The man with the wrong memories

Have you ever read a section of a book and been so certain you’ve read that part before? Have you ever been so sure of a detail, yet found that it is wrong? Have you ever mistrusted your own mind? That is every day for me!

I have a disorder called Hortons Headaches, or Cluster Headaches. That means that I have a headache at all times and at any point, triggered by nothing at all, the headache increases in intensity so hard that it will knock me off my feet, literally. The medical research done on Hortons shows that an attack like this is roughly 10 times more painful than giving birth. Since I was 12, I have had a constant pain and no relief. The pain is the least of my problems, the pain I have learned to live with. It is everything else that follows that is hard to live with.

I have a very short fuse and will be easily angered, I can’t concentrate on anything for any extended period of time and the slightest distraction will break my concentration. My memory is messed up beyond what many comprehend. If I lose concentration for just a moment, I will get completely lost, which angers me. If I am writing something and someone starts humming, I will forget what I was writing. Even though it’s angering me, I try my hardest to ignore it. The person doesn’t know and me getting angry at them helps nobody, yet sometimes it becomes too much and I just snap.

Losing track of what I’m doing isn’t the only memory issue I have. My mind often switch out details in memories, creating false facts. It is not fuzzy memories, it’s clear as the day I saw it… or didn’t see it I should say.

The scariest false memory I had was when I walked past a playground that I’ve walked past countless times over the past 20 years. It was a playground I once visited with my cousin when we were both kids and we would climb up the wooden wall that was made so kids could kick balls against it. Every time I walk past it, I look at the old wooden wall and smile at the memories… Only that the last time I walked past, the wall wasn’t there… in fact, the playground wasn’t there at all! It had all been a memory created by my mind, at the moment I walked past the last time. In my head, the memory is clear, I remember playing there and walking past it so many times, but that playground doesn’t exist, it never did.

I am, quite literally, a man with no real memories. It’s like those sci-fi horror movies you see where someone finds out what they’ve remembered their whole lives were fabricated just a short time ago, except it happens over and over again and it’s not a plot from some evil villain.

The worst part about Hortons is that there is no cause, no cure and no relief. There is no help for my memories, nothing to do about my short temper, no way for me to concentrate easier.

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