When you have time to sit and think you find yourself going back to things you thought were long gone and long forgotten, but I can’t help wonder why it is I think more of my childhood than I do the years that followed. Constantly I harp back to before my first marriage, but I remember little of the 10 years we were married, don’t get me wrong I have spent many hours remembering my children’s lives, but what went around them, has somehow become blurred and distant as though I can only see it now through a fog. I can sit here with ease looking back on the child that was me, there are still days that I can see from start to finish and even the words spoke by me and others, are still there to be heard, my early teenage years have pools of clarity, that I almost find frightening. Apart from names, I can only remember my small circle of friends, I have lost all those who attended the same schools as I did, not one still remains. Just as the hours spent in school, only a few are still there, mainly the ones I was in trouble for some reason or other, somehow I only lived outside of it and oh how I lived. I was somehow born aged 12, as their is little before that and between 12 to 16 I crushed in a life time of activities and adventures, lived by me the way I wanted and no one ever managed to stop me. I should have died a hundred times over but I somehow got away with everything, without even a scare to show for it, I was I suppose a wild child and I loved every minute. All night parties, motorbike gangs and drugs, life with family, foster parents and alone, all still there and all with out any regrets along the way.
Memories are odd things, mine seems to have become personally selective, I can’t work out if it is just what happens to everyone, or if it is me, or most likely my MS. I can’t work out if there are huge gaps, or it is just that I can’t put the right time to the things that happened, as if I have compacted all the good stuff together, compressing the time line until I can’t place anything where it really belongs. Aged 16 I married and from then on, right up to moving to live in a flat over looking the Clyde, when I must have been 30, something has happened confusing it all and removing much. It’s strange but having a lack of memory actually makes living as I do easier, not harder, except on days like today when I try, really try to remember, then it becomes a little distressing as I know I had a life, but something has stolen it. It’s bad enough when you are talking and the next word disappears, but when years vanish without warning, well it’s more than confusing. I have belongings all around this house, there to trigger memories and most do it quite well, but the years I have lost are also the years when I now have nothing left to help me at all. When you don’t want to remember things that are painful, unfortunately you also have to remove everything around it as well, I believe that was how some of the gaps started, but now it’s out of control. Slowly I am loosing things I should remember, like the names and ages of my great nieces and nephews, actually I don’t think I do have a nieces, I think they are all boys, but I can’t be sure.
This all started really on Friday when we saw an advert which said that most people move house 8 times in their lives, I tried really hard to remember and I eventually came up with 15 or 16, today taking time and really think I found the true number is actually 21. It took me 15 minutes for me to be happy with my final number, but don’t ask me the address of any of them, even the last one Adam and I rented before we bought this one. Worse still I often can’t even remember our phone number at time, it happened the other day when I was asked for it when booking the ambulance for my appointment, I went into a stuttering mess and I had to open something on the PC that I know it was on. My memory is becoming a lottery on the surface and mine field below, nothing is where it should be and much is completely gone. For the majority of the time it really doesn’t matter, there is no one here to check me on it, or see if I really remember or not, but I know more and more keeps going missing. When you loose your memories in some ways you are loosing yourself, maybe that is why it bothers me so much, if you don’t know what made you who you are, how can you be sure of who you are at all.
This is probably the strangest battle I have had to face up to, I want to remember who I am and what my life was really like, but on the other hand, I know all to well that one of the reasons I am content in my own little world, is because I don’t really remember the million of hours I spend just sitting here. People ask me how I don’t go stir crazy, well it’s easy, I don’t remember enough for it to happen, yes every day is basically the same, but I don’t remember this time last week. What is it going to be like in a year from now? The picture on one hand doesn’t look very rosy but on the other will I actually care at all. I guess the only way of finding out is to live another year and try to remember to come back to this and read it. I know I’m not alone on this one, but I also know it will be one of the silent area’s, no one want to admit that they are loosing something so basic yet so important, well I have admitted it, I am more than happy to say that my mind is locking out my life, not just the past, but today and yesterday as well. Living with physical pain is one thing, this is a totally different pain, but it’s equal to any spasm I have ever had.
Great post. Held my attention. I think because I am losing memories too. Sad and scary.
I often wonder how you are able to write a fresh post every day without repeating yourself or losing the interest factor. But you achieve it every time. I find your thoughts fascinating and very real. Another well written post. Thank you for sharing your life experiences with us. xxx
Great post again & can really relate to so much of it, so good to find someone else who has moved almost as much as me!! I think I’m at about that figure or slightly higher and am the same age as yourself at 52.
I don’t have MS(or not yet anyway!)and I don’t mean that to be flippant in any way, it’s just that every few months, year or two, I seem to acquire new symptoms and then conditions, illnesses. The memory problems for me have got much worse in the last 2-3 years and it really bothers me, I was thinking recently that I have mostly accepted the physical limitations and can work around it usually, but the memory issues are not so easy.
I too don’t seem to remember parts of my childhood, then I seem to have very clear memories of the the time I spent at my Grandparents, on their farm, for weeks on end, without my parents or siblings. I had a very happy childhood prior to age 13 at home and was incredibly close to and like my Mother, but she became very ill when I was 12 and died of cancer of the womb, when I was 13. I now think this may be why my memory seems to focus on being at my Grandparents? It is the worst thing that ever happened to me, losing Mum and I think I maybe find it to painful to dwell on even the happy times we had, which is really sad. I had 3 younger sisters a 2 year old brother, all younger than me, it was in Catholic Ireland of the 1970’s and our family and life fell apart, our Father was useless, incredibly selfish and went out boozing&looking for other women, so we were left to our own devices mostly!!