that Divorce.
Now that the Divorce date has almost arrived, he has told me he did not want it, but if that is really the case, than I don’t understand why he was blurting out that word and telling me he needed to move on. He is now filing for Bankruptcy, planning on leaving the state, and leaving me with our unpaid Mortgage and Home Equity Loans. He recently sent me a small Happy New Year note, suggesting that this past year was terrible for both of us, but 2011 would be better for both of us. In a way, that almost made me feel like screaming, “Your brain is the same as it’s always been! And soon, you will be gone from the state and our unpaid bills will all be in my name! So I guess 2011 will be better for YOU!”
In the course of one year, I lost parts of my brain, my husband, and am now in the process of losing my good credit. Even though I have never in my life been a big credit card user, my husband was and now I am forced to suffer the results of that, which will ruin my credit for 7-10 years. In addition to that stress, I sometimes feel quite unhappy that I am a 38 year old woman who is temporarily living with my parents and does not know when that will change; does not know when I will be able to work a regular job again, and more.
I know I am lucky to be alive and to have the power to choose for myself how to best move on with my life, but sometimes I have mixed feelings about HOW to move on and what my life ought to focus on next. Losing the man who I thought was a real love partner makes me feel more uncomfortable about long term relationships in general, yet one on one interaction is quite important to me, especially if that interaction is with someone I feel strongly about and love. I can’t allow myself to lose my credibility, my passion, my interest and adoration in myself and others. I can’t allow myself to lose my sweet snippets of happiness, poeticism and love of truly unique communication.
I need to focus on the fact that some very fun encounters have happened this past year too. I have made a few new wonderful friends who are poets and artists. I have participated in extraordinary poetry readings involving furry Typewriter Girls and movie filming involving Haunted Hotels filled with ghosts and zombies and other darkly delicious creativity.
Even though my reading and writing is still slower, I have maintained my passionate adoration for poetry. I have continued to handle my own online literary publication, Thirteen Myna Birds. I created two new poetry chapbooks for my print publishing endeavor, Blood Pudding Press. I will soon be publishing another Blood Pudding Press chapbook of my own as part of a vast creative entity called the Dusie Kollektiv; that chapbook will include my new Post-Stroke poems. I even assembled and started submitting my second full-length poetry manuscript.
In addition to staying artistically creative and visiting new friends several times, I also visited two long time extra-special close friends of mine, one of whom I have been connecting with a great deal. I do have some delectably scrumptious one on one time available in my present and future, as long as I am able to focus significantly and passionately upon what should come next within my remaining lifetime.
Juliet’s very first small article about her Stroke – “Post-Stroke Survival and Sad Little Blues” - http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2807396/poststroke_survival_and_sad_little.html?cat=70
Juliet’s second article about her Stroke and also about her Poetry – “Full Length Dissection” - http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5602556/full_length_dissection.html?cat=70
Juliet’s third article about her Stroke and Poetry, posted on her own blog & linked to by Big Tent Poetry - “Doll Injection Mold Disaster” – http://bigtentpoetry.org/2010/08/sideshow-finding-the-words/
Juliet’s ‘Horrific Confection” website (find out more about her Poetry and other Creative Endeavors – http://www.julietcook.weebly.com/