There’s a long list of blog posts I’ve wanted to get to, some more so than others, but events keep intervening and I don’t have the energy or motivation for them. Instead, here’s a look at what seems to be going wrong with my brain.
In the past month, including just this afternoon, I’ve shattered two things in the kitchen sink while doing the dishes. First, a glass jar, and today the Dansk Mesa Sky Blue bowl I use in the morning for cereal. Each time, it was because I unexpectedly knocked it into the side of the sink.
(It’s important to note here that although on the latter I screamed and then shouted a hearty “Fuck!”, this particular bowl is the one such Dansk Mesa item I have that came as a set of three, so I had a replacement on hand.)
In addition, in the past week I’ve twice seen things in my apartment that in fact were not true.
First, maybe last weekend, I looked over the top of a box or bag on my bar table to check that the coaster was there on the corner, which it was. Except that as I learned a few minutes later, it wasn’t, and neither was anything I could have mistaken for it.
Then last night I turned to look through the doorway into my bedroom where the lights were off to check if the blinds were down, which they were. Except that as I learned a few minutes later, they weren’t, and given that it was dark out, I couldn’t simply have mistaken the dark patch at the bottom of the window for the white color of the blinds.
There’s a theory about the brain and sensory stimuli that says it’s a predictive processing engine at work, always checking what it thinks is going to be the case against what turns out actually to be the case. These two minor hallucinations have me thinking that my predictive engine is on the fritz, and my brain simply went with its prediction and didn’t bother actually to check its validity against ground truth.
I’m not sure what’s up with breaking things in the sink. That doesn’t seem to be a predictive issue unless it’s about incorrectly predicting the distance, force, and speed of my movements while washing a dish. It could be a—transient? situational?—increase in my DCD, too.
What bothers me about the minor hallucinations is that what if it happens when I’m out on my daily walk? What if my brain runs with the prediction that there is no car coming except that there is? Can I trust that “moving car” is sufficiently distinct a stimulus from “stationary coaster” that my brain will notice?
What bothers me about the breakages, beyond the fact that it’s so sudden that I don’t have time to grab ahold of the innate reaction of my nervous system in order to craft an outward response less explosive than a ramped up heart rate and some screamed invective, is that I don’t actually know what to do about it.
All of this could be a fluke. My concern could me a misfire of autistic pattern matching. Or, in fact, my brain could be processing the things themselves incorrectly.
How do I tell the difference?
- It’s true that I have occasional motor flubs, as well as language ones. I’ll set a lot down slightly too hard on the stove, or take a corner too close and bump into it; and when narrating my own actions sometimes say something like “laundry” where I meant “dishes”.
Breaking things and seeing things just seem like another level.