Friday, 17 October 2014

Forgetting to Remember / Remembering to Forget

I have come to the realization over the past few years that I have a memory like a sieve. And I'm not just talking walking into a room and forgetting what I went in there for (although that happens, too, many times over the course of a day). It isn't just my short term memory that's shot--I'm not just forgetting where I put things, or what appointments I have in a day, or what I was saying from one sentence to the next -- I'm also forgetting large chunks of my own history.

Short term memory I'm not too worried about. If I rehearse a thing enough it'll still stick. And if not, there's always the option of writing things down. Being forgetful in the short term is irritating at times, but I don't think it affects Who I Am.

My slowly dying long-term memory is a different issue, however. The speed at which I am losing memories is increasing--it used to be that I had trouble remembering things from childhood. Now I have forgotten almost all of my childhood, and have trouble remembering who I was last year, last month. Someone will try to remind me of something that happened in my childhood, and I'll draw a total blank. Someone will try to remind me of an argument we had a month ago, and again, total blank. It is interesting that most of what I'm forgetting seems to be negative things. Cruel things done to me, or that I have done, sad things, moments of anger and confusion and upset. Poof, gone, like they never happened. I don't know why my mind seems to be locking away all of my negative memories -- and, here is the really alarming bit : I've stopped caring.

In fact, I've actually started to enjoy it. Its sort of nice not being able to remember any of the bad crap in my life--it makes it much easier to forgive and move on. Sometimes I will have a vague sense that I've been wronged by someone, but because I can't pin it on any specific recollection, the feeling fades away soon enough. Sure, it might be difficult to maintain any sort of identity without really clearly knowing where I came from--but what I can remember of where I came from was worth forgetting in the first place.

So, onward, forward, and no looking back. If I want to look back, that's why I keep this blog, and have a camera. A true archivist, I will select those memories worth preserving and discard the rest--save that shelf space for something more vital.

In honour of Halloween, though, let me share with you something a bit on the creepy side which I think might be related to my memory gaps--or might not.

I have started talking like a little girl in my sleep. Child Stevie, the one adult Stevie's subconscious seems so hellbent on forgetting comes out at night and says things like "Help" and "I don't want to!" and "You can't make me!"

Proof of this? Both my mother and my boyfriend have heard me do it,
Further proof?
How about a suitably spooky and poorly done recording? 'tis the season. You hear me say "I don't want to! Don't want to!" and some other sleepybabble.

Further to this creepiness, I've started having dreams--at least once a week now. Dreams where I am running through dilapidated, mold-ridden, collapsing, rat-infested iterations of my childhood homes. I spend my nights scampering through these "rooms of ruin", breathing in the cinnamon scent of mummified mice and old paper, and I look for things. Childhood relics. I find them on shelves, or perched precariously under a bit of ceiling about to fall in, or under all the ooze and muck and grime, and I find them, and I salvage them. I am driven to do it. Salvaging these trinkets in my dreams is the most important thing. Sometimes I am being chased by something that threatens my life, but I still always find the time to pluck a jewelry box from the closet where I'm hiding and stow it away, with the sense that even if I'm killed now, at least I've accomplished something. 

Simple analogy, perhaps. Houses--particularly childhood homes, are meant to represent the mind. Mine is collapsing. The trinkets are the memories that are left. 

No comments:

Post a Comment