Gotta Love Memory Loss

Someone friended me on Facebook tonight.  I couldn’t for the life of me remember who she was, but we had three mutual friends, all people I knew from the 2 years I spent at a treatment center.  So I approved her friend request even though I had no memory of her.

Then she posted on my timeline–along the lines of, “Hey, how are?”  I gave a nondescript answer at first and then went to scour her page to see if I could figure out who on earth she was.  Her pictures didn’t even look familiar.

Finally I texted B and asked him who the hell this person was.  (B and I met at this program.)  Apparently, she was my first nursing care coordinator (NCC).  I met with her every day for months and saw her several times a week once she wasn’t my NCC anymore.  This was only five years ago–it’s not like it’s been decades or anything.

I suspect most of this is caused by the ECT, although some of it might also be dissociation.  I had 29 ECT’s the year after I left that program, and I lost most of my memories of the five years before the ECT, including the time I spent at this treatment program.  But usually I’ve been able to at least recognize people and remember how I felt about them, even if I couldn’t remember why.  For instance, B and I ran into another former patient.  I remembered I didn’t like him but couldn’t remember why.  I had to ask B why.  Once he filled me in, I vaguely remembered the incident, and it made sense why I didn’t like him.

But this woman, I couldn’t remember at all.  Once B told me she’d been my NCC, the first name clicked.  Her picture is still totally foreign to me, though.  It’s really weird when somebody knows you but you don’t know them.  Luckily, my lifelong history of dissociation has made me really good at knowing how to act like I know what’s going on when I really have no idea.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Gotta Love Memory Loss

  1. You have big time reasons for not remembering people and events. But plenty of people do not remember all kinds of things.

    I am often amazed at how much people without major reasons, or any reason except self absorption. for memory impairment do not remember things they said and did. Perhaps I am just hyper vigilant about recalling past events. I know it drives me nuts when folks claim they never said or did things I can vividly replay in my head.

    That said I absolutely stink at remembering the names that go with the people I meet in health care situations. So try not to worry too much about every memory gap.

    • I think what bothers me is I never used to be this bad before the ECT. Sure, I dissociated and forgot certain events and conversations, but I never completely forgot a person to the point that I didn’t recognize their name or their face. It’s the comparison to what I used to be able to remember that bothers me.

  2. Reblogged this on Trauma and Dissociation Project and commented:
    Living with amnesia… and those “who are you” moments…

  3. Oh my god, thank you so much for posting this. I had ECT like 80 treatments somewhere in my early 20s and have severe memory loss, I also dissociate to different degrees. I’ve never seen anyone put a timeline on how many treatments plus how much memory they lost.
    Also I sympathize with you, I’ve had many of those moments where you feel like a detective trying to figure out how you know people and even after it’s figured out, it’s still not satisfying… like “it all makes sense now” I wish it felt like that but there is always the disconnect.
    Again, thanks for this post REALLY helped to hear someone else’s experience.

    • I’m glad it was helpful! If you ever want to talk about it, feel free to get in touch with me. It’s hard when you’re trying to understand an experience most people can’t relate to.

  4. Thanks for stopping by itsmindbloggleing. I will join the Blog for Mental Health as soon as I have time. It is an honorable pledge.

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