I have an excellent long term memory. I recall events and moments from my earliest years, details most have forgotten. I remember the scrubs my mom wore when she worked the night shift at the hospital in Virginia, crawling to the front door to greet her in the early morning. I have one of her faded long-sleeved shirts with an image of a musician neither she nor I can identify. I wear that shirt when I don’t want to worry over what to wear. It makes me feel at home, like she’s hugging me. When I wear it, I never feel self-conscious.
There are clips in my mind of birthday parties, quotes between adults, faint smells. My Granmama died when I was eighteen, but I still remember her scent. I visit her when I sleep.
I have cloudy recollections from the day I first met my little sister, and remember my disappointment when I realized that she wasn’t already old enough to play with me.
When I was two years old, I had an imaginary friend (a leaf) called “Mousy.” When I rode on my dad’s shoulders to day care, he would point to rustling leaves and say, “Look, Samantha! There’s Mousy!” to which I answered, “No, Daddy. That’s not him.”
Though I have several early memories, my disorder has stolen my short term. Often I forget what I am trying to say mid-sentence. More frequently, I forget what I wanted to say at all. I repeat myself incessantly. Many of my blog articles touch the same thoughts and toss around similar words, but I know that repeating my stories is a coping mechanism, an attempt to banish the pain; it lingers deep inside my mind, barely tangible but never forgotten. Trauma is a visitor who overstays his welcome.
I am grateful for the memories I cherish. They swirl around me on blustery days. Grasping these moments aids me on my life long quest to remember who I am.