Remembering- weird thing to contemplate, huh? Maybe the topic should be forgetting instead remembering. Either way, I struggle with this.
Maybe now is the time to talk a little about my childhood. Looking at my family, we looked great. Both of my parents were involved in the community as scout leaders and volunteers at both our schools and sporting activities. My brother was a Boy Scout and got his eagle award. I was a Girl Scout and involved in many different sports. Everything looked really nice.
But it wasn’t. When I was 8, my mom moved out of my parent’s room and into her own room. Nothing much was said about; what I recall my mom saying was that she wanted her own room, just like my brother and I had. Not much later, my brother and I were sneaking around looking for Christmas presents and found divorce papers in my mom’s room. My brother made me promise that I would never talk about what we found, and I promised. Yet the next day, little 8 year old me had to get up and act like nothing was wrong. And the disassociation began. Little by little I “forgot” what I had seen but deep inside I knew and was tortured. Day after day for 7 more years, my parents lived in the same house, in separate bedrooms, and said nothing about anything that was happening between them. All the while, I got better and better at disassociating, basically not questioning, not thinking about reality, and not being present. This began around 8 and has continued today.
When I was young, I used this skill to get through each day, basically to survive. But the unfortunate side effect of practicing this for so long is that it has seeped into many areas of my life. I tend to “discover” things about myself, forget it, “discover” it again, over and over. It is annoying yet I have not wanted to take a good look at this to be able to make any headway against it.
Many years ago, my husband told me that he uses notes to remind himself of things and that over time, it has improved his ability to remember. I have been so resistant to this because it reminded me of my mom (don’t really like her) so I would not try it. Lately, though, I have been putting concerted effort into this to, at least, begin to be more conscience of myself, my past, and what I want in the future.