Saturday, October 4, 2008

dislike of self

One of the things I don't like about myself is the inability to remember names. I could have know a person for twenty years and when introducing them to someone else, I draw a blank. It drives me crazy.

I was chairing the meeting on Thursday night. As soon as I sit in that chair, I panic. I am going to ask folk to share and I will probably forget their names before I ask. I do everything I can to help myself. I make sure there's a member list. I write down some names of visitors during introductions. Thursday night, I also wanted to ask "Sam" to share. I saw him before the meeting. As people were sharing, I looked around for Sam but couldn't find him. He had left the meeting. The meeting was about 3/4's done and I only had to do "the person with the purple shirt" once, I was feeling like I was going to survive this experience. Then, out of my mouth came, "Sam, would you like to share please." There was silence, everyone looking around, then someone said that Sam had gone home. Not a big deal, unless you are me. Now I couldn't remember a single name, seemed to have lost the ability to read, I was feeling dumb. I seemed to have lost any skills at describing clothing and colour as well. I just wanted to melt under the table. Eventually, the meeting got back on track.

I thought that was one really fucked up meeting. I felt especially bad since I was asked to chair by someone who was celebrating their first AA birthday. I had wanted to make it special for him. And this inability to remember names had ruined the whole meeting. Funny thing is, that while we were cleaning up, I over heard one person tell another about "wasn't that just a great meeting?" It isn't all about me, is it.

The struggles between my partner and I continued all day Thursday and Friday. As we talked Friday night, I was feeling dumb again. Like I just don't get it. I don't understand her. I just couldn't find the right words to say to make things better between us. I never want to say "I won't do (fill in the blank) again. I know my character defects come up, over and over. It is hard to say "I'm sorry" knowing that those character flaws will rise to the surface at some time in the future.

Earlier in the day, I punched in "How do you know your marriage is finished" into google. Wow, I got a lot of hits. I checked out the first hits and knew that our marriage was far from over. I still want to be with her, we still have so much going for us. We still have a lot of fun together. It's just been a rough ride this past week.

So, that's what I told her. I still loved her, wanted to be with her, told her why. Those were words enough. She has bad days, I have bad days, and when they get into sync with each other, it can get very uncomfortable. We are both committed to working through the storms.

One day at a time.

Photo Credit: docman



I've got to admit, I'm just like you. I just can't keep names in my head. What kills me is all kinds of people are always saying "hi" to me and use my name. These may be people I've known for 20 or more years and I don't know their names. Yikes!
Not much I can do about it but accept myself as I am. Sometimes I ask them to remind me of their name. This is "Ego Deflation" for me at its best.

God bless you and your wife. Marriage isn't easy. The best marriages take a lot of work. I've found anything really worth having usually takes a lot of work.....just like my sobriety.

pat said...

And I thought I was the only one bad with names. Nice to know I have company:)

J-Online said...

I have the worst time remembering names as well. It's so embarressing for me. If you can't remember a name in a meeting, maybe ask for a volunteer. That seems to work.

Sending many blessings to you and your wife as you work through this rough patch.

AlkySeltzer said...

Names: I write a comment, and forget whose nlog I'm in. Seriously. I am TERRIBLE at names. Found out that when I go to the same meeting (two!) EVERY day, after five months, I'm beginning to remember a few. very few, names.

Sound like a period of growth going on? "No pain, no gain." true!

Shadow said...

that reminds me of something... what, in my mind, haunts me because i did xyz to another, is probably long forgotten in theirs. that very thing has happened to me. more than once. i have the same thing with names though. have tried every trick in the book, yet i still forget names. it's human, it seems...

good luck to the both of you. storms come and go. at least you can be assured of that. where there's a will, there's a way... to make it work. you sound like you've got the will.

Lou said...

I have this same problem! It is so embarrassing. I've tried those memory tricks, they don't work.

Sometimes the things you think you did wrong other people don't even notice. Especially in public speaking.

Anonymous said...

My memory is bad....not necessarily with names in particular, but it makes me feel stupid. After all, if we remembered everything we ever learned, isn't that a sign of intelligence. Someone told me once that stress can affect your memory....well then, I am screwed! lol

My husband and I have had many storms to weather's to many more years together I hope. (We got counseling when we were dating....some people thought that was nuts and that we should have thrown in the towel then. I do not agree. I have 20 years together with him to prove them wrong.)

Sophie in the Moonlight said...

Just this: people are inherently narcissistic. They are consumed with themselves and their own lives and their own discomfort or joy or pain or grocery lists to give much thought to others unless someone changes the conversation. In other words, people are too busy thinking about themselves (and what group meant to THEM) to give your experience much thought.

Sorry sweetie, neither one of us is the center of any universe but the constellation of our own inner torments and accomplishments. Simultaneous bummer and relief, huh?