You look at photographs. People tell you stories of the things you did. They talk about the good memories you’ve had together. Some times, you pretend that you remember and you laugh and nod along. Other times, you just tilt your head down, feeling ashamed of yourself like you’ve done something horribly wrong, and say, “I don’t remember”.

They aren’t always good things, that you forget, though. Some times, people ask you what happened that day. And it’s all just a blank.

Be it because of illness, medication, or trauma, you cannot help but feel guilty, especially for forgetting good memories or the things that people have told you. You want to let them know that you forgot not because you didn’t care or because you weren’t listening. They don’t always understand. Sometimes they get frustrated from repeating their stories, or from hearing you tell stories from long ago that you do not remember telling.

Apart from guilt, a whole range of emotions hit you.
Anger – because you don’t get the pleasure of replaying moments in your head.
Sadness – because it feels like someone else has been living your life.
Confusion – because you don’t know whether your “memories” are really memories, or constructed confabulations from what people have told you.
Frustration – because the memories seem like they’re just an inch out of your grasp.
Regret – because you feel that if you had done something different, none of this would have happened.

It’s a horrible feeling to be told of your lost memories. But at the same time, you want to know, because you feel like (and you do) have the right to know your own story. Sadly, you will never be able to tell your own story. You will only be able to tell other people’s story of you.

Published by Claire Leong