15 January 2016

I remember my childhood differently

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Sometimes my mother will share a story about me as a child that I don't remember. Most recently, this has happened when my mom has been sharing childhood stories with Bo, telling her about who I was before Bo knew me.

But my mother remembers my childhood differently than I do.

Sometimes there are stories she tells about me that I remember happening to one of my siblings. I attribute this to age and working too much and taking care of four kids when she was younger. Just a mix-up.

But sometimes she remembers stories happening differently than I do. She'll tell me about something I did and the aftermath is nothing like the aftermath when I tell the story. Or she'll remember people being involved that, in my memory, were never there.

I have a bad memory. I readily admit that. But I don't think my memory is that bad. So I've begun thinking that my interpretations of what happened have shaded my memories, shaping my memories around my interpretation. After all, it seems that, more often than not, the memories that differ are those that I remember as bad memories but my mother doesn't. So maybe it's that my mind has changed these bad memories so that I don't remember my childhood as poorly as it was.

Maybe it's because I'm a writer. My mind has filled gaps and taken artistic liberties with my memories over the years. So now, when I hear someone else's version, it is not at all my own. Not bad or wrong memories. Just more...fictional.

I've given up trying to correct my mother. She's always sure that her version of the memory is correct, just as I am. And even if I have proof that she's the one who's mistaken, my mother thinks that couldn't possibly be right.

So I let it go.

And try to journal more often so I have a better record of my memories.

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