Divorce - Memory And Concentration Malfunctions

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Creative Commons License courtesy of Tjook

Since going through the ups and downs of divorce, I’ve had recurring troubles with my memory and concentration. At first, this frightened me, because the memory gaps were large and the concentration was, to be quite frank about it...nonexistent! In my divorce support group, I found out that I wasn’t alone. Many people who go through something like a divorce have similar problems.

Maybe its the trauma, the mindnumbing stress that does it?

All I know is that it happened.

Just prior to the splitx I had a pretty good job. It had to do with creating processes and systems to track and collect the ongoing construction of a building that was in the price range of about 700 million dollars that was in the middle of an oil refinery.

My memory and concentration were fine tuned musical instruments of quality control heaven! Lol! I was part of the quality control teamx as wellx I took on other positions. I developed a behavior based safety program, and ran it. I was also part of the team that liases with the client for the turnover of the building for payment.

All of these systems were created in house, meaning the manager and us would unroll paper and tape it to the walls to build massive flow charts to track a part of construction, turn it into a step by step process, and then stick in checkpoints for our own QC team, and also the clients QC team. Where signatures needed to be taken, where tests needed to be made etc.... Then all of this had to be turned into smaller pieces of paper that we could hand to tradesmen to record their work. Where our team could take out into the field. Then another set had to be made for the turnover of the section, or price of equipment had to be made. Basically from the first nail hammered, the first piece of iron bolted right to when the last nail is nailed, and the last bolt is bolted and every measurement in between recorded, checked and double verified.

Whew! That was a lot to write! Lol! I hope I didn’t bore you with that. I just needed to be able to have you on the same page of reference. Because this job required laser attention to detail and basically a photographic memory over 16 hour days for months. Mistakes when made were, if they were made were in the ballbark of millions of dollars to fix. So they spent extra money up front to limit those kinds of mistakes.

Ok, so I just really wanted to say that I had a pretty good memory and that I could rely on my concentration to pull me through som harrowing times when I needed it most.

Then I was served divorce papers.

I was laid off after that job. Here the economy tanked all the contstruction ground to a halt. Everything ground to a halt. Boom went to bust. I stayed at home, my kids mom went to work. Things got worse until she said one day that she was leaving. We were out of money, she moved out to her sisters and then served me with papers.

I could pay a lawyer. I was on ablist for a free onex but none had come up and I had to go to court. I had to fend off my wife’s lawyer. I did.

It was one of the scariest things I can ever remember doing. I took on a lawyer.

Lots of.people helped of course. Mostly because the of memory loss and failing concentration were creeping in.

It started out as forgetting dates and times. I had to have people constantly remind me of what day it was and which day was which appointment. I lost papers, documents, files. I had a difficult time keeping track of what was happening at my kids school; field trips and such. People.picked up the slack on this for.me... Thank god! Lol!

But the telltale signs were there, and I could see them when I was able to stop for a moment. I had been a voracious reader... And I couldnt sit and read a book. I was trying to digest court related documents in bits and pieces. It took everything I had ever mustered to just get by... Well a little less then get by; it took everything I had to not be able to do enough. I had to have three other people go through the documents with me now, and then have long discussions where I would fade in and out of.

I was a full time broke single parent, with the bills of a past marriage to sort through... Many know this story, many have a very similar one....

I knew this was going on with my head. I turned to playing games. Mind building games, games that helped to build concentration and memory. Just how much my memory and concentration deteriorated became very apparent when I had to get a job.

I took a job that I felt would help me with my memory and concentration. All it did though (in my state of mind) was show me over and over just how bad it had gotten. I went from handling 700 million dollars worth of work with enthusiasm, pinache and flair, to not being able to handle a 200 dollar work order.

I couldn’t even remember to make a lunch, or even focus long enough to finish making one for the next day!

The effects fame relatively quickly. Those same effects are sticking around. I know there’s no quick easy fix for it either. I just know that in time it will eventually get better.

I am two years it been almost two years since it all began, I’m am in a better state of mind now and the gapsx now that I am aware of them, are very apparent.

