Posted 9/19/2008 3:21 PM (GMT -6)
Hey, Paulos, I wanted to let you know that my BF has memory difficulties too. I think of him as just being "wired" differently from how I am - in fact, from how most people I know are. I hope sharing our story will help you to find some comfort for your own discouragement:
It was tough on us at first, because I was frustrated that he didn't seem to pay attention to things that mattered to me, even after I told him they did. I couldn't help but interpret it as him not really caring about what was important for me. As we've been together longer, I realize that he truly does just think differently from what I expect, from what I'm used to. Yes, it may even cause him difficulties in his daily life, but it doesn't take away from all the other things that are wonderful about him. I've learned to be more patient and also accepting of his weak memory, and less critical of the things he needs to do to remember, even when those things drive me nuts or get in my way. For instance, he has to leave things sit out right in the middle of the counter, or the table, or even the floor sometimes, or else he'll forget that he needs to take care of them (bills, say, or notes about appointments, or items that need to be repaired). It's not like what other people do, and it did bother me a lot at first, but it's what *works* for him. He also carries a huge pocket datebook, the biggest I've ever seen, and doesn't go anywhere without it. He'll let me write things in it that are important for both of us to be doing, like dinner with a friend, but it's really just for him, and if anybody else writes too much in it, he gets distracted. So I've been thinking about how he copes and how I could share some of those ideas with you.
I'm encouraging you, dear friend, to give yourself permission to do the things that help you remember what's important, even if it's not the way other people remember, or if it seems weird or bothersome. You may feel that others are judging whether your methods are good enough, but what really matters is whether you are able to function independently, not *how* you set things up to enable that. Those who really care about you will choose to adjust themselves, especially when they see that your methods are best and most comfortable for *YOU*. A poor memory may make difficulties in your life, but you have shown over and over how adaptable you are, and you have the skills to create an approach that helps you cope. Yes, your memory may not be good, but that doesn't mean that *YOU* are not good. There is so much else that's marvellous about you, and that you share with those in your life. I am always so proud to know you, even when you may be feeling very low about yourself.
Love and hugs,