What Was Before *this*?

So many ppl everywhere and all around me have so many memories of childhood and sometimes even earlier. They could write their own autobiography with all the history they know about themselves. They remember so much **** about how they played with who and who and what they played and where and years and years of all these memories. When they start the whole "OMG I remember when....and....and then..." sometimes I feel so...inadequate. Like I'm not even real or human, b/c I don't remember very much - certainly not years worth of memories.

Sometimes I have to bend the truth and turn knowledge into memories. I don't lie outright or even...erm...less outright - can't remember the right word! Anyway, I get told stuff about what I did as a baby, toddler, child, etc, but it's all knowledge, and not actually memories I have. So, by bending the truth I make it sound like I remember these things, rather than know them. I feel so much like a fraud - hyprocritical I know, since I'm a part of the I Hate Fake Ppl group. I am full of contradictions.

I don't know if it is b/c of a bad memory, that my childhood was nothing particularly spectacular, or b/c I'm blocking something out - a theory of my sister and others. What though?

I had a fall when I was 13 - knocked my head, and I don't remember what happened. I've heard the stories though. Very embarrassing. I will post that story sometime soon, if someone/something reminds me...

I know from my mum that my dad's side was utterly ******* ******* awful to her in our baby and toddler years, and only eased off in our child years. I don't really want to go into details right now. But maybe this explains that time period? I feel a little guilty that I couldn't/didn't stop what they were doing to my mum. I think I could have spoken up. And since I'm not giving details here, I don't think anyone could post a comment on these guilty feelings just yet anyway.

Then there was the thing with my dad and "her". I think you know what I mean. I detest having to mention that time. My mum cried a lot and we [sister and I] spent a lot of time around our mum, confused. My memories of those days are few and short. I don't even know how long he was gone for, or when/how he came back! The whole thing in my head is that suddenly one day my mum was crying and he wasn't there anymore, and then one day he was home and we were all "normal". I feel so stupid for not remembering. I mean, I was like 10yo - the beginning of double digits! My sister says she remembers lots, and of course my mum remembers every awful detail. A horrible thought just occured to me. What if I don't remember much b/c it didn't mean much to me at the time? What if I am on a "deeper" level emotionally stunted/in denial? That would be very ******, b/c I wouldn't be able to deal with it b/c I wouldn't know it's presence/existence. This is getting a little too...what if...next.

Remembering more of my life would be so great. I wonder what memories I will have left of my life when I am older and have a family. I am afraid that I'll have no "pearls of wisdom" to impart...

BowsAndBones BowsAndBones
18-21, F
2 Responses Aug 3, 2007

People remember differently. My eldest sister remembers feelings and fleeting moments of time, but not the long storylike memories that the other three of us have. It has nothing to do with childhood trauma for her--just the way she relates to the world around her. You may be perfectly normal, because there's a broad range of it.<br />
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Some of the people whose memories you envy may be "remembering" things they've been told, also.<br />
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And it's amazing what can come up when you start writing about it regularly. I have a huge collectiong of personal-history questions, and I've used them alone, within my family, and for a personal-history writing workshop. The technique I've used is to write on the prompt for ten minutes, keep your pen (or fingers) moving constantly, and write whatever comes to mind. Reviewing it can open little doors and big ones.

i think i understand at least part of what you feel. two years ago i had to write an autobiography for AP Lit, and i was in such agony because everyone else seemed the have these rich, meaningful childhood memories and it made me feel *horrible* like my life was somehow meaningless, inferior, less important. i don't think anyone can understand how that feels unless they have been there.<br />
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but the thing is, i realize that i *do* have memories of my own, that i do have this life that i lived, this childhood, that is in so many ways different from theirs. my memories might not be of the same nature, but they are there. and i usually can't just list them off the top of my head, either, they just come to me at random times, sometimes at the back of my head, sometimes more dominantly. but i believe you have memories, too, of your own, they just may be be as easily accessible.<br />
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it still bothers me, though, that these memories are so elusive...sometimes i feel like i have so much to learn from them, if i could just get a hold of them. and other times it really scares me that, like you said, i may grow up and not have memories, because what else do you have when you are old? like i said, it makes you feel like your life is uneventful, and sometimes i wonder it it is just because i never did anything, because i was too inactive, like i went though life not experiencing or appreciating anything. but then i look back and think that i do know the person i was, even if i can't remember the events surrounding her, i was far from an oblivious person. so it gets confusing. i, like you, am a bundle of contradictions.<br />
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i feel like i am writing too much about myself. but i am hoping that maybe you recognize how you feel in what i say? i don't know, maybe it is not quite the same thing - but i think it is a kind of pain that people who don't have this issue can understand.