Worlds & Time

Monday, March 06, 2006

Memory

I mentioned in my last post that I may have memory problems that are similar to my fathers.

It's not based completely on forgetfulness. On certain things, both of us have a good clarity of recall in some subjects. My father has an amazing knowledge of Water Law. I'm sure that I could come up with a subject for me, but right now I don't trust my memory.

The issue is that we can't always trust our own memories. Other people, they can remember what they've done in their lives. We remember things not only that we've done, we remember what we've imagined.

I can remember things that, logically, I can discard as impossible. I can remember sleeping with a person in Rochester that I know never happened. I can remember flying, not in a plane, but like a superhero, though a city.

It wasn't something that I consciously controlled. It wasn't something that I tried to imagine, and even though it's a dream, I can remember the the feeling, the weightlessness. I can remember the wind in my hair in the same way I can remember sitting on my porch watching the lightning storms behind my house . . . and I'm pretty sure that happened.

The problem is that they're so vivid that they're indistinguishable from reality, and sometimes I don't catch them before they slide into long term memory. Did I really run into the bookshelf in the living room of my mother's house? Did the house next to ours burn down the day I left for college? What about that ballgame with my father? Have I even been to one? I can remember being at a ballgame . . . but the memory doesn't seem to work out completely because I don't know when that was, and the people there seem to be an impossibility.

So . . . I have these memory problems. I don't exactly know what to do with them. I'm not exactly delusional, and certainly not hallucinating. I don't see things that aren't there at the time, but sometimes I worry that the false memories are taking the place of real ones.

Now, the frequency of this is very rare, but I have an example of someone that has them more often . . . and that scares me.

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