Memory is a tricky thing, at least for me.
I always thought of it as a continuously running videotape of a person’s life -- a video that could be stopped or started at any point, a video that would be an accurate account of what has happened in the past.
And maybe it is for some people. But not for me.
Memory is a big blank for me most of the time.
Sometimes I can access a specific memory of a specific time, but not usually.
Eighth birthday party? Don't remember it, who was there, what I got. A complete blank.
Christmas when I was 10 years old? Nada. Was that the year I wanted cowboy boots and didn’t get them? Or maybe it was the year I found out about Santa, because Santa brought me the same present that my cousin and another relative got from my parents – like it was something on sale and they had just bought three.
And even things I think I remember are there in my memory bank because of a photo of the event and not because I’m really remembering it.
Or it’s a family story – like the time I was stung by a whole swarm of yellow jackets; when my grandfather asked why I was crying, I said I had been stung by yellow jackasses. But I don’t remember actually being stung – all I remember is hearing the story about being stung.
Other times the memory is faulty – like the time I wanted something (don’t remember what it was exactly) and I couldn’t have it. I remembered for years that it was my stepmother who had said “No.” It wasn’t until I was an adult and brought it up at a family event that I learned that it had been Daddy who had put the nix on it.
I tried hypnotism one time to try to capture some memories. I had been hypnotized in the past and was a good subject, so thought maybe it would help. It was a total failure – I remembered NOTHING.
My psychologist said there were two possible reasons: Either my childhood had been so traumatic that I had blocked everything out OR my childhood was so boring that there was nothing worth remembering!
My question is: Is memory a blessing or a curse?