I used to have an elephant’s memory. Names, faces, arguments, who last won which board game; I had memory for days. And maybe it’s a simple as getting older & being stressed out, but I find it alarming that as I’ve begun trying to sort out my sordid past, my memory has dried up like an mirage of an oasis. It’s just… gone.
Some things I remember: My grandfather’s funeral (probably my earliest memory) when I was 3, The 1st diagnosed silent migraine I had (which my Dr told me she thought was a result of being roofied), crashing the Miata on black ice, being bullied in various forms at various times, being sexually assaulted in various forms at various times, Lou killing my pet octopus, visiting my grandmother in the nursing home, my aunt’s wedding when her bridesmaids tried to get my 12 year old self drunk in the limo, a Broadway show, the statue of liberty, the colossal snows of 93 & 96, spraining my knee skiing with my boyfriend at 13 & subsequently flying to Hawaii on crutches (that SUCKED btw), my grandmother’s mac&cheese, eating slurpies at the outlet mall, buying cheap trinkets at the magic shop, being sick, being hurt, being alone.
Some things I don’t remember: My high school graduation, anything but a few sparse details from college (No, I wasn’t drunk. But I do have some PTSD from this time so this one makes sense to me.), the first two years of high school are mostly gone (aside from flushing coke down the school johns for a friend, being sick/injured and always out of gym, getting mono, & my 2 favourite English teachers), the last two years of high school are pretty foggy too, almost all of middle & primary school have been obliterated. Anything before that – gone.
Know what I do remember? the last 8 years. The ones where my husband was part of my life. Pretty much, if it happened before the age of 24, good luck jogging my memory. Is it because I’m over it all? I doubt it. Is it because I’m only choosing to focus on the positive/negative bits? I don’t know.
What I do know is that a friend (with no ill intention) tried to skip down memory lane with me the other day & I felt gut-punched and physically ill. Yes, sir, I think we’ve got a problem.
I’ve lived a good life. I’ve had a lot of experiences, good & bad, but suddenly I don’t remember them. It’s all just gone.
And I’m terrified to discuss that with my shiny new therapist because I have like 15 good childhood memories, & 4 people I really considered family (during my childhood), and if it comes to the surface that any more of my light was really dark… I don’t think I can handle that.