We Think You’re Trying to Trick Us
You know what’s terrifying? Not remembering things that happened or remembering them differently from others, and then hearing others tell us about them as though we’re supposed to not only know what they’re talking about, but engage and respond appropriately.
This doesn’t happen as often as it did to me when I was a child, but it still happens every once in the while, and, when it does, it completely upends me!
When I was a kid, I constantly thought everyone was trying to trick me because something would happen or be said, and I either didn’t process it correctly and remembered it differently, or I didn’t remember it at all!
It confused and terrified me that people would talk about something they said or did with me or with me in the room, and my mind just drew a complete blank.
I didn’t know how horrible my short-term memory or processing was at the time, so I just thought everyone was lying and trying to drive me insane!
That caused a LOT of meltdowns and serious distrust of everyone around me.
I had forgotten about this particular trauma until a parent asked me a question about their child the other day and said, “What do I do? I don’t want him to constantly think I’m tricking him!”
Flashbacks! (It’s OK, this post needed to be written.)
I highly recommend recording stuff either with video or voice, but I think it’s very important to not record surreptitiously but instead let your child agree to be part of the process and use it as a tool instead of just whipping out a video without notice.
To me, that feels too much like spying and accusation.
“See? I TOLD you I said that!” You don’t want to approach it that way because this memory loss is very disorienting to us as it is, and suddenly revealing a video the person didn’t know was being recorded will only make things worse.
(Also, quick side note: This arcs back around to my post about gaslighting and being taken advantage of. If you truly have a terrible short-term memory, an abusive person can easily and expertly use this against you.)
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On the flip side, it’s also very possible that a person was gaslighting you. Intentional or not, once you are away from a person and start having interactions with others that aren’t questioned, you may realize that your memory of those events was better than you thought.