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Family Thinks Symptoms are "Normal"?

Discussion in 'General' started by Grama-Herc, Aug 11, 2007.

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  1. Grama-Herc

    Grama-Herc I'm a VIP

    :wall: While I am blessed to have an understanding, supportive and loving mother, she keeps insisting that the amnesia I have is just normal ageing forgetfullness!!!!! After all, she can't remember a lot of her childhood. SHE IS 83 fing years old. I am only 60 and should still have some recall of things like giving birth to a child. Graduation from high school. is something else I really should remember. I was 9 when my sister was born--not a thing. I love my mom but she insists that not remembering my entire childhood, teenage years and ealier adulthood is NORMAL. HELP!!!! How can I get her to understand that this is not normal. Right now I simply avoid the issue cuz it drives me crazy and we end up in a mini arguement over this issue so I just leave it alone. Sometimes I screw up and refer to not remembering something and she is off on her soap box again! Any suggestions on how to solve this
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  3. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

    I'm not certain how to advise you Herc, but as I am approaching 60 myself, I thought I should share my thoughts. While some individuals have a better memory than others, I agree with you that it is not normal to have absolutely no memory of major life events. I remember both of my little sisters being born (I was under 10 for both), I remember riding my tricycle up and down our block, and I must have been quite little then! My graduation from highschool, and subsequent joining the military... I was 17 at the time, I remember it very clearly. Yes I don't remember all the details, but it is not a blank either. I think that is what's definitely not normal, having absolutely no recollection. It is unfortunate your mother doesn't see things that way.
  4. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+


    I have some memory, not all. But it isn't normal to NOT have any. BUT, that said.......I am not sure, but your mind may have blocked things out because it's to painful to remember. At least this is what my therapist told me about my memory problems.

    It used to frustrate the crap out of me, but I have learned to just let it go now. I really don't need to know anymore about the abuse. I know enough, and don't need anymore to deal with.

    When your mother starts, try telling her nicely to just let go of the conversation right now. Don't engage it the discussion, because it only upsets you more.


  5. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member


    You and I have spoken about how frutrating it is not be able to access certain parts of your life. I think anyone here with memories that are blocked understand it as well. I doubt your mom is trying to minimize how you're feeling, but is trying to put it into a context that she can understand and deal with. This is outside of the realm of her experiences.

    Maybe putting the kibosh on conversations that deal with this is the best way to handle it. My husband and I have used that tactic with a lot of success for years. If there's a subject that we have opposite opinions on and neither is going to budge...we just don't touch that subject anymore. Makes for a much more harmonious household. And since you and your mom are now a lot closer living in the same house, it's going to take some adjustment on both of your parts to keep your home as stress-free as possible.

  6. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member


    Sometimes you just need to pick your battles. When family members "normalize" your symptoms, let them. Don't beat your head against a brick wall over it.

    Saying that everyone has severe memory loss is saying that they can't handle it. They need to make it normal for themselves. It's very selfish, granted, but some family members just can not deal with it.

    I would suggest just avoiding this subject with your mom.

    My family does not even know I have severe amnesia. It's a pointless battle with them. I just nod my head and agree with them when they talk about things I don't remember. Although frustrating, sometimes you just have to let them live in their happy little bubbles.

    If you need to talk about it, come here, talk to a friend, talk to a therapist. Go where the other person can deal with it, without making you frustrated or feel crappy.

  7. Grama-Herc

    Grama-Herc I'm a VIP

    As usual you guys put things in front of me that were there but I did not see. I know very well to simply avoid this memory issue with my mom. I've been doing it for a long time. This is not going to go away so I just need to avoid the issue with her. I would however, like some suggestions--- how do I could get her to talk about my childhood WITHOUT pushing eachothers buttons. I would like to fill in some of the blank spots. I never knew I dated a doctors son. Why did I dump him? Stuff like that. Who knows who is in my past. Could be someone worth "reknowing" so to speak. Anyway HELP
  8. pandora

    pandora I'm a VIP

    Could you ask a close family friend the questions that you would like your Mom to answer? I actually did that....I had the questions written out already and she was able to answer as many as she new about. Just a suggestion and it did work for me.
  9. Damiea

    Damiea Well-Known Member

    Just an idea.. but that might be a good way to disengage from an argument with your mom over memory loss.. change the subject to something like.. well ok.. so I don't remember.. tell me about it please!
  10. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+


    Exactly who are you mad at???? I am trying to figure this ok. Are you mad at your mom, because she doesn't believe that someone can't remember??? Or are you getting mad because YOU can't remember, so you get angry with your mom????

    I think that Damiea might have a thought....If you can both agree NOT to argue, have her tell you what SHE remembers about your childhood. Just be prepared, it might spark a repressed memory that may open the path for other things too painful to come pouring out...........

  11. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Honestly, at 83 years of age, I doubt you will change her mindset.
  12. Grama-Herc

    Grama-Herc I'm a VIP

    Whatever did I do before I found you guys. But what I really want to know is-- do any of you guys find that Your family thinks your symptoms--whatever they may be--are just normal, that you are not really, shall I say "ill" for lack of a better word.

    Mother and I have gotten to the point where she is the only 1 that ever mentions my childhood and then only to recall cute and funny stuff. In response to asking other family members--that won't work--sister much younger than I am--Dad dead and that leaves us with no one to ask. And yes the old adage of "Be careful what you ask for" could very well be applied to me and my mystery so I really have mixed feelings about ever finding out what monsters are in my past. Try as I might I just can't let this problem alone. It has bugged me for a very long time.
  13. EmeraldRiver

    EmeraldRiver Member

    I'm loathe to suggest professional help in recalling memories, since I am paranoid beyond belief - but I can't recall MUCH of my past either...and have actually considered it upon occasion.

    And yes, my family too doesn't think it's abnormal to forget my daughter's name, or how to work the bathtub, or my ENTIRE childhood...etc. (and I am young!)

    But I tell myself that they cannot cope with me so I forgive them for their ignorance. There is many things I cannot forgive them for - but for trying to convince themselves that I'm ok...well, I can live with that....since apparently THEY cannot live with me NOT being ok.
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