While I normally don’t look or sound like I have brain damage, there are moments when I’m talking and I say the wrong thing and don’t realize it. Sometimes it just means I’m providing misinformation. Sometimes it freaks people out and they look at me like I’m about to have a seizure or they’re certain I’m insane. I think that because I don’t look like I have brain damage, it surprises them.
These moments usually happen when more than one person is talking or when I’m distracted, like when I’m trying to say one thing, but my mind is drifting off somewhere else. I can’t concentrate on one conversation when another is going on across the table. I’ll interject a word or two from the other conversation I’m trying really hard to tune out into the one I’m trying to play a role in. If I’m distracted, I’ll use my ‘out loud’ voice for the thoughts going on in my brain. Either way, random words, completely out of context, get thrown willy nilly into my sentences.
Usually I notice when this happens and I’ll comment, ‘Did I just say tomato? I meant to say gin gimlet. Sorry.’ But other times, I don’t catch it. My husband will later point out that I sounded like a crazy person, but he was too kind to correct me in front of other people. Other times I just get a strange look, but I can see one of two internal conversations going on in their heads. 1. Is it polite to correct someone with brain damage or ask what the hell she’s talking about? OR 2. I don’t have the heart to ask her what she really meant with her random gibberish. That poor girl…
I say, it’s just a little brain damage! If I sound a little looney, for Pete’s sake, point it out so I have the chance to explain myself and convince you I haven’t completely lost my mind. It was only 4 cm that I lost. Those of us with a little brain damage aren’t so delicate that you can’t be honest with us. We can usually laugh about it and say, ‘Did I say gin gimlet? I meant vodka, neat. Sorry.’