Join with me as I embark on a 31-Day Writing Challenge! Inspired by Lisa-Jo and created by the Nester, this exercise takes writers on a journey to write on one topic for 31 days straight.

Me? I’m attempting to go through our journey and countdown 31 things I used to have to do for Danny, that I don’t have to anymore. This exercise has already taken me down roads I haven’t traveled in my mind in quite some time. It has, and will allow me to be reminded just how far we really have come since August 16, 2005.

15. Exorcise the…whatever-s

As I mentioned yesterday, restraining Danny was never an easy thing for me to do. It felt wrong though I knew it was for his safety. He didn’t have a clue anyway.

But, as informed by the doctors, Danny emerged confused and angry.

It was one of the hardest periods of his recovery for us all.

It started small, innocent, a bit sad and even funny at times.

When he first began voicing words, he repeated the words ‘album’ and ‘vacuum.’ Over and over and over again.

He was forcefully saying them, making every effort to communicate with us, but it was like a bad party game and we were the losing team.

Then, he started telling stories about his day.

Believe it or not, but he got a speeding ticket on 400 in our Lamborghini; the red one.

He also was convinced that I was going to leave him on our boat; the yacht and he tried to get his parents to stop me from going.

It was light and easy to work through, but then came the dark.

His vocabulary had grew quickly. He started cursing and using prejudiced slang.

Then, came the outbursts. It was a roller coaster from hell.

He would yell, curse and throw things he could reach. He would try to bite and actually succeeded biting his mom once. He would spit and practically shake himself right out of his chair.

It was horrible. It was confusing for us.

No matter how many times you’re told that it’s going to happen, that it may happen, you cannot be prepared to face your loved one in a crazy, messed up confused and agitated state.

We all suffered wounds; those visible and invisible.

Who was this person? Was this the end? Was this who he was going to be forever?

We did what we could do to calm whatever the circumstances, which mostly involved leaving the room or remaining calm. Neither were easy to do.

You know this person. You love them. Why are they acting like this? Saying these things? You know there is an injury, but to look at the outside, it doesn’t compute with your heart, your understanding.

There is no folder to file it.

That’s just it. Retrieving the folders of life-awareness, appropriateness, patience, etc.-was something his brain was unable to organize.

His brain is the filing cabinet and when he was injured, the draws opened up and the folders and all their content-memories, life lessons, manners- was dumped out and strewn about his head.

So, for Danny’s mind, though he tried so hard to communicate with us, the only words he could pull from his filing cabinet were ‘album’ and ‘vacuum.’ It wasn’t right, but it was all he could pull.

Nothing in his world made sense; most of ours didn’t either. But, there were times, where I thought he belonged in the looney house or needed a straight jacket.

Thankfully, we all made it through, relatively unscathed. And, he has no recollection of those times.

The prayers of the faithful and the Lord Himself, were the only things to set right the filing cabinet of Danny’s mind and put back most of the folders. Some remain strewn about, forever to remain grounded or however the Lord sees fit.

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