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Define "me"

I just had a sobering, melancholy realization. There is now really nobody living who knew me as a child. My faulty memory leaves me struggling to define my past. Nobody can help recount the stories, flesh out my history. I have no idea how to define the gaps in time, the memories I may never regain. - I mean big things. They're dissolving. The people I hold dearest are people who have no idea who I've been, and how that bears on what I have become, in this sense. I am uncertain whether I could ever adequately represent even a fraction of the whole. Coming from a traumatically splintered history into the cryptic present, it's no wonder I feel so disconnected.

Comments

( 19 uh-ohs — Make a mess )
b_d_s_monkey
Dec. 11th, 2004 09:54 am (UTC)
oh, gah, I know the feeling. most of my extended family is gone. my mom passed 20 years ago, then my dad in 2000, followed by my grandmother less than a year later. (my only grandparent that was alive at the same time as me). So many questions left unanswered . . .

I still have my brother and some uncles at least.
caffeina
Dec. 11th, 2004 11:35 pm (UTC)
I've got a cool cousin, and my uncle, though I'm not really friendly with him.

I wish I'd been more patient and attentive while my grandparents were alive, and my mom, I feel like such an asshole for brushing her off when she tried to tell me the sorts of stories and answers I am now seeking. I always thought there'd be time. Isn't that always the folly... My dad also died in 2000. That's a whole other realm of regret and grief.
foxtail_star
Dec. 13th, 2004 06:35 am (UTC)
i dont think that you're an asshole for not quite being interested at that point in your life in hearing about your childhood. i think it's natual. plus i think aunt stormi probily left you like at least pics that you can look at that might spark a memory....dont ya think? and i do remember some of the memories of when you were a kid...hehe i even have a pic of you from my parents wedding...ehehehehehhehehehehhehe it was soooooo cuuuuuute! *ahem* anyways...

you cant regret things that have already happend. it doesnt do anyting. heh, you could always talk to my dad (your uncle...wait...yeah thats waht i meant..man i'm tired!), though, even *i* dont wanna talk to him....jerk...blahblobh....

also, mom knew you from about what-age 9? i'm sure she could tell ya some stories possibly.....:-D
lisadarling
Dec. 11th, 2004 03:31 pm (UTC)
I'm in a similar position and even though I'm probably better off not remembering,. I find some comfort in that when I am old, I will remember it all again. cause that's what old people do, relive their childhood. hopefully by then, I'll have a much thicker skin
caffeina
Dec. 11th, 2004 11:28 pm (UTC)
Is that the case? I would love to float through memories awhile. Not just the ones which stick because they've left scars, nice warm everyday things, not just a litany of mistakes, humiliations and other wholesome childhood anguish.
clandestineye
Dec. 11th, 2004 03:40 pm (UTC)
alternate perspective
I have lots of people alive who knew me as a kid and it isn't like their anecdotes help me fell defined. In fact, they make me feel stifled, a bit.
caffeina
Dec. 11th, 2004 11:24 pm (UTC)
Re: alternate perspective
But I grew up with hippies, man, they'd never harsh my mellow.
foxtail_star
Dec. 13th, 2004 06:38 am (UTC)
Re: alternate perspective
man i wish that my moms family were hippies...i fit in better with hippies...gee could that be why i alwys looked forward to visiting you and aunt stormi as if i was comming home? probily.... :-D (plus i had secretly envied your room...you know-the one that was right off of the living room..that room rocked!)

*ahem* i'm delirious with fake diet coke....lalal
radiumhead
Dec. 11th, 2004 06:27 pm (UTC)
You're an only child?
caffeina
Dec. 11th, 2004 11:23 pm (UTC)
yessir.
I have an estranged half-sister, and a recently discovered half-brother but I was a solitary type. Latchkey kid.
mcvandal
Dec. 11th, 2004 06:46 pm (UTC)
I understand. The only ones living were not there for me as a child. They never really wanted to know me, which is the case... still.


I would really love to get to know you. I have always been such a private person (partly due to what I wrote above), but I know it will be the death of me. I have been making attempts to change, but it's still such a lonely place and I haven't a clue whom to trust.

