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Thread: remembering things around family

  1. #1
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    remembering things around family

    There is so much focus on gaslighting these days, I think a few of us are examining our relationships. I knew about this years ago with my ex, there was some type version of it going on for a long time. Mostly just weirdness that kept on throwing me off, I never decided if it was on purpose or not. The best thing I decided was that it didn't matter. The other big time this happened was that former boss, he didn't remember things correctly quite often, and was really good at not answering things. I literally felt reality was shaky at the end.

    Now I am recalling more of how I grew up, I am seeing more how great my family is compared to others first of all. I am done with the angsty young adult years many years ago. But I still see how much I do not trust my memory, and how often my mother tells me that something is not how I remember her telling me. I know from the generation and her personality she really does not want to share things, so maybe she forgets she tells me. Maybe I am reading into things or hearing what I am not supposed to (I tend to notice and hear things around me like at coffee shops when people with me don't). And maybe I have a problem with my memory and perceptions. That is hard, my DR says I really shouldn't call myself crazy but that is a struggle. I don't really talk about things from our childhood at all, I don't want to get it wrong.

    I do remember some things I trust that are personal. I remember being in the hospital after a car accident and head injury at 5, that is my first memory. I remember a field trip in kindergarten to China town and the taste of green tea. I always sought out green tea after that. I remember sitting on my mom's lap to hear a story at night.

  2. #2
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    Memory is tricky. Everyone has a different focus when remembering the same event. Then there’s research showing that every time we remember an event, we “rewrite” it in our brain. After multiple rememberings we can end up remembering it differently than how it happened.

    Add onto the above normal memory stuff all that we know about gas lighting, and it gets pretty murky,

  3. #3
    Senior Member lhamo's Avatar
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    I had a huge breakthrough in therapy a couple of years ago. I told my therapist about my dissociating tendencies, especially the fact that I have these "out of body" experiences in relation to major traumas. He asked me to do an inventory of all the times I remember leaving my body like that. One of them was related to a disclosure I made that I later felt gaslighted about (actually wondered if I had told the person what I told them, because for over ten years they acted as if I hadn't). That gave me the courage to confront the person about it. They admitted I had told them, but they didn't know how to handle it.

    I am still trying to figure out how to deal with the trauma of someone ignoring something this significant for over ten years and continuing to make the demands on me that I was finding so hard to meet due to the trauma history.

    But god, am I ever grateful to my therapist for helping me build the mental map of how all these things are connected! For me the dissociation has turned out to be a real gift -- not only because it helped protect me during those traumatic times, but also because I have such clear and vivid memories of those out of body moments.
    "Seek out habits that help you overcome fear or inertia. Destroy those that do the opposite." Seth Godin

  4. #4
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    lhamo, that sounds so interesting. It is cool that you remember the out of body stuff so clearly, not cool that you had the trauma of course. I was on retreat in California when I had some serious dissociation during walking meditation. I had been taught by my teacher how to stay grounded in the body so I really worked through it for what seemed a long time. Probably 30 minutes of focusing on my feet, my body, my breathing, etc. The smells, air, temperature, everything there was the same as when I was 5 years old and in a car accident. I spent a night in the hospital, I can recall that so clearly.

    The memory thing overall is important to remember. My kids will recall things I told them that I don't remember. I don't make a big deal because different things stick in our memories. Also our emotional connections are all different. Right now I remember a lot of things but over time my perspective has changed.

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