I have very little memory of my childhood. It goes as far as age 12. I don’t know why or what might have happened that made me forget. It’s been bothering me for years. I originally thought this was normal. Most people don’t remember being kids, right? I realized over time that it’s not normal. I can remember small bits and pieces, but there are huge chunks of time missing. It’s also hard to differentiate between my own memory and what I was told happened or what I’ve seen in photos. Is this some form of dissociation or trauma repression?
My household wasn’t calm growing up. My parents had separated when I was only 2 and I know that my mother had several boyfriends who were abusive. There was one incident (that I was told about, but don’t remember) when my mother had to go to the hospital from “falling” into the corner of a table. Child services took me and my siblings to my father’s place. They thought her boyfriend caused the gash in her head, but my mother insisted it was an accident. I don’t know what to believe. Another incident (that I remember partially), was with my brother’s father (I’ll call him J). My brother was only a baby and I was about 7 years old. I woke up in the middle of the night to J yelling at my mother. I sat in my bed crying, not knowing what was happening until my older sister came and got me. We all went to the bathroom to get away from him. I don’t remember anything after that but I know he broke the lock on the bathroom door to get to us. My sister absolutely hates J to this day. I don’t remember enough to hate him. Since then, he went through anger management and was sober for a while. He’s still my brother’s father so he’s still in our lives.
My mother was also in the hospital a few times when we were young. Injuries, psychiatric stay, and cancer treatment. She went through a whole year where she wouldn’t get out of bed. My siblings basically had to raise me. Of course, I don’t remember most of this. I think I remember visiting her in the hospital when she had cancer (I was about 10). My father wasn’t very involved in our lives but we saw him at least once a week.
All of this could have contributed to my lack of memories. It’s the unknown parts that worry me. What about things that my siblings weren’t there for? Did anything happen only to me? Behind closed doors? Is there any way for me to ever know? Maybe it’s better if I don’t remember. I just hate not knowing.