There is a ghost in my brain
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16-01-2013, 09:18 AM
There is a ghost in my brain
So one year after my husband died, he does not occupy all my thoughts anymore, the triggers are diminishing. No longer does it hit me when I buy one steak instead of two, put out one fork and knife instead of two, and so on and so on, countless daily triggers are slowly subsiding.

So it's all over? Not by a long shot.

Now he sits in my brain and interjects his opinions. Not that I don't value them, always have.

Example: Yesterday afternoon I go outside to find that the water pipe going up the outside of the barn has burst and water is gushing all over the place. (took all day almost to thaw out and gush). So I am thinking: "who do I call?" So I am thinking Bill, and hubby pipes up and say "no, not him, call Carl, he is the better plumber".

It was almost like I could hear it. I have never had voices in my head before, it is unsettling.

Of course hubby was right, Carl is the better plumber and I called him and it got fixed asap.

Now, I did know Carl is the better plumber, this fact was already in my brain and probably would have surfaced before I actually called Bill. And, hubby often preferred Carl to Bill. I knew that too.

So this isn't new information.

But what's up with that voice in my head? Is there a permanent "hubby section" in my brain now that pops up when shit happens that he would have commented on?

Maybe that's what people mean when they say someone "lives on inside of us". The above is but one example of a number of occurrances.

Yikes, there is a ghost living in my brain!

Unsure

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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16-01-2013, 10:49 AM
RE: There is a ghost in my brain
I think this is very touching and romantic.

I've had a few long term relationships when it has taken a while to "get her out of my head" (isn't that a song?).

Not quite a distinct voice but more of like moments of imagined conversations... echoes, perhaps.



Just give us warning if the voices start telling you to "kill, kill", like Misanthropik hears.

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16-01-2013, 10:56 AM
RE: There is a ghost in my brain
I can't tell if you're seriously asking or just goofing, so I'll answer as if you're serious.

It was all your brain. You even said you already knew that Carl was the better plumber. Psychologists call this subvocalization, the little conversations we have with ourselves inside our heads. Everyone does it. Everyone. So it doesn't mean you're crazy, not by a long shot.

For most of us, we call it talking to ourselves. And sane people know that this is exactly what we're doing.

It gets a little strange when you start identifying the subvocalization as having a different voice, or worse, a different mind, and start to think that this internal dialog is with an external source: god, ghosts, aliens, Satan, your dog, whatever. When you completely lose the perspective that it really is your own voice and completely accept that someone or something else is inside your head talking to you, that's when you've crossed the line into insanity.

Unless you believe it's god, in which case, you're just a prophet and that's OK.

So, you saw the problem and started the internal dialog.
"I need a plumber"
"Do I know any plumbers"
"Yes I do"
"Who do I call"
"Bill"
"Wait, not Bill, call Carl, he's a better plumber"

That was all in your head. Because the first 5 lines of that were all flowing naturally, your brain interpreted that in your own internal subvocaliztion "voice". But since the 6th part was contradictory to the earlier parts, telling you that Bill is wrong and Carl is right, your brain translated it into a different voice - the same different voice that you have missed so much this year.

Perfectly normal.

Consider this - what if this pipe had burst two years ago, what would your internal conversation have been?

Answer: exactly the same, except that you would not have imagined your husband's voice for that last bit because he was alive and well and (presumably) never used telepathy to talk to you. So all of it would have been in your own subvocalization "voice".

But I think you know all this. I think you don't really believe your husband is reading your mind and sending you telepathic messages from beyond the grave. But in case you do, now might be a good time to talk to a psychologist about this before you're hearing all kinds of voices, some of which may not have your best interest in mind; I'd hate to hear about you sniping college students from a university bell tower some day.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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16-01-2013, 11:31 AM
RE: There is a ghost in my brain
Hi Dom -- I'm so sorry for your loss that you suffered and the ripples of sadness, you continue to feel. I call it "channeling;" now that's not some psychic mumbo jumbo speak...It's about being familiar. Knowing them inside and out -- the way a long-term relationship can be.

What I mean is there are times I say or think things the way my husband does. Like I have this internal dialog going on where he just takes over...I've known him forever it seems (he was the boy next door), and we've been together since 1984. It's that familiarity thing....I know what he'll say about something or how he'd react

Just the other day in fact, my older son was telling me something and I sounded just like husband as I explained why my son's thinking was off...He even remarked, "way to sound like dad." I replied..."I'm sorry - I'm supposed to be the supportive one." It's kinda like when we finish each other's sentences or I'm handing him something just as he was going to ask for it....

