I love the way sometimes how you can be watching a TV program and suddenly you see something that makes you smile and draws you back more years than you care to actually admit. I usually spend the day watching loads of documentaries but there are a few exceptions, programs that I suppose we all secretly watch, the bad drama’s and light entertainment shows that you would be embarrassed if someone walked in and caught you. Therefore, I am not naming it, but there was a car I hadn’t seen since I was a child, well I doubt it was the same one, but it was close enough. My grandfather, from my fathers side of the family was the person who always somehow meant more to me than any other person in the family, even if he totally loved to embarrass me and did so too often for my liking. His biggest embarrassment to me was his car, he drove himself everywhere in a really old fashioned Rolls Royce, you know the vintage ones that don’t seem to go faster than a sedate crawl and not the sort of car that an eleven-year-old wants to be either dropped off at school in or picked up by, especially not at the start of the 70’s when anything old was a problem. Oddly I now see it as the sweetest thing and just seeing that car made me smile and lifted my mood beyond belief, but back then I just wanted to crawl into a hole and never get out of it ever again. I have spent most of my life running away from memories, I started running when I was just 13 and stepped it up just days after my 16th birthday when I accepted a proposal of marriage, partly because it offered me a fast route out of Aberdeen. Life is bizarre, I never once thought back then that my memories would be the very place that I would one day spend most of my time.
I never realised what I was doing when I spent my life living at a million miles per hour, doing things that most people of my age would have thought dangerous or in later years even childish and stupid, was my attempt to fill my head with new memories to cover over and blank out the old. Nor that my inability to stay still was nothing more than me still trying not to remember, but I know now that is what I was doing. I had this hope that by filling every second of my life with something amazing or even trivial, would then mean that by the time I was old and ready to retire, well there would be so much there, so much more that those bits I wanted to forget. Being housebound, no matter how busy you try to keep yourself it supplies you with one thing that you don’t know what to do with and that is time. Time, when no matter how hard you try, all you can do is live in the past as today is exactly the same as the day before and every other one in the past 8 years. New memories are small and actually don’t even belong to yourself, they are what you see on the TV or what other people tell you about and the only new memories are so small that they can’t possibly ever stand up against or cover over the old ones. 8 years of thinking is a very long time and I don’t think I have a single memory now that I haven’t travelled through at least once, if not many more times, again and again reliving the life that I wanted to escape alongside the one I tried to replace it with. Every day that I sit here writing there are those memories, those things I have already talked about mixed with the so far unsaid, but little of my life hasn’t been touched on at some point. It doesn’t matter if I am talking about my health, my feelings or my thoughts on any subject, somehow in my head there is the net that always catches hold of some thought that I believed was long gone.
There is something that I think I have noticed over the years, I say think, because I can’t be totally sure as I have this feeling that I have changed my memories, splicing some things together that never belong that way. There is a muddled fog over some things and when I try to push past it all I now find is a bigger muddle. Some things have become clearer, things that happened in the past 20 years, I have discovered there are things that I now see were my fault, although at the time I didn’t believe they were. Analysis sometimes has the effect of uncovering the truth, but the further back I go the more and more muddled they are getting. It is as though I have a handful of crystal clear pictures and all around them is just this growing bank of fog slowly eating up the less clearer ones, until they start to vanish. If someone had asked me what the outcome of going over old memories would be, either making them clearer or making them vanish, I would have without any thought said they would become clearer. Just like when you think you don’t really remember that book you read years ago, the second you start to read it, the rest all falls back into place and the need to read it again goes, as you still hold every word. Seeing that Rolls Royce brought my grandfather back to me along with his desire to embarrass his granddaughter, but I can’t for the life of me remember how he looked, other than he was thin and very tall, I couldn’t and can’t see his face at all.
I have known for a very long time now that my short term memory is of little use at all, but long term, well everything I have ever read has said it shouldn’t be affected. I don’t remember having problems just a couple of years ago, but that is relying on my memory to confirm that, how do you trust something that you know 100% is wrong in far too many places. I don’t suppose there is anything that I can do about it, but it is just another part of what I can see is going to make my life more difficult as time goes on. As I said, memories are the place where I spend far too much time, but if those memories are going to keep disappearing, then where do you go. To date, when I have written about this, it has in itself been rather vague, just the fact that I can’t remember odd things, nothing that was clear enough to hold onto, but that list has grown and grown until now I can be very clear about what has gone. There are so many people that I can neither remember how they look or what their names are, people I should know as I saw them from my birth onwards, but now they are just shapes or the knowledge that they should be there, but their not. If it were just people, well that would be bad enough but there are places that I know I should know well, but they too have gaps or feel wrong as though I am bring two totally separate places and trying to make them one.
Losing your past wouldn’t be so bad if you could select what you want to go, but it doesn’t seem to work that way as the things I was running from in the 70’s still hold their place as big and as darkly as ever. I remember saying along time ago that I thought losing my memory wouldn’t be that bad as if you can’t remember how do you know it even existed. It appears that it’s far more cruel than that, you do remember, you remember that something should be there but isn’t and that is worse than trying to run away as you find yourself running towards the unknown, slightly scared of what it might be or what it will hold.
Read my blog from 2 years ago today – 18/04/13 – Over again > http://bit.ly/14vFzjn
Yesterday I took a tumble, not a serious one, I just went over as I was heading across the hall to the bathroom, one second I was walking the next I was twisting and pulling muscles as the floor was suddenly under my shoulder. In truth like most falls, I……