memory_challenges_trueblue_magazine_1 Food For Thought

Discussing the Issue of Memory Challenges

Okay now where was I  oh right, memory loss.

I think my earliest memory is from when I was 9. Most people I know can remember as early as 4, and even some who have a very vivid memory from as early as 2. Most of my “memories” from earlier than 7-9 are a story I’ve been told, and not the actual event. The main reason I think my memory is lacking is from a form of conditioning my mother provided for me. To give a small background on what I mean, my father wasn’t considered a very “good” person. There were things that my mother felt she needed to protect me from, but she was an open person. The thing was, when she did finally leave my father, he tried looking for us on many occasions. We did our best to keep moving on.

That was where the conditioning started. We moved so many times when I was growing up that I can not recall all the places where we lived. I was born in Ontario, and I believe we moved when I was between 4-7 years old. I don’t recall my first year of school (Kindergarten), in fact the first year of school I remember would be grade 3. We lived far enough away that it required me to take a bus. On the first day, we had waited for the bus, and when the driver showed up, he asked us if I’d be home around noon? My mother puzzled asked why that would be, and the driver explained that because I was so small, he thought I was in Kindergarten. Everyone laughed, and he was told that I was actually in grade 3.

It’s funny now, but not so funny when you are 7. In fact, I do not remember this event, what I do recall is when I began to have freedom on the farm. Prior to living in this place, of which I have many memories, I do not recall any places, just stories told by my mother. I think how this occurred is that my mom would encourage me not to dwell and to move on and enjoy what we have and where we are now. This constant reminder that there was no point in dwelling is what has lead to the main issues I currently have with memory.

Remembering the good times

Add in the fact that I’ve had two children and you could say that my memory is about as supportive as a sieve. Most of my memories involve animals/pets, as it was one thing my mom always tried to make sure we had. I find that I remember events, but rarely remember when they occurred, and some things I just don’t recall at all.

So is there anything to my memory loss?

Well, I think that conditioning is a major play in it. If your brain is trained, especially at a young age, to do something then you will grow up with that mind set, and it can be very difficult to change. I guess you could say it was due to stress, and of course that is correct, but for the most part, I don’t recall the stress of it. My mom would make games out it or make it like an adventure. There is science connecting poor memory to stress and looking back I can see how that combined with conditioning to let go of the past could cause memory loss. To give you an idea of my life style the longest I’ve ever lived in one location was 5 years, then 2 years, and everywhere else was 1 year or less.

What’s your memory trigger?

I‘ve gone to the extent where I take what some say is an unreasonable amount of pictures, and this has become my “photographic” memory. The visual helps trigger memories for me. I am better with faces or names, but not usually with the two together. Maybe from moving so many times, I find it easy to memorize new addresses or phone numbers but otherwise some days I have a hard time remembering what I had for breakfast, let alone what I did the day before.

Many women have similar experiences with memory issues while pregnant, as well as afterwards. It is said that memory issues can be based on hormonal changes, but nothing actually changes in the brain. Eventually the “baby brain” goes away, or at least that’s what “they” say. I have many heard many stories of poor memory due to having children. Some women say, providing they had a decent or good memory before hand, that their memory eventually comes back. I don’t know if there is hope for me but who knows ladies, it could all come back one day. Maybe 18 or so years later, when your kids are all grown. At least there is hope!

Good luck!

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