I’ve had a strong long-term memory my whole life. My short-term isn’t too shabby either but it’s second to my long-term. I’ve had friends who are amazed & envious at the details I remember. But believe me, it’s a double-edged sword.
There is no “forgive & forget” for me. I can forgive, yes, but it’s rare that I forget. I think this is why it’s so hard for me to trust others. I remember all the vicious things that were said. I remember the heart-wrenching pain. I remember the malicious intent behind their actions. I remember it all.
With each painful encounter, I find myself slowly stepping back to protect myself. I know it isn’t fair. I wish I wasn’t wired like this but it is what it is. This other person admitted they fucked up, apologized, & want to move on with their life. But it’s not that easy for me. I mean, I remember fights with childhood friends from 30 years ago. The stupid, asinine, petty bullshit that happens? Got it. The embarrassing giggle in front of a crush? Uh huh. Failing an audition? Check. I think this is why I struggle so much mentally. There is no “clean slate” with me. There will always be some sort of residual.
But every cloud has its silver lining, right?
I remember my 3rd birthday party in Alaska. I remember the butterflies I felt when an old crush winked at me. I remember nailing triple pirouettes in class when others were struggling with doubles. I remember being chosen for Capture the Flag because I’m competitive & I’m here to win. I remember the first time I watched Willy Wonka & being completely mesmerized. I remember scoring a goal when I played soccer. So yes. There are some good memories as well.
I also have memories where I’m unsure of the other person’s true intent. I remember the first day of high school & being scared I would be alone yet again. One of my fellow cheerleader friends, Jenni, introduced me to some of her friends & said, “This is SC. She’s awesome.” That made my heart swell. Finally, acceptance. She also pointed out her boyfriend at the time & made it clear that he was hers. I’m not sure why when I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend. I just wanted a friend. I was tired of being lonely. I never fully trusted her after that. I couldn’t tell if she was proud that as a cheerleader she was dating a football player or if she was marking her territory. My God, just pee on him. It’ll be easier. 😉 The following year, she & her family moved out of state. She pulled me aside & through her tears, asked me to “watch over her boyfriend for her.” Umm sure? I don’t know what the means but alright. I remember he & I would joke about it later throughout the rest of high school. It is ridiculous, I know.
So maybe she did trust me? That was 20 years ago & it still boggles my mind. And maybe it shouldn’t. Maybe I should just let things be as they are. But I can’t. I remember it all & it’s all so fresh in my mind.