Sharing Life #2: Reading and Input…

This feature used to be called “Oversharing w/ Cassie” but I have realized that really this is just about me sharing moments of my life with anyone that decides to read this. If you do read it, thank you! I appreciate you. 

One of things that I have been discussing within my therapy sessions lately is that I have a problem with memory. I cannot recall things, it is not alzheimer’s or dementia. I am far too young for this, so I have been wondering why it was so much worse for me. As we have delved deeper into discussions of my life, my therapist finally put things together. He told me that often with people with trauma often have a problem with input into their brain. Things don’t stick, in a sense. Where others can remember stuff because it impacts their brain, it imprints. Mine doesn’t do this because I am in a constant state of hyperness. I am always having to be aware of everything around me. This makes it hard for the brain to imprint in the way that it should with knowledge. Instead I am inputting safety all the time. What happens on top of this, is that sometimes the input is lost because of disassociating factors that I have on top of this. This has a profound impact on me, obviously. With school it has meant that I tend to work harder than some of my peers.

What does this have to do with reading? I mean “reading” is in the title right? Well here is the fact for me. When I read something, I forget most of it. It is hard for me to remember things that I have read from a day or so ago. It is why I sometimes don’t return to a book. Can you imagine forgetting a book that you were sure you were enjoying? This is what happens to me from time to time with a book. It loses input. I would have to reread pages that I have already read to remember it. I tried getting a notebook to try to help jog my brain for this, so that I can remember the book better. This isn’t the normal thing though that some others describe. For me, often it is lost completely. I couldn’t recall even after looking at the page. This has made it a challenge sometimes to read a book. It sucks sometimes, but I push through it. The issue is that with school reading, I have to do the rereading to get it to stick somewhat so that I can take a quiz or write a paper. I have gotten really good at working out the basic idea of a reading, if I can’t recall it. This is how I have maintained a 4.0 through my masters programming and I always get above a 3.5 when I graduate from a program. It is because I work hard. I push through some rather challenging brain stuff related to trauma.

Input issues are the hardest thing about trauma for me. I hate that it has an impact on my reading. It makes reading a book that is super long, almost impossible. I am going to try though this next year to read something super long to try to engage my brain differently. Also I plan on deciding way in advance what it will be and getting a notebook where I will write very detailed notes for myself. Just so that I can have a “memory log” of the important things and not go back and reread instead just rely that I put the big things in the notes. It may mean that I have to eventually reread the book again at a later date once it is completely gone from my memory, which happens. If you go to my goodreads page and see that I have read a book, there is a large chance I can’t remember anything about it at all. Can you imagine losing the entire book forever? I would have to reread everything. This is actually one of the reasons I wanted to blog, which I never talk about, because I wanted to try to remember how the book made me feel. I don’t want to always have a first experience with a book every single time I read it. That may sound fun to some people. Woo hoo, I get to reread my favorite book for the first time again? SIGN ME UP. Well imagine you are at a different place of your life. Imagine it impacts you differently and your feelings change as a result, so it is no longer your favorite book because you no longer have those memories inputted of your joy for the book at all. That is my reality. It is why I write down what my favorite books were. It is also one of the reasons I decided to go to ratings. It is also why I am not giving out 5 “starred reviews” like candy at this point. I want to know the things that had a profound impact on me and be able to go back and see why they impacted me. I need those reminders, even if it doesn’t impact me the same way. Even if it doesn’t bring an instant recall for me, like it would others. I, at least, can see that I had a feeling at one point about the book, which makes me smile and reminds me what I felt about it the first go round.

I do hope that as I progress through therapy that this input issue alleviates somewhat. It would be nice to have the same experience that others have with books. This doesn’t mean that I am giving up on books. These posts are about sharing life with you guys, so I am sharing a piece of my reality. A piece of why reading is a challenge, but why I still love it with all my heart. I may not read as much as others because of this, but reading is my #1 hobby forever. I push through and smile because books are a refuge. They are a safe haven for me. They allow me to exist in an unsettled world.

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