I agree with all of these….the problem is, I have trouble with memory. Not ALL memory, just long-term memories. When you are a survivor of child sexual abuse and you develop certain coping mechanisms to accommodate painful memories – all the good stuff from that time gets wiped out too. So I don’t remember the first day of kindergarten, but I have been told about certain funny school incidents that happened during that year, and have made that my “memory” of the year I turned five. I don’t remember any birthday parties that happened when I was younger than 13, and pretty much – all of my “memories” from before that age are either school-related (because I am a geek) or are stories of my own life, told back to me.
Thankfully, the family of the predator left our family’s social circle at some point around my tenth birthday, and moved out of our town. So I didn’t have to see him at all after that point, what a blessing! Probably the reason why my real memories start at about that time.
An unintended positive side effect of this memory problem is that I don’t hold grudges. I don’t hold on to negative stuff, like anger from getting hurt in relationships. I don’t even pack it into boxes and store it away for a rainy day grudge-fest. I see every mistake, fight, and conflict as either something that has been allowed into my life in order to make me stronger, or something that is so inconsequential in the light of eternity, that I should just “let it go.” Any anger that I experience in the moment, is about that moment, to be turned over and examined and dissected and then released – like blowing on one of those puff balls from old dandelions.
An unintended negative side effect of this memory problem is that I don’t hold strict boundaries with people who are toxic. I forget the previous year’s conflicts and try, try, try again. It’s my own personal “Groundhog Day,” except that I am not the Bill Murray character, I am all the other characters in that movie.
There are worse things that can be said about a person, so I am satisfied that just like other character traits or quirks, there are two sides to every coin, and I’m not in a hurry to examine the boundary thing just yet.
I have other big things that I am working on. 🙂