Us human beings are a strange lot. Whilst we need a sense of community and belonging, we also strive to portray the essential essence of ourselves, to mark ourselves as different from other human beings. I define myself in various ways, just like all other human beings. I was born in this country. I am from this family. I have done these jobs. I live with this person. I am a mother. These are my values. And so on. There is a narrative, a continuity, a past, present, and – hopefully – a future.
Imagine trying to look upwards and outwards without a solid foothold in the past. All you have are moments lost in time, fragments of scenes that make no sense and offer no cohesive narrative. Some of these are in sharp focus, technicolour, frightening ; others are ghost-like shadows that slip in and out of memory.
Imagine living your life dominated by a whirling maelstrom of uncertainty, constantly searching for order, attempting to fit together shards of half remembered scenes in an effort to work out who you are, and where you belong.
And then add another element to that picture. Your brain is damaged. You struggle to remember and sometimes you cannot make sense of everyday things.
It’s a perfect storm.