Childhood Memories...Forgetfulness? Or Something More?
Updated: Sep 21, 2021
For as long as I can remember, I have always had a great memory. I can tell you what my grandpa and I each ate at Taco Bell when I was just three years old. I had an order of nachos and cheese with an orange Slice pop and my grandpa ordered a nachos bell grande with the same beverage (just in case anyone was curious).
In first grade, I remember getting sick all over Mrs. McCarty's desk. In second grade, Mrs. Mashue broke her foot in numerous places and had to have surgery so we had a substitute for 8 - 12 weeks. Also in second grade, I got a bad grade on an assignment and when my mom saw it, she said I would be in trouble if I brought another bad grade home. Well when that inevitably happened, my friend Pam actually switched papers with me and my mom had no idea.
My favorite birthday party took place at DZ: Discovery Zone (if you've never heard of it, do yourself a favor and look it up) when I turned either 7 or 8. It was like Chuck E. Cheese but SO much better and they had the BEST chocolate cake.
I grew up loving country music so in 1994 when I was seven years old, my mom took me to Fan Fair in Nashville, which you may now know as CMA Fest. Our local radio station, 98FM KCQ (shout out to my favorite DJ, Jim Kramer) put a bus trip together and my mom reserved two seats for us. Our bus driver's name was George and him and I became buddies. I saw numerous acts perform and was able to visit Opryland when it was still an amusement park. I was also lucky enough to meet Little Texas (my favorite act back then), Faith Hill, Sawyer Brown and Linda Davis. I was actually supposed to meet Clay Walker as well but when I got to the front of the line, I learned that something came up with him so David Ball took his spot and let's just say I was not happy about that.
I know some of you are probably thinking, "okay Katie, we get it. You have a good memory. Now what's your point?" My point is that over the past two to three weeks, I have been doing some serious thinking about childhood memories from when I was 4 - 9 years old (when my abuser was in my life regularly) and what I learned was actually pretty interesting. While I clearly have some vivid memories growing up as the majority of the stories mentioned above are within that specified age range, I realized that I have absolutely no recollection of any memories that include my abuser other than the actual abuse itself. Birthdays? Holidays? Family vacations? The numerous amount of varsity basketball games I know we attended? I remember none of it. My birthday party at DZ? I know he was there but none of my memories from that day include him. Heck, I will even see pictures that include the two of us and nothing registers. It's weird. It's almost like he didn't even exist....almost.
When I figured this out, it was almost like one of those "Holy crap, what just happened?" moments and it got me thinking - is it me just being forgetful? Or is it something more? Will any of those memories come back? Or are they gone forever? If I remember more of the "positive" memories that include him, will I have to endure more memories of the abuse as well? Therefore, do I even want to try and remember anything else? I guess only time will tell.
It's weird to me that I remember so much about many different things yet so little when it comes to him. While I wish I had the answers to the questions above, I unfortunately don't and I know it will take some time to see if I ever do get those answers. However, the more I think about it, part of me is glad that I don't remember it all. I mean, I already have plenty of bad memories that include him; why would I want him to taint the good ones?