I have talked about my lost memories in my story and in my poetry, but I never shared how I came to discover that I lost them.
This sounds very strange I know, and it is.
I was married with three grown children at the time. It was during my very first counseling session with the therapist that the revelations regarding the loss of my memories began. The therapist asked me an extensive list of questions about my life, my childhood, and my family. And I sat there frozen and just stared at him. I couldn’t answer his questions. This is the first time I realized to what extent I did not have my memories.
It was startling and horrifying. I did not know who I was, I did not know simple things about my siblings, I did not know my family. I obviously could tell him their names. I did not even know their ages.
And while this was devastating and a lot to take in for me, it did not surprise him. He told me that this is common for someone who has been abused. But it was a huge surprise for me.
It seems strange. It is one thing to lose your memories, it is another thing to not know you lost them.
The problem with lost memories though is that while your mind “forgets,” your body doesn’t. So you end up with physical and emotional times when there is nothing to attach them to. That is both painful and confusing. Sometimes when I cry my husband will ask me what is wrong and I will look at him and say, “I don’t know.” And I really do not know. Sometimes I even wake up out of my sleep sobbing uncontrollably.
It was just a few years ago that I realized that I lost some of the memories of what my ex-husband did to me. It was startling and painful.
I now realize, losing your memories, some of them, is not a bad thing. Maybe it is the things we do remember that hurt the most.