Hiya Dear Kathryn
I have just scrapped tons of words. Your question on my thread has made me do a lot of thinking so I hope my thoughts do not come out too jumbled. xx
I realise you already aware of a lot I am going to write but I need to put things down to get my thoughts into some sort of order.
When my CG left rehab we moved things along gently because we had to build up trust on both sides. I think it was more than that though – I think we were both dealing with our new ‘normal’ – we were handling our thoughts more carefully because these were our ‘new memories’ – the ones we were going to keep.
He became aware during counselling that his memories were possibly inaccurate but the most important thing was that those memories should not weigh so heavily that they prevented him from starting anew. His head had been full of ‘the gamble’ for so long that there was no room for much else. To gamble meant he had to lie. His lies became his truth. To go back and analyse all those years would be impossible and unhelpful so he has accepted that he cannot change that which has gone before – he can only change that which is ‘now’ and is ‘to come’ and ensure that it is good.
He had an obvious memory problem a little while after rehab when he said something he ‘remembered’ from his teens and believed to be 100% true. I watched the dismay and distress on his face as he realised his memory had been a distortion of the truth and I decided from then on to ‘help’ him when I could but never to worry – we were looking forward not back.
We had a photographic session and I introduced him to a lot of his life and it was a good experience.
I want to put all this into perspective though. I am a non-CG who has parts of her life that she doesn’t remember.
I had tremendous memory loss as a result of stress resulting in me having a secret Alzheimer’s test.
I now know that I am not losing my memory (apart from a few senior moments) and I believe it is because I am in control of my life. I have accepted that there are memories I have lost through stress, memories I choose not to remember and memories that I suppose just get lost which I assume is normal.
I know that being relaxed is better for memory recall than worry.
How old were you when you started gambling. On top of what I think is normal forgetfulness you have been struggling with an addiction whose job it was to control your memory. You have stood up to that addiction and removed its control putting ‘you’ in charge. I think your memories from now on will stay with you and you will be able to trust them.
I feel as though this is such a big subject and I want to say so much and yet don’t seem able to put anything into words succinctly enough.
I believe it is better not to worry too much about what you might have forgotten. Don’t delve too deeply or too intensely.
If you feel you might not have dealt with your father’s death then how about talking about it on here, in the groups or to the helpline. I think that being afraid of the loss of the memory will make it more difficult to recall. Don’t be afraid. I’m sure your dad would have wished you to remember him alive.
I adored my dad. He didn’t say much (unlike me) but what he did say made sense. I do remember his death and his funeral but I was older than 16. I know, however, my dad would not want me remembering the sad bits and I have happy photos in my home to remind me of his life.
‘Your’ life is not ‘forgettable’ it is just that some parts are more memorable than others. xx
I don’t know where Meg is. I thought she should be home by now. Perhaps they have kept her in the zoo – she is unique. Maybe they couldn’t get her in the plane with her hands sticking up. I am sure wherever she is we will hear again soon.
You take care too Kathryn. You have become very special.
Loads of Love