I went to write for my military driving license today. Lately I haven’t been good with tests. Not because I don’t know the material. Because my brain doesn’t know what my arm is doing and vice versa. Lol! At least that’s what it feels like.

I wrote the test. well it was three tests actually. Simple. They were multiple choice. I finished all three. I went over it again and checked my answers. I know there’s gaps in my head and I have to double and triple check what I do if there is no one else around to do it for me.

I failed two of them.

No big deal.

I was allowed to go over the exam and check the answers I got wrong.

The thing that stood out to me was that even after checking three times before handing it in, the answers I circled on the sheet didn’t match what I thought I had answered.

This has been par for the course for me lately. I’ve come to accept it. It drove me nuts before but this time, I just wanted to see it in action.

I knew the material. I studied. The answers I circled, were not the ones that I had circled. Very confusing. And this is after going through the test afterwards. I had gotten lost on the answer sheet in places. And got lost in the same places while checking it.

Checking, double checking, and triple checking were my bread and butter. Now, its like I’ve never done it before.

That’s a big gap. Sitting in a room at a desk writing a few easy exams and failing them because my mind is making things up as I go along...

Part of me wants my concentration back. I want to be able to sit in a room for two hours to write a test with dry material. I want my memory back where I can remember what I did ten minutes ago.

Part of me knows that its getting incrementally betterx and to be patient.

The other part of me just says, this is the way it is now. That I’m getting older and this is part of that. That I have changed and this is part of that change. Start again.

And then part of me just wants to hit the pub for s pints and take the test in a week and the next week until I pass it... Until my brain catches up with my arm and they decide to work something out where they can work together in s more friendly manner.

I’ve changed in some ways. In some I’m still the same. I feel like I have to forget what I knew in order to go forward. Sometimes I get confused as to which I should keep, and that which I should toss out. :)

I find it easier that when moments like this happen, it shows me what I need to forget. That these are the times where I need to empty my cup, because a whole lofts learning needs to happen!

Thanks for reading.

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment or give me a


  • gummybears: This was the first blog that has been successfully uploaded to this site via my mobile.
    I wrote it in my notebook then copy and pasted it to the wsywig.
    This is kind of a big deal as I haven’t been able to do this yet. I could write directly in the interfaced and depending on the phone and browser, I usually couldnt do things like capitals. Lol!
    Now I can try to use the document writer and see if I can bold, italic and underline. :) and then copy and paste it. Lol!
  • *Molly*: When did you write this blog? Also, you mentioned going to the pub.....dude, seriously speaking here....I bet you could pass all 3 exams with flying colors, if you were drinking at the pub.
  • gummybears: Lol! I’ve been writing this one for a couple of weeks. Little bits.... Pecking away at it. I just decided to try out the browser so I finished it last night because I took the exam yesterday.
    I was getting frustrated before because I know I can pass these tests. Usually I find I do better when I have almost lethal doses of caffeine running through my system. Lol! On two occasions I haven’t done that and on both of those.... They were disasters! Lol! Rather than be frustrated, or filled up with several shots of espresso and dark roast chasers, I am learning what I’m doing in that room and will have to make a new process in how I write these kinds of exams.
    Lol! When I wrote for my ticket, I drank two cups of coffee from home, stopped for four shots over ice, then took another four shots in with me. Lol! The test was supposed to take four hours, I finished it in an hour and a half. But I also wrote a course for my union for guys to be able to challenge and pass that same test so... The odds were well in my favor on that one.
  • *Molly*: You would be a great person to help other people who are in your shoes. I dare say you should see a doctor for meds to help you, but in all reality, especially with my job that I work every day, I often suggest that folks seek medical help, as a last resort. I can’t remember if you’ve already done this or not. This morning, for example, "little Johnny" told me that he hasn’t had his medicine in over a week because mom didn’t have any money to refill the prescription. This makes tons of sense. Little Johnny is a great kid, but lacks self control in many aspects, mentally. And you see he is in here with me now, so what does that tell ya? ;)
  • gummybears: It is getting better... And will only get better. :).

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