We don't have to go to Sephora (unless you're buying, of course!). We could get a drink or you could come over to Chez Paige, or whetever.
I've been in hermit-mode, of late...

The holidays and everything that has happened in the past month have infected me in ways I see no way out of.

Here come the tears. Endless, they are.
caffeina
Dec. 11th, 2004 11:22 pm (UTC)
*hugs*
I can't understand why someone wouldn't want to know another person, especially someone interestingly complex and colorful and mysterious. Like you.

The holidays are going to be completely weird. It's Hannukah right now, but I'm not doing anything about it. I am considering looking for some birthday candles around here and showing djdigit how the yids do it.

I'm a big bag of teardrops and self-pity, I need to get out of my own head.

I would be happy to spend some time with you, maybe this week? Monday is booked (papsmear anyone? swayzak anyone?) but I think that the rest of the week is relatively loose.
djdigit
Dec. 12th, 2004 10:58 pm (UTC)
Re: *hugs*
swayzak, yes. papsmear, no.
:)
(Deleted comment)
caffeina
Dec. 11th, 2004 11:17 pm (UTC)
It's all my own fable of childhood anyway
I don't remember a lot of things. I was in an accident when I was ~4 years old, and I bounced off the pavement headlong, apparently. I was in a coma for a while and had blackouts and seizures for a while after that. So in my case there are actual gaps. I don't know for certain the extent of it but I think I have teh brane damage.

And I sometimes remember odd things with extreme effort, but it seems sometimes like i'm remembering someone else, which is why I wish there was something to measure my "memories" against. To verify and cross-examine.

It's weird the things I do remember with exquisite detail. Like finding a worm inside of an apple and trying to keep it as a pet on top of my toychest only to find it all dessicated and stiff the next day. Along the same yucky vein, another time I remember biting in to a biiiig juicy enormous strawberry and finding a pincer bug had made the hollow core its home. YUCK PTUI. I remember flipping out after finding a huge lizard underneath the kitchen sink in the apartment I lived in. My response? Running upstairs and refusing to come down until my mom came and shooed it out.

Those are all post-accident memories, though. By several years. Hmm. Now i'm remembering all those weird pre-pube years. I guess I should tell my stories. Good idea.
thebarbed1
Dec. 13th, 2004 12:43 am (UTC)
Re: It's all my own fable of childhood anyway
Yes, tell your stories! If I could be of assistance to you -say, chronicling these stories as you tell them to me- I would love to. I mentioned this idea awhile back because I thought it was a good one, now it's even more so. This is an honest to goodness true offer. Someone as kind-hearted, brave, talented, intelligent & artistically gifted as you deserves to have their story told. Plus, I really wanna know how you came to be *YOU*!
leggylady
Dec. 12th, 2004 02:13 am (UTC)
*big huge hugs*
I'm sorry for your pain.

I ran into Larry last night and we walked past your digs. I had no idea we lived "that" close to another..or if I knew I spaced it. We really should hang out. I would love to get to know you.
djdigit
Dec. 12th, 2004 11:05 pm (UTC)
memory overrated? hope so.
I have *huge* gaps in my long-term memory starting as recently as a couple years ago. And childhood? forget it. Nothing but a drawer full of snapshots... a collection of random, disparate memories ranging from crystal-clear to vague. But very spotty.

But on the other hand, I like myself most at the present (and always have, best I can remember; heh), so I'm not too worried about it. It hits me the most when I start trying to figure out "what was I doing Jan. 2001" or something. Events like school semesters, job starts/endings, etc, help, but I have to think about them hard.
foxtail_star
Dec. 13th, 2004 06:52 am (UTC)
Re: memory overrated? hope so.
i think almost every child has huge gaps between memories. like for me, i remember crawling past ninja, the one eyed black angora and wondering why kitty has fluffy white stuff on his face (found out it was a bandage cuz he lost his eye getting hit by a car). but dont remember tripping on the uneven sidewalk and bleeding and bleading and freaking my dad out to the point where he just picked me up and ran back to the house (this was told to me by my mom like just a few months ago). so no, i dont htink it's bad that there are gaps in your history. i think it is just what it is.

*shrug* do i make sence? i'm like totally tired! me going to bed!...

night cuz.....

( 19 uh-ohs — Make a mess )