Friday, September 2, 2011

a not-so memorable life

I have been asked a few times why I started blogging. I started my first blog nearly ten years ago, when I was pregnant with my first son. I wanted to be able to remember how it felt, and to remember his first years.

Because the truth is, I am unable to hold onto memories. They just seem to fade.

People are so often saying to me "Do you remember that time we [insert something I should remember]?"
My answer is almost always "Um...the time we did what?"

The only 'memories' that I have are the ones I have been told about multiple times, or the ones that are captured in photographs. I have no idea why. I'm sure there's some very interesting science behind it, (if you know of any research let me know) (unless it means there is something really wrong with my brain...then maybe I don't want to know).

When I was a teenager and this lovely little quirk became apparent, my mother became convinced that something traumatic must have happened to me and went on a crusade to get me to a hypnotherapist to find out what it was. I refused, over and over, claiming that if there was something so terrible that happened to me, and my defence mechanism was to block it from my mind, I'd like it to stay blocked thankyouverymuch.

As I got older, and I continued to be unable to remember things that happened to me, I realised it was just the way I am. I'd blame it on my drug use or the hundreds of litres of Jack Daniels I ingested over my dark years, but alas, the lack of memories started before then.

It means that I cannot remember how I felt when I was going through my worst periods of my life, which could be a blessing. Unfortunately it also means I can't remember my happiest times either. Meaning that when I am depressed, I often cannot remember how it feels to be happy and it can make it really damn hard to find my way back. On the upside, it also means that when I am really happy, I cannot remember how it felt to be depressed!

I do, however, have an uncanny knack of being able to recall stupid, meaningless trivia on any given subject. Makes me useless at remembering my own life...but awesome at quiz nights!

Do you have trouble making memories? More importantly, do you know why I do?!


  1. I had a wonderful memory until I got pregnant. The baby is 8 months old now, but I still don't have that back (people told me it would come back once he was sleeping through the night - that was months ago, and still no change!) I forget almost everything now! It's extremely frustrating, so I can't even imagine how hard it would be to have dealt with that all your life!

  2. I have the same problem! Other people in my life remember so many things - even things about me - and I don't even remember them. And I was the one that told them these things! I don't know why this is, but I'm thrilled to hear that someone else has the same experience. Although I wouldn't wish a bad memory on anyone...

  3. My memory is awful too. I can't tell you the number of times people have hugged me in the street claiming to be a high school buddy of mine or whatever and I had to spend the entire conversation nodding, and hoping I wouldn't have to say their name, because I had no idea who they were.
    On the other hand, I still remember commercial jingles from the 80's.

  4. I do have a very foggy memory. Some images/moments stand out, but so many others have blurred. I've often wondered if it's just me, or if everyone is so foggy ... thanks for posting!

  5. God I'm the same way! And when I go back and read old diaries or blog entries I'm sometimes shocked by the past...or shocked that it's not clear.

    I think my memory shortage has to do with my overactive brain. There's too much going on in here on a day to day basis to be able to recall what happened last week.

  6. I'm not quite to that extreme, but I do have a hard time remembering things, and the things I do remember, I don't remember the way other people seem to remember things. This tends to distress J, as I apparently obsess over something big when it happens, going over it again and again, in a hope that I'll remember it.



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