So, I'm thinking that you must have had had similar things happen while he was alive?

Many hugs tho to you....


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Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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16-01-2013, 11:44 AM
RE: There is a ghost in my brain
There's nothing at all wrong with that. Your husband is now a permanent part of your mecosystem or, your internal family system, which is a phenomenon of our subconscious minds. In simple terms, the subconscious stores the personalities of important people in our lives and when the occasion presents itself, the correct personality will enter our conscious and help us to solve a problem. More often than not, we don't recognize the personalities but rather, are just guided by the memories. There are also people who have no conscious recollection of the actual people but the "voices" are so strong and so individually identifiable that they give them names.

It's a really interesting phenomenon and no doubt it is at the root of multiple personality disorder and, of course, talking to god.
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16-01-2013, 11:52 AM
RE: There is a ghost in my brain
It's serious, but it's not actually a question. I understand what is happening.

After being with someone 24/7 for 27 years, that person's opinions and reactions are firmly engraved in your brain and a natural part of life. It has become a part of you. You are sharing many, many thoughts. Much of the time you don't even have to talk to know what each other is thinking.

Now withdraw that person - poof.

Your brain is going to be very slow to quit taking that person into account with everything you think or do. When I am out shopping and I see something he would have liked, my impulse is still to buy it for him. Then comes - oh no, he's dead". For many months I wanted to buy food for him, set the table for him, wash his clothes when I did mine and so on and so on - thousands of shared things are now done alone. The brain is very slow to adapt to this. This is what grief is - the continuous, repetative realization that someone is gone. It's quite painful.

Grief is not some wallowing in painful memories, it is the brain adjusting after a long time of having a certain input in various situations. It is not controllable in any way. You have to go through it until your brain eliminates the unnecessary thought processes. It is like Pavlov's dog, you have conditioned responses to situations.

So as time passes, the brain gets used to buying food for one, doing laundry for one etc etc. A lot of the ingrained thought processes fall by the wayside, a new pattern is formed. We are creatures that seek out and live by patterns.

And yes, the same "voice" would have been in my head when he was alive but not with me outside. It is just taking his opinion into account, like I have done for more than a quarter century. It just would not have seemed odd when he was alive. It was par for the course to take him into account.

I don't see this stopping anytime soon, these tought patterns are firmly ingrained. And probably useful, maybe without remembering what he would have said I would have forgotten about Carl's skills and called Bill, who knows.

So I know what is going on, and am not complaining either. Maybe over time it will change from hearing is voice to the thought "hubby would have..." But for now, he is alive and well in my brain.

It provides some interesting insight to how our brains process things, and just to how conditioned we are to certain responses... they still pop up whenever a connection to past patterns is made, relevant to the present or not.

And no, of course he is not reading my mind and adding responses. But he still occupies a big space in my brain. And likely will for as long as I live.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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16-01-2013, 12:09 PM
RE: There is a ghost in my brain
Dom,
I think what you are experiencing shows just how close the two of you were and how important he was in your life. It can be quite comforting to "hear" the voice of someone that's gone from our lives.
People do become ingrained in our being...nothing makes me laugh harder than when one of my daughters calls to complain about catching herself saying something just like me. The last one was Jen telling her seven year old - read what's there, not what you think is there. The exact words I used with her 28 years ago.
Now and then, I hear dad's voice.

See here they are, the bruises, some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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16-01-2013, 12:34 PM
RE: There is a ghost in my brain
(16-01-2013 11:52 AM)Dom Wrote:  But he still occupies a big space in my brain. And likely will for as long as I live.

I sure hope so. This is a very good thing and I hope you never lose it.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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16-01-2013, 01:17 PM
RE: There is a ghost in my brain
(16-01-2013 12:34 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  
(16-01-2013 11:52 AM)Dom Wrote:  But he still occupies a big space in my brain. And likely will for as long as I live.

I sure hope so. This is a very good thing and I hope you never lose it.

I was going to say the same thing.
Actually Dom, what you wrote gave me chills....religious types wax about heaven....this, at least to me, is how people live on.


[Image: mrhanky.jpg]

Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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16-01-2013, 01:21 PM
RE: There is a ghost in my brain
Lots of good responses here.


All I can say, Dom, is to embrace the ghost, the voice of love.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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