lose the drift/thread of something

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lose the drift (of something)

To stop being able to understand or follow something, such as an explanation, because one has become distracted or confused. Sorry, can you back up? I lost the drift of the topic when you started talking about genetic formations. I think this writer is trying to intentionally make us lose the drift so that the narrator becomes untrustworthy.
See also: drift, lose
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

lose the ˈdrift/ˈthread of something

be unable to follow a story, discussion, etc. because you cannot understand the relationship between events, facts, etc: I had to go out in the middle of the film and when I came back I found I’d lost the thread entirely.When they started talking about artificial intelligence, I completely lost the drift of the argument.
See also: drift, lose, of, something, thread
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in classic literature ?
This drunken Caderousse has made me lose the thread of my sentence."
At certain intervals the writer's failing intelligence seemed to recover itself for a while; only to relapse again, and to lose the thread of the narrative more hopelessly than ever.
Sure, you could look up 4 x 9, but you could easily lose the thread of the problem as you did so.
An unexplained kerfuffle in the arena, half-way through the sold-out show, brought the evening to a momentary and discombobulating halt, while, at another time, he seemed to lose the thread of one of his many anecdotes.
Even if at times you lose the thread of the plot of this absurdist drama, you probably won't care a jot as the thespian knights just keep you utterly mesmerised with their seamless acting.
Murakami writes: If you lose your ego, you lose the thread of that narrative you call your Self.
Predictably, Watford gained confidence from the goal and Blues tended to lose the thread of things a little.
Repeat yourself or lose the thread of conversation; Have problems thinking and reasoning; Feel anxious, depressed or angry about your forgetfulness; Find other people start to comment on your forgetfulness; Feel confused even when in a familiar environment.
"But after the crash I realised I couldn't multi-skill any more and I would easily lose the thread of what I was doing.
BZRK is a novel for the determined reader for it is a multi-planed matrix in which it is easy to lose the thread of the plot; the action swings between the prosaic world of computer geeks and the painstakingly detailed, ultra-microscopic battlefields in which they unleash 'nanobots' and 'blots'.
On a more primeval level, the sounds of Flamenco music will have an instant effect on me, causing me to lose the thread of any conversation I am having to concentrate on the hypnotic rhythm of the guitar.
It changed the way I watch movies and seasons of TV shows, consuming them in rapid fashion, so I don't lose the thread of the story arc.
A second problem with the book is that the author was too ambitious in his attempt to cover so many subjects and so much material that both he and the reader lose the thread of his initial thesis.
A horde of new characters join the dramatis personae at a startling speed and events pile up so quickly that it is almost possible to lose the thread of the narrative.