This last few weeks, as well as being Mad March, it’s also been dotted with every opportunity I can find to work with Anna on my book.
I suddenly felt sad after days of productive writing and then very suddenly I realised why……it came out of nowhere….
Anna lives 200 miles away so all our conversations are via whatsapp or email for larger chunks. In that world of silent conversation, I can type my thoughts, speedily and eloquently. There’s no problem. It just needs Anna to jolt my memory into action and I’m off. Sentences flow as if in normal conversation, no fragmented sentences.In this silent world of the keyboard, I can speak the thoughts in my head and at the same time convert them to the written word via the keyboard.
However, open my mouth to speak and the speed is gone. There’s a short circuit where the wiring in my brain has become disconnected. I type a whole sentence, but speaking the same words, without those words in front of me, often leads to the ending fading away as the words become lost.
That’s why there’s so much preparation for the talks I give. That’s why all the words have to be written down. I often start a talk by saying:
“Excuse me for reading my words, but if I don’t I’ll get distracted and start talking about something totally irrelevant’
I now realise the truth is, the words I’d speak would be disjointed and sentences will end halfway as the words are lost. I won’t be able to think of words.
I’ve revisited the short films I’ve made and listened and re listened to them and realise how my words and even my voice are now very different. In the short film I made for the BBC, I had no script, I spoke as I always spoke.
So when did that voice I had leave me? When did the sound of my voice change? When did the confidence to speak without words desert me? When did I become this smiley, hesitant, juddering self?
The sudden realisation that I’m now locked in this silent world where words are only spoken clearly on a keyboard was quite disturbing. I suppose I must be grateful for still be able to type, as many of my friends have lost that ability but can still talk. Others are left with neither.
That’s also why people who only read and havnt seen me often find it hard to comprehend i have dementia as my writing hides the dementia.
As long as I’m still competent in this silent world with my key board and can read the words I have in front of me, then that’s a bonus. For now, I’ll make the most of this silent world that has become my comfort zone.
Only to have the spoken word that frequently lets me down would be too sad for words…..
Just goes to show how little is still known about dementia and this complex brain of ours…