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No memories up til the age of 8


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I have quite detailled memories of school, but none of home life at all, including holidays, Christmasses etc. I have been shown photos and told stories, which sounds reasonable, but I do not have a memory come back as a result. I am 21 now, have just been diagnosed with BPD. I have asked my parents what they think about it, they have both pointed out that the older we get the less of our childhoods we store, and neither see it as a huge problem. I did suffer abuse in my teens, but feel that it is unlikely that it overwrote my childhood. My new therapist noted this memory gap down and mentioned that perhaps something traumatic happened that I have blocked out, but didn't say much more.

What do I do about this? I try to go back and remember but draw a blank. Should I be recovering memories to get better again? If I don't find out if something happened, will I continue to be ill? I am a bit confused.

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I'm no expert

but I do share with you the missing memory-thang

I think therapist/pdocs have to priortize our 'issues' and if you don't seem to have an 'issue' with no childhood memories then it prob gets dumped to the end of the list.

karuna I really like reading your posts you have some great outlooks that you've shared.

I'd ask your doc about hypnosis. no time to clean up post right now...so will just blab it out

I was strongly interested in hypnosis, years back. 2nd doc that made it work/click told me after the session

that WHEN i was READY i would remember...years later, after this unusual <i NEVER nap> afternoon sleep

I handled remembering a bad situation

...happened after sleeping alot

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I have no memories before age 7, but that was the year my mom started threatening to kill herself, which was particularly rough since she was the only person I'd ever lived with and her family was 1000 miles away, so I didn't know them. So anyway that backs up the trauma breaking memory thing. I don't even think, in my case, it's so much that I repressed my earlier years as I just split into a new personality at age 7, and that's the guy who grew up. If that makes any sense.

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I also remember during that time ... ( 1961 in Hawthrone (In Los Angeles area), California - )  My Father drove me that morning to a Kindergarden.  It was cloudy and having a light rain.  Off and On periodically. 

But when my Father told me to just walk up that Side Walk to that Building, that someone there would show me where to go.  That Terrorified me and it made me cry.  As I got a ways up that way, my Father drove off.  I was all by myself for the very first time.  The first fear of being by myself from home.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have no memories from the time my sister was born and my mom remarried, around age 4 until maybe some junior high flashes.  I know that I had this childhood - I've seen the pictures, I just can't remember things in those pics actually happening.  It can be scary if I focus on it for any amount of time. 

Around that time, I know alot was going on - my sister being born, my parents divorce (my sister was about 8 months) and my mom dating and getting remarried to my now step-father (of whom I don't care for).  My stepfather was verbally, emotionally and psychologically abusive to everyone in the family but mostly me, and still is to some degree.  I only have saw my father (alcoholic & drug abusor) on weekend visits until I turned 18.  I also have this natural tendancy to distrust.  Sometimes it really makes me wonder if something didn't happen and I'm blocking it out.

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Karuna,

How are the new meds treating you?

In a way I think most of us have trouble remembering our childhood.  And yes, most likely the mind represses events that it is not equipped to deal with at the time, so perhaps something heavy happened during that time period.....

My understanding of therapy (and this is still speculation, as I'm doubting the whole process right now) is that the more you talk about the feelings surrounding growing up and the feelings surrounding your family today (how you interact, what role you play) the more old memories will slowly begin to emerge.  This has happened to sure for me. 

The mind will continue to want to repress what it feels is unsafe, no matter how ancient the incident is.  So repression and defense will continue until your mind feels safe enough to release the situation.  I think that is why it is near impossible to sit there and be like, I'm going to remember my 3rd Christmas and what happened....if the mind is not ready, you are going to continue to draw a blank for that time period.

Even if you feel like you've told your therapist about an event before, keep exploring....I'll use mine for example.  I've talked about my parent's divorce and dad cheating, I don't know how many times in therapy, ALOT.  I'm tired of talking about it (and that is resistance creeping in) but the more we explore, some small tidbit will get blurted out of my mouth that I'd never considered before....and then the beautiful/sometimes uncomfortable part happens.....after therapy later that week a memory I have not thought about for YEARS will just pop into my head...and will keep playing until I bring it back into therapy and explore why that particular memory has resurfaced. 

Your mind wants to deal with the past, it's just an abstract process and sometimes it is easy to confuse nebulous feelings as a reaction to a current situation, when the feelings could be coming from years ago, and they just want to be released now. 

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  • 1 month later...

I have very few memories of my childhood. I wasn't abused in any way.

I can remember random stuff like playing outside kindergarden. But I can't remember what people was talking about, the type of clothes they used, tv shows. I barely remember the names of my teachers, although we only had one teacher at that time.

After the age of twelve I remember more stuff.

I don't know if it's a bad thing or not. I thought being a child sucked. Mostly because I was a bit smarter than the other kids and couldn't really relate to them. I didn't like adults either, to be honest.

It was such a relief when I turned a teenager and was actually seen as a person.

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  • 1 month later...

I was abused in middle school on a daily basis. I have flashbacks of the kids kicking my chairs, spitting on me... I remember that I ate in the bathroom once because nobody would let me sit at their table during lunch. I don't see the point in recovering these horrible memories though. I don't see how living in the past will help me heal. Sorry... I just don't get it.

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I used to hide from my grandfather and I didn't want him to touch me. He was nothing but nice to me, though. Sometimes I wonder if something weird didn't happen there, but not enough to be hypnotized or anything.

I have a friend who has no memories before age 8. I am trying to figure out what all that is about, but haven't yet. I certainly don't have memories of being in a crib, but I have one memory of being about three. I remember a lot that happened when I was four and by five I pretty much remember it all.

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