January 25, 2012

To Be Different, Or To Not Be Different

Sometimes I wonder if I would have turned out different?  What do I mean by that? Not quite sure myself, but it's been a question I've been asking myself for years. And here's why. Since I was very little. New born for that matter, I've suffered a lot of head trauma. Things things i've learned over the years from my family is enough to sometimes make you wonder why I haven't slaying them all.

For starters, as a new born, maybe a year old, I fell into a lake. Down a cliff of about 15-20'. All the while my aunt and uncle are up top arguing who's job it is to watch me, so in turn it's who's job it is to get me out of the water. This from their own mouths.

When I was a little older, I fell out of the carriage onto my noggin in the center of the road. What the hell. i know i'm thick skulled in all, but damn. A few years later at the age of 5, I was in a serious accident, to which not only my mother, but my aunt as well (the one who seemed to think i could swim at a year old) along with the people from the house who called the fire dept, all thought I was dead. As my head had impacted the heat controls on the dash and I ended up on the floor under my mothers feet. Back in the 70's seat belts were not mandatory at this time. It wasn't until much later that I had woken up to climb up on my moms lap, before the emergency crew arrived and passed back out that they realized I was alive. A few short years later, I was in another accident that also bounced my head off the dash. This time I awoke in the back of an ambulance with the cops asking me questions. All i recall is asking for my mom and screaming that I hated my uncle. For he was the one who was driving. And the same uncle who also thought I could swim at the year old mark.  All of this by time I'm 7.

I remember a lot of things from that point on. But I don't remember much before that. I feel as if parts of my life, I knew things that I should not know at such a young age. I remember feeling a lot of compassion for others. Feeling a lot of resentment for such the smallest of things. I remember at the age of 8 or 9, my grandmother and mother took me to the local YMCA for a Sunday movie. It was a movie called Joni, based on the real life events of a young girl who is a quadriplegic, due to a swimming accident. I remember the ushers at the Y asking my mom to keep my quiet or we would have to leave. Why? I was a young boy crying because someone I did not know had to struggle through life with a disability that made her almost want to kill herself. And i remember for the longest time after that, I was saddened when I would see on the news or read about such incidents in the papers. Hell, I haven't even hit puberty yet.

Over the years, I suffered more head injuries from sports and a few more accidents, none by the way in which i was driving. I can't count the number of times I've been knocked unconscious.

My reading comprehension was always low. But yet the harder the scientific issue or math issue was, I could do it. I could figure it out given enough time with out much help from others. BUT, the easier the problem, the more i struggled to find the common denominator to get to the finish line. Even to the point, they had me in special reading classes up til Jr High. I could sleep each day in science class and not hear a word the teacher said. yet take the quiz on Friday in class and almost ace. All without cracking the book. At one point, the teach accused me of cheating on the final. So in front of him, the superintendent and principal, i took an oral final exam and missed 4 questions. So they passed me.

And it's been almost a rinse and repeat effect through out the rest of my life up to now. Yet, I struggle to grasp some of the more common issues of life. I try to make sense of things but take the long way around park, when the entire time the answer is no more then a few feet from me.

I am no rocket scientist. Never went to Harvard or some other Ivy League school. Not a lawyer or politician or doctor. I'm just the average Joe that you see on the streets. Day by day i take it. But sometimes I wonder, if i the head injuries have some how messed with me? I wonder if somehow, I would have been less of a person then I am or if I would have been more?

I've had tests and scans done. But they never found nothing. Like they couldn't find the cause of my severe headaches that if not promptly subdued, would paralyze me until the did subside. Soon they did disappear. But they came back a few years ago. Just as strong.  I've been lucky though the last year or so. They've been dormant. Minus the occasional migraine or tension headache.

Anyway, to end this long ass rant/question... I guess I will always wonder if I couldn't have been different. Or even if I want to be different.


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