Remember When…

My memory is poor. Memories of my past. Not just stuff like “What did I have for lunch yesterday,” and definently not stuff like “What are the compelling indications for using a beta blocker instead of a thiazide for control of hypertension…” No, I can remember a lot of useful and unuseful items. It’s the memories of my childhood (and even my children’s early days) that are a problem for me.

Swiss cheese. My memories are like Swiss cheese. There are holes, some larger and some smaller.

I have “ran into” people on Facebook from my childhood and have tried and tried to remember who they are, what place they held in my life when I was younger, and how we ended our relationships. I apologize to new “friend requests” and explain… I simply do not remember. And I am not just talking about my young childhood days. This is like from when I was a young teen or adolescent. Can’t remember.

The worst is when my sister will describe an event we both shared from childhood. I can remember a little, or maybe I’ve heard the stories so often that they feel like memories now. I know I have memories that she doesn’t share.

I want to remember what she remembers. I want to share those very intimate brain spaces with her. I feel like my sister is all the family I have left. I don’t consider my NM a part of my family anymore. My dad has died and now his energy has met up with my bio dad. I feel comfort in that. I was very close to my maternal grandparents and I still long for conversations with both of them. I cry as I type this. If you have grandparents who are still alive… talk to them. Listen to their stories. Get interested in them. Listening to someone’s stories is one of the most powerful gifts you can give – each of you.

Of course I have a family with S and my kids. Our kids.

But I long for someone in my life to know me. To know my history. And to love me.

I am trying to remain present. I am trying to be as present as possible when it comes to time with my children. There are many memories my children have that I don’t have. I don’t know what was wrong with me when Freckles was little, but I don’t have many memories. I have almost zero memories of my little Karate Kid when she was a toddler. I remember some events from her babyhood, probably because they were some of the most stressful times in my marriage with their father.

The worst is when they tell me about a sad time they experienced, or a hurt I caused them, and I want to remember that so badly. But I can’t. It’s not that I have a different memory of the event; I have none.

Some day I think I would like to investigate my memory with a professional. I don’t know where to start that process.

Until then, I honor my loved ones by hearing their stories.

4 thoughts on “Remember When…

  1. This is how my memory works also. I find the loss of memories of my daughter’s young life the most painful. I know this is mental illness speaking. And I know the repression of memories from my childhood is protective, but it still feels like loss. I hear you.

    1. I wish I had more pictures too. But I don’t know if it would help my memory. S has a high school reunion approaching this year (I won’t say what number) and it makes me wonder about any of my reunions. I have never been to one. I feel like it would be awkward. With so few memories. There is only one person who I have vivid memories of/with in high school and she’s the only person I wish to talk to. Ironically, she doesn’t feel the same.


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